Typhoid fever is a common ailment in the developing world. It is a contagious disease. It is spread by consumption of contaminated water and food. It is a common illness occurring more frequently in the monsoon season. It can be spread by a person with disease or by an asymptomatic carrier handling food. Fecal contamination of the water with inadequate sanitary facilities lead to typhoid fever.
Typhoid fever most commonly affects intestines and gastrointestinal tract though it can affect any organ of the body.
Some common symptoms of the typhoid fever are as follows:
- Malaise, fatigue and weakness
- High grade fever.
- Fever associated with chills
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain.
- Enlargement of the liver and spleen
Today let us discuss the diet for typhoid and will see what to eat and what not in the typhoid fever. Typhoid fever is a systemic illness which mainly affects the gastrointestinal tract. Gastrointestinal tract works for ingestion of food and makes your diet absorbable by your intestines.
What to eat during typhoid fever (Typhoid diet)?
As we discussed earlier typhoid fever mainly affects the intestines. Intestines digest your food. As your intestines become ill in this disease you need modification of diet. You should follow the following diet when you are suffering from typhoid.
Basic principles of diet in typhoid fever are providing adequate amounts of following nutrients:
- Water: Typhoid patients tend to become dehydrated because of high grade fever and ongoing illness. It is vital to keep adequate hydration.
- Carbohydrates: High energy diets are suggested in diets containing adequate amounts of carbohydrates.
- Proteins: Proteins help in body building and the immune system of the body. Proteins should be given in adequate amounts and not given in excess quantities.
- Minerals: Because of ongoing illness and inadequate food intake patients need to be given food with adequate minerals.
- Vitamins: Vitamins are supplied as supplements and nutritious food in typhoid fever.
- Easily digestible food
- Soft food like porridge
Following is the list of food items that are to be added in a typhoid diet to provide all above nutrients.
- Plenty of oral fluid: In typhoid fever you may have loose motions and vomiting sometimes. You may feel a reduced appetite. Addition to that you may have high grade fever. All these conditions lead to dehydration, so it is important to keep adequate hydration. You should drink a lot of water and fruit juices. Make sure you drink at least 2 litres of fluids daily. Do not drink fluids with extra added sugars and excessive salts.
- Fruits: You should eat Fruits that are soft and high in carbohydrates. Additionally fruits containing large amounts of water will help you in this illness. Soft fruits like bananas, mangoes, chikoo, papaya, grapes and apples, watermelon help you get carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and water.
- Rice: Rice contains a good amount of carbohydrates and proteins. When prepared by boiling It becomes a good and soft diet for typhoid fever. It is easily digestible food.
- Dal (Pulses): You can have cooked dal which is a soft and good source of vegetarian proteins. It can be consumed with roce. Moong dal is good along with rice.
- Soft and easily digestible food: If you have typhoid fever your diet should be soft and easily digestible.food so that your ill intestines can easily digest it for you.
- Boiled potatoes: Boiled potatoes are soft and easily digestible food. They contain adequate amounts of starch and carbohydrate that will provide you energy.
- Dairy product and milk: Dairy products contain a good amount of proteins. You can take milk if you like. In some people there is intolerance to milk. They should not consume milk as they may get nausea and vomiting sometimes abdominal pain with it. For infants below 6 months of age breast milk is the best food.
- Idlis and dosa: Idli and dosa provide you carbohydrates and proteins that may help you in your illness.
- Boiled eggs: Eggs are a good source of proteins and vitamins. Boiled eggs are good for typhoid. You should consume boiled eggs if you like it. Do not consume it in excessive amounts.
What not to eat during typhoid fever?
Some foods are to be avoided in typhoid fever, They as are as follows:
- Foods that are excessively fried: Foods like chips should be avoided in typhoid fever.
- Junk foods: Whether you have typhoid or no typhoid you should avoid junk foods as they are harmful for your health. In typhoid you should especially avoid it.
- Spicy foods: You should avoid excessively spicy foods in typhoid fever. They are difficult to digest and they may more irritate your intestines.
- Soda and carbonated drinks: Soda and carbonated drinks contain excess amounts of sugars and salts. They may lead to dehydration. You should avoid them to keep you hydrated, rather consume water, ORS and fruits.
- Alcohol: Avoid a booz and drinking alcohol when you are suffering from typhoid fever. Alcohol can induce gastritis and cause gastric ulcer and may dehydrate you. Additionally alcohol impairs absorption of essential nutrients in diet. It will make you more sick. Alcohol also interferes with medicines used for the treatment and may harm you as a result.
- Food with excess amounts of dietary fibres are to be avoided in typhoid fever.
When to eat a normal diet during typhoid fever?
In mild to moderate cases intestines are not affected severely in such cases normal diet should be continued.
As your appetite is improving which is usually from day 2-5 of treatment with antibiotics you should eat normally. In some patients it may take prolonged time to recover. When you are on treatment and fever is decreasing, you start feeling better as fatigue and weakness is reduced then you can start a normal diet as usual.
When to totally stop eating in typhoid fever?
Prolonged untreated typhoid fever can cause many complications like intestinal perforation and involvement of the other organs in the illness. In some conditions of complications oral food should be stopped and patients are treated in ICU set up hospitalised.
You should totally stop eating if you have following symptoms and signs:
- If there is severe abdominal pain.
- If there is distension of the abdomen.
- If you are vomiting blood.
- If you see blood in stool.
- If you lose consciousness during illness.
- If there are convulsions during the illness.
Usually untreated cases or treatment failure cases or immunosuppressed cases may experience severe complications. If a patient is very sick they may need to be hospitalised and their doctor may suggest parenteral nutrition till suitable conditions to start oral food.
Yes You can Eggs are good source of proteins and vitamins. You should it them. You should not eat them in excessive amounts.
Yes, potatoes contain adequate amount of starch. It contains carbohydrates and you should it them when you have typhoid fever.
Milk and dairy products are good as they contain proteins. Some patients may develop milk intolerance they should avoid milk.
You can have tea during typhoid fever but do not drink it in excessive amounts.
No, you shoild abstain from drinking alcohol as it is harmful during typhoid fever.
No, typhoid diet is supportive for the treatment. Antibiotics are only effective treatment to cure typhoid disease.