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Is scuba diving safe while having severe diarrhea?

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Posted on Tue, 19 Jul 2016
Question: My 19 year old daughter is traveling in Moorea on a scuba diving research trip. She has diarrhea -- pooping maybe 3 times a day for past 2 days. The local doctor prescribed Nifuroxazide. Is it safe and can she continue to scuba dive. Alos will it cause a yeast infection?

I need an answer very quickly.
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Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (14 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
probably safe...

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

there is no problem with scuba diving provided that she takes adequate fluids and does not have a fever. Otherwise a gastroenteritis (which is the most likely cause) may exhaust her and cause symptoms like faintness.

Yeast infection is not likely with this drug because it's actions are only local (in the intestine). Nifuroxazide is a mild antiseptic of the intestine. Normally for most diarrheal diseases no antibiotic treatment is required particularly for the most mild of them. Signs of significant illness include blood in the stool, many diarrheas (more than 5-6 per day), abdominal pain, fever, etc. If she does not have any of the worrisome symptoms and signs that I've mentioned then she'll probably do well even without treatment. An antidiarrheal agent can be tried if the doctor does not suspect invasive bacterial disease.

I hope it helps!
Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (25 minutes later)
Thank you Dr. Zografakis. This was very helpful.
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Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (1 minute later)
Brief Answer:
You're welcome!

Detailed Answer:
You're welcome! Glad to help.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3801 Questions

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Is scuba diving safe while having severe diarrhea?

Brief Answer: probably safe... Detailed Answer: Hello, there is no problem with scuba diving provided that she takes adequate fluids and does not have a fever. Otherwise a gastroenteritis (which is the most likely cause) may exhaust her and cause symptoms like faintness. Yeast infection is not likely with this drug because it's actions are only local (in the intestine). Nifuroxazide is a mild antiseptic of the intestine. Normally for most diarrheal diseases no antibiotic treatment is required particularly for the most mild of them. Signs of significant illness include blood in the stool, many diarrheas (more than 5-6 per day), abdominal pain, fever, etc. If she does not have any of the worrisome symptoms and signs that I've mentioned then she'll probably do well even without treatment. An antidiarrheal agent can be tried if the doctor does not suspect invasive bacterial disease. I hope it helps! Kind Regards!