When we talk about intestinal virus or intestinal flu, we should more correctly call them with the medical term of viral gastroenteritis. It is the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract – stomach and small intestine . It is not caused by a food infection or bacteria , but is caused by a virus.
In fact, the virus carrying the so-called intestinal flu belongs to the rotavirus family . Like all other viruses, it has epidemic peaks related to seasonal fluctuations. He is responsible for this annoying disease, which unfortunately affects adults but very often also children. Also, there is no vaccine for the intestinal virus , so preventive protection is not possible.
What to do if you are affected by the intestinal virus? How best to manage the acute phase and then also the recovery period ? Which foods are best to eat and which ones should be avoided? We talked to nutritionists,trying to collect all the information that can be useful in the event of a possible attack of this annoying form of viral gastroenteritis.
Intestinal virus symptoms
The first difference between a viral gastroenteritis and a food poisoning lies in the times. Usually the food infection arrives abruptly , because there is no incubation period as is the case with the intestinal virus. In fact, you feel bad suddenly and not gradually. Instead, viral gastroenteritis has an incubation period and then a term, just like all other viral influences. The only difference is that they are a little faster.
It will be the doctor who, on the basis of the declared symptoms, will be able to understand if it is a viral problem or a food infection.
Typical symptoms of the intestinal virus are:
- abdominal pain
- He retched.
But, being a virus, the picture also includes all those typical symptoms of viral and respiratory influences:
- muscle pain
- bone pain
- conjunctivitis or eye discomfort
- a slight fever.
Intestinal virus: what to eat in the acute phase?
The first thing to do is obviously consult a doctor who, through the symptoms, can understand the nature of the malaise.
At the medicinal level, the advice is to avoid antibiotics and prefer tachipirine and lactic ferments .
Also follow some precautions from a food point of view.
In the acute phase, for example, it is preferable not to eat but to drink only , to avoid a possible dehydration caused by an excessive loss of fluids due to vomiting and diarrhea. Drink the liquids in small sips, perhaps with a spoon at a time to check if you can hold them.
In addition to water, you can also drink herbal teas, sweetened tea. An excellent solution suitable for rehydration is to drink the water obtained by boiling the rice with a couple of carrots and a little salt.
In summer, when the heat tends to sweat more, the risk of dehydration is higher .
Intestinal virus: the diet to follow to get better
In the recovery phase, it is very important to avoid milk and milk derivatives – apart from Parmesan or aged cheeses – because after diarrhea, a secondary intolerance to lactose occurs .
If you have a swollen belly, it is best to avoid potatoes that increase swelling.
In addition, it is preferable to choose rice instead of pasta. In case, you have a genetic predisposition to celiac disease , when you have gastroenteritis, the intestine becomes even more permeable to gluten and therefore you run the risk of turning on celiac disease.
Yes to rusks and also to corn because it is easily digestible and nutritious , while one must be careful in reintroducing vegetables and fruit in the diet, because of their abundance of fibers.
For vegetables, you can start with a few courgettes or boiled carrots, while for fruit, kiwis, plums and figs should be avoided.
Instead, for fruit, you can start eating apples in small quantities, ripe bananas – not unripe – and also citrus fruits like oranges and tangerines. Mandarins because they are rich in flavonoids which also have an activity:
In addition, you squeezed orange juice. Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant that strengthens the immune system. In addition, it is traditionally used to treat ailments such as:
Finally, it’s okay to eat chicken breast or parmesan, which allow you to assimilate proteins and minerals.
Tips to get better as soon as possible
Do not resort to the use of medicines immediately and avoid self-medication, if after a few days, you are not better, consult your doctor. Also, if it is a viral form, to avoid the infection of other family members it is good to use some precautions:
- do not stay too close to the patient
- wash your hands often
- use different linen and towels
- pay attention to the use of utensils, forks, plates and glasses.