What is gastroenteritis?
Gastroenteritis, also called ‘gastro’, is a common illness that can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. Many types of gastro can be easily spread and therefore the most important things to do first is stay at home and message your loved ones advising your house is in lock down to help reduce the risk of it spreading.
What can you do when you get gastroenteritis?
One of the most important things is to keep hydrated. When you have gastro, you will most likely vomit numerous times. My first tip is to always sip on water straight after vomiting. Once the vomiting has stopped, you can then start drinking larger amounts of water as your stomach will be more likely to handle it.
You might be used to grabbing Gatorade or Powerade when you have gastro but I have a better option for you. You see, you do need to replace the electrolytes that you have lost however you don’t want to be drinking lots of sugar, colours and preservatives that could irritate your stomach more. Here is a great recipe for an alternative drink to use while you’re recovering.
- 1/2 sliced lemon/lime
- 1/2 sliced orange
- 4 sliced strawberries
- 1 litre water
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp coconut sugar or honey
Often people will continue to experience stomach pains and nausea after the vomiting and diarrhoea have ceased, causing them to not feel hungry. A good option to help reduce nausea and stomach pain is to sip on some cups of ginger or chamomile tea.
Food for gastro?
It is also very important to introduce some food as soon as you can handle it. For a faster recovery, eating food that contains a combination of carbohydrates, fibre, good fats and protein is important. Here are some examples:
- wholegrain bread with avocado
- brown rice crackers with avocado
- boiled brown rice
- steamed fish or chicken
- mashed potato, sweet potato or pumpkin.
Nutrient in the spotlight
There is increasing evidence that our gastrointestinal microbiome is a major regulator of the immune system, not only in the gut but also in other organs. The non-pathogenic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii (SB) has been prescribed in the past 30 years for prophylaxis and treatment of diarrhoea diseases caused by bacteria. SB is a probiotic that is backed by a pretty impressive amount of evidence when it comes to helping with gastroenteritis and diarrhoea. Below are some studies which have looked at SB and diarrhoea.
A meta-analysis based on 5 RCTs (619 participants) indicated that SB significantly reduces the duration of acute childhood diarrhoea and the risk of prolonged diarrhoea compared with control [Szajewska et al. 2007]. A meta-analysis of seven RCTs (944 participants) showed a reduction in the duration of acute childhood diarrhoea by approximately one day in those treated with SB compared with placebo [Szajewska and Skorka, 2009]. These studies indicate that SB may be an effective adjunct therapy in managing acute gastroenteritis in children.
**Seek a naturopath for a practitioner only supplement and guidance on correct dosage and time frames. You can book an appointment with me here!
Allow yourself the time to rest and recover. Make sure you take enough time off work/school/commitments to ensure that you’re not rushing back and pushing yourself too early.