FAMILY HEALTH

Gastroenteritis And Its Home Remedies read

Mar 09 2022

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Gastroenteritis is an intestinal infection that causes vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhoea. Also known as stomach flu, this infection is highly contagious and can be transmitted from the infected person to the non-infected person or from consuming contaminated water and food.

In most cases of gastroenteritis, people recover within a few days without any medical intervention. If your immune system is slow, the infection vanishes without any complications. However, people who fall in high-risk categories can develop a severe condition. In areas where people don’t have any access to healthcare facilities, gastroenteritis has also been the reason for a large number of deaths.

In this article, we are going to recommend some home remedies that can help you treat gastroenteritis.

Home Remedies For Stomach Flu

Generally, the virus that causes gastroenteritis takes its own time to pass. But you can control the symptoms and get some relief with the help of home remedies. Down below, we have mentioned some easy home remedies:

  • Take Rest

The easiest way to offer relief to your aching body is to get some rest. Even a mild case of gastroenteritis can be really exhausting. To ensure that your body gets as much energy as possible to fight the viral infection, you have to take a rest.

Taking bed rest will channel your energy to the immune system, and your cells will also repair quickly. While a good night’s sleep every night is essential, it is better that you also take rest during the daytime.

  • Take More Carbs

The upset stomach makes it hard to keep down the food. In fact, patients often cringe even at the thought of having food when they are suffering from gastroenteritis. In such a case, starting with a diet that is simple and easy on the stomach is the best way to get energy.

Carbs can be easily digested by the stomach during gastroenteritis. This is the reason why doctors suggest patients to take the BRAT diet which includes banana, rice, applesauce, and toast. Not only do these foods contain carbs, but they also have additional nutrients like potassium and pectin.

  • Get Fluids

The symptoms of gastroenteritis such as vomiting, sweating, and diarrhoea lead to dehydration. Infected people also lose their appetite which further adds to the problem. Without enough water, the body can not properly recover. In no time, you will start showing symptoms of complications such as headache, dizziness, dry mouth, and tiredness.

The obvious solution to this problem is drinking plenty of liquid. If water is too plain for you, you can also take electrolyte solutions, diluted fruit juices, and so on.

Do not take coffee as it can unsettle your stomach, disrupt the sleep cycle, and hence will cause a delay in recovery. Alcohol should also be avoided if you are diagnosed with gastroenteritis. Every type of alcoholic drink is actually a diuretic which means that it will eventually reduce the water content from the body.

  • Conscious Eating

A drop in appetite is one of the major symptoms of this infection. In such a condition, conscious and slow eating can help you aid recovery. We have also talked about what kind of liquids you should take for hydrations. Other than that, you can have small meals until the appetite becomes normal.

Doctors suggest that one should eat eggs, pasta, and rice in low amounts. Food with excess fibre should be avoided during gastroenteritis as it can further loosen your bowels. You should also avoid spicy dishes, fatty foods, and tomato-based foods and soups as they can worsen diarrhoea.

Avoid These Foods

Just like some foods alleviate the symptoms, other foods can actually worsen your condition. If you are suffering from gastroenteritis, you should avoid the following food:

  • Dairy products can worsen diarrhoea, especially for people who are lactose intolerant.
  • Greasy, fatty foods aggravate the upset stomach and cause loose stools. You should try to avoid fatty foods for a few days even after the infection ends.
  • Hot spices such as garlic, hot pepper, and chilli shall be avoided as they can stimulate the digestive tract and cause loose stools. In addition to the hot nature of spices, most spicy foods are cooked in oil which further increases the chances of upsetting your stomach.
  • Foods with citric acid such as tomato, orange, citrus juices can cause acid reflux and irritate the stomach.
  • Gluten, a very common protein found in grains such oats, rye, and wheat, can cause stomach pain and bloating. People who are sensitive to gluten should avoid it until the infection passes.
  • It is best to eat only home-cooked food during gastroenteritis as pre-packaged foods contain a number of ingredients that can upset the stomach. A few examples of such symptoms-aggravating ingredients are artificial colours, preservatives, fat, and a high amount of sugar.

When To Seek Medical Intervention

Gastroenteritis gets cured with home remedies most of the time. However, in some cases, the infection persists and the symptoms aggravate. In such a condition, it is better to consult a doctor rather than treat your condition by yourself. Seek medical intervention if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever more than 101 /persistent mild fever more than 3 days
  • Consistent vomiting
  • Either blood or pus coming in the stools
  • Diarrhoea for more than two days
  • Drowsiness
  • Pain

Symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea might appear on the very first day of gastroenteritis. You can try to alleviate these symptoms for the first two days. If the symptoms last longer than that, you must seek medical advice immediately. In the case of infants, you shouldn’t even wait for two days. Take them to the hospital as soon as you detect symptoms such as high fever and pus in the stools.

Summing It Up

Gastroenteritis will take its time to pass. But in the meantime, one can use a number of home remedies to get some relief. If these home remedies don’t lead to relief, you should consult your doctor immediately.

Ref. Links:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/viral-gastroenteritis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20378852

https://www.medicinenet.com/stomach_flu_natural_and_home_remedies/article.htm

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/310481

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