Bali Belly is common here. The umbrella does little to diagnose what the specific cause may be, and Bali’s medical care is 20 years behind that of Thailand and Singapore (the closest alternatives). I’m swamped with questions about worms and parasites, but without a lab it remains guess work. You can pretty much guarantee that we all have them, so regular parasite treatment is recommended!

For short term treatment, we recommend cocobiotics; I love Healthforce Nutritionals Olive Leaf Extract; colloidal silver, food grade H202, garlic enemas, grapefruit seed extract, garlic enemas and local parasite herbs (western formulas with cloves etc will not work here).

The lifecycle of different parasites may vary in length – what remains similar is the growth from egg – larva – pupae – adult. Most treatments won’t affect an egg, which can lie dormant until ready to hatch. Abdominal castor oil packs force the eggs to hatch, get zapped by the treatment, and speed your recovery.

Vermox and Combatrin are popular worm medications; and Flagyl, the most common antibiotic medication, is thrown at giardia and miscellaneous problems. It’s the machine gun technique.

Roundworms: female roundworms lay eggs that pass into the environment with the host’s feces. Larvae: An ingested, fertlized roundworm egg hatches in it’s host’s small inrestine and penetrates the intestinal wall. Roundworm larvae mold twice before becoming an adult. Migration: some roundworm larvae migrate to the lungs where they mature for 10 days to 2 weeks. The larvae then ascend into the throat where the host swallows them after induced coughing. Adults: adult worms reach adulthood and start mating in about 2-3 months. Roundworms can live up to 2 years. Femals produce about 240,000 eggs every day” Ah.. welcome to life in the tropics!

Harder to diagnose and treat, is the parasite ‘blastocystus hominis’. If you have ongoing problems, it’s worth getting checked up at a clinic specializing in tropical bugs. Stool samples by mail won’t work for this diagnosis.

We like: The Centre for Digestive Diseases, Australia; Bumrungrad, Bangkok; Gleneagles, Singapore; NUH, Singapore. Genova Diagnostics, International.