Stomach problems in CR

Sep 9th, 2007, 11:01 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 26
Stomach problems in CR

For all you CR travel veterans out there...are diarrhea and/or stomach problems inevitable in Costa Rica? My son is a student in Heredia and has had significant stomach problems since he arrived. He is living and eating with a local family, mucho rice and beans. He finally went to the doctor last week, and was given antibiotics and orders on what foods to avoid. I had understood that you could eat and drink at will in CR...apparently that is not true. CR veterans, can you give me some insight on this issue? Much appreciated, not only for my son, but my wife and I as we will visit there shortly for a week.

danocross is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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That's a shame, danocross!

Most people don't have stomach issues in CR, and the water is okay to drink in many locations. We didn't have any issues when we visited last year. We ate at some litte sodas and roadside stands, and drank tap water on several occasions. No problems to report.

Does your son tend to normally have a sensitive stomach?
cmerrell is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 12:21 PM
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It could just be the change in diet compared to his diet here.
hills27 is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 12:42 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Many of us travelers tend to drink bottled water, for the most part, and watch what we eat in resturants. Eating/drinking with a local family would be much different. I would think your son's doctor can get him on the right track. If he eats very carefully for a time, he will be able to see what causes problems as he expands his diet. You will probably want to be careful what you eat when you visit. Take some digestive aids along plus consider eating more as your son's doctor suggested. We are used to having everything refrigerated at a certain temperature and tossed out if gets old. Just be a little careful and you should be fine. Maybe put a few munchies (nuts, energy bars or whatever you like that travels well) in your suitcase so you have something to fall back on. You could also contact your doctor for suggestions. Most clinics will respond via e-mail so you don't have the expense and hassle of an office visit.

Linda137 is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 01:38 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I think he ate something weird, he is getting used to a different diet, and he is a little stressed out, the school regimen is surprisingly hard. So it adds up to bad stuff.

Personally, I drink bottled water whenever I can wherever I travel, this is way harder when you actually live in a foreign country. I am waiting to see what the doctor said to avoid.

Thanks again kind readers.
danocross is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 04:31 PM
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Wow, I'm surprised and sorry to hear about your son. We have traveled all over CR and not had any problems with the food or water. All our guidebooks say food and water is safe there.
volcanogirl is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 04:46 PM
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Living with a local family and eating like they do every day is different than tourists visiting in hotels and restaurants. I would not think I could eat "at will" any place in Mexico or central America. It is not likely from too much beans & rice, but rather a bacteria that could be in food or water either one.

suze is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 04:52 PM
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Suze, I am with you, I have never been to Mexico and not been bitten by "Montezuma's revenge." Now, I have never been to CR, but my son was assured that everything was good to go, eat and drink the local much for that advice. Antibiotics and some careful eating will get him over this. The fact is, the doctor he saw told him some things to avoid, I just have not been in contact with him yet to find out what she said. I plan on sharing with everyone once I have that info.
danocross is offline  
Sep 10th, 2007, 06:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,204
Everyone has a different "take" on this one. Nothing worse than a nasty stomach virus. I don't really think, though, that your son got bad advice regarding the food and water.
I've spent a lot of time in CR over the years, much of it with a Costa Rican family eating "comida tipica" (typical food). I buy bottled water because it's convenient when driving/walking around, but when in the home always use tap water. Same for the rest of our family. I don't really consider my stomach to be sensitive, but I've sure had my share of stomach viruses here in the states. Hate those things--and can certainly sympathize with your son.

I teach school and I know that, when the stomach bug gets going, it can quickly become epidemic amoung a large number of the general pop. By now, I hope your son is feeling better and on the way to recovery. As for your upcoming visit, you'll certainly be wary after what he has gone through, but really, the food and water generally ARE very safe.

By the way, is he with Intercultura in Heredia? I've studied twice before NEAR Heredia (with CPI in San Joaquin), but am thinking of studying in Heredia next. Just for a change of pace. And you are right--Heredia is near San Jose, about a 20-30 minute drive.
shillmac is offline  

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