Food poisoning or the stomach flu can make eating difficult. You can speed up your body's recovery by eating the right foods and drinking plenty of fluids. If you have stomach flu or food poisoning, the best way to recover is to prevent dehydration and replace lost fluids and electrolytes. Whether recovering from food poisoning or having the stomach flu, it's important to understand when you should start eating again and what to eat. In this post, I will share which foods and liquids are best for sensitive stomachs and which should be avoided.
There have been times when we have experienced stomach flu or bugs. It is a condition called gastroenteritis, called by both names in layman's terms.
Intestinal infections are caused by viruses that cause inflammation in the gut and stomach. You can take preventive measures to avoid getting sick, but there is no treatment for this viral infection.
The best way to prevent gastroenteritis is to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. In the case of stomach flu, prevention is imperative since it is contagious and usually spreads through contact with another infected person.
Although stomach flu and regular flu share some symptoms, they are two distinct illnesses. Stomach flu symptoms are mainly related to the gastrointestinal tract, as seen in the list below. Additionally, influenza can affect the gastrointestinal tract as well as the respiratory tract.
The following are common symptoms of stomach flu:
One or more of these symptoms may occur concurrently for someone with the stomach flu, as you may have learned from experience.
In contrast to stomach flu, an infection caused by viruses or bacteria, food poisoning is caused by consuming water or food contaminated with those organisms or their toxins.
A variety of contaminants can cause food poisoning, including:
You shouldn't consume raw cookie dough for a good reason because raw eggs contaminated with salmonella or flour contaminated with E. coli can lead to food poisoning. Raw, undercooked, or raw-exposed poultry, meat, seafood, or dairy products can also cause food poisoning. Overcooked fried rice is another common cause of food poisoning.
There are several ways in which bacteria can cause food poisoning, including contaminated water, knives, countertops, or cutting boards. Preventing food poisoning is the best way to avoid it, like preventing stomach flu. Avoiding contaminated food and water is the most obvious measure. Nevertheless, since we often can only detect tainted food once it's too late, it is recommended to be mindful of food and to prepare it properly, clean it, handle it, and store it properly.
As with stomach flu, food poisoning causes similar symptoms. One or more of these symptoms may also occur simultaneously for some people.
There are several common symptoms of food poisoning, including:
The symptoms of stomach flu and food poisoning are similar; how can we distinguish them? A careful look at the patient's background and recent history is one of the main ways to distinguish between the two conditions. When someone gets food poisoning, it is often because they ate contaminated food or food suspected of contamination. The symptoms of food poisoning usually appear within a few hours of eating contaminated food and usually subside within a few days. As far as stomach flu is concerned, it can last up to ten days, depending on what the person is experiencing and how severe it is.
When you suffer from stomach flu or food poisoning, your body needs fluids and food to rebuild strength. Even though you may not feel like eating or drinking, drinking suitable liquids and eating the right foods can help you recover faster. Vomiting and diarrhoea cause your body to lose a lot of fluids, nutrients, and electrolytes. To prevent dehydration, you must replace them.
No matter what illness you're suffering from, whether you're sick or not, if you're vomiting or having diarrhoea (or if you have both simultaneously), the most important thing is to stay hydrated. You should start drinking as soon as your first symptom appears. As long as you can tolerate the drinks, you can drink herbal teas, sports drinks, or Pedialyte. Staying hydrated can be achieved by taking small sips every few minutes.
After food poisoning or stomach bug symptoms (like vomiting and diarrhoea) have subsided, there are no hard and fast rules about when and what to eat. In the end, it's all about what you can handle. There is no one-size-fits-all response to food or the idea of eating again. When you're suffering from stomach flu or food poisoning, losing your appetite is natural. No matter how much diarrhoea you still have, you can start eating again if your appetite returns. Most medical experts do not recommend a restricted diet or fasting when you have diarrhoea. As a result, your body can regain its energy, fluids, nutrients, and electrolytes. Food tolerance will be your gauge.
It may be possible to resume eating after stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhoea have subsided. By reintroducing bland foods, your stomach should be able to digest them easily. A BRAT diet lists recommended foods after stomach flu, food poisoning, or stomach aches. This acronym stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. The blandness of these foods makes them easy to digest. You may find that the high starch content in these foods will help bind your stool together, reducing diarrhoea episodes duration. Compared to other foods, BRAT foods have a short retention time in the stomach.
After you've begun slowly reintroducing bland foods and are ready to eat again, there are additional recommendations beyond the BRAT diet. You may also find these foods helpful in regaining strength and appetite.
Coconut water: Coconut water is an attractive way to drink more water without added sugar. However, it doesn't offer any health benefits over regular water.
Pedialyte: Contains electrolytes, which the body loses when vomiting or diarrhoea occurs, which make it possible for the body to work correctly. Dehydration can be prevented by consuming Pedialyte, which helps replenish electrolytes.
Yoghurt: Milk products may be more difficult to digest because they are not as bland as BRAT foods. If you can tolerate yoghurt, it may be beneficial for your stomach, mainly if it contains probiotics, which aid digestion. Yoghurt is also hydrating since it contains fluids.
Soup/broth: In addition to hydration, these water-based soups and broths can also be used to add natural herbs, such as ginger, fennel, mint, liquorice root, etc., which have natural anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe stomachs and facilitate digestion, as well as serve as a base for adding natural herbs.
Teas: You can take decaffeinated teas to ease your stomach, reduce inflammation, curb nausea, and hydrate your body by using natural homoeopathic ingredients such as peppermint or spearmint, ginger or chamomile.
Crackers/saltines: You can't go wrong with these crackers, as they are bland and gentle on your stomach and contain salt. When you start eating again, salt helps you retain fluids.
Even though doctors generally agree that you can eat whatever your stomach can tolerate, spicy and fatty foods should be avoided. Your stomach can have a harder time digesting these than a bland BRAT diet. Even though dairy products contain probiotics, you may wish to avoid them since they irritate your stomach. A big meal is also not recommended.
If you have trouble handling food, try small meals first to see how your stomach reacts. You should avoid eating foods with strong odours when you're just starting to eat again to prevent nausea and vomiting. It's all about using common sense. If your stomach cannot tolerate certain foods, listen to your body.
Doctors are most concerned about stomach flu, food poisoning, and severe dehydration. Consequently, seeing a doctor is recommended if you can't hold down any fluids. The following are some other warning signs to watch out for. Medical attention may be needed if you experience any of these symptoms:
Consult your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms or are considered a high-risk case. You will likely be asked about your medical history, have a physical exam, and have your stool and blood tested during your visit. All of these will contribute to diagnosing the condition and determining if additional treatment is necessary.
Additional "red flags" to watch for include recently being hospitalised or using antibiotics within the past six months. If you experience these symptoms, you might suffer from a C. diff bacterial infection.
Symptoms of this infection can include severe abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fever, and nausea. When antibiotics are taken, this infection can develop. If you experience any of these symptoms or indicators, you should talk to your doctor.
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