Gastroenteritis is an intestinal infection that is usually caused by the consumption of contaminated food, causing symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting, as well as fever and headache in the most severe cases. Because it causes vomiting and diarrhea, it is very important to increase water consumption during the day, to avoid possible dehydration.
The foods in the diet of someone with gastroenteritis must have a low fiber content and, therefore, it is advisable that vegetables be consumed preferably cooked and fruits without skin. In addition, eating foods that can irritate the intestines such as coffee or pepper should be avoided, and foods should be prepared in the simplest possible way.
The foods that must be consumed must be easy to digest to let the stomach and intestine rest to speed recovery from the disease, such as:
- Cooked fruits suchas apples and peeled pear, green banana, peach or guava;
- Steamedand shelled vegetables such as carrots, zucchini, eggplant or pumpkin;
- Non-whole grains, such as white rice, white pasta, farofa, tapioca;
- Boiled potatoesand mashed potatoes;
- Natural yogurtand white cheese, such as curd or ricotta;
- Low-fat meats, such as skinless chicken or turkey, white fish;
- Soupsof vegetables and vegetables strained;
- Soothing teaslike chamomile and lemon balm, with ginger.
In addition to food, it is important to drink plenty of fluids to maintain hydration and replace the water lost in diarrhea or vomiting. In addition to pure water, you can use strained teas and juices consumed in small quantities throughout the day. See how to prepare homemade serum .
How to stay hydrated
Due to intense vomiting and diarrhea, gastroenteritis can cause severe dehydration, especially in babies and children. Thus, it is important to be aware of possible signs of dehydration such as decreased frequency of urination, crying without tears, dry lips, irritability and drowsiness, for example. See other possible symptoms of dehydration .
To replace liquids lost through diarrhea and vomiting, water, coconut water, soups, teas or juices should be ingested. In addition, to replace lost minerals, you should give homemade serum or oral rehydration salts, which can be purchased at the pharmacy.
In the case of children, the amount of serum or rehydration salts that they want to drink should be given right after the bowel movement, as the body will produce a feeling of thirst to replace the water it has lost. Even if your child does not appear to be dehydrated, you should at least offer 1/4 to 1/2 cup of serum when you are under 2 years old, or 1/2 to 1 cup if you are over 2 years old, after each evacuation.
If vomiting occurs, rehydration should be started with a small amount, offering 1 teaspoon of serum every 10 minutes for small babies, or 1 to 2 teaspoons (2 teaspoons) every 2 to 5 minutes, for older children. The amount offered can be increased gradually every 15 minutes, ensuring that the child can tolerate well, without vomiting.
In adults, on the other hand, to replace the amount of fluids, one should drink the same amount of serum according to what is lost in the feces or vomiting.
Foods banned during gastroenteritis are those that are difficult to digest and that encourage greater movement in the stomach and intestine, such as:
- Coffeeand other caffeinated foods, such as cola, chocolate and green, black and mate teas;
- Fried foods, as excess fat can cause diarrhea;
- Foods that produce gases, such as beans, lentils, eggs and cabbage;
- Raw and leafy vegetables, as they are rich in fiber that can cause abdominal bloating and diarrhea;
- Foods rich in fiber, such as bread, pasta or whole grain biscuit;
- Laxative fruits, such as papaya, plum, avocado and fig;
- Seedslike chia and flaxseed, as they accelerate intestinal transit;
- Oilseeds, such as chestnuts, peanuts and nuts, as they are rich in fat and can cause diarrhea;
- Processedand high-fat meats such as sausage, sausage, ham, bologna and bacon.
- Blue fish, such as salmon, sardines or trout;
- Dairy products, such as cheese, milk, butter, condensed milk, sour cream or margarine.
In addition, you should avoid hot sauces, industrial sauces, bechamel or mayonnaise, pepper, as well as fast or frozen foods. See other tips for treating diarrhea:
Gastroenteritis Diet Menu
The following table shows an example of a 3-day menu to treat gastroenteritis crisis:
|Meal||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|Breakfast||1 glass of guava juice + 3 toast with curd||chamomile and ginger tea + 1 small tapioca with white cheese||1 plain yogurt + 1 slice of bread with white cheese|
|Morning snack||1 cooked apple||1 glass of strained orange juice||1 mashed banana with 1 spoon of oats|
|Lunch dinner||shredded chicken soup with potato and carrot||mashed potatoes with ground beef||well-cooked white rice with chicken and boiled vegetables|
|Afternoon snack||orange peel tea with ginger + 1 slice of bread with white cheese||1 banana + 3 toast with curd||1 glass of apple juice + 1 5 crackers|
In addition to being careful in your diet, it may also be necessary to use probiotic drugs to replenish the intestinal flora and accelerate the recovery of the intestine. See examples of probiotic supplements .