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Travellers Sickness

Have you had it? How bad does it get? Any ways to feel better?
12 years ago, October 6th 2010 No: 1 Msg: #120480  
We are in Cambodia, and have been for four days. We woke up this morning feeling rubbish, stomach cramps, needing the toilet a lot, aches and pains all over, lethargic etc etc. We have never been to Asia before, so never really come across 'Travellers Sickness'. Any tips on how to feel better, what to do, how bad it gets?!

We havent had any insect bites or anything and have been drinking only bottled water. We did start taking Malarone tablets four days go, but I doubt its that. Reply to this

12 years ago, October 6th 2010 No: 2 Msg: #120505  
N Posts: 5
Copious amounts of water and bed! It will pass Reply to this

12 years ago, October 6th 2010 No: 3 Msg: #120506  
I hope so, the 6 hour bus trip from siem Reap to Phnom Penh tomorrow at 7am is daunting! Thanks for the advice. Reply to this

12 years ago, October 7th 2010 No: 4 Msg: #120550  
It could just be a combination of something in your food, heat and humidity. Sometimes you don't realise quite how much water you need to drink. You can spend ages trekking around in the sun and get heat stroke. You say you're in Siem Reap - have you been wandering around a lot of temples?

Just rest and drink lots of water. Stick to pretty sterile food - things that your body is used to.

If you're going on a bus, you may have to resort to immodium too.

Reply to this

12 years ago, October 7th 2010 No: 5 Msg: #120551  

Sorry for you guys...never fun!

Coke (and not diet one)....but make sure the bubbles are out...and water. Lot's of white rice also.

But at the end of the day...the best is simply too sleep...sleep and sleep as much as you can.

If affter 48 hours it goes worst (maybe even 36 hours)...do see a doctor! Sometimes it can weaken you worst than you thing, and you will be at serious risk of deshydratation, not a nice thing to experience...i saw it on others, never had it that bad.

Hope this help,

Peter Reply to this

12 years ago, October 7th 2010 No: 6 Msg: #120594  
B Posts: 366
Maybe you have to eat in cleaner places. If the little place you eat at doesn't have a way for the "cooks" to wash their hands after using the toilet or picking their butts change to a better place even if you have to spend a whole quarter dollar more! Watch out for raw vegetables and fruits chopped or cut with a knife that also cuts raw meat without being washed in between.

Stick to fried rice if you have to eat on the street. Or make some sandwiches for a few days.

Review what you have been eating and see if there is a particular place that caused you to get sick. See if there is any particular fruit or food that caused you to get sick. Just because something looks good on the street doesn't mean it is good for your stomach. Raw stuff washed with tap water means you are also consuming tap water. If you like fruit - you buy the fruit whole, wash it and peel it before you eat it!

Cambodian friends of mine, after living in the US for years, also get sick when they visit their home country and eat locally.

Reply to this

12 years ago, October 7th 2010 No: 7 Msg: #120620  
peter has very sound advice, if you don't get any better within 36-48 hours you should go to the nearest medical clinic. If either of you look like you have jaundice (yellow-y skin) and/or a fever then go immediately!!

It is possible some of the symptoms are side effects of Malarone, some people react badly to malaria drugs, but it should go away soon if it's just that. If it's traveler's diarrhea get some rehydration into ya! There is a good home-made solution here . The idea is that you drink fluids which have sugar and salt to replenish all the crap that's literally leaving your system. Get lots of rest - put off your travel plans if you can. I had a quick look at your blog - your stomachs are probably just getting used to SE Asia after your travels around the developed world! Reply to this

12 years ago, October 8th 2010 No: 8 Msg: #120644  
Guys thanks for all the advice. We are improving a bit. Stomachs are feeling better. Feel well enough to do things but just going to make sure we take it easy for a couple more days until we are fully better. Thanks again. Reply to this

12 years ago, October 9th 2010 No: 9 Msg: #120719  
B Posts: 897
Three visits to Cambodia now and have never gotten sick. Actually have never gotten sick anywhere while travelling - other than deciding id rather risk Malaria than put up with the side effects of Malarone which I decided not to bother taking because they need to be taken in the morning and as a diver I dont like my morning dive to be the 'nausea dive'. On a trip to PNG where everyone except me got horrible diarrhea one of the local women made a "cure" that worked for everyone except one delicate little flower - basically rice boiled with juice of two lemons and water, when rice was cooked take it off heat and stir through two eggs, a soupy type deal but it really worked. Ok they went from diarhhea to constipation but hey, whats the lesser of two evils 😊

Glad your feeling better...Sir Halbard is right, consider eating at some more "upmarket" places. We spent about $30USD each a day eating in Cambodia (I know that sounds a lot but my partner is a body builder and eats huge amounts of food) - theres actually no award for being the person who survived on a dollar a day and spent the whole time chucking their guts up. Accept that sometimes you are going to have to spend a little more to try and negate the chances of getting sick.

As your in Siem Reap now try the butterfly restaurant and the bbq place just up from the souvenier shop and also the smiling hotels restaurant. If your on a budget all of these places do nice soups (try the pumpkin and coriander its yum) - shouldnt break the bank too much.

Reply to this

12 years ago, October 10th 2010 No: 10 Msg: #120778  
I have a few simple rules for choosing food and avoiding tummy troubles when travelling:
1) Washing hands with antiseptic hand gel/cloths before every meal.
2) Choosing a place which has a large number of locals eating - they must be eating there for a reason, and the faster amount of food turnover due to its popularity assists in avoiding food that has been sitting for a long time.
3) Watch food cooked in front of you - thus popular street vendors should be fine.
4) Avoid local water at all costs - this includes ice (which catches even the seasoned traveller at times) and water on fruits and vegetables (e.g. lettuce). Be also cautious of watery looking meals such as curries, sauces.
5) If water sanitation in an area is a big issue, brush your teeth with bottled water and clean the toothbrush with the same.

If I ever have issues with my stomach, I try to rest a lot and then opt for "comfort food" that is always bland - rice, pasta, potatoes, breads and the like - until I'm feeling better.
Reply to this

12 years ago, October 26th 2010 No: 11 Msg: #121764  

I'm glad to hear you are feeling better. In our RTW trip I got the dreaded illness in Thailand and it was my fault. We found a Mediterranean restaurant that we really enjoyed. It was a nice break from what we had been eating for weeks. We ate their twice without issue and decided to go back a third time. Sadly, I ordered the tabouli on that last visit. I got sloppy and did not think about the fact that they would wash the parsley in the local water. UGH! A very stupid mistake and I paid for it.

Be wise about what you put into your body!! Reply to this

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