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Intestinal infection: what it is, symptoms and what to eat

Intestinal infection usually arises after consuming contaminated food or water, with fever, abdominal pain, vomiting and frequent diarrhea, and it is important to consult the doctor if the symptoms do not disappear within 2 days.

It is possible to avoid intestinal infection by improving hygiene habits, both personal and food, and it is recommended to wash your hands after using the bathroom and take the food well before handling it.

Infecção intestinal: o que é, sintomas e o que comer

Main symptoms

Symptoms of intestinal infection can appear immediately after consuming contaminated food or up to 3 days and vary according to the type of microorganism, severity of the infection, age and general health of the person, the main symptoms being:

  • Abdominal cramps and pain;
  • Diarrhea, with blood in the stool;
  • Vomiting;
  • Headache;
  • Increased gases;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Fever.

It is important to remember that the symptoms of intestinal infection are more severe and worrying in children and the elderly, because they have a more fragile immune system, which may favor the faster proliferation of the microorganism e, like this, make the infection more serious, as well as increasing weight loss and the risk of dehydration.

Who has the highest risk of intestinal infection

People with a weak immune system, such as patients with AIDS or undergoing cancer treatment, children, pregnant women and the elderly are more likely to have intestinal infection, as they have a weaker immune system.

In addition, people who have gastritis or heartburn or who use drugs to control stomach acidity, such as Omeprazole, are at increased risk of having intestinal infection, as stomach acidity is reduced, making it difficult to fight viruses and bacteria.

What to eat to treat intestinal infection

During the treatment of intestinal infection it is important to drink plenty of water to replace the fluids lost from diarrhea and vomiting, and consume easily digestible food, like cooked white rice, noodles, white meats with little seasoning, cooked and peeled fruits, strained juices and teas with sugar, remembering to avoid caffeinated teas, like green tea, black and matte.

In snacks, it is indicated to consume dry cookies without filling, white bread with fruit jelly, natural yoghurts and white cheeses, such as ricotta, as they are low in fat and easy to digest.

What not to eat

As long as diarrhea lasts, the consumption of vegetables and peeled fruits should be avoided, even in cooked soups or salads, as they are rich in fiber that will increase intestinal transit and favor diarrhea.

Fat-rich foods such as red meats, butter, whole milk, yellow cheeses, bacon, sausage, sausage and processed foods should also be avoided, as excess fat also facilitates intestinal transit and makes digestion difficult.

In addition, foods that increase gas formation, such as cabbage, egg, beans, corn, peas and desserts rich in sugar, should be avoided, as they favor diarrhea and increase abdominal pain.

How to avoid dehydration

To avoid dehydration, it is important to consume at least 2 liters of fluids per day, and you can also use homemade serum, following the recipe :

  • 1 tablespoon of sugar;
  • 1 tablespoon of salt coffee;
  • 1 liter of filtered or boiled water.

The homemade serum should be left in a separate bottle so that the patient can drink throughout the day, while the symptoms persist. This serum is also indicated for children, pregnant women and the elderly.

How to prevent intestinal infection

To prevent intestinal infections, it is important to take personal care and food, such as :

  • Wash your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom or touch pets ;
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before and after picking up any food
  • Avoid the consumption of rare meat and eggs ;
  • Consume filtered or boiled water.

As long as the symptoms of food infection are present, it is important to avoid preparing food for others, to prevent them from becoming ill as well. In addition, one should avoid consuming the foods that most cause intestinal infection, such as sushi and rare eggs.

Infecção intestinal: o que é, sintomas e o que comer

When to see the doctor

It is important to consult the doctor when the symptoms of intestinal infection last more than 2 days, in the case of children, or 3 days, in the case of adults. In addition, it is recommended to consult the doctor when other symptoms appear, such as constant fever, softness or the presence of blood in the stool.

In addition, babies under 3 months should be taken to the doctor as soon as they experience vomiting and diarrhea, while children over 3 years of age should go to the pediatrician if the symptoms last more than 12 hours. 

(Reference -

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