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Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis or stomach flu is an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, and it is a very common medical condition. It can present as a symptom of other illness as well as a disease.

Causes

  • Viruses
  • Bacteria
  • Parasites
  • Chemicals
  • Celiac disease
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Certain medications

Signs and Symptoms

  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Bloating

In Ayurveda, the removal of undigested food either through upper or lower channels of the digestive tract is known as VisucikaVisucika can present both as a symptom as well as a disease.

Pathophysiology

According to Ayurveda, the hypo functioning of the digestive fire (that is, diminished functioning) leads to the improper formation of tissues. Therefore, food products undergo fermentation and are retained in the colon forming the onset of toxic states. Food toxins or undigested food are the main cause of all diseases. Ayurveda understanding is that, not only dietary habits but also psychological states play an important role in the production of toxins (ama). The aggravated doshas combine with these food toxins and blocks a part of the stomach and quickly moves through the upward or downward passages according to the dosha involvement. If it is associated with Vata dosha it causes fainting, dryness of mouth and colic pain. In Pitta it presents as diarrhoea, fever and burning sensation. In Kapha there can be vomiting and anorexia (eating disorder).

Ayurvedic Management of Gastroenteritis

In Ayurveda, the treatment of Gastroenteritis is similar to  Diarrhoea treatment.
  • Take water frequently to avoid dehydration.
  • Avoid heavy, cold and dry food.
  • Eat only when you are hungry.
  • Consume easily digestible food.
  • It is a communicable disease so, avoid taking food and water from disease prone areas.
  • Drink boiled and cooled water only.
  • Intake of water boiled with cumin and coriander seeds to improve digestion.
  • Ginger has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory property so, water boiled with ginger also helps to remove abdominal colic, anorexia and diarrhoea.
  • Some herbal medicines like Tinospora cordifolia (Guloochi), Embelia ribes (Vidanga), Glycyrrhiza glabra (Mulethi), Aegle marmelos (Bilva) and Holarrhena antidysenterica (Kutaja) improve intestinal health and are good for proper digestion.
  • Panchakarma treatments (Detox programs including Vasti) will eliminate toxins.

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