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Gastrointestinal Disease - Symptoms, Diet And Treatment

What is Gastrointestinal Disease? Gastrointestinal disease refers to the inflammation of the stomach lining and the intestine. It is caused mainly by infectious viruses and bacteria. The infection can also be a result of adverse reaction to medication or certain types of food. It is most commonly passed through consumption of contaminated water and food, and through poor hygiene practices.
In rare cases it is known to be caused by toxins, a severe bile reflux or because of harsh medical treatments (like radiation and chemotherapy).

The symptoms of gastrointestinal disease are often confused with those of food poisoning. Severe diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, cramps, fever, dehydration, weakness and abdominal pain are the most common symptoms. In severe cases it can even lead to gastrointestinal bleeding.

The severity of the condition depends on how strong the body’s immune system is in fighting off the infection. Usually the virus or bacteria enter the gastrointestinal tract through contaminated food and water. The most common culprits are e-coli bacteria and salmonella. This condition affects children more intensely then adults.
In most cases the infection is mild and clears out in a couple of days. It is essential to remain hydrated through this time. Diarrhea can lead to dehydration, which in turn can aggravate symptoms. If symptoms are prolonged or serious (bleeding), it is essential to seek medical help. While mild cases can be corrected through liquid and light diets, more serious outbreaks require antibiotics.

Recovery Diet Plan For Gastrointestinal Disease

The simplest form of treatment is to follow a careful recovery diet plan.

Diet – Dietary plans play a big role in preventing and recovering from gastrointestinal disease. The infection is most commonly passed through contaminated food. It is essential store the food hygienically. Keep it covered at all times. It is also important to cook the food fully. Raw or uncooked meats are the most potent carriers of the infection.

In case of an outbreak, it is important to remain hydrated. Replenish lost fluids. Drink water and other clear liquids only in the first 24 hours. Apple juice and ginger is also beneficial. If your stomach can hold the liquids, gradually move on to light foods like rice, soup and broths. Be sure not to include fiber in the meals. Also avoid any dairy product. They are rich in lactose and may aggravate the diarrhea.  

It is essential to avoid bulky meals that will increase nausea and acidity. At such a time avoid consumption of citrus fruits, greasy foods, caffeine and tomato based foods.

Submitted on January 16, 2014