by Kristen Soper, Clinical Nutritionist
As the weather starts turning colder and we find ourselves spending more time in-doors, the likelihood of picking up a cold or stomach bug increases. In the last week, a number of clients I’ve spoken to have been feeling under the weather with nausea, vomiting and loose stools.
Here are 6 simple starter tips I share with my clients:
- Keep up the fluid – water & electrolytes. Staying well hydrated is very important when you have any illness, however electrolytes are particularly important if you are vomiting or have diarrhoea. I like to add mineral electrolyte drops, such as Elete Electrolyte, to my water when I’m under the weather, however if you can’t locate these, Chemist-bought electrolytes such as Hydralyte are effective and fine to use for short periods of time.
- Keep your diet simple – stick to simple foods that are easy to digest such as rice and soups. Rice is particularly good at stopping diarrhoea/loose stools, a bowel of steamed rice or even a home-made rice congee porridge can be very effective at helping firm stools up. Or a home-made vegetable soup or bone broth can be very good at restoring lost minerals & thus energy levels.
- Rest – this one sounds ridiculously simple, but is often over-looked. If your body is fighting a virus, try to get as much sleep as possible and take it easy until the symptoms have reduced.
- Probiotic – a strain of probiotic called Saccharomyces boulardii is very effective at helping fight loose stools associated with stomach bugs.
- Gut healing powder – there are a number of great gut healing products on the market that help reduce digestion inflammation and thus reduce symptoms. Speak to a practitioner about which product will be best suited to you, but look for powders that contain slippery elm, aloe vera, glutamine and turmeric.
- Zinc – once your digestive symptoms have calmed down, nutrients such as zinc, vitamin C and vitamin A are important at restoring your immunity and former gut health.
If you are still experiencing nausea, vomiting or diarrhea after 72 hours, visit your GP or health-care practitioner so it can be investigated further. If you’ve picked up a parasite such as Giardia or a bacterial infection such as Dientamobea you may need further treatment.
Interested in knowing how to reduce your digestive symptoms? Book an appointment with our Clinical Nutritionist, Kristen Soper