The most effective remedy for food poisoning and viral gastroenteritis, also called the stomach flu, is diet modification. Both conditions cause temporary symptoms related to the digestive system, such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. There is no cure for either condition aside from eating foods that promote healthy digestion and drinking more liquids. Implementing these two changes may help shorten the duration of your symptoms.
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Food Poisoning and Stomach Flu
Food poisoning and the stomach flu are two different gastric illnesses that share common symptoms. Food poisoning occurs when you ingest something that is contaminated with a bacteria, toxin, parasite or virus. The stomach flu is a viral infection in your digestive system that is primarily obtained through human-to-human contact. The stomach flu is unrelated to influenza. Both conditions cause an infection to form in the lining of the intestines but are caused from different sources.
What you eat when you have food poisoning or the stomach flu can help or prolong your symptoms. Eating foods that are difficult to digest or that can irritate the stomach should be avoided. Foods to avoid include greasy foods, fried foods, foods that are high in fat, high in fiber and high in sugar. Eat foods in small portions that are easy to digest and will help to decrease your symptoms. Good foods to eat include bananas, rice, white bread, potatoes, carrots, skinless chicken and apples.
The main concern of both gastric illnesses is dehydration. Prolonged diarrhea and vomiting can quickly lead to dehydration. Dehydration is avoided by increasing your liquid intake as soon as you develop the first symptoms. Avoid beverages that are high in sugar or that contain caffeine or alcohol. Drink clear liquids, such as water, juice, broth, clear soda and herbal tea. If you cannot keep any liquid down, attempt to sip small amounts every 10 minutes and call your doctor. Dehydration is a serious condition that could cause brain damage or death.
Eating yogurt may help shorten the duration of diarrhea from intestinal infections, according to AskDrSears.com. Yogurt contains healthy bacteria that help maintain regular bowel movements and digestive health. Your colon contains various bacteria that help control your bowels. During a digestive sickness much of the bacteria is flushed out of your system because of diarrhea and the infection. Eat yogurt that is low in fat and low in sugar to replenish your colon with this helpful bacteria.