Source:  Diarrhea    Tag:  bacterial versus viral infections
Diarrhea is loose, watery, and frequent stools.  The most common causes of diarrhea are
  a mild viral infection known as viral gastroenteritis.  This is also known as the stomach flu.
  Traveler’s diarrhea or Montezuma’s revenge is described in more detail below.

Other causes are food poisoning, food allergies, reactions to medications or medical procedures, and as a side effect of more serious health concerns such as Crohn’s, diabetes, and ulcerative colitis.

Traveler’s diarrhea (Montezuma’s revenge) is a common difficulty of those that travel. This is usually a bacterial infection but can be from a variety of viruses and parasites.  Diarrhea is the most common symptom and may be accompanied by abdominal pain, fever, gas, loss of appetite and vomiting depending on the infectious agent. The most common bacterial infection for travelers is E. coli, viral is viral gastroenteritis and parasitical are giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis. For other gastric infections also refer to the following related pages dysentery, food poisoning, stomach flu.

    E. coli enteritis is the common food poisoning to those that travel.  Meats that have not been handled properly, unsanitary food preparation areas, dairy or foods with mayonnaise not properly refrigerated or undercooked eggs or meat are all possible sources.

     Symptoms usually occur with in 24 to 72 hours of infection.  Sudden severe diarrhea that may be bloody is the most common symptoms.  Others symptoms may include abdominal pain, fever, gas and/or loss of appetite.  Vomiting is rare.

    Viral dysentery or also referred to as viral gastroenteritis or stomach flu is a viral infection and can come from a variety of viruses including adenovirus, astrovirus, caliciviruses, norovirus and rotavirus. The latter two being common among children while caliciviruses is a more common infectious agent among adults. None of these virus strains are related to those responsible for the common cold or flu (influenza) that affect the respiratory system.

     Symptoms appear rapidly after contacting the infection, usually with 4 to 48 hours.  Symptoms usually will include some abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting then followed with diarrhea. A low-grade fever and headache may also occur but symptoms will usually differ from respiratory influenza (the flu) which typically will include high fever, muscle aches, fatigue and respiratory congestion.

    Giardiasis, and cryptosporidiosis (Giardia lamblia, and Cryptosporidium parvum) are each protozoa that infect the digestive tract and develop a mild form of dysentery commonly referred to as traveler’s diarrhea (Montezuma’s revenge).

     Symptoms of giardiasis infection are delayed about 1 to 3 weeks after exposure.  When symptoms appear the include bloating with foul smelling gas, headaches, low-grade fever, nausea and vomiting.  Cryptosporidiosis infection is typically milder but may include heavy diarrhea starting 7 to 10 days after exposure, nausea and vomiting.  Usually no fever.

A quick note on the terms associated with digestive tract infections.
Common medical terms
Gastroenteritis is the general term for infection (bacterial, viral, parasitical or toxins) that leads to inflammation of the mucous membrane of the digestive tract.
Dysentery, a subset of gastroenteritis, primarily affecting the colon. Infection is commonly from parasites but can also be bacterial, viral or toxic. Most common are amoebic, giardia and cryptosporidium that all come from protozoans (single cell parasites).
Gastritis, a subset of gastroenteritis, is specifically inflammation of tissue in the stomach.
Diarrhea is a common symptom of various forms of gastroenteritis. Some use this term interchangeably with dysentery.
Common lay terms
Food poisoning can lead to gastroenteritis and primarily describes what and how the infectious agents come into the body.
Stomach flu (viral gastroenteritis) is a subset of gastroenteritis caused by a viral infection from a number of viruses (but unrelated to those that cause the common cold and flu).
Traveler’s diarrhea (Montezuma’s revenge) is the lay term used for gastroenteritis (bacterial or viral) common to folks traveling to new areas and exposed to new infectious agents.

Oils, blends & products recommended:
Oils & Blends:  DigestZen, Fennel, Ginger, Peppermint, Sandalwood
Essential oils based products: GX Assist, PB Assist
Also consider: Cinnamon, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Roman Chamomile

Suggested protocols:
DigestZen may be taken internally or topically.  Internally add 3 - 4 drops to a swallow of water or juice.  Topically apply 3 - 4 drops to the lower stomach area.

For children and babies apply topically and dilute with a carrier oil. For infants the oils will be effective when applied to the bottoms of the feet.

Ginger and Peppermint are also good to settle upset stomachs.

Cinnamon or cassia applied topically to the lower stomach area with a carrier oil are specifically helpful for diarrhea.

Bacterial, Viral or Parasite?
If the type of infection is known consider augmenting with an oil effective for that infection if it is not included in the protocol above.

ANTIBACTERIAL: basil, cassia, cinnamon, clove, cypress, eucalyptus, geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Marjoram, Melaleuca, Myrrh, On Guard, Oregano, Peppermint, Rosemary, Thyme, Wild Orange

ANTIVIRAL: basil, cassia, cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, Frankincense, Helichrysum, Lemon, Lemongrass, Marjoram, Melaleuca, Melissa, Myrrh, On Guard, Oregano, Thyme

PARASITES: cinnamon, DigestZen, Lemon, Melaleuca, Mountain Savory, On Guard, Oregano, Roman Chamomile, Thyme

dōTERRA Essential oils does not prevent, treat or cure disease. Your lifestyle choices can help prevent disease. Your doctor treats symptoms and fixes broken parts. Your body cure disease!

To purchase, visit our webstore HERE