Dietary Guidelines to Strengthen People Suffering from Typhoid Fever

Typhoid seems to be doing the rounds in Bangalore city. Many children and young people are down with it. In the old days it would be seen to occur mostly in slum areas. Today however many are down with it and it could be because so many are eating out.

Typhoid is a condition, which is got through contaminated water, milk or food. It is a salmonella infection resulting in a very high fever for a shot duration and in this case the lining of the small intestines are infected and damaged. Sometimes ulcers are formed, sometimes diarrhea occurs but usually stomach pain and fever are common. Absorption of food nutrients is hindered and due to this you will feel hungry, headache may occur too and you feel very weak. You want to eat but feel nauseous and so you cannot eat and the weakness continuous.

The diet principles to follow are to keep up a high calorie intake with plenty of carbohydrate in the form of fruit juices with glucose, coconut water, barley water, porridge, rice kanjee, rava, etc. High protein is also required so if there is no diarrhea, milk, custards, fruit milk shake, thin dhal, eggs, soft cooked fish and chicken may be given. Mashed potato and other soft cooked vegetables and fruits like banana must be given. As there is intestinal inflammation all fiber is to be eliminated from the diet so that the intestine is not further irritated. Also a bland diet is to be followed without any spices or masala. Also avoid all deep fried food and snacks.

Because of the fever, water balance may be affected. So plenty of water and fluids are necessary. Fat intake has to be as low as possible so that we do not put extra burden on the digestive process and help keep the fever down. Too much fat in the food during fever causes the fever to rise higher. It may also cause vomiting which we want to avoid as far as possible or there would be further lose of nutrients and more weakness.

Foods to be strictly avoided are butter, ghee, chillies, spices and all irritating fibers occurring in foods. Also rich pastries, deep fried snacks, desserts and thick cream soups must be avoided. But as mentioned earlier much care must be taken to get in high quantity of calories otherwise the person becomes very weak, there is much hair loss and loss of muscle tone. Small frequent feeds of juice, fruit, milk or buttermilk, bread and jam and light biscuits may be tried. When feeding a person recovering from Typhoid we have to be very patient and persistent. It may take half an hour to 45 minutes to complete one meal. However we must be patient and kindly coax the person to finish or she/he will become very weak and take very long to get back to the normal routine of school or work.

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