This book page is here to act as a collection point for the various health issues, tips and ideas that are commonly discussed. If you have something to contribute, add a comment and it will be incorporated into a future page update.
Food-Related Health Issues
They say, "you are what you eat". Well, this is to either help you not become something you don't want to be or, if you do, dealing with it.
Questions such as "is the water safe to drink", "should I eat the vegetables", "is that meat bad" and such are not unique to Nicaragua. When I was growing up in Los Angeles we all knew the water was safe to drink. It was many years later people started talking about lead in the water supply.
So, I see the biggest difference is that you are more likely to get an illness quickly with the kind of "unsafe" things you consume in Nicaragua. In the U.S., it is about now you will be getting cancer from what you ate as a kid.
This is likely the most common illness you will experience.
- Ok, you ate something that "disagreed with you". It could have been spoiled, contaminated or just not on your body's list of acceptable things. You will get symptoms quickly—maybe between 30 minutes and 12 hours.
Solution: stay near a toilet and wait it out.
- You got parasites of some sort. This is generally a one to two week incubation period. Diarrhea will go from "inconvenient" to "that's enough force to break the toilet bowl".
Solution: Go to a Farmacia and get one of the many tablets "para eliminar lombrices y giardia" and do what it says. The active incredient in many (including Zentel which I have taken) is albendazol. 400mg for from 1 to five days depending on what you have. Note that they actually recommend you take it for a day every six months anyway.
- Either of the above but you are about to start an 8-hour trip on a chicken bus.
Solution: While this doesn't "cure" anything, taking Imodium will keep you out of an embarrassing situation for the day. Just don't think it cured anything.