All You Need To Know About Bali Belly and How to Avoid It
Have you ever imagined traveling with an upset stomach where you need to rush to the bathroom in the middle of exciting activities? You definitely never want those nightmares to happen and ruin your holiday. But, the traveler’s diarrhea is real. It happens and can affect several travelers all around the world. It is a relatively common travel sickness but the symptoms aren’t pleasant. Coming in different names but all refer to the same thing, and one of them is called Bali Belly.
Ensuring yourself stays healthy during your holidays is important in order to create memorable trips. So, if you are planning to go to Bali, check out this article to know more about Bali Belly and what you can do to avoid it.
What is Bali belly?
Bali Belly is one of a kind of traveler’s diarrhea which is usually caused by bacteria from contaminated food or water. Other than that, a sudden change of diet and lifestyle can also cause Bali Belly which is why this one mostly attacks tourists. It can leave you stuck in the bathroom rather than enjoying your Bali holiday.
Even though mostly caused by contaminated food and water, Bali Belly shows no discrimination in who it strikes and even can be contagious. Bacteria, viruses, and parasites can all be transmitted from person to person. This is why taking care of personal hygiene is important. Simply washing your hand can bring you a total good result.
What causes Bali belly?
Most cases of Bali Belly are caused by consuming contaminated food and water. It is because untreated water can carry bacteria and viruses. Poor sanitation and low hygiene standards can also lead bacteria and viruses to emerge in your food or water. Using a wet plate, consuming food handled by someone who hasn’t washed their hands, or drinking tap water all belong to scenarios that cause Bali Belly.
As a foreign visitor, you might think to act like locals and do what the locals do. This can also be one of the possibilities that cause Bali Belly as they might have already armed with developed immunity while you totally are not. A glass of untreated water might have no effect on them but the same glass might leave you retching. This is why Bali Belly is considered as a traveler’s diarrhea.
Symptoms of Bali Belly
Symptoms of Bali Belly usually showed up within 1 to 10 days after arriving in Bali. It has various symptoms but all will make you uncomfortable and not enjoy your holiday. Take a look at the symptoms of Bali Belly so that you will be more aware during your trip!
This is the most common sign that you can have. Although not every diarrhea means that you have Bali Belly. So watery and loose stool is surely one of the signs.
2. Frequent toilet visits
One of the symptoms of Bali Belly is you will go to the toilet multiple times per day. Not too long after eating something and you feel like you need to go to the toilet. Eating one time does not mean only 1 toilet visit, it can be multiple times disregarding the amount you eat.
3. Stomach pain and cramps
Alongside the frequent toilet visit, you will also feel stomach pain and cramps. This is an uncomfortable situation and sometimes your stomach would make a sound as a sign that you need to go back to the toilet.
4. Elevated temperatures to fever
It’s common to have a slight elevation, but a combo of diarrhea and elevated temperature or even fever can cause serious harm. It is important to stay hydrated by drinking isotonic drinks to hydrate and replenish your electrolytes.
5. Nausea that comes with vomiting
Feeling dizzy, or nauseous is not always a symptom but it can happen. This is very hard when it is combined with all the other symptoms of Bali Belly. It can be even worse by vomiting.
6. Weak feeling and a lack of energy
Because eating and drinking do not go well, you are also getting less energy. Most of the energy you have is used to try and keep it together.
Dizziness is also a symptom that you might get when you have Bali belly. Since Bali belly will give you a weak feeling, dizziness might come with it as well.
8. Loss of appetite
All the symptoms will just make you want to eat less, or not at all. It’s not a good sign, try to eat something especially when you are about to take medicine.
How to Avoid Bali Belly?
As you wish to have a pleasant trip in Bali, you can do as much as possible and literally everything you can to prevent getting Bali Belly. Before reaching Bali, do remember these several things below and follow them while in Bali to avoid getting the Bali Belly.
1. Drink clean water
- Only drink bottled or filtered water. It would be even better if you brush your teeth with bottled water and avoid getting it in your mouth in the shower. Even if the locals drink the water, your digestive system is not used to the new bacteria.
- Ask for drinks without ice, because ice is often made with tap water.
- Ensure your tea, coffee, juices, or any other drinks are made with bottled or boiled water.
2. Eat in a clean way
- Make sure you are using a completely dry plate whenever you are eating local street food, even though it is plastic.
- Be cautious about where you get your fruit and vegetables from. Remember to wash them carefully with bottled or boiled water.
- Peeled and pre-cut fruits might look tempting but they can also make you sick. Buy whole fruits and cut them up yourself.
- Be vigilant about washing your hands and using a hand sanitizer before eating.
3. Eat cooked and clean food
- Avoid eating raw, rare, or uncooked meat in developing countries.
- Don’t eat food at room temperature, food that has been sitting in the sun, or food from buffets.
- Avoid unpasteurized dairy products, shaved ice, or mobile soft-serve vendors.
- It would be better to eat at popular restaurants with a high turnover. This means the food will be fresh and not pre-cooked.
Tips to Get Rid of Bali Belly
Although you already do your best to avoid Bali Belly but still end up getting one, there is always a way to get rid of it. Here are a few tips to help you overcome Bali Belly:
- Drink plenty of bottled water to help reduce your risk of dehydration.
- To replace lost salts and minerals from your body, drink oral rehydration drinks.
- Take antibiotics to help kill a bacterial infection if instructed to do so by your treating doctor.
- Limit consumption of dairy foods as this can worsen diarrhea.
- Avoid alcohol and spicy foods.
- Seek medical advice from a doctor.
Sometimes Bali Belly can be a short illness. So if you are having light symptoms, you can start the treatments by consuming a certain medicine available in Bali to get rid of the Bali Belly.
Don’t forget to drink medicine
Can be found in local drugstore or pharmacy, take the following medicine such as Diapet to treat diarrhea, isotonic drink like Pocari Sweat to treat dehydration, and Panadol to treat pain and fever. Apart from those medicines, it is better to seek medical advice from a doctor.
And that is all about it! Basic yet essential information about Bali Belly. Remember to pay attention and following the simple step on preventing Bali Belly from a pleasant trip.
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