see also Salmonellosis, Food Poisoning, Gastroenteritis in Infants
Inflammation of digestive tract, usually caused by a virus transmitted by personal contact; can also be caused by contaminated food or water, by specific food which produce an extreme allergic reaction (see Allergy), by a sudden change in diet (abroad, for example), or by any illness or drug which alters natural balance of bacteria in gut. Symptoms vary in severity, usually pass off within 48 hours; a bad case will cause repeated Nausea and Vomiting, Diarrhoea, cramping Abdominal Pain, Fever, and exhaustion; a mild case may be limited to vague nausea and a loose stool or two. In infants and elderly people, 'stomach upsets' can be serious as they easily lead to dehydration and even Shock. Best treatment is rest and plenty of fluids, though medical doctor may prescribe drugs to control vomiting and diarrhoea.
If above symptoms persist for more than 48 hours, or are accompanied by severe abdominal pain for more than 1 hour, contact Emergency Medical Services and give Lachesis 6c every 5 minutes for up to 10 doses; condition may not be gastroenteritis but Appendicitis.
Specific remedies to be taken every hour for up to 10 doses
- Burning pain in abdomen, person feels chilly, restless, anxious, thirsty for sips of water, symptoms worse between midnight and 2 am Arsenicum 30c
- Symptoms worse at night, with no two stools alike, fatty foods make diarrhoea worse, person tearful Pulsatilla 30c
- Frothy yellow stools, flatulence, person feels chilly and exhausted, draughts or light pressure on abdomen make symptoms worse China 30c
- Diarrhoea made worse by moving, pale-coloured stools, no pain or vomiting Phosphoric ac. 30c
- Diarrhoea, burning sensation as stools are passed, vomiting, craving for ice-cold water which is vomited up as soon as it becomes warm in stomach Phosphorus 30c
- Severe diarrhoea, stools greenish and full of mucus, especially in early morning, cramping pains in abdomen, weakness Podophyllum 30c
- Person cold, clammy, and prostrate, fanning brings relief Carbo veg. 30c
- Burning diarrhoea which drives person out of bed at around 5 am, anus red and itchy Sulphur 30c
- Stools dark, bloody, putrid-smelling, and nearly liquid, abdomen distended, person feels limp and wrung out, lying on right side makes symptoms worse, Salmonella infection suspected Baptisia 30c
- Colicky pain relieved by pressing on abdomen or bending double, stomach upset associated with extreme anger Colocynth 30c
- Diarrhoea, blood and mucus in stools Mercurius corr. 30c
- Constant abdominal pain relieved by passing stools, diarrhoea brings on attack of piles, chilliness, irritability Nux 30c
- Unremitting nausea, foul-smelling, greenish-yellow stools full of fermenting food Ipecac. 30c
Self-help: Rest, and drink plenty of fluids - add 1teaspoon salt (no sugar) to 1 litre (2 pints) boiled water. Milk is not recommended, as it sometimes causes secondary lactose intolerance. Take no food until stomach settles down, and then stick to a light diet for a few days. Be meticulous about personal hygiene so as not to pass bug on to rest of family. Take a dairy-free Acidophilus.