Well, I had a good run. I made it just over a week, but it was bound to happen. Stomach problems.
Let me first say that it isn’t that bad. A day of general nausea and a few extra trips to the bathroom, but after day 2 I wish I could say that I was back to 100%.
With no food safety regulation here (as I’ve been told), every time you eat out it’s a roll of the dice. Everyone seems to have a story.
- One person said that having stomach problems is a once every month or two occasion.
- Another person said she was bedridden on her second day in the country.
- Another person said that she had a bout of general queasiness that didn’t go away for about a month.
- Another person said he had a full-blown parasite, and it wasn’t something rare.
- One of the people currently hosting me was out of the office for a few days last week due to stomach problems.
With that said, I had been taking precautions.
- Only eat at restaurants where others have already eaten and said is ok.
- Only drink water that you have seen come from an unopened bottle.
- Don’t drink anything that has ice in it.
- Don’t eat raw vegetables.
- Don’t eat street food.
- Don’t eat anything that looks like it has sat out for a while.
- Personal note: Try to avoid anything too spicy.
Now, to be fair, I have broken some of these rules since coming here, but I haven’t felt too bad about them in the past. But Monday night I blatantly broke two rules that both made me feel uneasy at that point in time.
I went to a Japanese restaurant that I hadn’t spoken to anyone else before who had tried (later finding out that someone else had stomach problems after eating there), and I drank water that I didn’t see come from a bottle. Keep in mind that this is a mid-range restaurant with a glass facade, nice decor, and a full restaurant (we had to wait for a table).
Just as everyone has a horror story, everyone has a remedy. These seem to fall into three categories.
- Probiotics such as Bioflor to boost your stomach with good bacteria.
- Medication such as Pepto-Bismol for symptom relief.
- Anti-bacterials such as Azithromycin to wipe out everything, good and bad, in your stomach.
I’ve taken the Probiotics so far (the natural route), which will hopefully do the trick!