Published: 12/02/2014 - Updated: 12/31/2017
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
Stomach infections (also known as gastrointestinal infections) are common, especially in hot and humid seasons or environments whereby the predisposition for bacteria, viruses, or parasites, etc., is increased.
Stomach infections can affect both children and adults, and must be treated as quickly as possible in order to prevent the infection from worsening. This could give rise to more severe consequences.
Symptoms of a stomach infection:
- Lack of appetite
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Stomach discomfort
- Intestinal noises (borborygmi)
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal distension
- Lack of energy, feeling extremely tired
- Diarrhea (frequent liquid bowel movements)
- You could have a fever in some cases
- Severe constipation
- If the infection is caused by Salmonella, escherichia coli, and Shigella (bacteria), it could cause bleeding ulcerations as well as diarrhea. Proteins, electrolytes (salts and minerals) and water are lost through this process, which must be immediately replaced.
- If the infection is caused by Giardia (parasitic bacteria). You may not have diarrhea (liquid bowel movement) nor any other symptom. All you may experience is notable weight loss.
Stomach infections could be caused by several factors:
- By viral, bacterial, or intestinal parasite contagions, which penetrate the body through contaminated food and water, primarily from fecal material.
- A weak immune system that is easily attacked by bacteria and viruses.
- Stress, anxiety, and anger could severely decrease the body’s defenses and predispose it to easy contagion.
- Feeling that life is not easily “absorbed” and that it’s hard to “digest”. These are emotional causes that predispose people to stomach infections.
Seriousness of the infection
This depends on the intensity of the symptoms, the amount of pathogens inside the body, and the person’s immune system. All sorts of viruses and bacteria live together all the time, but the well nourished bodies and a strong immune system are not easily overtaken, or their symptoms are lesser and recover is faster.
If you are experiencing stomach pain, diarrhea or any of the aforementioned symptoms, do not hesitate to follow these tips as soon as possible:
- For the moment, avoid all dairy and dairy products, white flour, refined sugar and its derivatives (sodas, bottled juices, etc.), fried and packaged foods, as well as all sorts of processed, junk, or refined foods. It is important that you don’t give the body any reason to allow bacteria, viruses, or parasites to proliferate. These products usually create too many toxins, creating an active environment to accentuate the infection.
- Start the day by eating one raw clove of garlic before breakfast with two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Drink one glass of warm water immediately afterward and don’t eat anything else for another half hour.
- Eat some sort of fruit for breakfast, like papaya or a peeled apple. Remember to wash everything you eat very well.
- Eat vegetable soups or broths and always avoid red meat and chicken. It’s best to eat a bland diet for a week.
- If you have diarrhea, you really need to take some sort of oral serum or prepare an apple juice with the juice from two lemons and a pinch of salt. Prepare one liter of it and drink it throughout the day.
- Give yourself two or three days of absolute rest. The body needs to spend all of its energy and defenses in fighting the infection.
- Herbs for fighting the infection: prepare infusions from chamomile, mint, lemon, echinacea, and dandelion for fighting the infection. Drink the infusions 20 minutes after eating.
If the individual with the symptoms or the infection is a minor or an elderly individual, you must act immediately because the immune system in both those cases is much more fragile.
In order to prevent stomach infections:
- Wash your hands before ingesting foods and after going to the bathroom.
- Throw your trash away every day in the trash truck.
- Disinfect and wash all your fruits and vegetables very well.
- Prevent pets from eating nearby where food is prepared or consumed.
- If you have pets at home, it’s best to place your food plate far away from where foods are prepared and where the rest of the family eats.
- Follow a balanced and healthy diet.
- Cook all meats very well before eating them.
- Boil water or drink bottled water, especially during hot seasons.
- Wash all cooking utensils well and follow good hygiene wherever you eat and prepare foods.
- Do not abandon your vitamin C consumption. Drink orange juice daily or prepare a glass of warm water with the juice from one or two lemons before breakfast. Drink it immediately 3 or 4 times a week.
- Eat raw garlic before breakfast or at night.
- Do not consume refined products in your diet.
- Exercise and keep stress out of your life by practicing meditation, yoga, or readings that focus your life in a more understanding and fluid fashion.
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 12/31/2017
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