What to eat and what to avoid – specialist naturopathy and naturopathy portal

Good nutrition for gastrointestinal symptoms

Symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps are often lumped together under the so-called gastrointestinal flu. The desire to eat and drink is naturally low with such symptoms. Yet, the right foods can help you recover. A family doctor explains what to look for.

What should you eat and drink if you have gastrointestinal issues? A family doctor gives advice. (Image: Davide Angelini / stock.adobe.com)

Dr. med. Laura Lipold is a general practitioner at the famous Cleveland clinic in the United States. In a recent clinic article, the expert explains which foods and drinks are helpful for gastrointestinal disorders and which foods should be avoided.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol

Cola is considered a home remedy for nausea and vomiting. On caffeinated lemonades and other caffeinated beverages like coffee, Dr. According to Lipold, gastrointestinal upset should be avoided. Because caffeine triggers muscle contractions in the intestines and can make diarrhea worse. Likewise, alcohol should be totally avoided, as it has a diuretic effect and thus promotes the increase in fluid loss caused by the disease.

Don’t eat hard-to-digest foods

According to Dr. Lipold’s recommendation should also not consume foods that are difficult to digest, for example fatty, spicy and acidic foods. Dishes containing milk or tomatoes should also be removed from the menu.

Don’t force people to eat

“Try to focus on recovery, get rest and stay hydrated,” advises the GP. You shouldn’t force yourself to eat. When it comes to drinks, you should not use fruit juices like apple or orange juice. Instead, low carbon or non-carbonated water, decaffeinated herbal teas, broth, or over-the-counter electrolyte solutions are recommended to prevent dehydration. “Wait until two hours have passed since the last vomiting and start with small sips,” recommends Dr. Lipold.

Insider tips: ginger ale and ice cubes

A few sips of high-quality ginger ale can also help with nausea. “But the same is true here: stir it or leave it in an open container until the carbon dioxide has evaporated,” the doctor emphasizes. Sucking on ice cubes can also help balance your hydration if you vomit frequently. This is generally well tolerated by the stomach.

Eat complex carbohydrates

Those who feel able to consume solid foods should prefer complex carbohydrates, for example potatoes, whole grains or rice. If meat is added to the menu, then it should be lean, unseasoned products. For example, chicken or fish are suitable.

When to seek medical help

“If you cannot hold back any fluid for more than 24 hours, show signs of dehydration, vomit blood, or have bloody diarrhea and a fever over 38.9 degrees Celsius, it is high time to see a doctor,” underlines Dr. Lipold. There may then be another disease behind the symptoms that needs to be treated immediately. (v)

Author and source information

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This text conforms to the requirements of specialized medical literature, medical directives and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.


Graduate Editor (FH) Volker Blasek


Cleveland Clinic: What to Eat, Drink, and Avoid When You Have Stomach Flu (Posted: 09/28/2020), health.clevelandclinic.org

Important note:
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.