The SIBO Doctor Podcast
We discussed the topic of
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome.
You can listen here:
What to do when your kid has the flu?
My kid has the flu today. Hard to watch but I'm keeping him as comfortable as possible with the understanding that I need to support his immune system so he can fight this nasty thing.
Most don't feel like eating when they feel this rotten, which is as it should be. The body needs all energy diverted to the immune system to fight the virus, so digesting food is just one more non-critical thing it has to do. But calories and nutrients are important to help the immune system do its thing. The best you can provide your child at this point is easily digestible calories via fluid. Lots and lots of it. Fluids need to be taken consistently to keep up with hydration (remember there's a fever), energy and electrolyte balance. If they're not getting up to pee at least once an hour, they're not drinking enough.
The types of fluids are important as well. While water is critical, relying on it solely isn't giving enough energy or nutrients to support needs. And relying too heavily on juices or Gatorade type drinks is just giving large amounts of sugar which can stress the system. So, providing nutrient dense fluids that support, but don't tax, the body is what you want to provide.
Here's the plan for today: I'm alternating the following fluids into his diet throughout the day:
Coconut water or Hansen's Recharge sports drinks are two other fine things to provide for electrolyte balance, especially if your kid has diarrhea. My kid is just feverish and headachey, so the majority of the fluids I'm providing are coming from the water, broth and tea. The juices come in where a meal or snack might happen so I'm not overloading his system with too much sugar. I have a pot of chicken soup on the stove and basmati rice ready to go when his system is ready for it. He'll let me know when.
I'm also checking his temperature every few hours. The Tylenol is keeping it between 101 and 102 which I'm comfortable with. We sometimes forget that as crappy as it makes us feel, a fever is a good thing as it's the body's way of burning out the virus. Once it goes over 103, my comfort lessens and it's time to hit the Tylenol again as long as it's been 4 hours since the last dose. If it hasn't, then I'll need to get him outside into the cold air and start him on ice water to bring down his temperature.
As for me, I have to assume the virus will want a piece of me, as well. So, in addition to limiting my time in his tiny, little flu-infested room and washing my hands maybe too many times after touching his infected wares, I, too, am eating lightly with nutrient dense fluids, soup and white rice. I'm basically following his program of resting, avoiding too much activity or stress, and nourishing my body with nutrients that mean something. The more I can divert more energy to my immune system, the less likely I am to contract this wretched thing. Got to protect those who serve.
Photography by Donna Cleveland