E. Coli or Escherichia coli are naturally present in your gut. Most strains are harmless and considered to be healthy bacteria. However, some pathogenic strains can cause you a lot of distress. These bacteria are usually transmitted by consuming contaminated foods.
The good thing is, the early symptoms of E. Coli sickness can be taken care of at home. Before we get to the home remedies for E. Coli, it is better to get an idea of what symptoms you should expect.
Symptoms of E.coli
The following are the range of symptoms associated with E. Coli. In case these symptoms persist or worsen, you will need to consult a medical professional.
- Abdominal cramps
- Loss of appetite
- Sudden watery diarrhea
- Bloody stools
How you Might have Got Infected
You must have been aware that E. Coli is transmitted via contaminated foods. However, you might be wondering whether you have been exposed to such food. But, is it the only way to get an E. Coli infection? Not exactly. Here are the most known causes:
Improper Food Management
When people talk about contaminated foods, they seem to consider only direct contamination. There are many ways that your food can end up contaminated due to poor handling. Following are some common reasons:
- Not washing hands before preparing food
- Improper cleaning of cooking utensils or serving dishes
- Eating raw seafood
- Consuming food that has been left out for too long
- Eating meat that has not been cooked to the right temperature
A common way that E.coli can transmit is from water that has been contaminated with human or animal waste. You can get infected not just my drinking this water but also by swimming in it.
From Humans or Animals
You can also get E. coli from an infected person. It can spread via touch or food. Crowded places like schools, nursing homes, and so on are more vulnerable to this type of infection. Similarly, people who work with animals might face an increased susceptibility to infection. This infection can be avoided by washing your hands properly before handling or eating food.
Home Remedies for E.coli
Drink Adequate Fluids
The main symptoms of an E.coli infection are diarrhea and vomiting. These symptoms cause you to lose a lot of fluids. Which is why you will need to consume more fluids than your regular intake. Keep a water bottle handy or drink warm water to ease your stomach. Your fluids can be taken in the form of soups or juices as well. Similarly, you can consume fresh fruits and vegetables with high water content.
Increase your Electrolyte Intake
Along with fluids, you are losing a lot of minerals during this sickness. Minerals present in electrolyte, like calcium or magnesium, can be essential in helping your body recover quickly. Since it is difficult to keep foods down, you can resort to taking electrolyte solutions as well. These will help you heal quicker by replenishing your energy and giving your body the strength to heal.
Stick to Low-Fiber Diet
Once the symptoms start to minimize, you can begin consuming solid food again. However, try to avoid fiber-rich foods during this time. It would be best if you stick to low-fiber foods such as toast, eggs, soda crackers, or rice. These will be easy to digest for you.
Avoid Certain Foods
Many foods may further irritate your stomach. You should stay away from dairy products, fatty foods, and highly seasoned foods. These will be difficult to digest and can worsen your existing symptoms.
You should also try to avoid anti-diarrhea medication as soon as the symptoms begin. These can slow down your digestion process, which will make it harder for your body to get rid of the toxins. It is best to let your body heal naturally for a few days unless the symptoms worsen.
Take plenty of rest as the symptoms are likely to tire you out. Don’t put any additional strain on your body and allow it to focus on healing.
When to See a Doctor
While symptoms of an E. Coli infection commonly go away within a few days, there are cases with serious complications. If ignored, these may lead to kidney failure or even death. These complications are especially concerning for people with a weaker immune system, infants, or elderly people.
- Abdominal cramps persist even after a bowel movement
- Diarrhea that persists over four days for an adult and two days for a child
- Blood in your stools
- Vomiting that persists for over 12 hours
- Experiencing fever with your diarrhea
- Inability to keep any food or liquid down
- Symptoms of high dehydration such as a lack of urine or dizziness
How to Prevent E. Coli Infection in the Future?
As you may have heard, prevention is far better than cure. Now that you’ve learned how to treat E. Coli sickness at home, let’s talk about how we can avoid this in the future. Also, find out how E-Coli differs from Salmonella here. After all, once is too many already for suffering food poisoning. Here are a couple of things you can do to prevent this infection in the future:
- Always wash your hands before preparing, handling or eating food
- Ensure that your meat is cooked thoroughly, especially chicken
- Keep all kitchen utensils clean
- Ensure a contamination-free water supply
- Avoid public pools
- Avoid unpasteurized milk and juices
- Wash all fruits and vegetables properly before consumption
- Refrigerate food within two hours of cooking
E. Coli sickness can be exhausting. You are likely to experience diarrhea and vomiting for a few days until it passes through your system. With proper care, you can treat E. coli sickness at home itself. However, if the symptoms persist for longer than four days, then you should consult a medical professional.
Table of Contents
- Symptoms of E.coli
- How you Might have Got Infected
- Home Remedies for E.coli
- When to See a Doctor
- How to Prevent E. Coli Infection in the Future?
- In Summary,