Just like in any country in the world, it is possible to get food poisoning in Thailand. While not the land of danger some strange travelers will have you believe, you can get food poisoning here and, like anywhere, if not treated correctly it is possible to die from it. If you’re unfortunate to get food poisoning while on a trip to Thailand, take heart. Follow these quick tips and you’ll be feeling better in no time.
Drink Water – When you get food poisoning, the first thing you need to do is drink water. If you’re having problems keeping anything down, don’t take huge mouthfuls, just keep sipping but do it all the time. Thailand is one of the hottest countries in the world, so you don’t want to get dehydrated. Drinking water will keep you hydrated and can help flush the bacteria out of your body faster.
Get Rehydration Salts If Not Hydrating Correctly – The next thing you should do if you get food poisoning in Thailand is take some rehydration salts if you’re having problems staying hydrated. You can buy these very cheaply (10 baht or 30 cents) at any pharmacy and they’ll give you the necessary salts and sugars. It’s particularly important for children with food poisoning to take these, as they can get sick fast and can die if not hydrated. You can also make your own rehydration liquid, by simply mixing salt, sugar and water together and sipping throughout the day.
Buy an Anti-diarrhea Medication – If you’re having problems with diarrhea as a result of food poisoning, you can reduce the symptoms by taking an anti-diarrhea medication. In Thailand, medication is extremely cheap with an anti-diarrhea medication at most pharmacies being around 20 baht (65 cents) for a packet of 6-8 pills. Any pharmacy carries them and they’re available over-the-counter.
Visit the Pharmacist If Problems Persist – If you’re still having symptoms after 24 hours, a quick visit to the pharmacist can solve most of your problems as long as they are not too severe. Most pharmacists in Thailand speak enough English to be able to give you medication for nausea, gas, stomach cramps and diarrhea. And, as mentioned before, with medications being as cheap as 20 baht (65 cents) it won’t break the bank.
If Severe Symptoms, See a Doctor – If you have extremely severe symptoms from food poisoning, do not delay, see a doctor immediately. A high fever, severe nausea and vomiting and constant diarrhea can be a sign of particularly bad food poisoning and, if not treated, it can kill you. Medical care in Thailand is very good in most areas, in many places in fact, it’s better (and cheaper) than in the west. At most hospitals and clinics, you will also find doctors and nursing staff who speak English. Again, medical care even if hospitalized in Thailand is cheap, so don’t worry if you don’t have health insurance. You’re still likely to be able to afford it.
Getting food poisoning in Thailand isn’t that likely but it can happen. If it does happen to you, follow these quick anti-food poisoning tips and you should be feeling better in no time.