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Forums > Living in Kunming > Diarrhea issues

Topics like this on a website like this usually don’t make much sense and so does this one.

The problem is that people try to spread a message that is based on their own personal experiences and often don’t have any relevance for others and a lot of their conclusions and recommendations are misconceptions.

The OP apparently has some problems with diarrhea and then he gives a lengthy explanation on what to do to overcome it.

However diarrhoea can be caused by more than one trigger:
• Stress
• Anxiety
• Medications such as laxatives, antibiotics
• Food allergy
• Food poisoning
• Bad water
• Bad hygiene

Therefor how to treat diarrhoea is as well not a simple thing. The good thing is that diarrhoea in most cases will disappear once the trigger is taken away and the better news is that “that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

The OP starts with declaring tap water as the enemy, and goes at extreme length to eliminate it from his life. I totally disagree with that. Yes tap water can contain pathogens that can cause diarrhea but in near all cases you will get resistant to them. I don’t drink the local tap water in Kunming and surely not outside Kunming but I brush my teeth with it make tea and coffee with it (Boiled tab water) and cook my food with it. This low level exposure will keep up my resistance against water born diseases that cause diarrhrea. Avoiding tab water as the OP advises will on the long run have a negative effect on my immune system.

One of the things not mentioned in the OP article is what the problem with the local tap water actually is. There is a wide range of water born diseases (that cause diarrhea) but they vary very much in character and how they will affect your life. Virus and bacteria related diarrhea is something the body gets used to and one simply has to adapt to the local ones in the tap water and most of them fall in the category “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Most of these will give you lifelong immunity or on reinfection cause only mild symptoms.

Amoeba related diarrhea, like Giardia, takes harder to get used to. The amoeba simply encapsulates itself when the going get though for it and returns to active duty when you are weak. Weak might be stress, anxiety, alcohol/drunkenness, drug use, having your period, fatigue, or any other co-infection. None the less if these stress factors don’t occur you will most likely be free of it in a couple of month. Because of this encapsulation a Giardia infection can have effect on your health even when you are no longer in contact with the source and over a long period. Blaming the local Kunming tap water for it most likely is wrong. You might have gotten the infection half a year ago in Xishuangbanna when you had that nice coconut jus that was watered down with dirty local water.

Failing to pinpoint what his real problem/cause of water related diarrhea is makes the whole story of the OP completely useless. If you have repeated and continuous water related diarrhea issues then do get a lab test to see what the problem really is so you know how to properly address it.

What his real problem might be, judging on the rest of his story, are probably three other causes causing diarrhea as listed above namely: stress, anxiety and food allergy.
The OP goes at lengths to describe all these three causes so I don’t have to repeat them. A problem of course is that stress and anxiety might be caused by having diarrhea so one ends up in a vicious circle.

And that brings me to the conclusion of this reaction: break the circle, get used to the local bugs and start living. Get out of this self-erected prison you created.
Yes food allergy exists but for most people spices simply take a bit of getting used to. Yes water born diarrhea exists but most people will get used to the local bugs. Yes food and general hygiene might not be up to a standard that you are used to but billions of people live happily in hygiene conditions that are way below what we have here.

It is a complete misconception that American fast food chains are better in food hygiene.

In recent years the tap water quality in Kunming improved enormously. This because raw tap water now is pumped from the Jingsha River (Meld water from Tibet thus nicely cold which stops pathogens from multiplying) and no longer comes from dubious local water reservoirs that were mainly filled by surface runoff.

PS: In reaction to “duke is me:
Immodium is not an anti-diarrheal medication in that that it does not address the infection as such. The working principle of Immodium is to stop the peristaltic movements of your guts so there is no excretion any longer. This should not be confused with having no longer a diarrheal infection. It is only treating the result of the infection that is the excretion. Immodium should be used with care. Anyway never in children and never as a prophylactic as some people do. In some forms of diarrheal diseases, like Cholera, it is even extremely dangerous.

Forums > Travel Yunnan > international flights

As far as I know once you passed the entry quarantine you don't need any further quarantine.
Any way you can check direct flights to Kunming yourself with the help of ticket booking sites.
Apparently there are some direct flights but very expensive.

Forums > Living in Kunming > How many foreigners are left?

In this whole discussion a classical mistake is made. Yes a lot of foreigners with a western origin left. But most of the foreigners in Yunnan are not western but of East Asian origin and even ethnical Chinese. A lot of western expats left because their jobs are no longer available (education) and a lot of them had no intention to stay long time in China anyway so given the present day conditions they left and didn’t return.
Most foreigners in Yunnan live in the border area and are from Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam. I presume that most of them are still there.
So the change caused by Covid and the restrictions related to jobs in education mainly effected western foreigners. It effected the inflow of people to do education here as well so a significant drop in students.
Therefor statistically the drop in “foreigners” will be only minimal while the drop in those that stand out as “foreigners” like western teachers and African students might be considerable.


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