How can COVID-19 damage your gut? 5 ways to keep your stomach healthy
Here are some ways COVID-19 may impact your gut and tips to maintain stomach health.
COVID-19 primarily affects the respiratory system, but there is emerging evidence suggesting that it may also impact the gastrointestinal tract. The virus can potentially cause gastrointestinal symptoms and affect the health of your gut. Here are some ways COVID-19 may impact your gut and tips to maintain stomach health.
Ways COVID-19 may affect your gut
COVID-19 patients may experience symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain. These symptoms can directly impact the gastrointestinal tract.
Viral replication in the gut
Studies have shown that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, can replicate in the gastrointestinal system, potentially leading to gut inflammation.
Altered gut microbiota
Illness, medications, and stress associated with COVID-19 may alter the balance of gut microbiota. Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is crucial for overall digestive health.
COVID-19 can trigger an inflammatory response in the body, and this inflammation may affect the gastrointestinal tract, leading to conditions like gastritis or enteritis.
Impact on nutrient absorption
Severe cases of COVID-19, especially those requiring intensive care, may lead to malabsorption of nutrients in the gut. This can affect overall nutritional status.
Tips to keep your stomach healthy
Maintain a balanced diet
Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to support overall digestive health.
Drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day to support digestion and prevent dehydration, especially if experiencing diarrhea.
Incorporate probiotic-rich foods like yogurt or take probiotic supplements to promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria.
Practice stress-reducing activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga. Stress can negatively impact gut health.
Follow COVID-19 guidelines
Adhere to public health guidelines to prevent COVID-19 infection. This includes practicing good hygiene, wearing masks, and getting vaccinated.
It's important to note that individual responses to COVID-19 can vary, and some people may not experience gastrointestinal symptoms. If you have concerns about your gut health or experience persistent symptoms, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.