Managing Stomach Virus or Food Poisoning on GAPS

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Chicken Stock

If you don't like reading about people being sick then just skip over the next two paragraphs. I'll tell you when it's safe in a big bold header.

I got struck with something over this weekend.  It took about 44 hours of my life away.  I don't often have stomach problems, even though I'm a GAPSter my stomach has always been pretty cast iron and I love eating hot foods like jalapeno peppers. Some people think after the Jalapeno Incident how would I ever eat them again, but it wasn't ingesting them that caused the harm, it was being contaminated with the capsicum particles which absorbed down into the layers of my skin. But enough of that, you can read about the whole thing if you want by clicking on the link above.

I was feeling just fine on Friday morning but I had a slight headache.  I'm not one to have headaches, either, especially not since I've been on GAPS and have no allergy problems in my sinuses.  But every once in awhile I'll have a slight headache so I didn't think anything of it.  I was busy working on my computer and had to make some phone calls and was feeling annoyed.  Nothing new.  Around 4pm my head started to hurt worse and although I usually won't lay down that late in the afternoon since it will interfere with my bedtime I decided to heck with bedtimes I feel rotten, and I went and laid down.

My head started to hurt worse.  The pain grew more intense. It was behind my left eye and radiating from my eye socket into my head.  Pretty soon, I guess within about half an hour I suddenly with no warning at all – no stomachache, no grumblings, nothing, suddenly I knew I was going to puke.  I made my way to the toilet just in time and was astonished to be vomiting.  This continued for about eight hours until my stomach was completely emptied and I could keep nothing down at all.  I know to sip tiny amounts of water after vomiting but even those tiny amounts were coming right back up.  I spent quite a bit of time lying on the floor in front of the toilet in a fetal position since it made my stomach feel better to have my knees pressed against it.

How I Handled This Stomach Ailment

Electrolyte Replacement.  The first thing I did was start sipping on an electrolyte replacement.  About 18 years ago I was very sick and I was drinking only water to replace fluids lost.  I ended up with severe body aches and pains and I found later that you can't just drink water when you are losing fluids so dramatically when ill.  At that time my mother rescued me by bringing me Campbell's Chicken Noodle soup but that wouldn't be an option now that I'm on GAPS.

I asked my son to come up with something. I don't know the exact amounts, but he made 1/2 gallon of a concoction that contained Celtic salt, water, fresh squeezed lemon and honey [affiliate link].  It was just slightly sweet and slightly salty and was very refreshing ice cold.   I was taking tiny, tiny sips, but could not keep it down. I also had suggestions from the GAPShelp list that I should use coconut water, and I remember I also had this product BodyBio/E-Lyte Balanced Electrolyte Concentratewhich is recommended by Dr. Ben Lynch in his MTHFRade drink.  I began adding one capful to about 1 cup of the salted honey lemonade my son had made.

Homemade Chicken Broth. My husband started a batch of chicken stock.  Unfortunately, once it was done he left to cool for too long and within a few hours it was bubbling – I guess it was fermenting but there was no way I was going to eat fermented chicken soup.   We have had this happen before where the stock has gone bad and it starts to stink really bad pretty quickly and I don't think it would be at all safe to eat, especially not with my stomach in the condition it was.

However, before that pot of soup went bad he gave me a few ounces to drink while I sat in a detox bath with Epsom salts.   I drank maybe 1 ounce, but this stayed down and finally I was able to get some relief from the stomach pain and nausea and the headache also lessened.  I was able to sleep through the night.

I Ate Some Dirt.   A couple of my GAPSter friends suggested that I try some charcoal or clay.  I did not have charcoal on hand, but I did have some Redmond Clay on hand and I mixed 1/2 teaspoon in with the electrolyte drink and I was amazed that I actually like this clay!   I don't know what I thought it would be like, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it has a smooth texture and a nice flavor.  I will definitely be using clay more often to remove toxins.

Detox Baths with Epsom Salts, Vinegar or Baking Soda [affiliate link]. I alternated between these and took about six detox baths over the two days.  I was in bed so much that my body was aching from lying down for so long so it was nice to sit in the tub and relax.

Slowly Reintroducing Foods.  So for about 24 hours all I had was broth and the electrolyte drink.  Then at about 28 hours I felt like I could handle boiled egg yolks so I had a few with some butter and salt.  Today I had about 2″ of banana and more boiled egg yolks, broth and the electrolyte drink.

I still don't have much of an appetite.

As I mentioned, this is the first time I've had a stomach ailment since being on GAPS.  In my life before GAPS, tossing my cookies meant 7-UP, white rice, Campbell's Chicken Noodle soup, buttered noodles, and Saltine crackers.  Since those aren't allowed on GAPS, and especially since the latter three contain gluten, I wasn't about to go there.  I figured it would make me even sicker to have these items at a time like this.  It was a little scary not knowing what I should have… and I came this close >=< to asking my husband to bring home 7-UP…

So I made it through.  I still don't know for sure if it was food poisoning or a stomach virus.  My husband thinks he might be sick but his symptoms are not the same as mine, and he doesn't have a headache.  I would like for this to be food poisoning, and I suspect it was some nitrate-free sausage that I get from time to time which always has a slight “off” taste but it always has that taste and has never affected me before.  The reason why I would like for it to be food poisoning is because then I don't have to worry about Matthew getting sick.  I worry a lot when he gets sick because it is hard to gauge how he's doing and oh boy let's just say he can't make it to the right place in time so uh, yeah. No fun.

 

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5 comments to Managing Stomach Virus or Food Poisoning on GAPS

  • Oh dear Starlene, 8 hours is a long time to endure. I remember reading that there is quite a bit of risk of getting food poisoning actually from pre-cooked sausages and hot dogs. So.sorry you had to go through that but I am glad you stuck to your diet despite the difficulty.

    [Reply]

    Starlene Reply:

    Hi Charlotte, oh you know I wanted to clarify that I wasn’t tossing my cookies for 8 hours straight but rather 5 or 6 times during that time. The sausage I got is a really high quality brand name and I’m sorry it happened because now I can’t trust it. I can’t afford to lose two days like that again! And I hate puking! Agh! Thanks for your kindness.

    [Reply]

  • Anne

    Thanks for this post! I’ve been on GAPS for over a month now, experiencing some fun die-off, but this has been a horrible 60 hrs of aches, chills and wishing I could throw up, but can’t! I appreciate the help and hope!

    [Reply]

    Starlene Reply:

    Oh Anne, I’m so sorry. I hope you feel better soon. 🙁 ~Starlene

    [Reply]

  • Joe

    Sorry to hear about your pain. I have been having similar issues, glad I found your site. I have been searching for hours, going to give these recommendations a try. Thank you!

    [Reply]

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