Tips to get over food poisoning
New Zealand’s favourite wellbeing expert, Dr Libby answers readers’ questions about living a healthier life.
Question: I got food poisoning (from chicken) about three months ago. The diarrhoea has stopped but I still get a lot of pain with bowel motions. I’ve done a faeces test and they said itwas all clear. The pain is sending me home from work nowso I need to stop it. What can I do? Thanks, Mrs P.
Hi Mrs P, it sounds like you may have a residual infection. Sometimes after food poisoning the infective organisms can take up residence in the large intestine. There are only a few species that can be tested for in a faeces test – if you don’t have one of the organisms that can be tested for, it won’t show up.
What I write here is for your education. I amnot prescribing this for you, as I don’t know your full health history or if you take any medications. Herbs that have an anti-parasitic action include black walnut, grapefruit seed extract and Chinese wormwood. These herbs are best taken with each meal for 6-8 weeks.
After you have eliminated the problematic organism/s the pain will likely subside. You then want to focus on eating food that contains good bacteria such as Bifidobacterium.
Good bacteria are found in fermented foods such as sauerkraut, or you may like to take a good quality probiotic.
It will be best to see a health professional to guide you with this process – what we refer to as ‘‘weed, seed, feed’’ when it comes to gut health.And if the pain does not cease, please have it further investigated. Question: My child has eczema and to date I’ve only given her topical steroids for this. I read recently that diet can be involved in eczema. Should I change her diet to see if it helps? She is 6 years old. Thanks, Amelia.
Hi Amelia, eczema is a common childhood condition where the skin becomes dry, itchy and flaky. Food allergies are the main cause of eczema in children, and I find that a four-week trial where you exclude potential allergens can be extremely helpful in resolving it.
When it comes to eczema you need to remember that red means recent. When the skin become red and inflamed, this is a reaction to something that has been consumed recently.
The most common foods associated with eczema include cow’s milk, eggs, nuts (sometimes seeds), foods high in phenolic compounds such as most fruit, and red-pigmented food like tomato, chilli and capsicum, gluten and chocolate. Start by
choosing one of these foods or groups and exclude it from the diet for four weeks.
If someone in the family is already known to be allergic or intolerant to one of these foods then begin the trial with that food. You need to be very strict and ensure that not even a tiny amount of the substance is in the diet. Read all food labels to be sure. It is essential to undertake an exclusion diet trial under the care of an experienced health practitioner to ensure that your child still receives all the nutrients she needs.
In addition to dietary change, a child with eczema is likely to be deficient in an enzyme critical for the body to be able to incorporate fat into the skin. This enzyme is called delta-6-desaturase. It is found in evening primrose oil.
The infective organisms introduced by food poisoning can linger in your system for weeks.
WITH AUTHOR AND NUTRITIONAL BIOCHEMIST