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How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

Winter Park, Florida
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How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

Hi. I really really want to go on vacation to the Riviera Maya, specifically Akumal. However, years ago when I vacationed in Cancun I ended up with stomach issues that lasted weeks after I was back in the US. I just polled a girlfriend of mine that vacationed to the Riviera Maya a couple of years ago with several families. I asked her if they had stomach problems and she said that they all did. Ugh! Is there no way to avoid the stomach issues when traveling to Mexico? It is hard to plan a vacation knowing that you are going to be sick at some level.

45 replies to this topic
fort worth
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1. Re: How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

I have made 35 trips or so and never gotten sick. My husband has gotten sick twice.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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2. Re: How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

Well, it depends on several things - we usually travel to this area (Quintana roo) every other year or so, usually staying for 2-3 weeks. We do not eat buffet food - we eat at some street vendors, from markets and local restaurants. I am meticulous about washing my hands prior to eating/drink - my spouse is not. I am pretty religious about taking probiotics, starting about a week before my trip and during the entire time - spouse doesn't do that either. We also drink lots of bottled water - and brush our teeth with it as well. We don't shove our limes down in our beer either. That being said, we have never gotten sick. I had some tummy issues after one meal once - think it was some salad, but felt fine the next day. We also have never returned home to be sick either. Do you follow good food & health practices?

Wigan, United...
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3. Re: How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

If I visited Florida there is a chance that if I did not take precautions I would get a stomach problem because I am not used to your water and change of diet . Extra alcohol and eating at different times can also be a factor.

Coalminer gives good advice so in order to have a good vacation just take care.

Creighton...
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4. Re: How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

I concur with coalminer. There's no point in using hand sanitizer as you enter the buffet, when other guests won't. I carry a spray hand sanitizer and I use it before I pick up anything with my hands, once I've sat down at my table with a plate of food.

I also use a strong probiotic (10 billion) regularly and I get those travelling with me to start them 2 weeks before the trip, and every day during the trip.

I don't drink the fruity, slushy, coconut drinks, offered. I take my own insulated cup and dish soap, and I clean it in my room using bottled water.

I have been severely ill several years ago, and had to get put on Cipro and Flagyl when I returned home. I drink and eat what I know. I avoid "mixtures" at the buffets, preferring to have separate protein, vegetables and carbs.

I also carry Cipro and Flagyl with me (just in case), and haven't used it once since we started going to the Bahias. Hope that helps

Winter Park, Florida
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5. Re: How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

Coalminer, do I follow good food and health practices? Really? Of course! I happen to be a very healthy whole food plant based eater. I am never sick. And of course I wash my hands all the time. It was not my situation many years ago that concerned me as much as my friend's situation a couple of years back that had me concerned. It was 3 or 4 families that traveled together and every single one of them got sick to some extent. I also have seen people posting about Montezuma's revenge on other Riviera Maya forums. I am glad to hear that not everyone gets sick. The area looks very appealing to me otherwise so I may just have take precautions and hope for the best.

As some one who does not eat meat, are there certain foods that I should avoid while in Mexico. It seems salads are a problem, but are fruits and vegetables in general. I would hate to not be able to eat guacamole and salsa while in mexico!

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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6. Re: How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

Well - not everyone is aware of some of those details regarding food in foreign countries, so that is why I was detailed. Like shoving limes into their beer - as limes are not washed, so you drag the potential bacteria on the lime surface into your beer. Coconut also acts like a laxative, and many people are not aware of that particular affect.

Did your friends all stay at the same resort perhaps? Maybe they picked up bacteria or a virus there?

I don't stay at AI's, and I really don't avoid anything other than the basic rules of hot food should be hot, cold food

should be cold and if I buy food at the market, I peel it or soak it in microdin. Mostly we eat out though and really don't have any problems. We usually stay on Isla Mujeres and Puerto Morelos, but I wouldn't hesitate to travel all over the Yucatan region eating & drinking. Squeezing limes all over your food helps as well. And I eat salads daily. :)

Edited: 13 October 2017, 02:29
Los Angeles...
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7. Re: How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

Me and my family are going to Playa Del Carmen next week. We will have 2 small children and 3 elderly adults going with us. Sounds like it doesn't matter if you're staying at a 3, 4, or 5 star resort. You can get sick? We are at 4.5 star, I'm worried! Comments and suggestions please!

Akron, Ohio
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8. Re: How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

We've been down about 20 times at various resorts and my wife has never gotten sick (knocking on wood as I type) and I got sick 1 time, ironically enough, from romaine lettuce grown in Arizona.

Charleston, South...
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9. Re: How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

I too take a probiotic 2 weeks before going, wash my hands frequently, especially before eating in a buffet. I avoid coconut based drinks and only drink & brush with bottled water. I stay hydrated during the day.

I believe some problems come from too much alcohol while getting too much sun, eating new foods in excess, other guest's unhygienic issues.

I eat plenty of salads as I know they are triple washed with purified water where I stay. I did get sick once and later learned I had an unknown food allergy.

I often feel queazy while vacationing in places other than Mexico and attribute that to the water and possibly poor food handling. I feel most resorts in Mexico follow stringent food handling as mandated by the Distivo H program which oversees them.

Use common sense and good hygiene and you should be fine.

Saginaw, Texas
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10. Re: How likely is it that we will get stomach issues?

I had a case of cyclosporaisis and was rather sick for the entire month of July 2013. The cause was a parasite in cilantro (from Mexico) from a local restaurant right here in North Texas. Since then I don't worry about the food situation as much as I used to while actually in Mexico.

Those of us with sensitive digestive systems need to just take some basic precautions like the folks in the previous posts have talked about.

I take acidophilus in pill form and drink a Dannon probiotic drink, which is available in almost every store in Quintana Roo, and soak anything questionable in Microdyne before eating. Also we use bottled water to brush our teeth and keep our yaps shut while in the shower.

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