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What to eat when you’ve got gastroenteritis...

Most winter seasons see an outbreak of gastroenteritis across Europe and the UK and this year is no exception... So what should you be eating if you’ve got gastroenteritis?

Eating with gastroenteritis...
© Thinkstock

You will most likely be suffering from severe stomach cramps or bloating, nausea or vomiting, diarrhoea and/or fever. For the first 24 hours you will no doubt not be able to face eating at all, and in any case, your system needs the time to flush the bugs out…

That being said, keeping your fluid levels up is vital to getting over gastroenteritis and helping you to bounce back. Here's some tips to help you move gradually back into the land of the eating.

  • You need to drink plenty of fluids to compensate the loss of liquid and the body’s natural salts and sugars, and thus avoid dehydration – water, cordial, clear salted broths, sweetened herbal teas – at least 2 litres a day;
  • If you have a severe case of gastroenteritis, don’t hesitate to ask your chemist for oral electrolyte replacement powders to be mixed with your drinking water, to really boost replacement of the lost sugars and salts;
  • Once you’re over the worst of it, and you actually feel like eating again, it’s best to start out with a number of little snacks over the day, not three big meals;
  • You can eat dry biscuits, toast, oatcakes, rice cakes or plain boiled rice, along with light broth – avoid all fats, oils and milk products for the first day;
  • After 24-48 hours, add other foods like plain steamed vegetables, such as potatoes and carrots (avoiding green vegetables, cauliflower, cabbage etc.); steamed fish; probiotic yogurt; and in the fruit department, ripe bananas, grated apple.

Posted 20.01.2012

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