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Steps to avoid stomach upset

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Steps to avoid stomach upset

Even though I have prided myself on a strong constitution for many years, my last trip to Phuket involved 'losing' about four days due to a really nasty stomach upset culminating in a violent midnight 'rigour' (for medics among you) which was far from pleasant.

We go again in three weeks (gluttons for punishment) and I wanted some advice on advance steps to take to mimimise risk.

Has anyone used 'friendly bacteria' drinks or things like that?

All tips appreciated. I know about ice in drinks and even pouring your beer into a glass so you don't suck up the water that the bottle was cooled in...

Many thanks in advance to forum members, and we might see a few of you up the pole!

Wellington, New...
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1. Re: Steps to avoid stomach upset

Some people react differently to different foods and dont like getting out of their comfort zones.

I guess if one is of a delicate disposition, one has to look at what one does eat and drink. You are aware of the water, but also be very careful of eating chicken.

In a normal western environment with all the modern refridgeration and "hygenic' handling processes chicken can play havoc with ones digestion, where the health and safety measures are questionable it could be worse. If eating chicken make sure it is well cooked. Hamburger or mince not properly cooked is also known to cause tummy problems.

Make sure that you take appropriate medicines with you before you go.

If eating from street side stalls make sure the cooking plate is very hot to kill off offending bugs. If it isn't hot dont eat the food.

Best of luck

Mike from Wellington

Chiang Khong...
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2. Re: Steps to avoid stomach upset


try eating yogurt before your trip to help build up good bacteria in your system some people take pepto bismol before they eat to pre coat their stomach.

I never eat at buffett's at resort I have only gotten sick once and that was at a 5 star resort after buffett. I always eat at the local street stalls and restuarants and always eat the local food. try as much spice as you can handle that is what kills the bacteria. I always drink bottled water but I still ask for ice which isn't too smart.

I'll be in Krabi the 1st week of nov.

Ao Chalong / Rawai
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3. Re: Steps to avoid stomach upset

Hello Duncan & Kate

Avoid eating from the fish boats outside hotels or restuarents where the ice has melted durring the day with the seafood sitting in the water. Ice used for drinks is called drink ice but the stuff used to chill your seafood outdoors is called cooler ice and we only use it for sealed foods and drinks in the cooler. Also if you are and oyster fan ask them to searve your oysters with no ice in the shells. Megumi had problems with this for years untill we figured things out.

The only thing we use for bacteria drinks is flavoured drinking yogurt wich is great but you may want to have a chat with the Pharmasist after you arrive here and bye the tummy meds in advance so you have them handy as sone as any symtoms appear.

The med to bung you up and the tummy antibiotic is only worth about a 120 baht and better safe then sorry. Good point about the drink water and I always thought it was too many "Changs" that cleaned me out the next day.

See you both in a couple of weeks and I will reply to your e-mail shortly.

Regards From Phuket

Richard & Megumi

Santa Cruz...
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4. Re: Steps to avoid stomach upset


Having just returned literally from Phuket I can say that we escaped any stomach ailments. We traveled to Egypt the first part of the year and I took acidolophius (you can get at healthfood store) and that alone killed my stomach for my trip. I got sick on the plane over.

I brushed my teeth w/bottled water, I did eat ice but only from our hotel (The Amari) and never ate from the streets. Ate peeled fruit only, no lettuce.

Like the earlier posts, some people have trouble just leaving their comfort zone. Traveling is hard on people (have been sleeping non-stop since my return). I always take Pepto Bismol each morning just to coat my stomach. But Thailand was much better than Egypt and we were in Asia for two weeks.

Have a great trip. Like Richard said, plenty of Chang's can't hurt.

Port Macquarie...
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5. Re: Steps to avoid stomach upset

Gidday SanClemente!

Prior to going to South America earlier this year my doctor recommended i have a shot for food poisoning ( they are big on meat and buffets over there). I found the prescription as i have a repeat on it, it says "Boostrix DTPA Vaccine". My doctor said it will protect for Salmonella and some others I can't remember!!!

I drink lots of bottled water and i also take Yakult a fermented yoghurt drink, i have heard you can buy them everywhere. They are great, as i have a irritable stomach!! I would start drinking these before you go. I havent travelled to Thailand before, but we eat heaps of spicy food and Thai here so hopefully my tummy will be prepared!


Eastern Standard...
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6. Re: Steps to avoid stomach upset

Some people have cast iron stomachs and can eat grilled dog crap and not get sick - not me!

I avoid food stalls and street vendors - except for boiling hot noodle soup sometimes, but I use my own fork & spoon! I can't seem to be able to put wooden chop sticks in my mouth that have been in the mouths of a thousand customers before me!

If the place selling food doesn't have running water to wash the cook's hands after he uses a toilet or scratches his butt - I don't eat there!

In and out of Asia for the last nine years and I have got real sick once, think it was the salad.

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7. Re: Steps to avoid stomach upset

Thanks everyone, I think I may have been unlucky last time too. We stopped at a restaurant in Chalong the day after we arrived which I was not quite sure about (but we were hungry) and to be honest I reckon it was probably that place that got me.

I'm going to stock up on immodium and dioralyte before we go. I might try the yakult too.

(See you soon Richard)

Greenville, Texas
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8. Re: Steps to avoid stomach upset

Most physicians that I know recommend taking one Tetracycline a day to prevent stomach upset from bacteria. Of course only thorough cooking will will destroy toxins.

Kanazawa, Japan
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9. Re: Steps to avoid stomach upset

Boostrix is a vaccine for diptheria, pertussis and tetanus. It will not prevvent salmonella or any other kind of food poisoning.

Adelaide, Australia
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10. Re: Steps to avoid stomach upset


I went to get one of my last shots yesterday and was speaking with the travel doctor (who is a specialist in Asia) regarding Immodium etc. He told me that its best not to use these. He advised that if you get diahorrea you should drink heaps of water/fluids to flush the bugs out... he said that Immodium prevents the bug escaping (as it effectively stops you poo-ing!) thus leaving the bug in your system! Makes sense!!

Wish he has told me BEFORE I bought all that Immodium!!!

Not sure how accurate he is but thought I would share it with everyone anyway!

Emjay x