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How to Prevent Bali Belly (Goodbye Traveler’s Diarrhea)

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Iconic waterfalls, smoothie bowls…and Bali belly. One of these is not like the other — two make your holiday and one can break it.

One of the greatest parts of traveling is consuming all the food in sight but sometimes what we love the most can also hurt the most. Traveler’s diarrhea can strike at any point of your travels and in any location you’re traveling through, not just in Bali.

Bali belly, food poisoning, traveler’s diarrhea or whatever you choose to call the time spent on your bathroom’s floor happens to the best of us but don’t let it deter you from traveling! There are many ways of dealing with Bali belly and methods of prevention to avoid any non-volcano related explosions.

Bali surfing

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What is Bali Belly (traveler’s diarrhea)?

Everything from the names of local cafes to the dreaded (and common) upset stomach in Bali has a charming ring to it: including the name given to the horrid case of traveler’s diarrhea.

If you’ve found yourself running to the bathroom in pain while in Bali, you’ve succumbed to “Bali belly”, a Bali traveler’s rite of passage. While it’s not as charming as Bali itself, traveler’s diarrhea is just one of the downsides of travel that Instagram doesn’t show.

Caused by eating contaminated water or food, Bali belly will, unfortunately, cause you to skip out on all of Bali’s waterfalls and beaches for a one-way ticket to your hotel’s toilet. Not an ideal holiday.

As a general travel rule of thumb, only drink from secured water bottles or jugs and choose to eat at popular eateries. If a local food stall looks empty all the time, it may be for good reason!

Bali Belly Symptoms

Bali belly symptoms involve 1) instant regret about purchasing the plane ticket  2) swearing to never eat again and 3) going through your toilet paper at a record’s pace.

But the more common and medical Bali belly symptoms include:

  • Loose stools (diarrhea)
  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • A frequency of using the toilet
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mild fever

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Close the blinds, try to keep hydrated and don’t venture too far from the toilet — you’re going to be clinging to it for at least a day. More mild cases of Bali belly last 24 hours and more severe can last a couple of days.

If you’re knocked out for longer than a few days, go and see a doctor. While Bali belly is no fun, dehydration is even worse. Better safe than sorry!

How to Prevent Bali Belly with Travelan Tablets

Travelan tablets

Thanks to modern medicine now there are Bali belly prevention medications! Hallelujah!

Perfect for short-term travelers who won’t have time to adjust to the local foods and bacterias, Travelan tablets work as a preventative to stop diarrhea before it ruins your holiday.

The active ingredient is completely natural with cow’s colostrum enriched with E.coli antibodies, Travelan works as a Bali belly prevention method by lining your gastrointestinal tract with bacteria-fighting antibodies, ready to fight off any icky bacteria that might make you sick.

While it sounds too good to be true, Travelan tablets are backed by science. Clinical studies show that Travelan as a 90% effective protection against E.coli and cross-reactivity towards Campylobacter, E.coli, Salmonella and Shigella. In non-science terms, it keeps you from running to the toilet every 5 minutes after eating something questionable.

Take one tablet before each meal with a glass of (bottled) water and continue enjoying the holiday you deserve. Easy to get your hands on, Travelan is sold over the counter for only $30 a packet and without a prescription in Australia, Canada and the USA. Travelan can also be purchased on Amazon.

Bali Belly Treatment

If you’ve found yourself dealing with traveler’s diarrhea, there are a handful of Bali belly treatments that can help you get better and back to enjoying your holiday.

A local Balinese favorite is consuming activated charcoal. The charcoal acts as a sponge, soaking up all the bad bacteria that’s in your gut that’s causing your toilet marathon. Activated charcoal is found in many pharmacies but is often sold out so definitely add to your “what to take to Bali” packing list.

Other treatments involve consuming coconut water to prevent dehydration, adding salt or lime to your water for extra minerals and consuming drinks packed with electrolytes such as Pocari Sweat.

Consider Bali belly a traveling badge of honor. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel (or in this case, the other side of the bathroom door). By taking Travelan tablets before your meals and being cautious of what you consume, you’re well on your way to enjoying your holiday the way it was intended!

You may also like:
Thinking of moving to Bali?
Bali Budget Guide
Where to Stay in Uluwatu

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Disclaimer: Sadly, I’m not a doctor – so all the information here is based on my experiences.  If you get a bad case of food poisoning, Bali belly, etc – please, go see a doctor! This post may include affiliate links and was written in collaboration with Travelan.  Happy travels!

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