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dropkick
2007-05-19, 00:49
I've been going over my medical kit and I think I should add an anti diarrhea medication to it.
I can't think of any life threatening non-injury medical emergency that I'm more likely to have on the trail.

Cider vinegar, which I carry, and rice which I almost always carry, are supposed to help. But I haven't really tested them and I'm looking for something I can be sure about.

I have a vague recollection of something that can also be used as an antiseptic, but I can't remember what it is.

Any recommendations?

Take-a-knee
2007-05-19, 00:55
Lomotil (diphenoxylate) is the best, most potent anti-diarrheal there is. It is a tiny tablet that stores well. RX only of course, see your doc. You can buy it OTC in mexico and other places.

Iceman
2007-05-19, 01:30
I have imodium tabs in my kit. Have never used them, thankfully.

:dong: :eek2: :afraid: :creep: :bootyshak :argh: :bootyshak :argh: :reddy: puke: :shot: :toilet: :vroam:

PKH
2007-05-19, 10:53
Imodium tablets are very effective, and are non prescription. The active ingredient is lomotil, as in the prescription medicine noted above. Be careful though. I would not dose myself after just one episode of the runs; wait to be sure you actually have an ongoing case, then follow the directions. If you take this medicine unnecessarily you can find yourself badly bunged up! For a hiker, this is almost - almost I say - as bad as the runs.

This affliction is common on the trail and is not necessarily caused by poor hygiene or contaminated water, although of course these things will do the job. Many people are temporarily affected by a change of diet and steady exercise. In any case, you are wise to carry something. Chances are you won't have to use it but if you are caught short, you won't begrudge the extra weight.

Cheers,

PKH

Take-a-knee
2007-05-19, 14:26
PKH, Immodium's generic name is loperamide, not diphenoxylate (lomotil), they are different drugs. Lomotil is derived from a narcotic base, since narcotics slow the motility of the gut, they isolated that component of the compound. They also added atropine to discourage abuse of the drug.

Neither of these should be taken unless you are in danger of dehydration. Truly serious diarrhea, without IV fluids, can kill you in a couple of days.

Amigi
2007-05-19, 16:56
I can't think of any life threatening non-injury medical emergency that I'm more likely to have on the trail.

I was always under the impression that constipation was more common. Any ideas?

I have never had diarrhea on a trail, but definitely had some clogged plumbing. With the except of short day hikes when I just bring a plunger along, a small piece of pine ash, completely black, does the trick for me. Sometimes it makes you puke: though. This is assuming I dont think its from dehydration, of course.

dropkick
2007-05-19, 20:51
Amigi,
The difference between diarrhea and constipation is that diarriah can kill you.
Constipation just makes you uncomfortable (though I now have the image in my head of a bloated hiker exploding).

Also I carry olive oil which is a pretty good laxative - usually when I'm plugged up I just drink some water and fairly soon I can go.

Amigi
2007-05-20, 00:47
Amigi,
The difference between diarrhea and constipation is that diarriah can kill you.
Constipation just makes you uncomfortable (though I now have the image in my head of a bloated hiker exploding).

Also I carry olive oil which is a pretty good laxative - usually when I'm plugged up I just drink some water and fairly soon I can go.

Uh, hate to disagree, but constipation is a far more serious condition than diarrhea.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dysentery

dropkick
2007-05-20, 01:23
Uh, hate to disagree, but constipation is a far more serious condition than diarrhea.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dysentery

Ummm.... you just gave a link to a discription of dysentary.
Dysentary hasn't got anything to do with constipation.
However the main symptom of dysentary is bloody diarrhea.
It's one of the forms of diarrhea that can kill you.

Take-a-knee
2007-05-20, 01:40
Suffice to say that, if you ain't shittin' a formed stool twice a day, you ain't right and you have health issues. How far you deviate from this norm has some bearing on how many more days you'll have to shit at all. I didn't mean to be shitty, as I didn't bring this up.

Iceman
2007-05-20, 10:29
What the crap is everyone talking about? :biggrin:

After researching the differences between "to poop, or not to poop.." I now know more about this schitt, than I did before!

It appears both are bad.

As I have hiked, I have noted "looser" stool from the increased physical excersion that some of us couch potatoes experience. You healthy/fit mfers experience it? I carry the antidiarheal as a measure to stop the affects of dehydration associated with diarrhea. Good tiny JAMA reference here: http://www.amjmed.com/article/PIIS0002934302014948/abstract

Here is a quote: Diarrhea is the most common illness limiting long-distance hikers. Hikers should purify water routinely, avoiding using untreated surface water. The risk of gastrointestinal illness can also be reduced by maintaining personal hygiene practices and cleaning cookware.

Personally, I think I pay too little attention to keeping my utensils clean, I have been "blown out" (if you know what I mean) in the latter portion of extended hunts before, reusing "not so clean" cutlery and eating ware...

Shame on my notsofriendlytotheenvironmentmentality, but I have started to bring plastic throw away utensils, plates, bowls and cups on car camping/hunting type trips to avoid the ick'. Hiking I still use the titanium gear, just need to keep a better handle on sterilizing the stuff......

Frolicking Dino
2007-05-22, 14:04
I carry Imodium and Oxycodone (a powerful pain killer that will also check the runs). You might want to check with your doc to see if he or she is willing to give you a very small amount of powerful pain meds for hiking. In the event of serious injury, preventing shock secondary to pain can be lifesaving as can checking a bad case of the runs.