Gastroenteritis, commonly known as the stomach flu or ‘gastro’, is a condition that causes inflammation of the stomach and intestines. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. While it can be a challenging to manage, there are several techniques you can use to help alleviate symptoms and get back to feeling like yourself
How to Manage Gastro
1. Stay Hydrated
One of the most important things you can do when dealing with gastroenteritis is to stay hydrated. Vomiting and diarrhea can cause you to lose a lot of fluids, which can lead to dehydration. Make sure to drink plenty of water, clear broths, or electrolyte-rich drinks like sports drinks or coconut water. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sugary drinks, as they can make dehydration worse. If you’re having trouble keeping fluids down, try taking small sips of water or sucking on ice chips throughout the day.
2. Stick to a Bland Diet
When dealing with gastroenteritis, it’s important to give your digestive system a break by sticking to a bland diet. This means avoiding spicy, fatty, or fried foods, as well as dairy products and high-fiber foods. Instead, opt for foods that are easy to digest, such as plain rice, boiled potatoes, toast, and bananas. You can also try drinking clear broths or eating plain crackers. As your symptoms improve, you can gradually reintroduce more complex foods into your diet.
3. Rest and Relax
One of the most important things you can do when managing gastroenteritis is to rest and relax. Your body needs time to recover, and pushing yourself too hard can make your symptoms worse. Make sure to get plenty of sleep and avoid strenuous activities until you start feeling better. You can also try relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to help reduce stress and promote healing. Remember, taking care of yourself is the key to a speedy recovery.
4. Consider Over-the-Counter Medications
Over-the-counter medications can be helpful in managing the symptoms of gastroenteritis. Anti-diarrheal medications like loperamide can help reduce diarrhea, while antacids can help relieve stomach pain and discomfort. It’s important to read the labels and follow the recommended dosages carefully, as overuse of these medications can lead to further complications. Sometimes gastroenteritis can cause a fever so taking panadol can help.
If your symptoms persist or worsen, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional.
5. Seek Medical Attention if Symptoms Persist
While most cases of gastroenteritis can be managed at home with over-the-counter medications and rest, it’s important to seek medical attention if your symptoms persist or worsen. This is especially true if you experience severe abdominal pain, high fever, bloody stools, or dehydration. A healthcare professional can help determine if further treatment, such as antibiotics or intravenous fluids, is necessary. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you need it.