Health and MedicineDiseasesGastroenteritis and diarrhea in summer: how to prevent them and basic care

Gastroenteritis and diarrhea in summer: how to prevent them and basic care

During the summer months, diarrhea and gastroenteritis are more frequent due to food poisoning. Discover useful tips to prevent them easily.

Diarrhea is a condition or ailment that most people have suffered at sometime in their lives. This ailment manifests itself with the appearance of frequent liquid stools. Diarrhea is sometimes accompanied by abdominal pain, which we commonly known as cramps. They are also usually manifested accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fever and general malaise.

In addition to diarrhea, cases of gastroenteritis are also frequent in summer. Perhaps you ask yourself why these ailments are more frequent in summer. In summer these ailments are favored due to high temperatures and the consumption of possible spoiled food. In fact, cases of gastroenteritis in babies are also common, which in turn requires greater care and measures. In addition to diarrhea, cases of gastroenteritis are also frequent in summer. Perhaps you ask yourself why these ailments are more frequent in summer. In summer these ailments are favored due to high temperatures and the consumption of possible spoiled food. In fact, cases of gastroenteritis in babies are also common, which in turn requires greater care and measures.

High temperatures increase the viral load of food when it is not properly refrigerated or the cold chain has been broken. For this reason, there are some foods with which we may have to take precautions, such as salads where the vegetables have not been well washed, sweet cream, mayonnaise, ice cream, seafood, dairy products, ice cubes.

In fact, we must comment that gastroenteritis in summer is not different from the one that affects us all year round, but because during the summer months it becomes the most frequent digestive disorder. As we mentioned before, among the most common causes we can mention the intake of food and water in poor condition or contaminated, although it is also easy for us to find its cause in contagion, since it is a disease that is very easily contagious from person to person.

Most common symptoms of gastroenteritis in summer

Gastroenteritis causes an inflammation of the mucosa of the stomach or intestine, which in turn causes a series of characteristic and common symptoms, such as pain that is located in the abdominal area, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and fever. It usually tends to last 3 to 6 days, with symptoms beginning 4 to 48 hours after infection.

Although it is a generally mild condition, it can be serious in young children, the elderly and people with a weakened immune system, so in these situations there must be medical observation to avoid possible complications.

One of these common complications is dehydration or loss of water reserves, so hydration is essential when we are sick with gastroenteritis, especially in children and the elderly. In this sense, when we have a dry mouth, sunken eyes or we have difficulty urinating even though we feel like it, it is very possible that we are dehydrated.

What are the causes of gastroenteritis and diarrhea in summer?

The most frequent causes are diarrhea caused by viruses, caused by bacteria or parasites.

In summer, due to the consumption of food in poor condition, we can be exposed to cases of food poisoning or Salmonellosis. The symptoms of Salmonella can be suffered between 2 and 6 hours after eating.

In case of persistent diarrhea, vomiting, high fever that does not subside, we must go to the medical center so that they can indicate the appropriate treatment.

In these cases it is necessary to do a stool culture and blood tests to find out if the cause is bacterial. The most important thing that we must take into account is to stay well hydrated, drinking plenty of fluids, and resorting to oral serums to replenish minerals.

The diet that we must follow while the condition lasts should be astringent, until the diarrhea disappears. If the diarrhea does not subside, we should go to the doctor.

How to prevent diarrhea, gastroenteritis and poisoning in summer:

The truth is that the prevention of gastroenteritis in summer is simple, especially if you follow some basic tips that help to avoid it directly. The most important are the following:

Wash your hands frequently

Did you know that, in general, gastroenteritis tends to spread by not washing our hands properly? It is enough to use or touch an object that has been handled by a person with gastroenteritis who has used it before, and then bring our hands to our mouths or eyes.  This contagion is more common if you use knives, forks, glasses or spoons, and if you share food or water. Therefore, it is very important to wash your hands frequently, always using hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds.

Avoid sharing food, water and kitchen utensils

Precisely because of what we indicated above, it is essential for the prevention of gastroenteritis to avoid sharing kitchen utensils, as well as food and water.

Among the most usual and common kitchen utensils in this sense, forks, spoons and knives stand out. Also pay attention to the glasses.

Maintain proper food handling

Pay special attention to raw food, avoiding mixing cooked food with raw food (especially chicken and eggs) and using utensils that have touched them without first washing them well.

Be careful with certain foods

Keep food in the refrigerator, especially sauces made with eggs (such as mayonnaise).  Avoid those about which you have doubts, especially if you do not know when they were made and if they have been out of the fridge for a long time. It is better to avoid those that have been more than 24 hours at room temperature.

Regarding the egg, always keep them in the fridge once you have bought them, avoid washing them because in this way you could destroy their protective film, and avoid consuming dishes with eggs or homemade mayonnaise if you eat out.

Water precautions

When drinking water, always try to use bottled water, especially if you do not know its origin or if it has been open for a long time. In case of doubt, it is advisable to boil it well beforehand, and then wait for it to cool down.

To prevent as much as possible suffering from gastroenteritis, diarrhea or food poisoning, it is convenient to carry out a series of prevention measures such as those that we provide below.

  • When food is handled by us, we must take extreme hygiene measures into account.
  • Always wash our hands well with plenty of soap and water every time we go to the bathroom.
  • We must also wash our hands well before and after handling food.
  • Also extreme hygiene measures with the utensils that we are going to use.
  • Wash fruits, vegetables and vegetables well before eating them.
  • Refrigerate food well and try not to break the cold chain.

By following these basic tips we can prevent this type of food poisoning during the summer months, which will allow us – without a doubt – to enjoy a unique vacation without any problem, in a totally safe and complete way.

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