Dealing with Stomach Infections Overseas


Today is a travel tip and we’re going to discuss the socially awkward topic of overseas stomach infections (OSI). Also known as stomach aches, gut rot, Bali belly, an angry army of leprechauns in my pot of gold and a host of others names I’d not associate this website with. Before you go you’ll be warned about all sorts of things and given insanely overpriced remedies for “worst case scenarios”. I’m here to tell you what’s up…

Bought into the hype before leaving spending stupid amounts of money like $56CDN on some pills for a stomach issue if it “goes on for X days” and or signs of blood. (seriously)  Don’t you generally only take something if you’ve had issues for a bit of time? Anyways,  I still have it despite countless stomach infections.

We have a saying here at SHABL – “If you’re not getting sick, you’re not exploring”

Anything you need can be picked up locally and for pennies on the dollar, literally. Do pay the extra few dollars for the name brand medication if you’re really feeling ill, it’s much better regulated … I think … Compared to the generic at least … I think. If you aren’t into that you can always try these charcoal tablets, they seem to work but have never gotten involved with them in any serious way.

You should know you will have stomach issues, even if you eat at the local McDonald’s. It’s not that the rest of the world is dirty as we’re all mammals , it’s just parts of the world are clean freaks and if you’re from there you have an infant like immune system compared to others with that of a horse. Not going to go into details on how to nurse yourself back to health. Take whatever pills someone gives you that you moments ago acted out a sore stomach too and get on with things.

Don’t let the fear of a bad stomach slow you down, the food is too delicious to miss out on and it will acclimatize over time. That said, rotten street meat is rotten street meat and even a local person would get sick and many do. Also stay away from street sushi, I’ve done it so many times and have a 27% success rate without catastrophic consequences. You CAN greatly reduce your risk with street sushi if you come early in the day, if you’re the last customer and she’s giving you double… BEWARE.

Stomach infections are the common cold of the road, don’t fear it but deal with it.

Question: Did you travel overseas? Did you need fancy expensive pills? Did you get sick!?

Tips hat,

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