Gastroenteritis and diet

Gastroenteritis and diet

Małgorzata Kruk (MPharm)

 Gastroenteritis (stomach flu) causes difficulties for the digestive system which is attacked by rotaviruses. The viruses reproduce in the cells of the mucous membrane of the gastrointestinal tract. They subsequently damage them and lead to the emergence of troublesome symptoms: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhoea.

In such a situation, treatment is extremely important but one has to also follow a proper diet to help the body fight the infection.

Your diet during gastroenteritis should be, above all, light. In the first days, try to eat small portions of overcooked rice, gruel boiled in water and some fruit: apples and bananas (containing starch). Avoid fatty products because they may intensify the diarrhoea. When symptoms of gastroenteritis ease off, you can introduce boiled vegetables or meat to your diet. Remember to reduce the consumption of dairy products during diarrhoea and vomiting because these can intensify the problems.

The diet of a young child is very similar during gastroenteritis. Remember that from the 4th month you can start feeding the child rice and pureed carrot.

Regular hydration of the body is also key when treating gastroenteritis (drinking light tea, herbal teas, water, and juices) in order to prevent dehydration as a result of vomiting and diarrhoea. You may also use ready-made electrolytes, available in sachets, to prepare nutritious drinks.

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This information is provided for your reference only and it is not to be relied upon on its own as instructions for use of this medication. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Other than liability for death or personal injury arising out of our negligence, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise.

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