Every year, millions of people around the world are affected by typhoid. If neglected, this disease is capable of taking lives. Even in cases where medical treatment has been sought, this disease can be physically and mentally draining.
It is therefore necessary to have a diet that compensates for this loss and helps to get through the condition in a healthy manner. In this article, we have put focus on a diet that is suitable for typhoid patients.
Typhoid is a contagious disease, more specifically a bacterial infection, which is caused by the bacteria Salmonella Typhi usually present in unhygienic or contaminated products and areas.
When you consume food or drink water from these products, the bacteria enter your body, causing typhoid fever which is generally followed by symptoms like fatigue, headache, chills with high fever, swollen abdomen, diarrhoea or constipation, sore throat, pink spots on the chest, nausea and other gastro-intestinal problems.
These symptoms usually begin at about one to three weeks after the infection starts to spread and may last from anywhere between seven to fourteen days or more (months) in untreated cases.
Even though Salmonella Typhi affects the digestive system, the blood may carry these microbes to different organs of the body, resulting in worse conditions. That's why it is very important to treat typhoid as well as eat the right type of food.Here's a 7 things you must follow when it comes to planning a diet for typhoid:
1. Eat More Frequently
2. Drink More Healthy Fluids Frequently
3. Consume A Protein And Carbohydrate Rich Diet
4. Include More Foods Easy To Digest
5. Try To Avoid Foods Containing Insoluble Fiber
6. Spicy, Fatty, Oily Foods Are A Big No-No
7. Consume More Vitamins1. Eat More Frequently
On one hand, typhoid drains you of all your energy and on the other hand, it severely reduces your appetite and urge to eat. You may not feel like eating large portions of food like you regularly do.
Hence, you must eat more frequently and include more healthy snacks in your day's curriculum in order to provide your body the energy it needs to function. Since you'll be consuming smaller portions, ensure that the food you eat is highly nutritious.2. Drink More Healthy Fluids Frequently
During typhoid, your body will lose fluids in more ways than one. Sweating and vomiting will only speed up the rate at which your body gets dehydrated. Your body would also take up as much water as it can to provide more energy. You'll most likely have very watery stools and diarrhoea.
All of these added together is going to further worsen your condition and cause dehydration related problems. That's why you need to drink more healthy fluids to rejuvenate and hydrate your body, and also to maintain the electrolytic balance.
Apart from water, you can drink fresh juices of fruits, sugarcane juice, lime juice, glucose water, coconut water, vegetable soups or broth, sweet or unsweetened yoghurt, etc. In severe cases of dehydration you may need to be hospitalized in order to be given IV fluids or injections.3. Consume A Protein- And Carbohydrate-rich Diet
Because of lack of appetite, low energy, and low food and fluid intake during typhoid, your body will end up losing weight. And no, this is not a healthy kind of weight loss because you'll be losing out on your proteins and muscle mass - not fats.
That is why you need to include proteins and carbohydrates in your diet. While proteins add to your muscle mass, carbohydrates will provide you the necessary energy, thereby minimizing weight loss. You can consume fruits like avocado, dry fruits, dates, dry apricots, jack fruit, etc. You can also consume dairy products like yoghurt and buttermilk.4. Include More Foods Easy To Digest
As typhoid weakens the entire body and mainly the digestive system, your digestive and intestinal processes are definitely going to take a blow, making it difficult to digest certain types of food items. First of all, ensure that your food is well cooked and soft so as to ease ingestion and break down.
Liquid as well as semi-solid foods are alright and easy to digest. Consume more of porridge, vegetable soups, fruit custards, baked and mashed potatoes, poached eggs, boiled rice, etc.
Although make sure to avoid vegetables like capsicum and cabbage which will cause bloating and gas, making you feel full even when you might not have consumed enough food.5. Try To Avoid Foods Containing Insoluble Fibre
For the same reasons specified above, you must not consume foods with insoluble fibre or reduce their consumption as much as possible. Insoluble fibres are basically carbs that come from plant products, along with soluble fibres.
Although insoluble fibre, under normal conditions, is considered beneficial, that is not the case during typhoid as it is difficult to digest and may cause irritation in the intestinal tract.
This includes skins of fruits and vegetables, raw vegetables, seeds, whole grains, bran cereals, beans and lentils, half cooked pulses, fermented foods, etc.6. Spicy, Fatty, Oily Foods Are A Big No-No
Seriously, keep away from them while typhoid fever is round the corner. Eating these kinds of foods is going to slow down or hinder proper digestion. They may not be all unhealthy, but after suffering from typhoid you really need to show your digestive system some much needed love and pampering and spicy/fatty foods are not really the best options.
Be it spicy or oily food, greasy food, junk food or butter - you must keep them away at least until two weeks post your recovery. Some common items like garlic, chilli, onion and vinegar must also be treated in the same manner as they tend to do more damage to your already damaged digestive and intestinal systems.7. Consume More Vitamins
When we say vitamins, we're referring to A, B and C. Vitamins improve overall body function and help you regain proper health post recovery. These can be found in various fruits and vegetables like oranges, carrots and mashed potatoes. Although ingesting them in the form of supplements post recovery from typhoid should only be done after consulting your doctor.
Wash your fruits and vegetables as well as your hands properly before consumption. Altogether avoid places with very poor hygiene. If you can't do that, at least refrain from consuming food products or water from that area.
Carrying a water bottle would be very handy. If you can't avoid travelling to a place where you think you might contract typhoid, see a doctor to get typhoid vaccination at least two weeks prior to your journey.
If at all you have symptoms of typhoid, seek immediate medical help. Don't wait for the symptoms to worsen - better an 'oops' than a 'what if'.