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Bali Belly? What is it?

san francisco
2 posts
Bali Belly? What is it?

Help! I'm leaving for Bali and don't want to get Bali belly-- what ever it is. I'm assuming it's a food bug, but tell me more.

How serious? How long does it last? And how do I prevent it?

Thanks.

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
2,065 posts
1. Re: Bali Belly? What is it?

Hi melbee33

Many travellers get an upset stomach, and not just in BAli either.

This is usually due to a change in diet and activities and will quickly fix itself if you moderate the changes you have made.

In Bali the most common change is to be a bit piggy over all of the new, exotic and fabulous fruit that you will find there.

You will know when you have Bali Belly - you feel like nothing you've ever been like before, both ends are running, often at the same time.

'Bali Belly' is a pain in the **** for at least 24 hours and certainly for days if not quickly and effectively treated.

PREVENTION:

Personal hygiene needs to be watched more carefully than at home, particularly hand washing after visiting the toilet and especially after HANDLING MONEY.You'll know that you've got it about 3-4hrs after you get it.(the bug that is)

See a Doctor, you will get a shot in the backside and several tablets to take and you'll be able to safely get about in 24hrs.

NO ACTION AT ALL IS JUST PLAIN FOOLISH.

The time from infection to symptoms varies from a day to 2weeks and the problem is contagious throughout the period that the organizm exists in the gut and is being passed.

Imodium is a common clinical remedy take 2 tablets straight away and 1 next morning.

Loperomide usually works within 1 hour. Others recommend daily Acidophilous tablets as a preventative to ward off the buys.

Norritt, little black activated charcoal tablets available at Matahari Supermarkets and many other places in Bali, including Circle K stores and Mini Marts, for 6,700rup for 40tablets. 6-9tablets three times a day.

Some travellers swear by Entrostop charcoal tablets from a local 'Apotic'(chemist). They should not be used with other medication.

Others recommend Raspberry juice with at least 30% preferably more, real juice in the blend.

Sorry it's so long. Hope it's answered your ?'s.

PS: drink plenty of bottled water.Don't drink water from the taps.

Cheers

Burns

Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
401 posts
50 reviews
40 helpful votes
2. Re: Bali Belly? What is it?

I saw in a recent posting from Snookystraviltips that she drinks two Yakult each day in Bali and swears she never gets Bali Belly. She also says you can obtain it very cheaply in Bali. Sounds worth a try. Enjoy Bali - its beautiful.

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
2,065 posts
3. Re: Bali Belly? What is it?

Just a bit more info on Bali Belly from a Reg Nurse.

Bali Belly is more akin an acute case of gastroenteritis which can be caused by either a bacterial or parastitic infection. It is passed on by the faecal-oral route so good hygiene is vital.

To Aussie Retiree,you and others may be interested in some more info in regard to Snooky's posts re taking Yakult.

Similar anti-bacterial agents are available in tablet forms. One is Megadophalus from health food stores or chemist. Start taking a daily dose up to a month before you leave.

If you want to go the natural way be prepared to start up to 3months before you leave as the body is slow to adapt to a new regime and develop the required resistances to invading bugs.

Another natural way to ward off the bug is Acidophilus Capsules from Health Food stores.Acidophilus Bifidus (1 Billion organisms)(also some supermarkets) Somewhat similar to Yakult, best to start well before you go, and may i add, works well if you happen to be hit by a Urinary Tract infection.

Cheers

Burns

Australia
Level Contributor
12,777 posts
31 reviews
21 helpful votes
4. Re: Bali Belly? What is it?

I must admit, I do take Inner Health, I am not a follower of the raspberry drink brigade however :):)

I also keep Aqium in my bag and wash my hands with this all the time. I think the handling of money or any other objects is often the cause of getting a bit of gastro and mild dysentery.

I don't like to clog up my system with immodium, I would rather spend a day close to home and let it run it's course for 24hrs.

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
257 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
5. Re: Bali Belly? What is it?

Regarding taking Yakult and never getting Bali Belly - I do not take Yakult and do not get Bali Belly.

I attribute it to an over exhuberance for pineapple juice which is the whole beast blended up, so much fibre! My partner had a touch of BB in 2001 which she attributes to buffet at Kintamani, I stick with the fresh fruit and fibre overload theory.

Having said that, do not drink the water, keep your mouth shut in the shower and wash those hands!

Cheers,

David

Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
266 posts
16 reviews
21 helpful votes
6. Re: Bali Belly? What is it?

Hi ya yes it is a horrible subject and it still defeats me why many get it and yet plenty do not. I have had only 4 trips to Bali over past 20 yrs and have had what I consider a fairly bad dose everytime BUT I have NEVER vomited. So some would say that it is not true Bali belly. But then I am not a vomiter at any time in my life.

I have spoken to many over in Bali who have gone to see a Dr and had 'jabs' and paid lots of money for medical treatment but it is not always necessary. While you do get the $$ back on your travel insurance so that makes it all good we found that if you just go to any Apotic (chemist) and describe your symptoms they will give you treatment. Most often what they give you is antibiotics and if it is the proper parasitic gut infection of bali belly from faecal contamination then the antibiotics will start working within 12 hrs. Otherwise it is just alcohole and diet related and will pass. (biggest hint here is too take your driver to the apotic and get them to translate and they often get the meds at more than half the price than if you went in by yourself.) My last bout this Jan took at least 4 or more weeks to cure after I got home and a lot more antibiotics so I am just very suseptable i think. But i am already planning my return this year again so the allure of Bali overrides yet again !!

The only person in our group of 7 who didnt get the 'trots' (now I am talking liquid water here with crampy pains) was our 8yr old who was already on Antibiotics from home before and all during our trip !! Interesting I say...so get the experts on tropical diseases to analyse that one !! I will be purchasing the tablet 'Travelan' (order it over the internet pharmacy's) before I go next time and taking rasberry cordial with me as many people swear by it and I reakon I would be a good guinea pig to experiment on given my history. Best of luck go and enjoy and take sensible precautions,

cheers Deb

cheers Deb

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
257 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
7. Re: Bali Belly? What is it?

Hi Deb,

you must be doing something to attract it! Wow, please take care next time. we always carry a course of the anti-biotic "amoxyl" with us in case and has only been used once, last October when a friend travelling with us started to develop a chest infection from the viral head cold that she took with her from Oz. Perhaps carrying the remedy wards off the illness.

Cheers,

David

perth
Destination Expert
for Denpasar, Bali
Level Contributor
3,752 posts
76 reviews
46 helpful votes
8. Re: Bali Belly? What is it?

Hi Deb

I was also in Bali at Christmas and became ill New Year's morning and stayed that way until 3 weeks after we got home. It was not alcohol, but the food at the hotel buffet on New Year's Eve. My husband was also affected but only for a couple of days!

I was living on guava juice, what a nightmare, no joy being sick for over half of a holiday and having to fly home in that condition as well.

We also are going back at Christmas, however, I shall be dosing up on inner health between now and then.

Cheers

wendy

New York City
Level Contributor
149 posts
17 reviews
99 helpful votes
9. Re: Bali Belly? What is it?

Is Yakult widely available in Bali? Do hotels often have it on their breakfast buffets?

And, is the next best thing just yogurt? Or Keffir?

Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
266 posts
16 reviews
21 helpful votes
10. Re: Bali Belly? What is it?

Hi guys yes I think I must do something to attract these bugs but I dont know how!! I am also a registered nurse and I think I follow pretty good hygiene methods and have good knowledge of what to eat and what to avoid, and also in Jan we took antibacterial hand wipes everywhere and we drank yakult too but no joy at staying well, so next time I will try the travelan. I still have my suspicions about the old money having bacteria on it.

We could discuss theory all day but it still boils down to - some get it and some dont !!

Yes Yakult is available to buy almost anywhere - Bali Deli, bingtang supermarket, matahari supermarket, carrefour etc and tastes the same as at home.