You’ve got to eat no matter where you travel, and the truth is that if you’re from one part of the world and you’re visiting another part of the world you’re sitting down to a recipe for disaster—at least gastronomically speaking.
Montezuma’s revenge and Bali belly are just a couple names for ailments that strike when you’re on the road. So if you’re travelling in Indonesia, you may be wondering how to avoid Bali belly.
For the uninitiated, Bali belly is stomach misery and diarrhea caused by exposure to germs that throw your intestinal system out of whack. Bali belly does not come from eating the delicious fruits you’ll find in this wonderful country. The people who blame it on the fruit lose sight of the fact that they have eaten too much of it, and fruit can cause diarrhea and stomach misery no matter where you eat it, the world over, once you’ve overdone it.
Yes, It’s the Water
Bali belly commonly results from drinking or otherwise ingesting the water in Bali. The natives are accustomed to it, of course, and so it doesn’t affect them. When we talk about other ways of ingesting water, we mean brushing your teeth or having your mouth open in the shower. Even washing your hands in the open faucet means that the water with its contaminants can find its way into your system.
Wash your hands, touch your eyes, get sick, get it? Carry hand sanitizer and use it after every bathroom visit.
You want to be very careful to keep bottled water on hand at all times. Many hotels will supply you with bottled water, but if your venue does not, then stop by a store and purchase some. Remember that your beverages may be a danger to you if they’ve got ice in them—ask the manager if the ice comes from bottled water.
No matter where you eat, drink bottled beverages. Think about how a cola beverage served in a glass is made: It’s syrup mixed with water. You don’t want to take a chance getting sick that way!
It’s also a good idea to go online and check out the reviews of any restaurants you plan on visiting. If people get sick at a place, they generally complain about it in a review. Even if a hired driver recommends a restaurant, stay away from any place that has less than stellar reviews, because some restaurants pay drivers to bring tourists there.
Six Ways to Beat It…
Nobody plans on getting Bali belly. If you expose yourself to the germs that cause it, you’ll know about three to four hours later, because that’s when the floodgates will open, so to speak.
If you’re travelling in Bali, it’s best to be prepared. We have several remedies, and you should probably choose your first line of defence ahead of time. Have it on hand, and if Bali belly strikes you’ll be prepared.
1. Coca Cola
Despite our caution about cola beverages, some people swear by Coca Cola. If you start to get sick and you have some bottled Coca Cola on hand, swig down as much as you can manage—it may head off anything that’s running your way.
Imodium is the first choice antidiarrheal medication for most people. The package is small and easy to carry for a traveler, so it’ll be easy to keep on hand for just such an emergency.
However, some experts believe that Imodium basically works by binding you up, and thereby keeping the toxins in your body. They believe that something like Pepto-Bismol is a better choice. You can chew the tablets throughout the day, and it will not only stop the cramping and bathroom visits but it will also adjust the acidity of the intestines.
3. Colloidal Silver Solution
Many people swear by colloidal silver solutions. In Bali, you can buy this product at some stores labelled as Bali Belly Buster.
You’ll want a strength no less than 500 ppm in order to feel its benefits. You can buy it ahead of travelling and take it with you.
Probiotics offer protection for many. You’ll find these living helpful bacterial cultures in yoghurt or in dietary supplements like acidophilus. Start using one of these supplements on a daily basis a month before your travel date.
5. Blackberries and Raspberries
Both blackberries and raspberries cure diarrhea, but you’ve got to drink a beverage that’s at least 30 per cent pure juice. Have a glass every hour until the diarrhea stops.
6. Charcoal Tablets
Activated charcoal tablets are also known for reducing the horrid feeling of bloating and cramping associated with Bali belly. People who swear by charcoal keep it handy and take it at the first signs of illness. Just be careful not to take it at the same time as your regular prescription medication, because along with every nasty thing in your digestive system it will also absorb your medication.
Be pro-active. Brush your teeth and drink bottled water. Order all of your beers and soft drinks in a pre-packaged bottle and skip the ice.
Hopefully the local Bali government will treat their water in the future the same way Australia does and let us know your experience with Bali Belly in the comments section.