What Foods Are Recommended To Eat When You Have The Stomach Flu
Some health care professionals suggest a special diet for the gastroenteritis, especially for viral and/or bacterial infections in children. First and foremost is adequate fluid rehydration to prevent dehydration.
The diet frequently suggested is termed the “BRAT” diet. This diet consists of foods that are not usually irritating but soothing for the gastrointestinal tract. The BRAT diet stands for bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. Although some doctors think this diet may not markedly benefit patients, others recommend it for both adults and children for a day or two to make the transition from the resolving symptoms of acute gastroenteritis to the patient’s previously normal diet.
A Flu Shot Won’t Help
Um, no. It has nothing to do with the flu, remember?
The flu is influenza, a virus that circulates the globe each year attacking the nose and throat as it spreads through communities in waves. Flu shots protect against that virusbut not ones that cause viral gastroenteritis, which is characterized by inflammation of the stomach and intestines, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If youre confused, youre not the only one. Some symptoms overlap, like body aches, nausea, and low-grade fever, says Gary Rogg, MD, an internist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.
But a flu shot definitely won’t protect against stomach bugs. There’s no such thing as a stomach flu shot, at least not for grown-ups.
How Is Gastroenteritis Treated
There is no specific treatment for gastroenteritis, and most kids can be treated at home. Keep your child hydrated by offering plenty of liquids. Kids with more severe dehydration may need treatment in the ER or hospital.
Mild dehydration is treated with oral rehydration. This usually includes giving oral rehydration solution . It has the right amounts of water, sugar, and salt to help with dehydration. You can buy it without a prescription at drugstores or supermarkets. If you cant get oral rehydration solution, talk to your doctor.
If your child has mild dehydration and your doctor says its OK to start treatment at home:
- Give your child an oral electrolyte solution as often as possible. If your child throws up, start with small sips, about 1 or 2 teaspoons every few minutes.
- Babies can continue to breastfeed or take formula as long as they are not throwing up repeatedly.
- Don’t give babies plain water instead of oral rehydration solution. It doesn’t have the right nutrients for babies with dehydration.
- Older children can have frozen electrolyte popsicles.
- Do not give your child full-strength juice , soda, or sports drinks. These have a lot of sugar, which can make diarrhea worse.
When your child stops vomiting, you can offer small amounts of solid foods, such as toast, crackers, rice, or mashed potatoes. Yogurt, fruits, vegetables, and lean meat, like chicken, are also OK.
Don’t give medicines for diarrhea or vomiting unless your doctor tells you to.
You May Like: How To Lose Weight In Your Stomach In 2 Weeks
How Can I Make My Dog Feel Better After Vomiting
Treatment For Vomiting Dogs if it is a single vomit, withhold food for at least 6 hours. if the vomiting stops, small bland food meals can be introduced. gradually increase the amount of water. after 6 hours without vomiting, give your dog small amounts of a bland low-fat food several times a day for a few days.
What Is Viral Gastroenteritis
Viral gastroenteritis is a type of gastroenteritis â a common condition sometimes called stomach flu or food poisoning. Gastroenteritis is the result of irritation and inflammation in the stomach and intestines. It can be caused by infection with a virus such as rotavirus, bacteria or parasites, among other things. When caused by a virus, it is called viral gastroenteritis. While it can be very unpleasant, most cases of viral gastroenteritis can be treated at home, and clear up within a few days without causing complications.
Symptoms of viral gastroenteritis can range from mild to severe and vary among people. However, the main symptoms are typically vomiting and mild fever, which develop quickly, followed by watery diarrhea for a few days.
Viral gastroenteritis can be caused by a number of different types of viruses, including rotavirus, norovirus and adenovirus. The viruses can be transmitted direct from one person to another or spread through contaminated food and water. Depending on the source of infection, a large group of people may develop viral gastroenteritis at the same time, e.g. an outbreak on a cruise ship or at a summer camp.
Treatment for viral gastroenteritis typically involves:
- Resting at home
- Drinking plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration
- When necessary, taking medication to relieve nausea and diarrhea
Don’t Miss: Why Does My Stomach Feel Hard And Bloated
How Is It Treated
The most important thing to do is to rest the stomach and intestine. You can do this by not eating solid food for a while and drinking only clear liquids. As your symptoms go away, you can start eating soft bland foods that are easy to digest.
If you have been vomiting a lot, it is best to have only small, frequent sips of liquids. Drinking too much at once, even an ounce or two, may cause more vomiting.
Your choice of liquids is important. If water is the only liquid you can drink without vomiting, that is OK. However, if you have been vomiting often or for a long time, you must replace the minerals, sodium and potassium, that are lost when you vomit. Ask your healthcare provider what sport drinks or other rehydration drinks could help you replace these minerals.
Other clear liquids you can drink are weak tea and apple juice. You may also drink soft drinks without caffeine after letting them go flat . It may be easier to keep down liquids that are cold. Avoid liquids that are acidic or caffeinated or have a lot of carbonation. Do not drink milk until you no longer have diarrhea.
Sometimes treatment includes prescription medicine to prevent nausea and vomiting or diarrhea.
Nonprescription medicine is available for the treatment of diarrhea and can be very effective. If you use it, make sure you use only the dose recommended on the package. If you have chronic health problems, always check with your healthcare provider before you use any medicine for diarrhea.
Will A Bacterial Stomach Infection Cure Itself
Bacterial gastroenteritis will often clear up on its own without any treatment. However, vomiting and diarrhea can cause dehydration, so it is important to stay hydrated. This is usually possible to achieve at home by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water.
You May Like: Does Lung Cancer Cause Stomach Pain
How Is The Stomach Flu Spread
Most viral and bacterial causes of the stomach flu can be transfer to other people by direct and indirect contact, usually by the fecal-oral route.
- Direct contact could involve an infant’s hand touching feces-contaminated surfaces and then touching a sibling or relative indirect contact would be like touching a door knob or railing on a cruise ship or in a dorm that is contaminated and the person touches the contaminated surface and transfers the agent by touching their mouth.
- Another common way to get stomach flu is drinking or eating contaminated foods and liquids.
Can You Prevent From Getting The Stomach Flu
There is no diet that will prevent gastroenteritis but food preparation plays a strong role in preventing gastroenteritis. In general, there are some actions people can do to prevent or reduce the chance of getting gastroenteritis, including:
- Hand washing, especially before eating and after any close association with an infected person or items they have touched
- Launder items daily that infected persons wear
- Avoid direct contact with infected individuals when possible
- Do not eat undercooked foods, especially meats
- Do not eat raw foods or drink untreated water
- Do not drink untreated or unpasteurized fluids, especially milk
- Thoroughly wash any produce, especially in third world countries, before eating
- While traveling, avoid all raw foods and ice drink only from sealed bottled products and use bottled water for tooth brushing
There is a vaccine available against rotavirus that has reduced this infection in children. Also, there is a vaccine available against cholera-causing bacteria , but it is not widely available. A clinical trial of a Norovirus vaccine was done with some success. It is likely in the near future commercial vaccines against some causes will be available.
You May Like: Does Sleeping On Your Stomach Make You Lose Weight
How Can I Protect Myself From Stomach Flu
Stomach flu viruses live in the vomit and stool of infected people and you can catch them by coming into close contact with infected people or food and drink or water which has been contaminated by an infected person.
Surfaces in the kitchen and tableware can also have the virus on them as well as sheets, towels and clothing that has been in contact with someone who has the virus.
These viruses spread very quickly and you are more likely to catch them and suffer stomach virus symptoms in settings where lots of people are sharing a space such as cruise ships, schools, restaurants, barracks and elderly care facilities.
If one person is infected in a setting like this the virus will seize the opportunity and spread from host to host. This is even more likely if the infected person is handling food.
I hear you saying but surely they would not be there if they were suffering from stomach flu symptoms? Surely they would be at home in bed or in the bathroom!
The problem is that a person can be contagious either before the symptoms show themselves or after the symptoms have cleared up. The virus can also live for some time on surfaces.
The best way to protect yourself is to practise good hand hygiene and to wear rubber or plastic gloves if you are clearing up after somebody who is ill. Do not share any personal items with them. Normal soap is just as effective as anti-bacterial wash but unfortunately hand washing is not as effective against rotavirus.
How Long Is The Flu Contagious
You can pass the flu on to others starting about a day before your symptoms start. Asymptomatic peoplethose who are not showing symptoms and dont know theyre infectedcan also spread the flu.
Adults with the flu can pass the virus for five to seven days after they begin experiencing symptoms, although theyre most contagious in the first three to four days after symptoms appear. Children and people with compromised immune systems may pass the flu for even longer than a week.
If youre wondering whether youre still contagious or if your child can return to school or day care, talk with your healthcare provider, school, and childcare provider.
Read Also: Why Does The Upper Part Of My Stomach Hurt
How Long Does Stomach Flu Last
Generally, stomach flu lasts for a maximum of 2 days , but the symptoms last for 10 days. Adequate resting and medication help the virus to go away within two days, but if the health continues to that needs to be treated by professionals. Ignorance towards little details may cause dangerous outcomes.
Good treatment and precautions mentioned should be followed while infected eliminates the virus and is beneficial for the patient as well as the people around. Viruses entering the bodies are generally very weak against our antibodies, thus they get killed easily by a strong immune system within 2-3 days, because of the harm caused due to the infection the body gets very weak and continues showing lasting symptoms. One should not worry about it, preferably should take care of themselves.
How Long Does Norovirus Last
Both stomach flu and other types of food poisoning are what doctors call “self-limiting,” meaning they play themselves out and rarely require medical treatment.
While norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne illness, other bugs like salmonella are more likely to result in hospitalization.
If you’ve got viral gastroenteritis, you should start to feel better after two or three days. While food poisoning due to other causes hits you harder and faster, it goes away faster too you may be back to normal in a day or two.
Absolutely. It stands to reason that if you’re losing lots of fluid through watery diarrhea and vomiting, you need to replace that fluid. But remember that you’re also losing sodium, potassium, and other minerals , and they need to be replaced, too.
You should drink Pedialyte, or similar oral electrolyte solutions that contain salts and sugar as well as water, if you have severe diarrhea. Sports drinks aren’t a great choice, because the mix of salts and sugars they contain isn’t exactly right in terms of replacing fluid lost to diarrhea and vomiting.
If you think you, your child, or someone you are looking after is severely dehydrated, get straight on the phone to the doctor.
Don’t Miss: How To Help Puppy Upset Stomach
When Should I Worry About Dog Vomiting
If your dog vomits more than once, or has recurring bouts of vomiting, you need to call your vet immediately. Vomiting is a symptom of many serious diseases, illnesses, and complications, and as owners we owe it to our dogs to take it seriously. Ignoring your dogs vomiting could have serious, even fatal consequences.
What Causes Gastroenteritis
Many of the germs that cause gastroenteritis spread easily. So someone can get sick if they:
- Touch something contaminated and then touch food or their mouth.
- Live with someone whos infected, even if that person isnt sick.
Recommended Reading: How To Lose Weight In My Stomach
What Causes Stomach Flu
In most cases stomach flu symptoms are caused by a virus. This is why you may hear some people refer to stomach virus symptoms.
There are a few different viruses which could be to blame but the commonest culprits are:
- Norovirus – This is also known as the winter vomiting bug as it is more common in winter. This appears to come on suddenly and is known for its violent and projectile vomiting.
- Astrovirus – tends to be milder than the other viruses
- Rotavirus – mostly seen in babies and the under fives
- Adenovirus – common in young children
The only way to tell exactly which virus is causing your stomach flu symptoms is to send a stool sample to the lab for testing. Quick stool tests are available for Norovirus and Rotavirus but the other viruses take longer to test for.
Stomach Flu Symptoms Or Gastric Flu Symptoms What’s In A Name
What’s in a name? Well many of us use the name stomach flu and some of us say gastric flu but these are both names to describe what doctors call gastroenteritis. The type of gastroenteritis which usually causes stomach flu symptoms is viral gastroenteritis although occasionally bacterial gastroenteritis such as salmonella can cause flu like symptoms.
You May Like: Why Do I Have Severe Stomach Pain
What Causes Food Poisoning
When it comes to viruses, norovirus is the most common cause of foodborne illness in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. It typically hangs out in items like raw, ready-to-eat produce shellfish and contaminated water.
On the bacterial side, you have salmonella, listeria, shigella, campylobacter,E. coli, and more that can make you sick, according to the Mayo Clinic. These can show up in anything from hot dogs, milk, egg yolks, alfalfa sprouts, meat, poultry, and beyond.
Food contamination can happen at any point, whether its through soil as its grown, in a storage facility, or on your countertop when you leave food out for too long, the CDC says. You may also get food poisoning if someone with one of these illness-causing microorganisms in their system handles your food or utensils.
The Best Treatment Is To Take Steps To Prevent Illness
Few common illnesses are more unpleasant than the flu. The aches and pains, chills, fever, and cough are bad enough add in the other potential symptoms of flu, including runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, or sore throat, and you’ll want the illness to be over as soon as possible. How long does the flu last? And does treating flu help make it go away faster? The answers depend on your particular health.
When To Call Your Doctor
Food poisoning and viral gastroenteritis can become severe enough to require medical attention. However, Dr. Thomas says, in most cases, people can effectively manage either condition with proper rest, hydration and at-home medical treatment. But call your doctor if youre unsure whats causing your symptoms or if youre having high or persistent fevers.
Also keep in mind that other health issues can mimic the symptoms of viral gastroenteritis or food poisoning. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen or if you experience any of the following:
- Bloody stool or bloody vomit
- Inability to keep any fluids down
- Diarrhea lasting more than three days
- Fever above 104 degrees
- Severe abdominal pain
Are The Stomach Flu And The Flu The Same Infection
Although both the stomach flu and the flu may be caused by viruses, the viral genus and species are different for each entity.
- The viruses that cause the majority of stomach flu are Norovirus spp whereas the viruses that cause influenza are mainly Influenza A and B viral spp and subtypes.
- Stomach flu results mainly in problems with the gastrointestinal tract while influenza involves the respiratory tract. These two problems are not the same thing.
Don’t Miss: How To Lose Stomach Fat In Your 50s