Bali Belly

Travellers to Bali can often be affected by what is known as 'Bali Belly' which is essentially an upset stomach or travellers' diarrhoea. Caused by a change in diet and lifestyle, symptoms of Bali Belly generally include -

  • Abdominal bloating, cramps and pain
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Urgency/frequency in going to the toilet
  • Diarrhoea
  • Mild temperature
  • General malaise (weakness or discomfort)

Bali Belly can be caused by bacteria found in local foods or drinking water, although it is most commonly caused by an increase in exotic foods, too much food and an increase in alcohol consumption. Bali Belly is treatable and will usually clear itself up within 24 hours, although sometimes it can take anywhere from couple of days to a week to fully clear your system.

Moderating the changes you make to your diet and lifestyle, particularly in the first few days of your Bali holiday will help to minimise the risk of contracting Bali Belly. Personal hygiene is also an important factor and hand washing should be done thoroughly, particularly after going to the toilet, handling money and before you eat.

If you do happen to contract Bali Belly, simply visit a doctor to receive an injection and some medication which should start to clear up the infection within 24 hours. Other ways of treating the condition include anti-diarrhoea medications such as Imodium and Loperomide and activated charcoal tablets which are available from most supermarkets.

Drinking bottled water will minimise your risks of contracting Bali Belly as well as taking daily acidophilus tablets as an extra preventative. However, it's important to remember that symptoms can vary from the time of infection and the bug may last anywhere from a day to a couple of weeks. If your symptoms persist for more than a week, the infection may become contagious, so interactions with others should also be done carefully.

As long as you are sensible about where you eat, what you eat, water intake and personal hygiene, you should minimise your risk of getting Bali Belly.