Gastroenteritis – The Gastro bug
What is it and how do I treat it?
A case of gastro is something many of us have been familiar with at some time in our lives. Gastro has three main causes:
1. Food poisoning – Food infected by bacteria such as salmonella or campylobacter due to incorrect storage, temperature or cooking methods. Usually affects only those who have eaten the ‘dodgy’ food and lasts approximately 1-2 days.
2. Virus – Viral gastro is contagious and often affects many students in the same class or majority of family members at a time. Viral gastro usually lasts 2-3 days.
3. Travellers diarrhoea – can be caused by viral or bacterial origins (see above) but most travellers diarrhoea originates from parasites in the water such as giardia and crypotsporidium. These parasites have incubation periods of 1-2 weeks and take many weeks to heal. Symptoms of gastro include:
- Cramping pains in the tummy that reduce after a bowel movement
- Headaches, mainly due to dehydration
- Fever for some
- Vomiting, especially in viral and bacterial gastro infections.
How do I treat Food Poisoning – Bacterial Gastro Infections?
Step 1: Kill the pathogen causing the illness. A severe case should be treated by antibiotics, especially in children, the elderly and those of a weak constitution. Speak to your doctor and ask for “Ciprofloxacin”, an excellent antibacterial drug which targets bacteria known to cause gastro. Please note, this drug is contraindicated in some people and does have side effects.
For those who do not want to take antibiotics, a potent naturopathic product called “Bactrex” is excellent for destroying bad bacteria in the intestinal tract. One of the main ingredients is high-potency clove oil which has been traditionally used for its antimicrobial and pain relief properties.
Step 2: Detox the bowels – the by-products of bad bacteria and other toxins and waste must be removed using ingredients such as slippery elm (fibre), glutamine and aloe vera. A product called “Intestamine” is an excellent fibre supplement taken twice a day till the bottle is finished to cleanse, detoxify and heal the bowels.
Step 3: Re-inoculate the bowels with good bacteria – After a bout of gastro, many of my patients complain of bloating, indigestion, alternating diarrhoea and constipation for weeks or even months after the initial gut infection. This is because they did not complete step 3 of the process – taking good bacteria. Good bacteria is required by the gut to avoid bloating and other tummy troubles as well as help us absorb vitamins from our food for energy. The product “Ultrabiotic 45″ has been clinically trialed at the University of Queensland as effective in treating post bacterial gut infections. It contains 9 strains of good bacteria and contains 45 billion live bacteria organisms compared to supermarket brand “Inner Health Plus” which only contains 12.5 million live bacteria organisms.
Step 1 takes approximately one week and can be done at the same time as step 2. The antibiotics or Bactrex will kill the pathogen while the Intestamine powder will help to remove the toxins out of the body.
Step 3 should be done AFTER taking the antibiotics or Bactrex.