Comment soigner une gastro-entérite cet hiver ?

How to treat gastroenteritis this winter?

How to treat gastrointestinal illness?

Winter is fast approaching and with it, the end-of-year celebrations, times with family and friends but also the drop in temperatures and the seasonal illnesses that accompany it. Among them, we find a particularly feared 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 it lasts 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 contaminates 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 are by direct contact, by shaking hands with an infected person or by breathing droplets projected into the air. Consuming contaminated food or indirect contact with a surface touched by a sick person is also enough to catch gastro. This is why this disease spreads very quickly, especially among young children who put their hands in their mouths.

In addition, you should know that an infected person is not contagious during the incubation period of the virus, that is to say when they do not yet experience symptoms. This period lasts 24 to 72 hours. However, it can still transmit the disease up to 48 hours after the last symptoms.

Fortunately, gastro usually does not last long since it lasts on average three days. Therefore, if the illness persists beyond 7 days, you will need to consult a doctor.

The best thing is obviously to protect yourself from the virus and its spread by reducing the risk of contamination using simple actions 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. In fact, 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 restrictive and unpleasant nature of such symptoms, the main consequence they cause is dehydration. Due to irritation of the intestinal walls, water from food is not absorbed into the body, it remains in the stools which explains their liquid character. This lack of water absorption is made worse by vomiting. Likewise, repeated vomiting prevents proper nutrition and the maintenance of blood sugar levels.

The challenge is then to rehydrate and adapt your diet so that it is assimilated by the body and does not aggravate the inflammation of the digestive tract. To do this, we will 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 your fluid intake to 2L of water per day. However, we must not forget that the drop in water absorption also leads to electrolyte losses (sodium, potassium, chlorine) which must also be compensated. Hydratis is then the right solution to optimize rehydration and compensate for mineral salt losses caused by diarrhea and vomiting. Thanks to its formula enriched with sodium and glucose, water absorption is maximized compared to water intake alone and also compensates for electrolyte losses. Oral rehydration drinks are strongly recommended in cases 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 sachet range, specially developed for seniors, Hydratis ensures effective rehydration for young and old.

Regarding food, you should avoid foods that are irritating (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.

Likewise, 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 substances beneficial against gastrointestinal tract for their constipating effect. We therefore 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 a supply of sugar and potassium.

Certain natural supplements sold in drugstore aisles can also help you relieve stomach aches and loose stools. Products based on activated charcoal which detoxifies the intestine or clay which lines the intestinal mucosa and helps it heal from inflammation. Be careful however, these products can influence the absorption of medications, you will need to take care to take them away from any other treatment, i.e. 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 hydration level, 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 carries the gastro virus, you should not hesitate to consult the pediatrician or treating doctor to avoid any potentially serious situation of dehydration. Finally, if the disease persists and/or aggravating factors appear (blood in the stools, weight loss, fatigue and chronic pain, etc.) we also recommend that you consult your doctor without delay.

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