Warning: this video is not for the faint of heart. We talk about diarrhea. A lot. But you know what? You’re probably going to experience it too.
Our first signs of Bali belly started in Seminyak the day before we left for Ubud. We’re not totally sure where we contracted it from, but we have some ideas..
Either way, despite everything we’d done to try to avoid this, we were both chosen by the Bali belly gods to experience several days of round the clock diarrhea. Yay!
If you’ve never had diarrhea before, you’re lying or just extremely lucky. But for those of us who have, know it’s unpleasant, exhausting, embarrassing, and can really interfere with your plans. Something you DON’T want while on vacation – especially on a romantic vacation.
Luckily for us, we’ve been living together for 6 years and have passed through the initial relationship stage where you believe the other does not poop or fart or any of that gross stuff. So that made it easier to take turns destroying our bathroom.
Our sickness seemed to be the worst during our first 2 days in Ubud. Luckily, the Balinese love their bidets and bathroom “hoses”, which honestly make having frequent chocolate safaris much less uncomfortable.
Though these tips didn’t work for us, they may have prevented us from having a severe issue, and maybe they’ll help you!
Tips to avoid bali belly:
1. Start taking daily probiotics even before your trip. We used Jamiesons, Canadian brand: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K0CNNQ6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_uT-XBbAKY1M1Q
These ones are especially great because unlike other probiotics, you do not need to keep these refrigerated. Just take one to two per day and these will really help boost the healthy bacteria in your gut. I truly believe these are the reason why we got better so fast.
2. Never ever drink tap water in any southeast Asian country. Just don’t. (However it is fine to brush your teeth with).
3. When choosing a restaurant to eat at, check reviews first on sites like tripadvisor or google, to read other travellers experiences. If you don’t have access to that and just want a quick meal, generally if there are no other locals or tourists enjoying a meal when you walk by, don’t go in there.
4. Avoid salads (ohhh noooo, but I love salad!) leafy vegetables are often (but not always!) washed in tap water. Do your own research though.
5. Make sure you have pepto bismol (bismuth) tabs as well as immodium (loperimide). Neither of these will cure you, but can (in mild cases) offer temporary relief so you aren’t always on lockdown with your toilet.
6. MAKE SURE TO HYDRATE! You may not feel like you want to (as you begin to realize that eating and drinking just means more to uncomfortably expel), but this is maybe the most important tip. After a few rounds of diarrhea, you well soon become extremely dehydrated and if you don’t re-hydrate you actually can die from this. No lie, I’m a nurse. Make sure of course to rehydrate properly with bottled water, and my favourite – coconut water. Coconut water will be your new best friend as it has immense hydrating powers. You can even replenish with sports drinks like Gatorade or use hydration tablets.
7. Don’t eat or drink anything stimulating. Aka caffeinated beverages, spicy food, or anything with too much Fiber, though smoothies are an exception as they will really help soothe and re hydrate.
8. Get as many probiotics in you as possible the natural way, drinks like kefir, kombuha and yogurt/yogurt drinks are readily available everywhere in Bali.
9. REST! So important. Don’t spend too much time in the sun or doing activities.
10. See a doctor if your diarrhea continues for over 3 days, if you see any blood in your stool, begin to experience blackouts/fainting, or become nauseous with vomiting . You may need to go on antibiotics if this is the case (this happened to me in Nicaragua, not fun.
Like any other tips and tricks I’ve posted, please also do your own research. Keep in mind as well, that even if you do everything in your power to not get Bali belly, most tourists will go through this for a day or 2. It’s all about the experience right??
I hope this helps, and I hope you don’t have to experience the tough times angry bowels, but if you do, use it as a time to slow down and chill out!
If you are travelling with someone who has a case of the Bali belly, be patient and kind with them – it’s not like they chose the Bali belly life.. the Bali belly life chose them.
In the end, this will make your immune system stronger and ready to take on more amazing foods.
Good luck friends!
We would love to know your experiences and any other tips you have with regards to Bali belly or just being sick while travelling in general.
Love and light!
Estie & Scotty
Follow us on instagram!
Video shot on: Canon G7X Mark ii, GoPro Hero 5, and iPhone 6.