Bali belly is real, man. I’ve had it or something very similar that came from food poisoning. A lot of people get it, just be ready to know what to do if it hits.
For me, it was a whole night of making love with a toilet bowl and a bin in my lap.
The main issue with bali belly as with any other infection like food poisoning etc is the amount of dehydration you suffer. You need to keep hydrated and it can be really difficult to even drink water, never mind eating, when bali belly is happening.
At the first possibility – whenever you can break away from the toilet for a few hours – get yourself to a medic or hospital and tell them what’s going on. You can likely also get a call-out doctor from one of the SOSMED+ clinics.
The day after the night bali belly hit me, I had just about brought up everything in my stomach possible and so I was able to get myself to a hospital to be seen. I was given a bunch of medications that I would also recommend to anyone who gets it:
- Antibiotics for the stomach infection (for me it was 2 pills a day)
- Probiotic to help restore stomach antibodies (take these 2-4 hours separately from antibiotic)
- Re-hydration salts packets to restore hydration
This should be about a week of medication to take and you’ll feel better by the end of it. Fluids are good, but keep in mind that a lot of water can pass a lot of the salts in your system. So have a good balance of rehydration salts and mineral water. A lot of your hydration will come back with eating foods, just try to eat whatever you feel like eating and build back up to regular consistent meals.
Can Bali belly last for weeks?
It can last for a long time, I’ve even heard of people still suffering from it for months of different variants.
The main thing I’d advise everyone is to look after your gut health whilst in Bali. You have to acclimatise to the local food and the difference in hygiene levels you might be used to in a western country. Your stomach needs time to adapt, and in that time it can result in unusual stools.
So my recommendation is to start probiotics and continue taking them throughout your time in Bali. For me this completely changed the health of my stomach and my stools were back to normal within a couple weeks.
Whilst I’m no doctor, I think this will also help your stomach repair itself and fight off any bali belly infection.