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Dominican water or food..I get sick as he'll every year

winnipeg , canada
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Dominican water or food..I get sick as he'll every year

I go to Cabarete every year, only drink bottled water etc. But I get the sh_ts , every time after about 1-2 weeks, and it lasts up to a month. I have to be near a bathroom within 5-10 min after eating. I know it's a delicate subject, but has anyone else had this problem? They say , don't drink tap water, but how can u have a shower and not get tap water up your nose, etc. .

Ohio
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1. Re: Dominican water or food..I get sick as he'll every year

Don't drink the coffee, juice, lemonade, rice, eat salad or anything washed in the tap water. Eat fresh fruit that you peel yourself. Went a number of years ago with a GF and she refused to listen. She was miserable the whole trip. Definitely limits what you can eat, but beats being tied to the restroom. GF spent most of the week in the room. Brush your teeth with bottled water and don't swallow any water in the shower.

Cabarete, Dominican...
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2. Re: Dominican water or food..I get sick as he'll every year

I have a very sensitive stomach and do not use tap water for anything, except washing dishes and taking a shower -- can't really do either with bottled water; it's just not practical (make sure your dishes and glasses are fully dry before using them).

In my 5 1/2 years in Cabarete, I got sick only twice in Cabarete, and it wasn't because of the water, but because of low quality and reused frying oil (french fries) from a neighborhood cafe to which I have never returned (I also took a look at their kitchen, that was enough!).

I'm most carefully in choosing restaurants when eating out. Coffee, juice, drinks with ice, lemonade, etc., in most restaurants are okay. No one uses tap water for coffee or to make ice.

Salads is a completely different story. Hard to know though just by sitting in a restaurant. You can't tell how your raw veggies have been handled. I've been lucky so far, but even in the cleanest looking and most expensive place you don't really know what's going on in the kitchen. Very few kitchen staff would disinfect lettuce in bottled water and rinse it again with bottle water, even with clear instructions to do so.

I do not eat in inexpensive Dominican restaurants. They disinfect your lettuce with white vinegar. You can tell that just by the strong smell of vinegar. They won't use bottled water to cook rice or boil pasta (something I do at home). They use the cheapest oil in the market, and reuse it over and over.

If you're extremely sensitive, stay away from anything that is boiled. I know of Dominican cooks that because it's faster and easier would just rinse pasta under tap water after boiling it ! It's not what they were told to do, but they thrive on their short-cuts.

Many expats who live here don't have a problem; they just eat everywhere. But that's mostly because over time, they built resistance. That's great if you don't mind being sick for a week. My husband did and he can eat anywhere now. I'm not one willing to try and build resistance to parasites!

In short, pick good restaurants even if you have to pay more than what you would like, and you'll be fine.

Silvia

Silver Spring...
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3. Re: Dominican water or food..I get sick as he'll every year

deanwitt,

People are too quick to blame the water while brushing teeth or such. Where you stay makes a difference, some pipes are not as good as others.

It can be a combination of things that effect you, a touchy digestive system, the amount of Sun you get, the amount of Booze you drink and if you ate that salad that was on the buffet in the hot tropical sun for 3 hours.

Take care in what you eat, eat less than at home and take care in the sun and the bar. Eat some pealed fruit and for your salad yes the vinegar and oil dressing kills the germs.

Everyone's system is different, after 250+ trips, I've only once gotten sick from food, it's always the excessive intake of beverages that gets me. I eat whatever the Aunties and Grandma put in front of me and it is all cooked in the tap water, they also cook everything to death so germs cannot survive.

I drink the Sosua Bella Vista tap water as does every person in our 5 households and entire neighborhood, never a problem. I don't advocate you do, just saying.

I do not eat the shell fish, shrimp and oysters that walk the beach with the vendors and I watch my sun intake. Every person has a different system.

Immodium does help if you bring some.

Sosua, Dominican...
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for Puerto Plata, Sosua, Dominican Republic
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4. Re: Dominican water or food..I get sick as he'll every year

All the above is good advise, I might add:

Dont brush your teeth, rinse your mouth or toothbrush with tap water

Watch the amount of Coconut water,milk and drinks you have as coconuts are a great laxative

Don't eat food from street vendors, Most restaurants are ok

And as RAV said sun plus alcohol in large doses will do you in as well.

BObK

Isle of Man
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5. Re: Dominican water or food..I get sick as he'll every year

I think it can be any combination of all of the above.

Remaining hydrated is the number one piece of advice that I would give. Aim for a bottle of water for every alcoholic drink. Be aware of what you are drinking, cocktails will increase your fibre intake. Coconut milk/cream in pinacoladas, as mentioned by Bob, are a natural laxative. I was once at an AI resort and there was an extended family. All the adults bar the grandmother were drinking pinacoladas. I told one of the guys, while at the bar, that coconut was a laxative. He laughed and said they'd be okay. The following day, the older lady was going around everyone asking for Immodium because "they've all got food poisoning".

Not only will the sun, as mentioned already, cause bowel 'changes' but "heat exhaustion", a stage before heat stroke, actually causes diarrhea. So be aware of how much sun you are getting.

Try to build up slowly. If you eat & drink 'gently' for the first three days or so, then build up, it gives your body a chance to acclimatise.

Without wanting the thread to take off on a different tangent, do you take anti-malarial medication? One of the more common side effects are stomach upsets.

Good luck!

London, United...
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6. Re: Dominican water or food..I get sick as he'll every year

All good advice above - always drink bottled water.

IMO teh major problem is over indulgence in food and alcohol over a very short time span. I often think that many people blame the water/food without recognising the real issue.

"I do not eat in inexpensive Dominican restaurants." I have never had a problem with them. Personally I think those buffets in the AIs are a greater health risk than the cheaper restaurants. In fact the last time I was ill in Santo Domingo was after a meal in the Outback Restaurant on Churchill.

Silver Spring...
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7. Re: Dominican water or food..I get sick as he'll every year

Poster 5. iom_keith makes a very good point. The anti-malarials have side effects that may make one think they are sick from the food.

Cabarete, Dominican...
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8. Re: Dominican water or food..I get sick as he'll every year

DomingoUK,

Lucky you never had a problem! I don't eat in inexpensive Dominican restaurants as a precaution. I've seen too many people get sick. Surely, not everyone has this problem, but considering that Deanwitt does seem to have a sensitive stomach, he may want to stay away. As I mentioned, I got sick from french fries twice in one such restaurant. BTW, I don't drink alcoholic beverages, and don't overindulge like some travelers do.

I can't comment on AIs because leaving here, I certainly don't go to AIs.

Silvia

PS: Deanwitt has posted on this forum many times. As far as I remember, he doesn't stay in AIs. But I may be wrong.

Montezuma, Costa...
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9. Re: Dominican water or food..I get sick as he'll every year

What is the problem with the water? I have a MSR MOIX water purifier. It makes chlorine which is added to your water and kills the bad stuff. Are there chemicals in the water or is it bacteria, virus ect?

I had used this purifier on a trip in costa rica and it saved me a ton on bottled water.

I am leaving tomorrow for DR, speedy replies are much appreciated!

Here is a link to the purifier cascadedesigns.com/msr/…product

Sosua, Dominican...
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for Puerto Plata, Sosua, Dominican Republic
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10. Re: Dominican water or food..I get sick as he'll every year

Good luck with your purifier. Hope you bring lots of pepto and immodium as well.

Why would you drag that around when there is bottled water all over the place for you to drink and use?

BObK

Edited: 14 October 2011, 11:51
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