Gastroenteritis is the name given to ‘stomach flu’ by doctors. 83% of North Americans are likely to get this ‘flu’ once in their life-time. Vaccination is available across Canada and USA for free at different parts of the country.
Generally this occurs in holiday seasons and winter.
The general ‘stomach flu’ symptoms are high fever, mild body shivering, headache, fatique, dehydration, diarrhea and vomiting. The ‘home treatment’ include drinking lots of fluids, chicken noodle soup, putting warm wet towels on the forehead, taking lot of rest and sleep and finally taking a flu shot if necessary.
One of the top ten conditions in 2014, which UK people were searching was stomach ache and abdominal pain. About 3 million users searched for this disease on Mirror.co.uk. Most people are worried about gastric flu in the month of October and least worried in June.
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How does the Stomach Flu Spread?
If somebody sneezes or if a person comes in contact with an infected person, than the virus cells are transmitted to that healthy person. This goes through the throat generally. Each virus cell has keys kind of arrangement on its periphery.
When any of these keys sits on a healthy body cell and interlocks with the nails present on it, then there is a welcome scenario to the virus. This welcome structure goes deeper and deeper and bursts.
Then outcomes the ‘secret recipe’ of things which multiply to make more viruses. These ‘deadly cells’ enter into the nucleus and make different ‘copies’ by a specific molecule. Then these come out and have ‘unhealthy keys’. Like this, a single virus cell multiplies into thousands and millions.
Luckily, the immune system in our body ‘grasps’ the virus cells and kills them. So most of the times the 100 trillion cells present in our body keep in check these viruses.
The important thing is to maintain hydration. With the given episode of vomiting, only 60% of the fluid comes out. So sipping small amounts of water, which is not too much, from time to time replenishes the fluids.
How to Recover from Stomach Flu?
The following actions will help you to treat stomach flu at home easily.
Take the Right fluids
The best method to recoup from the tummy flu is to drink lot of clear liquids like water and broth. Teenagers and adults can also have sports drinks. These help in replenishing salts and sugars in your body with electrolyte replacement during the stomach flu. There are certain teas that can ease your suffering. Ginger tea helps nausea and peppermint tea calms the stomach.
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Take the Right Foods
The BRAT diet is the right food to take to recoup from stomach flu. The BRAT diet includes four components: bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. These are easily available at home. Banana replaces lost nutrients and strengthens stomach lining. A cup of rice can be good for sensitive stomach and provides energy from carbohydrates. Bowl of applesauce can be easy to digest and has pectin to help diarrhea. Toast is a high binding food and always stick to white toast.
Avoid Certain Foods and Drinks
Better avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks like coffee, strong black tea or soda. Also, caffeine can irritate the intestinal lining. Certain foods like diary, fiber-heavy foods, and something like fatty or spicy foods are to be avoided. Yogurt, salty foods, caffeine, fiber, spicy foods and alcohol are certain things which should not be taken. These could be hard to digest as your intestinal tract is already irritated.
Nausea is one of the severe symptoms of gastric flu. In such cases, activating the pressure points using acupressure can get you lot of relief.
“The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center suggests finding pressure point P-6 by applying pressure to the area located three fingers down from the bottom of your palm. Press below that width with your thumb and you’ll feel a sensitive spot between two tendons. Gently massage that spot with your thumb for two or three minutes.”
Rest & Medications
Your body needs rest in these conditions to fight off the virus. You need to get plenty of sleep and reduce the amount of daily activity you normally have. During this period the body will work hard to fight off the virus and repair any damage at the cellular level.
Sparingly taking medications can help you to recover the stomach flu with faster pace. Ibuprofen is generally suggested for fever, headache or muscle aches.
This should be taken in little dosages and also only if it doesn’t cause extra stomach upset. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is recommended for stomach flu if you don’t have liver disease. Aspirin must be avoided. Your doctor may prescribe an anti-emetic, such as promethazine, prochlorperazine, or metoclopramide, to stop the nausea and vomiting if it is excessive.
[Source : http://www.healthline.com/health/cold-flu/best-remedies-stomach-flu]
Over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medication, such as loperamide hydrochloride (Imodium) or bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol), to alleviate your diarrhea can also be taken on doctor’s advice. Better get a prescription for over-the-counter medications.
What are the Natural Remedies?
There are lot of other home remedies to try if your stomach flu is upsetting your daily routine.
- Ajwain Seeds
- Aloe Vera Juice
- Cardamom Seeds
- Lemon Water
- Fresh Mint Juice
- Heat Compress
- Fennel Seed tea
- Chamomile tea
- Thyme tea
When To See a Doctor?
Most stomach flu symptoms are cured at home, by these simple remedies. But better consult your family physician before you try any of the above at home and better to see an endocrinologist if any of the following symptoms still continue. These include
- Unable to keep liquids down for 24 hours.
- Vomiting for more than 2 days
- Vomiting blood
- Dehydrated signs like excessive thirst, dry mouth, deep yellow urine and severe weakness, dizziness or lightheadedness.
- Notice blood in your bowel movements.
- Have fever above 104F or 400C.
Do you think stomach flu is dangerous irrespective of age? What are the symptoms and cure do you prefer? What is the best home remedy? Do you prefer medications or natural remedies? Please let me know your views in the comments section.. Also please share this article if you like..