Gastroenteritis is one of the most common types of bacterial stomach infections, and it affects a few thousand people every year all over the world. It’s what people commonly refer to as “stomach flu” even though it’s not part of the group of conditions that make up the actual flu virus, but a separate condition that you are most likely to pick up from contaminated food.
Sometimes also referred to as “gastro”, the condition can cause nausea, vomiting and violent diarrhea that could lead to very quick dehydration and might lead to further complications. Properly treated, gastroenteritis isn’t a life-threatening condition – and can be controlled and managed at home in most diagnosed cases until the symptoms go away.
The home treatment of gastroenteritis can ensure the symptoms are easier to deal with for the approximate 5-8 days most gastroenteritis infections will last for.
Here are 14 home cures for gastroenteritis that can help to control the condition and relieve the worst of the most common symptoms you are likely to experience.
Hydration is the single most important factor to think about if you have contracted a condition like gastroenteritis: Any condition that causes rapid dehydration can turn into one that’s extremely dangerous to the body if the same fluids lost aren’t replaced as soon as possible – and this is something that can be done at home, but something that should be considered the single most important priority for getting through the worst of the symptoms.
Most of what can cure gastroenteritis is to bind an upset stomach, to control vomiting and nausea and to replace the fluids that are lost with the right electrolyte-and-fluid balance. If this doesn’t work a few days into the infection, give up the thought of home treatment and see your doctor if your symptoms don’t let up once you’ve tried most of the methods.
Hydration should include enough to replace lost fluids, and enough to help the body recover as the infection works its way through the body.
2. Avoiding Risk Factors
Avoid potential risk factors or aggravates when you have contracted a stomach-related condition such as gastroenteritis.
There are many things that can make your symptoms worse, including physical activity when you should be getting much-needed rest, not sticking to the recommended diet for gastroenteritis or not following the hydration requirements your body needs to get through a serious infection.
Start avoiding risk factors the moment you experience the first symptoms of any condition that might be gastroenteritis or something similar. Usually, this is nausea, vomiting, reduction in appetite or a sudden fever (and can be all of these symptoms combined at once).
Make sure you hydrate very well for the duration of the infection and stay away from any type of food that’s going to trigger vomiting, nausea or stomach upsets. This includes anything spicy and will include most types of solid foods for the duration of a gastroenteritis infection.
3. Electrolyte Solution
Electrolytes are the salts and minerals (such as magnesium) that the body needs for its most essential functions. These are one of the first things that your body will lose when you are battling an infection such as gastroenteritis, usually through associated symptoms of the condition like vomiting and diarrhea.
It’s one of the reasons why dehydration has to be watched very carefully in anyone who gets sick, and this tends to be generally true for most conditions that cause dehydration and not just gastroenteritis.
Losing too many electrolytes can lead to further physical issues like muscle cramps and spasms, and it could also lead to further issues like heart problems that can turn the infection into something fatal.
Replace electrolytes with a combination of salt, sugar, and water: This and a combination of the right fruit juice can replace enough of it in the body.
4. Turmeric and Cinnamon
Turmeric and cinnamon is one of the most ancient health drinks out there and it’s been used by several different civilizations for several thousand years: It’s done because turmeric is one of the best possible ingredients you can take to boost your immunity in a natural way – and it can be one of the best ways to calm down an upset stomach if you are battling the symptoms of an infection like gastroenteritis.
The combination of turmeric and cinnamon contains essential ingredients that are very well known to bind the stomach: Add ginger for a stronger, more instant effect if you’re currently experiencing nausea and the drink is likely to take care of it for a while.
In addition to this, turmeric and cinnamon are the kind of natural health drink that can help you to get through the symptoms of a general infection faster, better and with less discomfort.
5. Honey Drinks
Honey is one of the best natural antibiotics known to mankind, and there is still money being spent on research to find out why – and how many more benefits it could hold for human health and longevity from there. There are thousands of different concoctions and recipes out there for better health that includes honey, and it’s with very good reason: Honey is healthy, and honey can help your body to combat moderate infections and conditions like gastroenteritis with a lot of success.
A spoon of honey can do a lot for your health, especially if you have gastroenteritis. It’s one way to calm down an upset stomach, give your body a vitamin boost and improve your overall immune system at the same time: This combination of things (especially when you’re using several methods from this list) can help you to feel better when you have gastroenteritis faster.
Honey can be used on its own or combined with several methods listed here including the use of teas and other herbal blends.
6. (The Right) Fruit Juice
Hydration is one of thy most important things that you can do when your body has taken a recent knock from illness or if you’re currently battling the symptoms of any conditions or illnesses right now – especially ones like gastroenteritis that might dehydrate the body faster than one can normally replenish.
One of the vital things to remember as you go through the symptoms of gastroenteritis is hydration: But it doesn’t just have to be limited to water – and in fact, for the best results when it comes to your health, it shouldn’t be.
There are many different types of fruit juice that your body can benefit from, including apple juice, for the mineral and vitamin benefit and for the added boost and hydration benefit. Choose neutral types, and avoid juices that are too acidic (like orange and grapefruit) or ones that act as diuretics and might dehydrate the body further, like cranberry juice.
7. A Temporary Liquid Diet
A temporary liquid diet is recommended for many gastrointestinal conditions, many general stomach upsets and many post-surgical recovery routines: This is because the use of a liquid diet for a few days (and the slow introduction of solid for the next weeks thereafter) can help to restore a “confused”: or ill stomach back to health.
Switch to a diet of clear liquids – ones that you can see through – to get yourself through the worst of the symptoms. Doing this helps your gastrointestinal system to recover for this period by literally not have to deal with solid foods until it is ready: And it could be what your body needs during recovery for a variety of different conditions.
Plans for a recommended, basic liquid diet can be found on the internet; This shouldn’t last for too long, and the introduction to solids is usually slow and worked into the diet plan in a way that makes sense for the body.
8. Avoid Dairy
Other than the handful of things that you can do for yourself at home to relieve the symptoms of gastroenteritis, there are also other things you can do along with this to support your body and the healing process while you are battling the disease. This can mean that the symptoms are easier to deal with for the duration of the infection, and it might even mean that you recover from the infection faster than you would have without this supportive treatment routine.
Some things are to be included in your diet: Anything high in vitamins and minerals, and anything that helps you to hydrate is essential.
But then there are the things that are recommended to be avoided if you have gastroenteritis, related stomach infection or oftentimes related conditions like Crohn’s Disease and IBS.
One of the first things that it’s recommended to avoid when you have a stomach condition is dairy: Even if you aren’t allergic to dairy, it can have very adverse effects on an already-upset stomach, including making your symptoms a lot worse.
9. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a good thing to keep around the house: It can be used in many different recipes to add a bit of a bite, it can be used to make certain types of herbal tinctures, and it can be used to restore the natural pH balance of the stomach – and the last reason is exactly why a bit of apple cider vinegar added to water can be one of the best things that you do if you’re trying to relieve the symptoms of an upset stomach or battling an infection like gastroenteritis.
Nausea and vomiting are two of the common gastroenteritis symptoms that will last for the entire duration of the infection: These are also some of the symptoms that can cause dehydration the quickest, and controlling nausea (and the subsequent vomiting fits that they might cause)
Apple cider vinegar is a great, quick and natural way to help control nausea or an upset stomach in a pinch: It can also help your stomach to recover its natural healthy bacteria during the first few days to weeks after the infection has taken place.
10. Trying Rice Water
Rice water is a concept that a lot of people aren’t familiar with, to begin with, and even more, people don’t realize it can be practically useful for your health.
When you’re battling gastroenteritis, the stomach doesn’t want to handle much – and vomiting with attempts to consume food are common, but can be one of the most dangerous symptoms due to the nutrient loss and dehydration it causes (and the speed at which it can cause this).
Rice water can be one way to introduce a clear liquid diet, and it can be a way to calm down the stomach to the point where nausea can be controlled. It’s simple, and can be bought or made with simple instructions: It can also be one of the best things to resort to when you feel that an infection – particularly of the stomach – is getting your body down.
One can’t live on rice water alone: Remember to hydrate through other methods and use other tips mentioned on this list for the best possible effect in taking care of gastroenteritis fast.