September 13, 2017
It’s been an hour or two after your meal and you start feeling queasy. What may begin as a slight feeling of discomfort can turn into severe diarrhea, vomiting, fever and stomach cramps, all of which are clear signs of foodborne illness. And unless you immediately visit your doctor and start treating your symptoms, you may experience dehydration, prolonged pain and worsening of your symptoms in more acute situations.
Practically the dandruff of belly troubles, almost 50 million people in the US alone get food poisoning every year, of which approximately 3,000 cases will unfortunately be terminal. For these reasons alone, every household and individual should be prepared on how to implement the best procedure in case you get food poisoning – and a significant portion of that recovery plan includes your post-poisoning nutrition.
Unless your food poisoning was caused by a takeaway meal or dining in a restaurant, your culprit might still be hiding in your own kitchen cabinet or the fridge. Hence the need to find what caused the trouble in the first place and also to be able to inform your doctor – and they will then decide which further tests are necessary to exclude any other health problems as a result of a bad meal.
The most common perpetrators are bacteria such as E.coli or Salmonella, parasites or viruses, which can survive in your food due to improper preparation, storage, spoiled ingredients or simply poor choice of supplier. In order to minimize your risks, it’s best to cook your food thoroughly, wash all of your cookware and kitchenware properly before your next use (to prevent cross-contamination) and never keep your meals for too long in the fridge, as it’s better to freeze them or throw them away.
Even cases of mild loss of bodily fluids can wreak havoc on your immune system and your ability to recover. That is why the key step in your plan should include drinking plenty of fresh water, homemade soups and broth that are rich in electrolytes, vitamins and minerals essential for your recovery, mild herbal teas to soothe your stomach, and even rehydrating solutions from the pharmacy.
In case you’re tempted to drink a glass of cold milk or orange juice, it’s best to resist the temptation. Heavy dairy and citrusy fruits can only worsen your condition, so if you’re craving a cold refreshment, try slowly melting ice cubes in your mouth and drinking cool water instead. If you cannot force yourself to eat and rehydrate because your nausea is persistent, perhaps you’ll need intravenous fluid therapy, which may require hospitalization.
While the menu for food poisoning may not seem all that exciting and versatile, sticking to light, simple foods will help your body recover and your digestion slowly go back to normal. This means that whatever ingredients you choose to prepare, you should avoid heavy spices, oils, fats and sugar, so you will mostly base your meals on steamed, cooked and raw food.
Think mashed potatoes, other cooked vegetables, plain rice, toast bread with a bit of peanut butter, crackers, and an occasional banana might help you keep things interesting. Another important element to your diet will be your tempo and your amounts. Avoid large portions and always make sure to savor every bit as much as you can, because you stomach will need some getting used to.
Due to vomiting and diarrhea combined with a high fever, your body didn’t just lose priceless fluids in the process. Food poisoning depletes your vitamins and minerals as well, and it takes a serious toll on your immune system, which usually calls for added defense measures to help you restore your body’s ability to digest food properly and remove the toxins that have caused the issue in the first place.
Since your stomach is too sensitive to consume yoghurt, and your digestive tract is in desperate need to restore its healthy flora, using Udo’s probiotics is the simplest way to provide your body with healthy live cultures. You can also soothe your stomach with herbal teas such as mint, ginger of chamomile, and use activated charcoal to flush out the toxins from your body.
Your low energy levels might have you craving a cup of coffee or a smoke, but you should completely avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol during your recovery process. Boil your veggies and don’t stick to your regular fried eggs breakfast, or anything fried for that matter. Foods that are high in fat and fiber can only upset your stomach in this sensitive condition.
In order to improve your recovery rate, kick up your hygiene by frequently brushing your teeth and showering twice a day. And finally, one of the most overlooked factors of recuperation is rest. Studies have shown that it’s not just an old wives’ tale that you should stay in bed while you’re ill – your body needs plenty of shut-eye to heal, and restore your immune system.
Finally, no matter how mild your symptoms may seem at first, if they persist for longer than three days, it’s absolutely necessary to seek professional medical help to tackle your food poisoning issues.