We’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy plenty of trips to the Alps but there’s one thing I’ve noticed and have now come to expect… The mysterious ‘Alpine belly’. Every time we go, after several days I end up with a disturbed night’s sleep, mildly feverish symptoms and an (ahem!) dodgy stomach for a day or two, and no, it’s not the Après…
It knows no borders and it usually coincides nicely with the return journey which always makes for a particularly anxious flight experience. I take an Immodium just to be on the safe side…
This has happened well over 50% of the times we’ve been and it’s happened to my Dad, my brother, my wife and friends of ours. I keep meaning to carry out wider research and this post is just dipping a toe in the water to see if anyone else finds this or knows why it happens.
Alpine Belly Theories
My current theories are:
The Alpine water must be pretty blinking fresh but I’m guessing it’s probably got a different mineral content to my usual UK tipple.
The scent/stench (delete as appropriate) of cheese is omnipresent in the Alps and by the time you come home it seems to permeate from your body like a yellow emmental aura. A mouthful too far at lunchtime and you can spend the afternoon feeling like you’ve been drugged as your body redirects all available energy resources to deal with the influx.
I love my meat on the rare side but I wonder whether the continental way might be a step too far for my Britsh digestive system. My previously mentioned burger in Chamonix had barely been slapped before being served to me!
Well I’d be interested to hear (not too much detail please!) if anyone else suffers from the mysterious ‘Alpine Belly’ or even knows what the cause is. I’m hoping it’s something else because if it’s one of the above I’ll just have to crack on through it and take the rough with the smooth 😉
Update! – 4 March 2016
If you’ve not read that far, we made it we’re here and have been for about 5 weeks. My highly scientific and controlled experiment has seen me eat tons of cheese and quite a bit of meat but I’ve only been drinking bottled water.
Result – No Apline Belly
Conclusion – Alpine Belly is caused (for me at least) by drinking the tap water. I’m sure it’s perfectly clean and safe but my personal theory is that the mineral content is very different from the UK and I think that must be a shock to the system. When you look in a river here, it’s blue, in Yorkshire, it’s brown.
Further Studies – I will gradually wean myself onto the local brew by diluting it with bottled water before fully committing. Stay tuned for the latest findings!