Typhoid is an infectious disease which afflicts a large number of people annually, in developing countries around the world. The disease is caused by the bacteria called salmonella typhi and manifests itself with symptoms such as high fever, stomach pain, constipation or diarrhea, ulcers in the intestine and hemorrhage and it can cause severe weakness in the patient.
The worse thing about this disease is that it spreads very fast, through water and food, which has been contaminated by the feces of a patient of typhoid. The disease requires early diagnosis as well as medical attention in time, so that it does not much harm to the patient as well as the spread of infection is curbed by taking proper precautions. Adequate rest and proper diet are recommended in particular, in addition to treatment with medication. Therefore, a patient has to be very careful about what he eats while he is recuperating from the typhoid fever.
Here are some precautions and diet tips for typhoid patients:
#1. Whatever be the kind of fever, patients are suggested to have a bland diet, which is light and easy to digest because fever generally affects the digestive capacity of a patient. This is particularly important in case of diamond patients as gastrointestinal discomfort is common in them. Though the food should be bland, light and east to digest, it should have adequate nutritional value as well as suffice the daily calorie need of the body. Also, high protein foods should be preferred along with the ones which help balance the water and electrolytes in the body. Such foods will bring down the chances of acidity and inflammation of the mucus membrane of the digestive tract.
#2. Intake of natural fluids should be encouraged, particularly that of water because it keeps the body hydrated. Other fluids like coconut water, fresh fruit juice, barley water, butter milk and vegetable soups should also be included in the diet, as they not only keep the body hydrated but also supply a hefty dose of nutrients to it. Focus on keeping high on liquid diet.
#3. As you recover gradually, you can start having some healthy fruits along with the liquid based diet. Bananas, grapes, apricots, watermelons, cantaloupes and peaches are good for their nutritive values. One should switch over to solid food only when excessive hunger is experienced.
#4. Next semi solid foods such as boiled rice, yogurt, bakes potatoes, baked apples and soft boiled eggs can be included in the diet of the typhoid patient. Unrefined foods such as bread and unpolished rice can be started only after the patient is no longer suffering from fever. Meat is high in protein but is hard to digest, which makes eggs a better option if you want to get enough protein in your food. Vegetarians can fulfill their requirement with foods such as cottage cheese, legumes and lentils.
#5. Even after a patient has recovered from typhoid, certain food items are to be avoided to make sure that the disease does not resurface, and patients on recovery should also keep away from them. These include high fiber foods like whole grain cereals, salad vegetables and whole wheat bread. The reason is that high fiber food exerts pressure on the digestive system, which has been weakened in case of typhoid patients. Gas causing vegetables like turnip, cabbage and capsicum should also be avoided and so should fried and oily food, as these inflame the digestive tract.
#6. Instead of taking a few heavy meals during the day, take small and light meals throughout it so that the digestive system can cope up easily with it.
#7. It is better to drink boiled water as it is free of any kinds of germs. When a person is afflicted by typhoid, his immune system goes weak and he is not able to fight disease, so it is better to kill water borne germs before they reach inside the body and cause further damage to it.
In addition to adhering to these dietary tips for the patients of typhoid, physical rest is absolutely essential to help the body recover from the infection. Proper sleep and rest will help the body repair its cells and take it back to its normal state, while exertion can lead to relapse of typhoid.