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Comment soigner une gastro-entérite cet hiver ?

How to treat gastroenteritis this winter?

How to treat gastro?

Winter is fast approaching and with it, the end of year celebrations, moments with family and friends but also the drop in temperatures and the seasonal illnesses that accompany it. Among them, we find a particularly dreaded epidemic: that of gastroenteritis. To prevent gastro and its inconveniences from spoiling the end of the year, there are remedies and good reflexes to apply if you fall ill. In this article, we explain why this disease is so contagious, how long does it last and how to relieve these symptoms as quickly as possible.

Gastroenteritis: a contagious disease

Gastroenteritis is a disease caused by two viruses called rotavirus which affects children under 5 years old and norovirus which infects the rest of the population. If gastro epidemics are so important each year, it is because these viruses are transmitted very easily from one individual to another.

The main modes of transmission of these are through direct contact, by shaking hands with an infected person or by breathing droplets projected into the air. Consumption of contaminated food or indirect contact with a surface touched by a sick person is also sufficient to catch gastro. That is why this disease spreads very quickly, and especially in small children who put their hands in their mouths.

In addition, it should be known that an infected person is not contagious during the incubation period of the virus, that is to say when he does not yet experience any symptoms. This period lasts 24 to 72 hours. On the other hand, it can still transmit the disease up to 48 hours after the last symptoms.

Fortunately, gastro usually does not last long since it has an average duration of three days. Therefore, if the disease persists for more than 7 days, a doctor should be consulted.

The best thing is obviously to protect yourself from the virus and its spread by reducing the risk of contamination using simple gestures such as:

- Hand washing after going to the toilet or in public places (public transport)

- Cough into the crook of your elbow, sneeze into a tissue

- Use single-use tissues

- Wear a mask as soon as the first symptoms appear

What are the reflexes to adopt to deal with the symptoms?

The manifestation of gastroenteritis is very taxing on the body. Indeed, the virus causes inflammation of the gastric and intestinal mucosa explaining abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting. It can also cause a moderate fever, often below 39°. In addition to the constraining and unpleasant nature of such symptoms, the main consequence they cause is dehydration. Because of the irritation of the intestinal walls, the water coming from food is not absorbed in the body, it remains in the stools which explains their liquid character. This lack of water absorption is aggravated by vomiting. Similarly, repeated vomiting prevents proper nutrition and the maintenance of glycemia (blood sugar level).

The challenge is then to rehydrate and adapt your diet so that it is assimilated by the body and that it does not aggravate the inflammation of the digestive tract. To do this, we are going to explain to you how to rehydrate as effectively as possible and what diet to adopt.

To help you fight dehydration, the first reflex to have is to increase water intake to 2L of water per day. However, it should not be forgotten that the decrease in water absorption also leads to electrolyte losses (sodium, potassium, chlorine) which must also be compensated. Hydratis is then the appropriate solution to optimize rehydration and compensate for the loss of mineral salts caused by diarrhea and vomiting. Thanks to its formula enriched with sodium and glucose, water absorption is maximized compared to water alone and also fills electrolyte losses. Oral rehydration drinks are strongly recommended in case of gastro. They allow people at risk of dehydration - young children and the elderly - rapid rehydration. Thanks to flavored tablets giving the water a pleasant and fruity taste, as well as a range in sachets, specially developed for seniors, Hydratis ensures effective rehydration for children and adults.

Regarding food, avoid irritating foods (spices, fried foods, coffee, alcohol, rich in gluten) for the stomach and intestine and which could aggravate diarrhea and vomiting. We will also avoid foods rich in fiber (fruits and vegetables, with the exception of those mentioned below) which accelerate transit and are therefore not recommended here.

Similarly, lactose-based foods may eventually be removed from the diet, if they are not well digested by the body and if the symptoms are severe. The foods to favor must be rich in starch and pectin, two beneficial substances against gastro for their constipating effect. So we recommend a diet based on rice and well-cooked carrots. You can also eat compotes and ripe bananas, which will not aggravate diarrhea and provide sugar and potassium.

Certain natural supplements sold on the shelves of parapharmacies can also help you relieve stomach aches and liquid stools. Activated charcoal products that detoxify the intestine or clay products that line the intestinal lining and help it heal from inflammation. Be careful however, these products can influence the absorption of drugs, it will be necessary to take them away from any other treatment either 2 hours before or after.

Although unpleasant, gastroenteritis is fortunately a short-lived illness when you adopt the right reflexes. The most important thing is to maintain your level of hydration, especially for people who become dehydrated quickly.

Hydratis is an ideal solution to compensate for mineral losses and rehydrate effectively.

This is why if an infant or a senior are carriers of the gastro virus, you should not hesitate to consult the pediatrician or the attending physician to avoid any potentially serious situation of dehydration. Finally, if the disease persists and/or aggravating factors appear (blood in the stool, weight loss, fatigue and chronic pain, etc.), we also recommend that you consult your doctor without delay.

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