How To Avoid Travelers Diarrhea aka Bali Belly

How To Avoid Travelers Diarrhea aka Bali Belly

Heading on an international trip and want to know how to avoid travelers diarrhea aka bali belly?  Great! This article should help you with that.  DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor or in the medical field at all. (unless you count my sister being a nurse? lol). So please seek medical advice from a licensed doctor. This is just my opinion and what has helped me in the past.

What is Travelers Diarrhea or Bali Belly?

The symptoms of travelers diarrhea are cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, bloating, fever and excessive gas.

Who wants to experience that on vacation? Certainly not you, that’s why your reading this blog post.

Where do you get Bali Belly or Travelers Diarrhea?

The typical countries where travelers get bali belly are:

  • Most countries in Asia excluding Japan
  • Mexico
  • Middle East
  • Africa
  • Central America
  • South America
  • Bali (hence the name Bali Belly – but actually still falls under Asia, lol)

What are the causes of Travelers Diarrhea?

Travelers Diarrhea is usually caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites.  It typically comes from drinking water that is not safe to drink, eating uncooked vegetables (salad) and fruit.  It also can be caused by unpasteurized dairy products and milk.  You also want to steer clear of raw meat and shell fish when in the above countries.

It is contagious and can pass from person to person… so you definitely want to try to avoid it at all costs.

How to prevent Travelers Diarrhea / Bali Belly?

When Im traveling to these countries here’s what I like to do to avoid travelers diarrhea also known as Bali Belly!

  1. Strengthen my immune system – Starting off with a weak immune system will make you even more susceptible to diseases and infection.  So about a week or two prior to my flight. I start taking Emergen-C which is an effervescent tablet you mix with water or juice that contains 1000 mg of Vitamin C and other good immune strengthening ingredients.  They come in a lot of different flavors and doesn’t taste bad.
  2. Take probiotics – Probiotics help to maintain gut health and aid digestion.
  3. Protect my digestive tract – Some people like to take Travelan.  Which is great if you are going on a short trip. But hopefully if your flying all the way to Asia (assuming you live in the USA), your going to stay for a bit longer.  Travelan can be expensive if you need to take it for a long time.  The main ingredient in Travelan is Colostrum. So I recommend just buying the actual supplement, Colostrum.
  4. Pack some hydration salts – you never know if you may need them.  Oral hydration salts will definitely help you when trying to rehydrate yourself if you fall victim to Bali belly.

Usually when one takes the above supplements and avoids the listed foods, you should avoid getting Bali belly.

What do you do if you get travelers diarrhea?

If you get travelers diarrhea hopefully you’ve packed some pepto bismol and/or imodium AD.  If so, start taking them immediately!  They will help to lessen the symptoms so that you can still enjoy your vacation.  You will want to start drinking a ton of bottled water and slip some of your oral hydration salts in the water.  Activated charcoal is also good to “eat up” the bad bacteria.

However, if you notice that you have a fever over 102 degrees, blood in your stool or some other severe symptoms runnnnnnnn to your nearest doctor.  Hopefully, you purchased travel insurance to help lessen those medical costs.

Chime in… Have you ever gotten Bali belly while traveling? What did it feel like? How long did it last? Let me know in the comments.

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