Illnesses could come in the most unexpected ways, however, we have to be prepared, and not taking it easily. Bali Belly is the most known illness which likely to come down, that’s why we have put together all the tips to deal with it
It happens to the best of us- Bali Belly is an unfortunate reality of travel to Bali, or anywhere in the developing world. More often than not, either you or someone in your group is likely to come down with Bali Belly at some stage throughout your trip. There are many types of bacteria that can cause Bali Belly, more formally known as gastroenteritis. The most common causes are poor food and water hygiene.
Fear not, there are ways to treat it and get over it as quickly as possible. We have put together some handy tips and recommendations for you in case you find yourself dealing with Bali Belly.
Bali Belly often starts with an aching stomach, closely followed by loose bowel movements and/or vomiting. This is usually accompanied by
- Lack of appetite
These symptoms can continue for quite some days, depending on the bacteria. Generally, after a day or two the worst of it passes and you will be able to go back to enjoying your time in Bali.
With the below recommendations, you may be able to kick Bali Belly before too long.
- Firstly we encourage you to be prepared with charcoal pills such as Norit or similar. It is good to take these as soon as the symptoms of Bali Belly strike. Norit is a local charcoal tablet and easy to find at most supermarkets, minimarts and pharmacies. Charcoal helps to absorb the toxins in your body and taking these ASAP can cut down your recovery time.
- Rest in a cool room. Sleep and hydration are essential for kicking Bali Belly.
- Drink lots of water. Fluids in general will help. Juice can help keep your energy up. Drinks like Pocari Sweat are good also.
- Try to eat some plain foods like bread or crackers. You will want to keep your food options quite plain for a few days as your stomach will be extra sensitive for a while.
- Stay away from alcohol! It may be tempting to drink through it, but alcohol will only irritate your stomach, causing more pain and sickness. Caffeine will have the same effect.
You can also contact Saline Bali if signs of dehydration are present. Not only will the drip rehydrate you and replace your electrolytes, medications can be added to the drip also. They can also send a doctor with bookings. This treatment is usually fully claimable if you have comprehensive travel insurance…so be sure to keep your receipt!
BABIES AND YOUNG CHILDREN
Be especially mindful of Bali Belly in babies and kids as they may not necessarily be able to tell you they are not feeling well and dehydration is particularly dangerous. A movie day with plenty of fresh juices may distract your little one from the discomfort and sweeten the deal a little.
- It’s a good idea to bring electrolyte sachets like hydrolyte with you from home.
- You might want to keep food options more simple for kids as their tummies are more sensitive.
- Allow them to rest for as long as they are recovering in an air-conditioned room.
- Keep them out of the sun.
- Be vigilant about their food and liquid intake. Offer water, or juice if they will not take water. Pocari Sweat is available at minimarts and supermarkets and contains electrolytes and aminos and it is sometimes easier for kids to drink.
- They may not have an appetite but energy from food is important to be able to process Bali Belly. Crackers like Ritz are easy to digest.
- Keep a close eye on symptoms of dehydration such as mucus in stools, or infrequent urination. They may even become a little floppy and very fatigued or have sunken eyes. Dehydration is dangerous for everyone but particularly for young children and babies. If you suspect that your child is dehydrated, take them to see a pediatrician at one of the international standard hospitals.
- After it passes make sure they get plenty of fluids, fruit and other healthy foods so they can restore their energy.
BALI BELLY AND FLYING
We don’t recommend flying if you are unable to keep food and water down or if you are vomiting and have diarrhea regularly. If you are past the peak of your illness it may be possible, however.
- We would recommend asking for an aisle seat.
- If you find Bali Belly hits during your flight, it is best to let the crew know so they can lock off a bathroom for you to avoid contamination.
- Don’t restrict your fluids as flying is very dehydrating and harsh on the body.
- Check your flight booking to see if the fair is flexible, or if your insurance may cover travel disruptions due to illness.
WHEN TO SEEK MEDICAL HELP
It is important to have travel insurance when travelling to Bali because unexpected illnesses can happen to all of us. If you visit a medical centre or hospital they will often email you a medical report for your insurer if you ask or some insurers will cover the bill on the spot.
- If symptoms and fever persist for more than 2-3 days.
- If there is a high range fever present.
- If food and particularly fluids are not staying down and you are at risk of dehydration.
- If mucus is present in diarrhea.
- If vomiting or diarrhea occurs every hour or so.
WHERE TO GO
Luckily there are a few medical centres and hospitals in the main tourist areas of Bali but here is a list of Bali Buddies recommended clinics and hospitals.
- BIMC Nusa Dua
- BIMC Ubud
- Siloam Sunset Road
- Siloam Clinic Canggu
- Bali Travellers & Expat Health Clinic Sanur
HOW TO AVOID BALI BELLY
Of course, the best cure is always prevention so here are some tips to help you avoid Bali Belly.
- Sanitise, sanitise, sanitise! Wash your hands and sanitise as often as possible, particularly before you eat.
- Brush your teeth with bottled water and also clean your toothbrush with bottled water.
- Keep your mouth closed in the shower and the pool (also keep a close eye on kids to make sure they are not getting water in their mouth when bathing and swimming too!).
- Wash fruit and vegetables with bottled water.
- Sterilise baby bottles with boiling water.
- You DO NOT need to avoid ice these days as the government regulation now states that ice must be made with filtered water at food and beverage establishments.
With our handy tips, you’ll be able to beat Bali Belly as quickly as possible, or better yet avoid it altogether. Either way Bali Belly we hope Bali Belly won’t stop you from enjoying your time in Bali!
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