Pathogens such as viruses and bacteria cause inflammation in the lining of the stomach causing gastroenteritis. It is commonly called stomach flu. The disease can spread through contaminated food and water or by an infected patient. Norovirus is the most common cause of Gastroenteritis but it may also be caused by E. Coli and salmonella. Salmonella and campylobacter are present in undercooked meat and eggs or milk. Salmonella can also spread through live poultry. Interestingly, there are some unusual ways of getting the disease like drinking heavy metals in water, eating too much acidic food, eating seafood with toxins, or from medicines such as antibiotics, laxatives, and antacids.
The symptoms of Gastroenteritis include water diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, fever, cramping, headache, and nausea. Prolonged diarrhea and vomiting cause dehydration which leads to dry skin and mouth and thirst.
Here are a few home remedies to treat Gastroenteritis.
Apple Cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar is an excellent solution for stomach flu. It is an excellent antimicrobial agent that can work against E. coli and reduce the symptoms of gastroenteritis. Just take a tablespoon full of RAW apple cider vinegar and added to a cup of warm water. Take this drink once a day until your symptoms are improved. You can also but apple cider vinegar gummies and take 1 every day. They are flavourful in taste and offer numerous benefits.
Stomach flu can disturb the gut flora and probiotic yogurt can help in restoring it. It decreases inflammation in the lining of the stomach and intestine and is also beneficial for non-inflammatory gastroenteritis. If you are lactose intolerant you should not go for probiotic yogurt. However, if there is no problem, you can take a bowl of probiotic yogurt every day until your situation gets better.
Honey is a solution to many health problems. It is an excellent anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent which is why it can speed up the recovery from gastroenteritis and reduces the symptoms quickly. Take 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey and added to one cup of water. Mix it well and take it once a day. It is a great solution to prevent dehydration so if you like the taste you can take this for 2 to 3 times a day as well.
Research has proven that Ginger has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which are very helpful in treating stomach issues. Ginger can reduce inflammatory symptoms of gastroenteritis. Take a slice of ginger and add it to a cup of water now bring it to boil and simmer it for a few minutes. Take ginger tea twice a day to increase its effectiveness.
Turmeric contains curcumin which is under study for its incredible anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The gastroprotective properties of curcumin help in reducing the inflammation of the stomach and intestine lining. Make sure to take turmeric with something fatty like milk. Take a teaspoon of turmeric powder and add it to a glass of warm milk. Drink the mixture after mixing it well and take it once a day.
Peppermint is a popular herb used to treat an upset stomach. It relieves the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion. You can just buy a peppermint gum and chew it to calm down the stomach. You can also take it in the form of tea. Add a few leaves of peppermint to water along with some honey. Bring it to boil and let it simmer. Take it twice a day until your symptoms get better.
Eat bland foods
When your stomach is not doing well, go for bland foods that can be digested easily. Avoid undercooked and raw food. Take well-cooked fruits, vegetables, lean meat, chicken, rice, and gelatine. Avoid eating spicy foods and red meat which takes a lot of effort and time to be digested and can add to the inflammatory response of the stomach.
Rice water is a reliable remedy for treating water diarrhea. It is high in electrolytes and is suitable for infants as well. Boil the rice and take out excess water. Let it cool and take it after every visit to the toilet. Rice water contains antioxidants like vitamin A and C, phenolic and flavonoid compounds which aid the stomach function and reduce the symptoms of stomach flu.
Cinnamon is an aromatic herb with a diverse range of health benefits. It is a great antioxidant, anti-inflammatory agent and has incredible antimicrobial properties. It can speed up the recovery from gastroenteritis. Take a cinnamon stick and added to a cup of water along with a teaspoon of honey. Bring it to boil and simmer it for a few minutes and drink it warm. Take this mixture 1 to 2 times a day. The combined effect of honey and cinnamon will reduce the symptoms of the disease quickly and effectively.
Chamomile is a popular relaxant that can help in easing the symptoms of gastrointestinal health issues such as vomiting and diarrhea. It is also used for improving sleep patterns in patients suffering from insomnia. Take a spoonful of chamomile tea and added to a hot cup of water. Let it sit and drink the warm mixture 1 to 2 times a day.
Lemon is an excellent solution for gastroenteritis which is caused by norovirus. It is a natural source of citrate and can reduce vomiting and diarrhea in patients of gastroenteritis. Take a lemon and squeeze its juice into a glass of water. Mix it well and take it once a day. Lemon also promotes hydration which is very helpful in fighting vomiting and diarrhea. It boosts immunity because of the high quantity of Vitamin C and aids in the digestion process.
Green bananas contain pectin that helps in reducing symptoms like diarrhea. It is also a rich source of fiber which helps in controlling in regulating the bowel movements. Take an unripe banana and some water. Boil the banana with its skin and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Allow it to cool down and remove the skin now match the fruit and add some salt to make it a little tasty. You can take this 1 to 2 days until the symptoms are reduced. If you don’t have green bananas, simply go for ripped bananas. They are also rich in fiber and help in reducing the bowel movement.
Over the counter remedies for gastroenteritis
There are many over the counter helps available to treat the symptoms of gastroenteritis. You can take these medications for quick relief. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
Buy a heating pad to seek relief from abdominal cramps caused by inflammation in the lining of the stomach.
For pain relief, take Tylenol instead of aspirin. Like other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, aspirin can also upset the stomach.
Viral gastroenteritis can be treated by taking a probiotic supplement of lactobacillus. It will help in reducing watery diarrhea. It is also present in natural sources such as yogurt and low-fat cheese.
The deficiency of zinc in the body can increase the severity of the symptoms. Zinc supplements are a quick way to fulfill the body needs. Zinc is also found in natural sources such as poultry, oysters, chickpeas, and nuts.
Acupressure is a great way to trigger points to relieve vomiting and nausea. Massage on the pressure point p6 on the inner side of the wrist.
How to prevent gastroenteritis?
It is better to be safe than sorry. There are many ways to prevent the disease such as:
Drink lots of fluid including water and juices to prevent dehydration
To save children from stomach flu, get them vaccinated against rotavirus.
Wash your hands before a meal or after using the washroom.
Do not use share utensils as they may have been used by an infected person.
Try to avoid drinking cold water.
It would be best if you don’t send your child to the Day Care Centre until he or she recovers from the disease. Do the same if any other child at the Day Care Centre is suffering from the disease.
Take care of your health and your immune system so that it can fight against the viruses or bacteria which can cause the disease. Sleep for enough hours and take frequent breaks from your hectic routine. Pay close attention to your diet and eat healthy food containing good fats and essential minerals and vitamins. Deficiency of essential micronutrients can endanger the body making it easy prey for the pathogens seeking a habitat.
To avoid getting infected from viruses and bacteria, it would be best if you take all precautions and maintain good hygiene. In case your stomach is not working properly, be careful with your diet and try these simple natural remedies to ease off the symptoms. However, if your stomach condition is coupled with any other health issue, make sure to consult your doctor and discuss your home remedy plan with him/her.