Woman with abdominal pain, gastroenteritis, lying in bed with fever, vomiting and diarrhea.

What and how to eat when I have gastroenteritis

In our environment, gastroenteritis is usually very frequent and viral (also called intestinal flu). It is very annoying for those who suffer from it, but they usually limit themselves to a few days. Symptoms usually present as vomiting, diarrhea, fever and general pains.

In order to reduce the pain and prevent complications we propose that you follow the next phases:

  1. HYDRATION: is very important to recover all of the liquids lost, drinking little by little on a frequent basis. At the beginning, it is recommended to start a liquid only diet. Try to make it a pharmacy (serum) or homemade rehydration solution (water, lemon juice, baking soda, salt, and sugar), it is better if they are cold. Isotonic drinks are NOT recommended because they do not carry necessary quantities of potassium and carry excessive sodium. Neither are the cola drinks, they do not have the necessary content.
  2. INTRODUCE SOLIDS: once the liquid is tolerated, solid foods can be introduced. We will choose rice, toasted bread, carrot, potato, ripe banana or apple (if it is raw it is better than if it oxidizes, it can also be roasted without sugar or skin in it completely). When it is well tolerated and the feces have some consistency, go to a second step: chicken or turkey grilled without skin, white fish boiled, grilled.
  3. NORMALIZE BALANCED DIET: as it gets better, you can start adding foods recommended in a balanced diet. Try to avoid fat, batter, or fried, whole foods.


  • MEDICATION: in the majority of cases, antibiotics, medicines to reduce diarrhea or anti-inflammatories are not recommended. If there is a fever, you can use paracetamol. Consult with your doctor if there is mucus, blood or pus in your diarrhea or if you have recently traveled to a foreign country. Careful with the antiemetics (medicines to avoid vomiting) can help in some cases but the classics can NOT be given to children. Always consult with your pediatrician before giving any medication!
  • LACTOSE: It is not demonstrated that lactose should be removed in children under 5 years of age in the case of mild gastroenteritis. Yes, you can reduce the amount of daily milk and increase the natural yogurts.
  • PROBIOTICS: Yes, there is evidence of improvement, but only some strains. Check with your doctor/pharmacist to find out the recommend ones.


*Content validated by the medical team of mediQuo.

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