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When Gastro Bugs Strike


All stomach bugs come with some or all of the same set of symptoms: diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, headaches, joint and muscle aches, and a general feeling of blah.


Most of us think of food poisoning first up - and understandably, since this infection is more common than its cousin, the tongue twisting gastroenteritis...




If you’re in the throes of one of these bugs, or caring for somebody who has been struck down, the cause is probably the least of your worries - you’ll be more focused on how long it’s going to last and what you can do to feel better.


The good news is, regardless of cause, most stomach bugs don’t last more than a few days.


Here’s what you can do to speed your recovery and make yourself more comfortable.




Self care at home:


• Treatment of food poisoning is all about preventing dehydration. In the first instance, drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids and minerals. If you are being sick, take small sips, but give your stomach time to settle first.


• Get plenty of rest.


• Try to avoid medication that stops diarrhoea - it will slow the bug moving through your system and prolong your illness.


• When you are ready to eat again, banana, stewed apple, apple juice or other foods high in pectin are good remedies to start with. Acidophilus or probiotic yoghurt are also great as they help replace normal gut bacteria that may have been flushed out by gastro.


• Don’t stress about sugar and healthy diets just now – if your children are having trouble accepting liquids, iceblocks or jellies which will turn to liquid in the stomach can be a good



It’s a myth that you should drink only boiled water when recovering from gastro – any liquids to avoid dehydration are a great start.



Contact your practice if:


• Symptoms go on for more than a few days.


• You have a very high temperature.


• You may have caught the bug overseas.


• Vomiting is severe.


• There is a dry mouth and less urine being produced, dizziness and feelings of weakness.


• Blood in stools; diarrhoea lasting more than 4 days.


• The patient is an older person, has diabetes or is on multiple medications.


• It’s a baby or young child and you are concerned (dehydration can happen fast).



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