Health & Wellness

How To Recover (Well) From Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis: It is not severe, but the symptoms are bothersome and debilitating. If you know what to eat (and what not) just the following days you will cope better. Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramps, general discomfort, and fever are the typical signs of gastroenteritis.

Most of the time, it is due to a virus. However, a bacterial infection can also be caused by overeating, eating the wrong food (food poisoning) or, because a particular one feels bad (intolerance).

If diarrhea contains traces of blood or is accompanied by a high fever, a doctor should be consulted.

To alleviate it and avoid complications, we suggest a plan in 4 phases that do not fail.

1. First Phase

During the first 12-24 hours, it is advisable to fast and, above all, rehydrate to replace the fluids and electrolytes lost with vomiting and diarrhea.

The ideal for rehydration is to take oral serums (you can buy them at the pharmacy). However, it is also useful to drink liquids with mineral salts (alkaline lemonade, a homemade oral serum), unsweetened infusions (chamomile with green anise works well to reduce nausea) or water with a few drops of lemon. About two liters should be ingested. For this, a guideline to follow is to take about two tablespoons every 5 minutes.

2. Second Stage

  • After 12-24 hours, you can start eating little by little. But after spending a day without taking anything substantial, it is best to start eating a skimmed yogurt rich in bifidobacteria (it helps restore intestinal flora damaged by diarrhea and is easily digestible).
  • If tolerated well, the next meal could be boiled white rice with chicken.

3. Third Phase

  • After the digestive rest period, there may be less discomfort, but there is a lack of appetite. It is advisable not to force the machine because it can get worse again.
  • It is time to introduce a bland diet spread over several frequent meals and small servings, with easy-to-digest and astringent foods (white rice, cooked potato and carrot, crispbread, baked ham, omelet well curdled, chicken breast and boiled white fish or The iron).
  • As for the fruits, stick with the banana and the quince. Grated apple and pear, stewed or roasted, also calm the stomach.

4. Fourth Phase

  • You can now go back to normal. When the evolution of gastroenteritis is favorable (usually 3 or 4 days are enough), you should start to “eat normally,” but with common sense, that is, gently.

To hydrate yourself, avoid isotonic drinks.

  • Recover the vegetables avoiding the flatulent ones (cabbages, raw onion) and introducing nuts, whole grains, and legumes.

5. The Oral Serum Recipe

The home oral serum is prepared with:

  • 1 liter of water.
  • 2 tbsp. of sugar.
  • 1 teaspoon salt.
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
  • The juice of 2 lemons.

6. Frequent Mistakes When Recovering From Gastroenteritis

Sometimes they are usually committed, thinking that they can alleviate the symptoms, but it is not.

  • Commercial isotonic drinks. They are used as an alternative to serums, but they are not advisable, especially in children and the elderly.

    Drink water with a pinch of lemon, no more

  • Self-medicate. Except when the doctor indicates it, it is a mistake to resort to taking antibiotics or antidiarrheals. Dietary measures are enough.
  • Eat everything before time. After 24 hours, there may be no discomfort, but you have to eat the following days softly to avoid irritating the stomach.

7. Beware of Excess Fiber

Does not suit you. Even if you notice that you are already quite well, during the first 5 days, avoid fruits with plenty of fiber such as kiwis or plums so as not to activate the intestinal transit much. Don’t drink coffee either.

8. Eating Ideas

a. Day 1

  • 2 liters of oral serum or alkaline lemonade.

b. Day 2

  • Breakfast: Chamomile without sweetening. Yogurt.
  • Mid-morning: Chamomile tea.
  • Food: White rice cooked with lemon. Grilled chicken. Roasted apple.
  • Snack: Chamomile. Yogurt.
  • Dinner: Carrot and white rice soup. Steamed hake with lemon. Chamomile.

c. Day 3

  • Breakfast: infusion of lemon balm. Yogurt.
  • Mid-morning: White bread toast with quince jelly.
  • Food: Mashed potatoes and carrots. Steamed whiting. Banana.
  • Snack: Chamomile. White bread with york ham.
  • Dinner: Leek and carrot soup. Tortilla. Yogurt.

d. Day 4

  • Breakfast: Infusion. Whole wheat toast with applesauce.
  • Mid-morning: Yogurt.
  • Food: Vegetables with rice. Chicken with zucchini. Peach.
  • Snack: Infusion. Fresh cheese bread.
  • Dinner: Vegetable Wok. Sardines with potato. Banana.
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