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Stomach Flu 101: Symptoms And Effective Remedies

stomach flu
stomach flu

Recovering from stomach flu is not difficult for some people. However, some face difficulties ensuring they are recovering from the condition. A few burdensome symptoms of the infection may require the attention of a specialist for recovery.

The complications related to stomach flu are mainly associated with the loss of electrolytes and nutrients that maintain the physiological balance.

In addition, consuming the best food for stomach flu can also make a difference for people going through the issue.

The following sections will highlight the best ways to recuperate from the condition. By following the remedies, ensure your energy levels are back to normal within little to no time.

There are various remedies for stomach flu; the following will mainly focus on easy treatments that anyone can incorporate without any hassle.

What Is Stomach Flu?

What Is Stomach Flu

Stomach flu or viral gastroenteritis is an intestinal infection that targets the gastrointestinal system.

The addition of flu to the name of the disease does not imply that it is related to influenza; the latter is known to affect the respiratory system, whereas the former is a gastrointestinal condition.

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Symptoms Of Stomach Flu:   

The symptoms of this condition are mainly limited to the lower half of the body- specifically the intestines. The signs of this infection include the following:

  • Watery stools
  • Nonbloody diarrhea
  • Stomach ache
  • Feeling nauseous
  • Vomiting
  • Headache or muscle aches that are occasional
  • Mild fever

The symptoms are evident within three days of the infection and may last 2-14 days.

Please note: Despite the similarity in symptoms, bacterial diarrhea differs from stomach flu and can be differentiated with the help of a laboratory test.

Is Stomach Flu Contagious?

Is Stomach Flu Contagious

The causative organism of this condition is a virus. Usually, infections caused by microorganisms are contagious depending on the type of virus, bacteria, or fungi affecting them. The virus causing stomach flu is easily spread between two people through direct contact.

This means if an infected person shares their food, water, and utensils with a healthy person, they can get infected. The virus is also spread if a healthy person comes in contact with a contaminated surface and touches their mouth.

However, the infection is treatable and requires a little T.L.C.

From the doctor’s desk: Avoid going to work or school with symptoms to lower the risk of infecting others. Waiting 24 hours for the symptoms to subside before resuming routine is advised.

Treatment Of Stomach Flu

Treatment Of Stomach Flu

The confirmatory test allows a physician to know the symptoms’ cause (bacterial or viral), enabling them to recommend the correct pharmacological treatment. As a virus causes the condition, there are no effective medicines, and antibiotics do not work for viruses.

However, the condition only requires medication if the symptoms worsen over time.

The following remedies help maintain proper energy to recover from the stomach flu.

Remedies For Stomach Flu  

Replenish Fluids  

The primary symptoms of this condition are watery diarrhea, and vomiting, which result in the loss of fluids. This results in the loss of electrolytes essential for recovery and feeling comfortable again.

Replenishing the water and electrolytes can be through drinking coconut water, plain water, broth, or electrolyte-infused fluids (sports drinks)

Doctors advise against the use of coffee or alcohol to replenish fluids or electrolytes, as these can upset the stomach and disrupt the rest cycle.

Get Proper Rest  

The most crucial part of healing is getting enough rest. Complete rest is advised for the individual to recover from fatigue caused by the symptoms.

Fighting off the infection requires giving the body enough time to rest and repair the damage that was caused.

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Dietary Changes  

Specific dietary changes are needed for the body to receive the essential nutrients that can help in fighting off the infection.

The most favored diet for people who are going through the condition is the B.R.A.T. diet.

This diet includes:

B- Bananas

R- Rice

A- Apple/applesauce

T- Toast

The diet is exclusively for people who are experiencing symptoms related to the stomach flu, such as diarrhea and vomiting.

It is also advised that people avoid the consumption of food for a couple of hours after the vomiting or diarrhea has stopped.

The BRAT diet, or a diet similar to this, is easy for the body to digest while also helping in the control of symptoms that individuals experience.

Certain foods must be avoided during recovery, such as- spicy and fibrous food, dairy, and greasy food.

Ginger And Peppermint  

The use of ginger during recuperation helps in overcoming the symptoms quickly. Ginger has beneficial effects against nausea and vomiting. A recent study found that using ginger in tea, tablets, or cookies can help reduce vomiting, irrespective of age.

Similarly, peppermint is not just an excellent addition to toothpaste or chewing gums; it has a relieving effect as well.

Studies have found that peppermint has soothing effects on the stomach. And its antiviral properties can thus aid in relieving symptoms such as fever, nausea, and vomiting.

Medications For Symptoms  

The symptoms of stomach flu may result in extreme discomfort, which may slow down recovery. Thus, it is necessary for individuals to ensure the symptoms are adequately managed. The most important thing to keep in mind is to avoid self-medication. This will ensure that there is no antibiotic resistance that is developed due to wrong medicines (unnecessary consumption of antibiotics).

If symptoms such as stomach ache, nausea, fever, and headache get overwhelming, the doctor may prescribe a few over-the-counter medicines. Be sure to take medications only after a doctor’s consultation and as prescribed by them.

Please note: Avoid self-medication as it may hamper recovery. Prescribing medicines requires expertise due to the complex interaction between the drug’s components and the body’s physiology.

Wrapping Up!  

Resting and replenishing fluids and electrolytes will be the most effective remedies when suffering from stomach flu. When you take care of a few things, you can ensure that your road to recovery is smooth. Have any other remedies that you have tried? Comment down below and let us know what worked for you!

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Harsha Sharma
Harsha is a senior content writer with numerous hobbies who takes great pride in spreading kindness. Earning a Postgraduate degree in Microbiology, she invests her time reading and informing people about various topics, particularly health and lifestyle. She believes in continuous learning, with life as her inspiration, and opines that experiences enrich our lives.

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