Stomach infection or viral gastroenteritis is marked by nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, watery diarrhoea and sometimes fever. The most common way of falling prey to stomach infection is by coming in contact with either an infected person or consuming contaminated food or water. Following practices such as maintaining hand hygiene can prevent stomach infection symptoms such as diarrhoea from spreading through touch. Using products such as Dettol hand wash is highly advisable to keep bacteria and germs away.
Stomach Infection Symptoms
Gastroenteritis, also known stomach flu isn’t the same as common flu. Influenza affects the respiratory systems while on the other hand, stomach flu attacks the intestines and causes symptoms including:
- Severe pain and cramps in the abdomen
- Vomiting, nausea or both
- Non-bloody and watery stool
- Occasional headache accompanied by low-grade fever
Of all, diarrhoea is one of the most uncomfortable stomach infection symptoms. So, how to prevent diarrhoea?
It’s the 21st century, and we are equipped more than ever to tackle diseases and illnesses caused by the spread of germs. From a health perspective, hand-hygiene plays a vital role in protecting from disease-causing microbes that can lead to diarrhoea. So, what becomes important? Washing hands using Dettol hand wash or carrying a Dettol hand sanitizer to maintain hand hygiene even while on the go.
Precautionary steps like eating properly cooked meals and washing hands go a long way in keeping stomach infection and its symptoms at bay.
Common Causes of Diarrhoea
Infection in the gastrointestinal tract during the time of stomach flu is the cause of diarrhoea in most cases. Viruses, bacteria and parasitic organisms are the microbes responsible for this infection. The most commonly identified bacteria include Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, and Shiga-toxin-producing Escherichia coli or E.coli.
Further, a viral infection caused by rotavirus or norovirus can also be the cause of chronic diarrhoea. Viral infection cannot be treated with antibiotics; hence, it is advised to protect against this infection by following hygienic practices. Food intolerance and allergies are another cause of diarrhoea. Lack of enzymes that are required to digest a particular food causes intolerance towards them. For example, when the body lacks the ability to digest sugars in milk, the body becomes intolerant towards lactose. Consuming intolerant foods can lead to severe diarrhoea and even abdominal cramps and gas.
How to Prevent Diarrhoea and Repeating Episodes?
- Washing hands before and after eating meals, handling garbage and shaking hands with an infected person
- Avoiding the kitchen until the condition gets better
- Storing leftover food immediately in the refrigerator
- Keeping the refrigerator squeaky clean
- Chopping vegetables and meats on separate boards
- Keeping away from uncooked and half cooked meat products
- Finishing ready-to-eat dishes within the time
- Avoiding the consumption of raw food items
Foods That Are Easier on The Stomach During Diarrhoea
When dealing with a bout of diarrhoea, eating the right foods can significantly help in slowing things down. Avoiding food altogether is not the right approach; eating food that’s easy on the stomach is the way to go.
The basic bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast (BRAT) diet is mostly the first choice for those dealing with intestinal problems like diarrhoea. However, if IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is the cause of diarrhoea, this bland diet may not work as its too restrictive.
Bland foods that help diminish the causes of diarrhoea include:
- Boiled potatoes
- Unseasoned crackers
- Plain white rice
- Hot cereals such as rice porridge, cream of wheat, and oatmeal
- Applesauce, only if diarrhoea is not caused by Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Baked, broiled or steamed chicken or lean meat
- Chicken broth
- Pretzels and sports drink
Eating slow and small meals of these foods on the first day of diarrhoea help keep the digestive system from being overworked.
A bland diet will ease out the load on the stomach on the first few days, but it won’t provide the nutrition that is required to stay healthy in the long run. Once the stomach starts to feel better, switching back to a less restrictive diet is advised. Make whole grains, fruits and vegetables an important part of the diet for a quick recovery and drink plenty of water. Instead of hogging on a pizza, stick to soups, white meat and steamed vegetables. Pizza can wait, health won’t.
Keep Yourself Protected
It’s not pleasant to experience stomach infection and its symptoms including diarrhoea. However, when under the influence, make choices that don’t cause any further damage to the digestive system.
If the illness lasts for more than two days and is accompanied by bloody stool and severe abdominal pain, contact a health specialist immediately. Further, a repeated episode of stomach infection may signal an even severe underlying condition. Eat fresh and properly cooked food and practice hand hygiene by washing hands using Dettol hand wash to keep the body away from getting affected with stomach infection and its symptoms.