Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Anwering Questions

So I recently asked some of my friends what they might want to read
. Particularly, I want to ask you about people complaining about getting dysentery in Mexico.
Yesterday my Tia was here (Issacs Aunt) and she brought up Montezuma II, I think we had been talking about how sick Joslin got a month ago. What she was telling me was that this only happens to those who are not Mexican or family of Mexicans. What she was speaking of was Montezuma revenge, aka Travelers diarrhea aka dysentery. I have to disagree with her on the family not getting this. When my first daughter was 10mo old we visited my husband in Monclova. She drank some water out of a small pool that we filled with water from a tap. After getting home she had runny stool for three months. I had to give her lactobacillas the whole time and lots of pedialite. Thankfully she never got dehydrated although I got a little concerned and brought her to the ER once and to the DR a different time during the 3 months. To be honest we could have given her antibiotics to make this not last as long but her doctor and I agreed that with frequent trips to Mexico and possible move in the future it would be best for her body to take care of it on its own.
The reason this travelers diarrhea is refered to as Montezumas revenge by Americans and Mexicans alike is due to an Aztec King. According to wickapedia Moctezuma (c. 1466 – June 1520), also known by a number of variant spellings including Montezuma, Moteuczoma, Motecuhzoma and referred to in full by early Nahuatl texts as Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin[nb 1] and similar, was the ninth tlatoani or ruler of Tenochtitlan, reigning from 1502 to 1520. It was during Moctezuma's reign that the episode known as the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire began. His relations with the Spanish Conquistadors went well only for a short while. He ended up like many other Mexican rulers of the time a prisoner in his own realm. Depending on where your information comes from depends on who killed him but according to legend Montezuma vowed to return and defend his people after his death. Although we know that this horrible case of diarrhea is from some sort of bacteria or virus I found this interesting fact on a website: Pathogen isolation rates among TD studies vary from 30 percent to 60 percent. Most cases in which no pathogen is identified still respond to antibiotics, suggesting that most cases are bacterial in origin. The point being that at times the pathogen is not found who know maybe Montezuma is getting his revenge.
But in reality what has "defended" his people is the fact that a humans immune system adapts, bottled water, and disinfectant drops, oh and deworming medications twice a year. Let me explain this statement a bit. First of all when it comes to bacteria as many of you know your immune system can create and maintain antibodies to fight those bacterias that it has fought in the past. And so if as a baby who always has loose stools gets a bit of the bacteria from his or her bottle that has been rinsed in water containing a bacteria you prob wouldn't even notice the infection because babies always cry and always have gross poopy. And so the body is left to defend itself thankfully without the aid of antibiotics and the baby creates and immunity to this bacteria. And vowala Mexicans get stomachs made of nails therefore not catching this revenge of Montezuma. But in reality they don't drink the water and when they use it to clean things such as lettuce they put disinfectant drops in it. Everyone has a large bottle of water in the home. Its amusing to me that its kind of the "in" thing in the states to drink water from bottles that have the purest of water. My gosh people you pay taxes and people to purify the water from your taps, drink it!!!! The good news is that here the bottled water is readily available at almost every tienda on almost every block or you can have it delivered to your door.
As far as traveling goes you just need to be as careful as any Mexican really. I have never gotten sick from brushing my teeth, showering, or eating fresh fruits or salads. Just don't get a cup and drink strait from the tap or open your mouth to the drink from the shower (not sure why anyone would but you never know). Which a Mexican wouldn't do either, you may also want to buy some disinfectant drops to wash your fruit in. We wash ours in the tap but by now are immune to anything that may still be on our fruit after a good wash and dry. Also if your stomach is sensitive to grease or chili this may be a cause for loose stools after a visit to Mexico. Much of the food has a lot of both but you can get very healthy meals here to.
I hope this helped a little and if anyone not from here has questions please ask and if anyone from here has some extra input please comment, its always welcome.


  1. When we were about to make the move to Mexico, I asked Hubby about Moctezuma's Revenge...and he had no idea what I was talking about. I told him the whole story and he had never heard it. Hubby went to college (University) in Ciudad Juarez, so I was sure he must have heard about it. Hubby just chalked the whole story up to Gringos having a wild imagination. I've never asked my in-law's about it, but I'm going to today.

    I wonder what Bob has to say about Moctezuma's Revenge.

    Nick was the only one of us that didn't get sick when we moved here because I was still nursing him. :)

  2. Did you or your girls get any special shots before moving to Mexico? I've heard mixed opinions about whether to get shots or not.

  3. Mexicobound that is to be my next post. Give me a bit and Ill get it up. But as a short answer, no nothing out of the norm (meaning Alanas childhood ones and the yearly flu one).
    Leslie that is funny about your husband, I hadn't really heard it from any Mexicans until my Tia brought it up the other day. And so funny about Bob because I was hoping he would add some insight to the history, I didn't do much reading mainly just said what I know from stories Iv heard. So bring it on Bob. ;)