Be Well

Have you been bothered with intestinal discomfort, nausea and diarrhea?  First and foremost, stay hydrated.  If it hits you, you need to replace your fluids with water, clear juices or Gatorade.  Ginger Ale is soothing for some, as is Sprite and Squirt.  The extra sugar is a plus when you’re losing nutrients at a faster pace than absorbing them.

In the initial first minutes, it might be good to rid your body of the offending bacteria.  But an anti-diarrheal must be started quickly to guard against losing valuable electrolytes and possible dehydration.  Pepto-Bismol is an excellent choice, the bismuth subsalicylate is an intestinal antimicrobial and coats the stomach and intestinal lining against irritants.  Another compound known as Treda, which contains pectin, kaolin and neomycin, also is helpful in the initial phases of the attack.

Eating a BRAT diet, or bananas, rice, applesauce and toast is mild enough to soothe an irritated digestive tract.  If after a day or so the symptoms don’t improve or resolve, then an antibiotic should be considered to combat any bacterial infection that might be causing the problem, especially if there’s blood in the stool.  Many believe that taking an anti-parasite medication such as Albendazol or Metronidazole prophylactically will prevent infections of parasites.

Lastly, if urination is much less than usual, contact your physician as you might need IV fluids and electrolyte replacements.  A blood test to check for loss of electrolytes and a stool culture may be in order to identify the causative organism.  Most importantly, wash your hands before and after handling food and utensils using public washrooms.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

About Dr. Janene Caracaus

Questions on this topic or any other topic pertaining to health issues in Baja may be emailed to: [email protected]. I will try to address some of these issues on this forum. The information contained in this article is general and does not constitute medical advice. For medical advice please consult your physician or other health care provider.

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