Currently where I live in the south of Sydney there is a massive food poisoning outbreak that has been traced back to a take-away food shop.

It was obviously a very popular one as, according to reports, our two local hospitals have had about 200 people present with symptoms and there have been around 2 dozen hospital admissions.

Achieving and maintaining good gut health is something I bang on about A LOT - no apologies there.

When, like me, you live by Hippocrates statement 'all disease begins in the gut' you take this stuff seriously.

By now most of us would be aware that a course of antibiotics wipes out all bacteria, not just the ones causing disease. I believe it is essential to be supplementing with beneficial bacteria while on antibiotics, however there are many schools of thought about this so as always you have to do the research and make you own decision on this.

While your gut microbiome is wiped out you are at your most vulnerable for acute and chronic mental and physical illness.

It is similar to when a baby is born. A baby's gut is close to sterile. The microbes it is exposed to from the people and environment it is born into is what we now know sets up its quality of health for life.

When you have food poisoning you also wipe out all your gut bacteria from the chronic diarrhea. It is essential to be extra vigilant about your environment and what you consume as well as trying to manage stress at this time as you are now a sitting duck for one or more of the chronic conditions in the attached image as well as those not listed i.e. mental illness.

So what can you do?
Remember that where our health is concerned there is no one size fits all even with something like food poisoning. Medications you are on and chronic conditions you may already have, among many other factors, need to be taken into consideration.

The following are simply guidelines - no dosages or specific recommendations are being made:

- Firstly and very importantly, be mindful of what it is you are putting into your body. You want to be promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria not setting up a wonderful environment for the less healthy ones.
Unfortunately for the hospitalised people, this is not understood and thus not taken into consideration by hospitals. Hospital food is notoriously unhealthy, especially from a gut health point of view.

- The first thing we think of with gastro is keeping up your fluids. A sachet of colours and chemicals is not advisable at the best of times but certainly not now. Neither is lemonade, flat or not. I believe fresh coconut water (not packaged) is wonderful as is homemade clear broths, herbal teas - especially ginger, mint, licorice or marshmellow, or just plain water with a pinch of salt and sugar in it.

- A probiotic with a good diversity of bacteria in high amounts (CFU's) is a good idea. In my experience, the liquid from good quality cultured vegetables is ideal.

- Pure activated charcoal (should be the only ingredient) is often very helpful.

- Detox baths especially, with epsom salts are great. Not only do they assist the body to detoxify but also help with cramping and the washed out and achy feeling one gets with gastro. In addition, you are replacing vital minerals that are lost with diarrhea.

- REST!!! This is one of the most underrated, yet most powerful things you can do for ANY type of healing.

- When you are able to tolerate solid food, try to keep it low fibre and well cooked - convalescing or 'geriatric' food. Keep mindful that you are wanting to feed beneficial microbes. Take this as a good opportunity to rebuild a really healthy gut microbiome.

If you know someone who has been affected by this latest outbreak, feel free to share this information with them. Some of the remedies I have been reading about are down right scary!

Prioritising good gut health at all times tends to be good security should you fall victim to food poisoning or a gut bug doing the rounds. It is one of the reasons why some people get really ill and others not so ill if affected at all.

DISLAIMER: What I share on this page are my views (unless stated otherwise) based on my research, my experience and my beliefs. The posts are only provided as food for thought.