Gastroenteritis, the most common childhood infection, is very common. This is very distressing for both the child and the parents. There are no miracle cures that can instantly make the infection disappear. Still, there are effective natural remedies that can reduce the duration of the problem and prevent it from becoming chronic.
Many times, I hear from patients that their IBS or intolerance to food started after an episode of gastro.
My goal is to offer accurate, detailed and effective naturopathic remedies so that you can heal 100% of your stomach after suffering from gastro.
Rotavirus is the leading cause of severe gastroenteritis among infants and young children aged 6 months to 2 years. Preschool children are likely to contract rotavirus at some point. Most will have 2-3 episodes by the time they turn 6.
Rotavirus can be contagious. It is easily spread by touching infected hands or poo. Rotavirus can live on toys, clothing, and change mats for many days, increasing the chance of spreading.
Within a few days, symptoms can occur, including vomiting, fever, sudden diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Symptoms typically last for between 4 and 6 days.
Rotavirus infection is most often fatal in the first instance. Although most children don’t require hospitalization after infection, rotavirus can cause sudden dehydration in infants.
Year of the year
Rotavirus is a seasonal illness that usually strikes in winter and early spring, but it’s not uncommon for the gastro season in early autumn/late summer to begin.
How long will it last
The vomiting lasts for 2-3 days. It is often followed by diarrhea lasting between 3-8 days. Sometimes, milder diarrhea may last several weeks.
You should be aware of these things.
Severe dehydration is more common in children younger than 1 born prematurely or with low birth weight.
Dry lips and mouth, little urine, less than one full napper per 12 hours, sunken fontanel and lack of crying. These symptoms are serious and should be reported to an ambulance immediately.
Ethical Nutrients Gastro Relief contains two specific strains of probiotics, which have been shown to inhibit the attachment of the pathogens to the intestinal walls. Look for a probiotic that includes Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GGG if you cannot find it. You must specify GG because this is the strain tested for gastro.
Oral rehydration Solution (ORS)
This is the recommended rehydration product by the World Health Organisation. This can be used as an alternative to commercially-bought electrolyte frozen poles. These tend to contain this formula, artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners.
Instructions: Combine 30g (6 level teaspoon) of white sugar (yes, white sugar) and 2.5g (1/2 cup tsp) sea salt with 1L water. Mixing too much sugar or salt can cause severe harm to children.
Encourage your child’s thirst to be as high as possible.
Dosage: Children younger than 2 years old should drink 1/4 to 1/2 cup (250ml) of the ORS after every watery stool.
Children 2 and older should have at least 1/2 cup (250ml) of the ORS after every watery stool.
Breastmilk can be used to rehydrate babies if they are still being breastfed.
- Avoid soft drinks and juices.
- Carob powder (raw), 5g/Kg/day, up to a maximum of 15g/d when given in ORS/milk for 6 days. Scientific studies have shown that carob reduced diarrhea length by 50% and vomiting by 75%. Mix it with valid kids’ yogurt, no more than 1/2 cup daily, or add water. You can make tea using carob powder, cinnamon sticks, and manuka honey.
- Green bananas cooked
- If your gut is inflamed, avoid gluten.
- Except for white rice, avoid grains. Avoid eating grains except for white rice. Stick to soups made from well-cooked vegetables.
- Do not give chicken broth to the patient during the acute phase.
- Chicken broth acts as a tonic and a tonifier.
- Blackberry leaf, cinnamon tea, raspberry leaf tea (tannins herbs). Tannins destroy viruses in the gut.
- Two capsules twice daily for gastro relief for adults and one capsule twice daily for children.
Post gastro healing
The infection can cause severe damage to your intestinal lining and gut bacteria for as long as 2 months. Many people experience diarrhea and lactose intolerance months after the infection. This gives them the false impression that the gastro hasn’t gone.
To prevent future allergic reactions and to rebalance your immune system, it is important to reduce inflammation from the virus, restore mucus (mucin), and replenish healthy bacteria.
- For good bacteria replenishment, continue taking Ethical Nutrients for two months. Take 1 capsule twice daily.
- With warm water, you can replenish the mucin layer by taking 1 tsp of slippery elm twice daily. Or, make a cup of tea with marshmallow root ( Altheaofficinalis). 1 tsp is enough for one cup of freshly boiled water. Let it steep for 5-10 mins. Repeat this process twice daily. For children, reduce the dosage by half.
- Both marshmallows and slippery elm are rich in demulcent phytochemicals, which help to restore normal mucus layers in the gut. The mucus is crucial for good bacteria to attach to the gut walls to reproduce and thrive.
- For at least one week, avoid cold and raw foods. Warm, well-cooked foods will make your digestion easier and speed up healing.
- To replenish good bacteria, take lactulose (from the chemist). Start with 5ml per day after breakfast. After 2 weeks, increase to 10ml. For children, reduce the dosage by half. Start with a lower dose if bloating is a problem. This should be continued for two months.
- Zinc picolinate (in the USA or NZ) or zinc citrate (in Australia) will help boost immunity and regenerate your gut lining. For adults, 30mg and children, 8mg are recommended. To avoid nausea, take it with food or at bedtime.
- To support intestinal lining repairs and increase vitamin A-rich foods: Cod liver oil and liver are the best sources of the pre-formed vitamin.
- To prevent lactose intolerance, avoid dairy for six weeks following the infection.
- Daily, reintroduce chicken broth and bone. It’s a good source of hydrophilic gelatine that attracts and holds digestive juices.