The summer heat is still lingering even as fall arrives, and with such unremittingly high temperatures, foods spoil easily and bacteria grow rapidly. With Mid-Autumn Festival barbeques right around the corner, it means people will be eating more meat than usual, which increases the chances of eating spoiled or unsanitary meat products and subsequently increases the chances of getting acute gastroenteritis. Doctors are reminding people to be vigilant in protecting their bowels during all the festivities, avoiding burnt foods or eating excessive amounts of the same kind of meat, and making sure meats are well-cooked.
Tsai An-shun, a doctor in Changhua Hospital’s Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, says that according to his clinical experience, the number of patients in the emergency room for acute gastroenteritis usually soars during the Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on Sept. 30 this year. The majority of gastroenteritis cases are bacterial or viral, the symptoms of which include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pains and diarrhea. In severe cases, fevers occur with dehydration due to a severe loss of fluids, which can cause the body to go into shock.
Bacterial and viral gastroenteritis are usually caused by E. Coli, salmonella, or Staphylococcus aureus. The symptoms for both types are quite similar, the difference being that bacterial gastroenteritis causes damage to the lining of the small intestine, and patients might experience bloody stools. Viral gastroenteritis also changes the intestinal walls’ permeability, causing a loss of fluids and electrolytes, diarrhea and even watery stool.
The majority of gastroenteritis cases are easily treatable, but people on dialysis, with high blood pressure, heart disease, or autoimmune disorders should be particularly careful.
Even when dining with people in the same setting, eating exactly the same thing, some people will get sick while others are unaffected because people have different constitutions, resistance and immunity levels. People are also more likely to get gastroenteritis if they eat too many high-protein or fatty foods. The best way to keep your bowel healthy is to eat appropriate amounts of grilled meats, only having a little of each kind and not eating too much of one thing. The foods also need to be well-cooked but not burnt so as to avoid eating harmful carcinogens.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)