When Should I See My Doctor
Sometimes, abdominal pain can signal something serious. You should see your doctor immediately or go to your nearest hospital emergency department if you:
- have pain that is severe and is getting worse
- have pain that spreads to your chest, neck or shoulders
- have pain that lasts for several hours or longer
- have pain and vaginal bleeding and you are pregnant
- have pain in the scrotum
- have pain and vomiting or shortness of breath
- have pain and vomiting blood
- have blood in bowel motions or urine
- cant pee , do a poo or fart
- are experiencing vomiting that wont go away
If you have a sudden, severe, debilitating pain in your abdomen, go to your nearest hospital emergency department or call triple zero immediately and ask for an ambulance. It may be a sign of a serious illness that requires urgent treatment.
Causes Of The Stomach Flu
The stomach flu is usually caused by any number of different viruses that can attack your gastrointestinal system. Its not caused by the influenza virus, which gives you the seasonal flu.
Less often, bacteria can cause it, typically due to contaminated water or food that was prepared inadequately or in an unhygienic environment.
Home Remedies And Lifestyle
Diarrhea and vomiting from viral gastroenteritis are common and in most cases, will resolve on their own in a few days. It tends to be uncomfortable, of course, so its understandable to want to try to shorten the duration and lessen the severity of symptoms.
Staying comfortable and hydrated is going to be important while battling and recovering from viruses that cause the stomach flu.
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Calm Your Mind And Body
When we are in pain, we tend to get anxious. Unfortunately, anxiety brings with it a heightened state of physical arousal that can make our pain worse. Taking a few minutes to calm down can be quite effective.
Relaxation exercises are a way to break the cycle of anxiety and pain. They offer a way to “turn off” the state of heightened physical arousal. Of course, they work better with regular practice, but can still offer some benefits for immediate pain relief.
How Long Does A Stomach Virus Last
Depending on the type of stomach virus you are infected with, symptoms may appear 1 to 3 days after you are exposed to the virus. Symptoms of a stomach virus vary from mild to severe and can last anywhere from 1 to 10 days.
Stomach viruses are not the same as bacterial infections. It is important not to confuse diarrhea that is caused by a virus from diarrhea that is caused by bacteria. Diarrhea can be caused by the following types of bacteria:
- Clostridium difficile
- E. coli
- Parasites such as Giardia
Most stomach viruses last 2 to 10 days and can vary in severity and symptoms. Types of viruses that cause stomach viruses include:
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What Is Upper Stomach Pain
Upper stomach pain is a common ailment among adults and children. Your intestines, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder are all found in your upper stomach. Because of this, the list of potential causes of upper stomach pain is long. Indigestion, heartburn, gas, or a common stomach virus can cause pain in your upper stomach.
Causes for upper stomach pain range from benign to life-threatening, so it is important to consult with a doctor if you are experiencing stomach pain. The ailment can cause severe discomfort, but there are several steps you can take to alleviate upper stomach pain.
How To Stop Stomach Cramps & Gastroenteritis
Gastroenteritis refers to stomach inflammation brought on by a virus, bacterial invasion or an allergy 1. With this inflammation comes the risk of mild to severe stomach cramps that leave you doubled over and reaching for relief. Accompanied by nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, treating this condition properly may stop these symptoms from getting worse. Always consult your physician if cramping worsens despite treatment, or if it interferes with your daily activities.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Avoid consuming solid food or liquids for up to two hours to allow your stomach to settle and cramping to subside. MayoClinic.com notes that you may resume fluid intake of clear liquids only, such as water or sports drinks, after two hours. Avoid caffeinated drinks and acidic fruit juices.
Eat only soft foods such as gelatin, incorporating crackers and dry toast as your discomfort subsides, suggests KidsHealth.org. Foods containing milk may worsen cramps, so steer clear of puddings and ice cream. Resume your normal eating habits once your cramping and nausea are completely gone.
Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory to ease stomach cramping. Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen decrease swelling and pain.
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How Is Stomach Flu Diagnosed
Healthcare providers often can diagnose stomach flu from your symptoms. But your provider may want to rule out other illnesses with some tests:
- Stool samples: Tests look for bacteria, viruses or parasites in your stool
- Sigmoidoscopy: A doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera from the anus into the lower large intestine to look for signs of inflammatory bowel disease. The sigmoidoscopy is a 15-minute procedure that doesnt usually require sedation.
How Long Is The Stomach Flu Contagious
Heart Spring also states, People who no longer have symptoms may still be contagious, since the virus can be found in their stool for up to 2 weeks after they recover from their illness. Also, people can become infected without having symptoms and they can still spread the infection. I suspect I last became infected after spending the evening with family members who had just gotten over the flu, since my symptoms appeared roughly 48 hours after contact.
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How To Get Rid Of The Stomach Flu: 7 Home Remedies
Youre vomiting. You cant stop going to the bathroom. Youre exhausted and all this terribleness just seems to have come out of nowhere. Could it be the stomach flu? If it is, you probably want to know how to get rid of the stomach flu fast!
If you have the stomach flu, it likely may have been caused by norovirus, which is especially known for infecting people in the colder months of the year. This winter vomiting bug, or stomach flu, is known by doctors for being a family affair. In other words, if one person in the family gets it, most likely every family member in the household will get it because its that contagious!
How do you get rid of the stomach flu? Thankfully, many people with the stomach flu feel better within 24 hours. And luckily there are a lot of great natural ways to boost your recovery from a nasty case of stomach flu.
The Science Behind Acupressure And How It Can Help With Stomach Aches And Abdominal Issues
Acupressure is based on the principles of acupuncture, where, instead of using needles, one can use their thumbs and fingers to apply pressure to the same acupoints or pressure points. These acupoints are located on what are known as meridians – channels of energy which connect to the bodys organs and deliver the vital energy known as Qi .
The scientific community recognizes acupressure as an alternative health method that can help relieve many common abdominal issues such as stomach pain, gastrointestinal movement, constipation, menstrual cramps, gassiness and bloating, and others.
In fact, studies have shown acupressure is even effective on bed-ridden patients with post-operative abdominal issues, like those caused by caesarean sections, and it can even lower the pain before an appendix removal. The pain-relieving results are achievable even when people apply acupressure on themselves.
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Stomach Flu Treatment Options
Most cases of viral gastroenteritis resolve on their own, typically in one to three days, depending on the virus. Treatment of viral gastroenteritis focuses entirely on managing symptoms, particularly dehydration. Bacterial gastroenteritis, the subject of other articles, is treated with both antibiotics and symptom support.
Listen To A Hypnotherapy Recording
Hypnosis has strong research support for easing the symptoms of IBS, including abdominal pain. Ideally, you want to be engaged in an ongoing hypnotherapy treatment program for best results. But when you are in immediate pain, you may be able to benefit from the relaxation of listening to a gut-directed hypnosis tape.
The quickest way is to download an app on your smartphone or other mobile device. There are quite a few IBS-specific hypnotherapy apps available. Yet, it’s best to find one that’s backed by research, like Nerva.
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How The Stomach Flu Is Treated
In most cases, viral gastroenteritis doesnt need to be treated by a healthcare provider. Home remedies, like getting plenty of fluids and eating a bland diet, can treat symptoms until the illness passes. For people who have a digestive disease or another serious illness, however, seeking advice from a healthcare provider might be needed to avoid complications.
What Are The Characteristics Of Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain may include any of the following, or a combination of these characteristics:
- bowel obstruction
- causes of heart pain
If you are experiencing abdominal pain, the exact location of the pain and any other symptoms you might have may suggest the cause.
If you feel pain right across your stomach area or low down, its probably coming from your bowel. You may also have bloating and wind. If your stomach cramps have started recently and you also have diarrhoea, the cause is probably gastroenteritis. If you are very ill for example, with chills or a fever you may have a more serious infection such as food poisoning.
If the pain is coming from higher up in your stomach, it could be caused by acid reflux or an ulcer. You might also have heartburn and belching, and the pain might be made worse, or relieved, by food.
If the pain is in the middle of your stomach and extends to your back, it could be a sign of gallstones. Pain in the lower right part of the stomach, along with fever, nausea and vomiting, could be appendicitis.
If the pain is made worse by exercise it could be heart pain. Read more in the chest pain section. If you are experiencing this type of pain, call triple and ask for an ambulance.
Some medicines, such as aspirin and anti-inflammatory and anti-dementia drugs, can cause stomach pain as a side effect.
You can find more information about the underlying causes of abdominal pain here.
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Remedies For Little Ones
As terrible as it is to get the stomach flu yourself, it is even harder to watch your child go through it. If your infants symptoms havent subsided in a day or two, take them to the doctor.
Their doctor can make sure your child is on their way to recovery without any complications. They can also check to make sure there are no other causes for their symptoms.
Encouraging children to continue to take sips of water to replace lost fluids is important to prevent dehydration. All infants and toddlers can also drink an electrolyte solution like Pedialyte.
Signs And Symptoms Of Gastroenteritis
The signs and symptoms of gastroenteritis may include:
- Watery diarrhea
- Increased thirst
In infants, you may look for signs of fewer and drier diapers. Thirst and a dry mouth and skin can also be common indications of stomach flu in infants. If you doubt that you or your little one has gastroenteritis, waste no time in seeing a doctor immediately.
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When Should I Go To The Doctor For Stomach Flu
You should contact your doctor immediately if your stomach infection symptoms worsen. While most cases of stomach flu can be treated at home, some people require professional medical attention.
Contact your doctor if youre experiencing:
- Signs of extreme dehydration
- High fever
- Vomiting for more than 48 hours
- Bloody diarrhea, or diarrhea for more than 3 days
Its essential to closely monitor stomach flu symptoms in children. If your child has a high fever, consult your physician as soon as possible.
Fighting the stomach flu makes your body more susceptible to dehydration, which can be dangerous in children and adults. If youre experiencing any severe symptoms, contact a doctor or visit an urgent care near you to find out how to get rid of the stomach flu and rehydrate your body.
What Is The Quickest Way To Get Rid Of Stomach Flu
Although there is no specific treatment for the stomach flu, its important to stay hydrated as dehydration is the main complication of this illness. Also, dont forget to rest and wash your hands frequently while allowing the flu to run its course. Doctors do not treat viral gastroenteritis with antibiotics. Thats because antibiotics treat infections that are caused by bacteria not viruses.
While there is no quick remedy besides to let the flu run its course, there are some simple steps you can take to lessen symptoms and have an easier time. We recommend the following methods for at-home treatment of stomach flu :
Try sucking on ice chips or sipping water and electrolyte-infused liquids. Avoid any caffeinated sports drinks and try to stay hydrated.
Let Your Stomach Settle
This means stop eating any solid foods during the first few hours of symptoms and avoid eating foods with a lot of fat or sugar, which can make symptoms worse.
Ease Back Into Food
Only begin to eat again after you feel the vomiting and nausea has abated. After a few hours, evaluate if you can take some easy-to-digest foods such as crackers, toast, bananas, rice, and chicken. Avoid food if any nausea returns.
Stay Away From Certain Foods
Stay away from dairy products, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and fatty or highly seasoned foods. Anything that may upset your stomach lining is risky .
Be Careful with Medications
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Rice Water To Relieve Stomachache
Last but not least, look to rice more specifically, look to the leftover water after you cook rice.
Rice water is capable of forming a coating over certain membranes like, for instance, the lining of your stomach. This barrier can be a soothing lining to help ease inflammation and offer relief from stomach pain.
For a simple rice water remedy, first wash one-half cup of white rice.
- Add rice to six cups of boiled water, cover, and allow to sit until rice is tender.
- Strain the water into a cup to cool.
- Add one-half teaspoon of honey.
- Sip on two cups daily.
How To Get Stomach Flu Treatment
Millions of people get the stomach flu each year in the United States. Symptoms come on quickly and can include watery diarrhea, pain or cramping in your abdomen, to nausea, vomiting and sometimes fever. Known as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu is a highly contagious intestinal infection that is unfortunately not affected by normal flu vaccines.
Although difficult to deal with, stomach flu typically goes away in a few days without any further complications. However for infants, the elderly, and people with weakened immune symptoms, the stomach flu can be dangerous. There is no specific treatment for stomach flu, so its important to stay hydrated and rest while allowing the flu to run its course. There are however, some at-home remedies that can lessen symptoms and make things slightly easier .
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What Can I Do At Home To Feel Better
Get plenty of rest and keep drinking lots of liquids until your symptoms pass. Drinks that have both sugar and salt help your intestine absorb fluids better and replace the lost electrolytes. Nibbling salty crackers along with ginger ale or a similar sweet drink could also help. Avoid dairy products like cows milk for one or two days milk can make diarrhea worse due to temporary lactose intolerance that often come with gastroenteritis.
To control severe diarrhea, your healthcare provider may recommend an over-the-counter medication such bismuth subsalicylate . You shouldnt use these medicines if you have a high fever or bloody diarrhea, which can be signs of deeper infection from bacteria or a parasite. Antidiarrheal medications arent safe for children to use. Instead, see your healthcare provider for treatment.
Nearly everyone gets a bout of stomach flu at some point. Its not pleasant, but it usually passes in less than a week. Give yourself time to rest and recover before you go back to your daily activities. Fortunately you can take steps to avoid the likelihood of passing it on to others or picking it up again in the future.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/26/2020.
How Is The Stomach Flu Diagnosed
Stomach flu is primarily diagnosed through a physical examination and a patient medical history. Most cases will be diagnosed and treated by a general practitioner.
Symptoms are the best guide for diagnosis. The defining symptom of stomach flu is loose or watery diarrhea, but other symptoms might include.
- Low-grade fever
Loss of appetite, involuntary weight loss, and bloating might also be experienced.
Symptoms of gastroenteritis usually start suddenly , coming on in one or two hours. In addition to how quickly symptoms started, a healthcare provider will want to know:
- How long have you had symptoms?
- Do other people you know have similar complaints?
- Did you eat anything unusual recently, such as raw foods?
- Did you travel recently, especially outside the country?
A physical examination will help the healthcare professional rule out other conditions. The healthcare provider will carefully look for signs of dehydration, such as sunken eyes, limpness, dry mucous membranes , loose skin, or drowsiness.
Blood or stool tests are not necessary to diagnose a viral gastroenteritis, but a healthcare provider will use them to rule out other causes, such as a bacterial infection, parasite infection, or other intestinal problems. Blood or urine tests may be necessary if there are signs of dehydration.
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