Top nutrition tips for speedier recovery from gastric flu
The reason for my almost 2 week absence is Gastroenteritis - what a scary bug! It is usually caused by viruses or bacteria, and when the source of such infection is contaminated food, it is called food poisoning. Gastroenteritis (say: gas-tro-en-tuh-RYE-tus) may also be referred to as "gastric flu" or "stomach flu." Many of my family members came down with this bug one by one during and after our vacation. My children caught the bug too and it is the worst nightmare! Having to cope with the young ones vomiting everywhere and running to the loo frequently is horrifying. I had to act fast to help them recover or at least alleviate their symptoms.
After visiting the family doctor and starting on the medication, the first thing I did was to ensure they are well hydrated. My 7 year old couldn’t stomach anything food at all, so I gave him some diluted Ribena and sports drink (non carbonated) in small amounts (sips) throughout the day. This will help replace the electrolytes he has lost and give him some ‘energy’. Note that diarrhea may be worsened by acidic fruit juices and soft drinks.
Next, reduce the amount of dairy in the diet. When down with diarrhea, there may be a lack of the enzyme lactase to digest “milk sugars” in diary, this can result in further symptoms of gas, bloating, nausea and diarrhea. My girls are milk lovers and it was hard to tell them that their 'comfort food' milk is out of bounds. Cranky fussing turned into melt-downs and I relented. They were offered diluted milk and soya milk at half the portion of their usual feed. Fortunately, they took it down well.
Have light and bland meals only! Foods with a high fat content can speed up intestinal contractions and cause a reaction to a system that is already sensitized. Therefore, avoid fried, greasy and creamy foods. Having small amounts of food like bread, steamed potato, chicken broth or rice porridge throughout the day is ideal. Avoid fruits and vegetables that can cause gas, such as broccoli, peppers, beans, peas, berries, prunes, chickpeas, green leafy vegetables, and corn.
I am so glad the 'storm' is over. Even when they seem to have recovered, do continue to offer probiotics for another week or so to help 'reboot' their system. Probiotics can help fight the bad bacteria and regain a healthy gut microflora. If your baby's formula contains probiotics, that's good enough. You can purchase probiotic drops or pills too. My PD prescribed BioGaia ProTectis® and i trust that the Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis strain of probiotic bacteria works well in our gut as it naturally occurs in our gut and are well adapted to reside our body.
In this holiday and festive season, i wish everyone will keep well and healthy!