Montezuma's Revenge

What is Montezuma's (Moctezuma) revenge? Montezuma's revenge or "turista" is known as traveler's diarrhea in Mexico.

Symptoms may be very mild to severe and include runny bowels, nausea, vomiting, cramps, fever, weakness and sour stomach caused by a bacterial strain in food and water. Traveler's who are not accustomed to the bacteria are more susceptible to develop "turista."

Traveler's diarrhea can happen to everyone, anywhere, even when traveling from state to state in the U.S. Dehydration and fatigue, which accompany traveling can make it even worse.

When I went to Mexico for the first time (November 2004) I was so worried. I was afraid I would get the dreaded Montezuma's revenge and my whole Mexican dream vacation would be ruined. Well not if I could help it, so I went prepared! I had my Pepto-Bismol ready in case the worst should occur as well as my Ibuprofen for cramps.

I also made sure to drink plenty of fluids and took it easy the first few days after I arrived. I wanted to give my body time to adjust and took plenty of siestas (naps). Remember that Guadalajara is approximately 5000 ft above sea level, so give your body a break and take it easy, this is something you should always do when traveling.

I have to admit that at first, I was extremely paranoid when it came to eating and stayed away from dining on stuff like raw lettuce and vegetables unless it was from a very reputable restaurant (That's just me). Sometimes even the most careful person can still get Montezuma's revenge so always be prepared.

I also tried to stay away from all tourist eateries. If the locals will not eat there it is for a good reason. If you had dinner at a restaurant and it made you sick afterwards are you going to return?

Chances are that you will not. I also steered clear (and still do) of all the little taco stands that are just about everywhere, even though they tempt me with their delicious aroma.

My advice is to play it safe. If you are not sure about a certain place ask some locals or the people at your hotel. Check out some of my favorites here.

Ask (Disculpe, puede decir donde esta un buen restaurante en esta zona?) You're asking: "Excuse me, do you know of a good restaurant in this area?"

Also, remember that you should not drink the tap water. Drink bottled water only.

If you are unsure about the water that you are drinking, be prepared and buy some yodo, which is tincture of iodine. It is available at local pharmacies and will kill harmful bacteria.

Hopefully, all will be well and you won't have to use that Pepto.

Information provided by Wikipedia and Moon Handbooks, Guadalajara.

Please note: This page is meant to be a guide to assist you and is not intended as medical advice. Please always talk to your physician when planning a trip abroad to consult the possibility and prevention of illness and what to do if it occurs.

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