When you develop an infection in your gut caused by bacteria, it is called gastroenteritis. It occurs when there is inflammation in the stomach and intestines.
Sometimes this gastrointestinal infection is known as food poisoning or the stomach flu, also.
Viruses are the most common cause of gastrointestinal infections, but bacterial infections can also cause them. Gastroenteritis can infect you in different ways, as it can be airborne or live on surfaces. You can develop it even when you are careful to disinfect, although disinfecting lowers your risk.
Six signs of gastroenteritis
The symptoms of gastroenteritis vary, but there are some common signs that you can look out for. Since the signs are uncomfortable and can last for a few days, you also need to know some ways to fix them.
If you find yourself not wanting to eat, is a sign of a gastrointestinal infection. You may not feel hungry even when you should be, or the thought of eating may make you nauseous.
2. Nausea and vomiting
Feeling dizzy and vomiting are signs that you have a gastrointestinal infection. If you are already throwing up, then you can be sure that something is happening. These two signs generally go hand in hand and the nausea gets worse until you start vomiting.
Loose or watery stools are known as Diarrhea. If you are experiencing it, you may have an infection. You may also notice that you have to use the bathroom more often when you have diarrhea.
This signal shouldn’t last more than a few days, thankfully, but it’s uncomfortable. Diarrhea can also lead to dehydration, so be sure to stay hydrated.
4. Blood in the stool
Blood in your stool is a sign that bleeding is occurring somewhere in your digestive system. When the blood is due to gastroenteritis, it is likely due to inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
When you have a fever, it is a good indication that something is wrong. A fever means that your body is fighting something. You don’t need to worry about a fever unless it reaches 103 degrees Fahrenheit, and it can last for a few days.
6. Abdominal pain or cramps
If you feel pain between your chest and pelvis, it is considered abdominal pain. Abdominal pain and cramps can be a sign of many things. If you experience it and any other symptoms though it is a good indicator that you have gastroenteritis.
How to relieve gastroenteritis
The most important thing you can do to remedy gastrointestinal infections is to stay hydrated. You must also keep the salt in your body so that it continues to function properly. There are ways you can do this, helping you get better sooner and preventing complications.
1. Drink fluids frequently
Even when you don’t feel like it, you should drinking fluids regularly. If you experience diarrhea or vomiting, it is even more essential that you replenish your fluids.
2. Eat frequently, but only eat a little at a time
It is essential that you eat to keep your nutrients high, but avoid large meals. Overdoing it can make your symptoms worse and it can be difficult to hold onto something. Instead, opt for smaller meals, especially salty snacks.
3. Drink tea to relieve nausea
Certain types of tea can help relieve nausea quickly, but be sure to avoid caffeinated tea. Tea not only relieves nausea, it can also help reduce inflammation. Types that help relieve gastroenteritis symptoms include:
- Ginger tea
- Licorice tea
- Mint tea
- Fennel tea
- camomile tea
- Raspberry leaf tea
- Lemon tea
- Green Tea
- Spearmint tea
4. Increase your potassium intake
When choosing your small snacks, look for foods high in content potassium. Many types of juices contain potassium, as do bananas. Potassium will help you replenish your electrolytes, helping you stay hydrated and feel better.
5. Consume broth and soup
Eating solids is difficult when you are sick, but broths and soups tend to hold up better. It can help replenish some of your lost fluidsand it will give you some food. Add salt to soup or broth to help replenish electrolytes as well.
6. Try ginger or basil
Ginger it can help you fight infection, giving you a chance to get better faster. Plus, it reduces abdominal pain and helps you feel a little more comfortable as you recover. Basil helps calm the stomach and can also prevent future gastrointestinal infections.
7. Consume apple cider vinegar
Similar to the effects of basil, Apple cider vinegar calm your stomach. It also works to strengthen your stomach to fight infection in the future.
You don’t want to drink the vinegar alone, so add two teaspoons to a glass of water. This way, it will be easier to drink and will not make you nauseous. Once you’ve had your glass full, you can expect to feel better pretty quickly.
8. Avoid acidic fruits and vegetables
This advice is not intended to suggest that fruits and vegetables are not good for you. When you are not sick, you need to get enough to get plenty of vitamins and nutrients. On the other hand, if you have a gastrointestinal infection, you will want avoid anything acidic.
Acidic fruits and vegetables can aggravate the problem, make it worse, and slow down the recovery process. Pay attention to what makes your symptoms worse, and be sure to avoid the culprits. Tomatoes are often the culprit, but you may notice that others are causing it as well.
Here are the things that cause this painful stomach condition.
Several things cause gastrointestinal infections. Contaminants found in food products are a leading cause, and foods at risk include:
- dairy products
- Ground beef
Undercooked food, food that is not stored at the proper temperature or food that is not reheated properly can cause infection. Make sure you handle food correctly and follow the proper guidelines to avoid getting sick.
You can also get a gastrointestinal infection from drinking water. While purified water is safe, other waters may not be. Accidentally drinking water from a pool also causes this infection.
Gastrointestinal infection can also occur when the bacteria are passed from one person to another. Transmission occurs by transferring the bacteria on your hands. Everything they touch can become contaminated and possibly infect the next person who touches it.
Wash your hands often to avoid catching the bacteria. Make sure you do a thorough job, especially after using the bathroom.
Another cause of gastroenteritis that many people are not aware of is acidic foods. Citrus fruits like oranges and limes can cause this inflammation, as can tomatoes.
Those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of developing the infection. Therefore, if you have a weak immune system, take extra care and disinfect frequently.
This type is caused by contact with the feces or vomit of an infected person. You may not realize it is coming into contact with your body fluids, but it is more common than you think. Entering a bathroom is one way to get in contact, as there are invisible particles on the surfaces.
Once you touch them, you have come into contact with the virus. From there, you can accidentally touch your face, mouth, or even your cell phone. Therefore, even if you wash your hands, you are still exposed to infection as on other surfaces.
You can also come into contact with the invisible particles if you shake someone’s hand. Also, you never know if a sick person has touched your shopping cart at the supermarket or the door handle at the post office.
The virus can even be transmitted through the air. When a sick person vomits, the invisible particles fly through the air. So you risk breathing them in or touching a surface they landed on.
How to prevent gastroenteritis
Some ways to prevent this infection were mentioned above, such as washing your hands frequently and handling food correctly. However, there are many other ways, including:
- avoid unpasteurized milk
- don’t eat raw or undercooked meat
- avoid raw seafood
- do not use the same cutting board for raw and cooked meat or seafood
- wash all fruits and vegetables
- storing food at the proper temperature
- follow directions when reheating food
- keep your kitchen clean and sanitized
- washing hands after handling animals
- Drink bottled water if you are unsure of the local water source.
Gastroenteritis is uncomfortable and difficult to treat. If you don’t work to get better, complications could appear and make the disease worse.
You will need plenty of fluids and rest to help your body overcome the infection. If you notice any of the signs of gastrointestinal inflammation, do what you can to fix it. It won’t heal overnight, but with personal care you will get through it.