Bouncing back after a stomach bug

Bouncing back after a stomach bug

Donovan GRANT

Monday, February 17, 2020

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Dear Donovan,

I was down with a stomach bug for two weeks recently, which left me 10 pounds lighter. I spent two weeks in pain, and the loss of electrolytes from vomiting and diarrhoea did a number on my body. I'm just getting back to normal now and I'm asking for recommendations to get back in top form. I would like to gain the weight back, as well as strengthen my immune system and my digestive system to lessen the chance of this happening again. What do you suggest?

Viral gastroenteritis, also called the stomach flu, is an intestinal infection marked by watery diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, nausea or vomiting and sometimes fever. The illness can be painful as well as potentially embarrassing. It is contracted by coming in contact with an infected person or their personal items, or by ingesting contaminated food or water.

There is no effective treatment for viral gastroenteritis, so prevention is key. Therefore, it is very important to avoid contaminated food and water, clean vegetables properly, cook meat and fish properly, and practise good hand washing.

The main possible complication of viral gastroenteritis is dehydration. The extreme loss of fluid from the body is usually the result of vomiting and diarrhoea, so drinking a lot of rehydrating fluids, water and even coconut water is important.

I see where you are getting better after two weeks of the stomach flu. Your body has gone through quite a lot and it is very likely that you are malnourished and your immune system needs a boost. It is very important at this time to boost up the immune system and nourish your body. The immune system needs lots of nutrients to be strong. It is very important to make sure that your diet contains food with moderate amounts of selenium, vitamins A, B12, B6, C, D, E and zinc. Studies have shown that taking supplements with zinc, selenium and vitamin D can boost the immune system. In addition, exercising regularly and getting proper rest can also boost the immune system too.

As you get better, your appetite will come back and you will start to regain the weight. However, since weight gain is a function of food intake, you will have to consume more calories. This can be done with thicker porridges, soups, shakes, etc. This is important since it is easier to drink than to eat.

Overall, in order to gain weight you will have to increase your calorie intake. Eating lots of junk food could make your health worse so don't go that route. Increase your calories, but in a healthy way. Good luck.

We will answer your weight-related questions

Are you struggling to lose weight or just need some advice on living a healthier life? Tell us about your health issues and we'll have nutritionist and wellness coach Donovan Grant answer them for you. Grant has over 12 years' experience in the fitness industry and is the owner of DG's Nutrition and Wellness Centre, 39 Lady Musgrave Road. Call him at 876-286-1363. E-mail questions to clarkep@jamaicaobserver.com.


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