How To Treat An Upset Stomach At Home
To help reduce the severity of symptoms, whether it’s caused by COVID-19, a GI virus or food poisoning, Barajas recommends using over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medications that will help slow down the motility of the GI tract. You can also take over-the-counter medications that will help reduce gas and bloating. Barajas also suggests switching to a clear liquid diet such as juice, broth or popsicles or a bland diet with foods such as bread, rice or applesauce, depending on what your stomach is able to handle. Learn more about what to eat with an upset stomach.
“It is extremely important that you do the best you can to stay hydrated,” says Barajas. “Diarrhea can cause you to lose a lot of water and electrolytes, which can lead to dehydration.”
Take A Look At Your Medications
Certain over the counter medicines like ibuprofen can cause stomach pain, especially if you take them on a regular basis. Always read the recommended dosage on over the counter pill bottles to ensure you can safely use them.
Prescription medication can also be a problem. Often, your prescription will come with instructions for the time of day to take a pill. If you are instructed to take your medicine before, during, or after a meal, make sure you follow those directions to avoid stomach problems.
Sometimes combining multiple prescriptions can be the origin of your abdominal pain or nausea. If you just started a new prescription and its causing you to feel sick or throw up, you should contact your doctor so they can help you come up with a solution.
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Figuring Out The Cause
When youre suffering from stomach pain, diarrhea, or both, one of the most important things is to try to determine the root cause. Quite often, this type of abdominal pain is due to stomach flu or another virus, spoiled food, or food that one has developed a sensitivity to. Unless diarrhea and pain are accompanied by other severe symptoms, such as a high fever, the best course of action is to wait it out.
If you feel that it is a reaction to food, most times symptoms will subside in a day or two. However, there are some instances of food poisoning that definitely warrant a doctor visit but again, you will see other severe symptoms along with general GI upset.
If you think you may be having a reaction to food, such as those with celiac disease who have a sensitivity to gluten, its worthwhile to try an elimination diet to confine the source of the upset. It is possible to suddenly develop a food sensitivity later in life its also estimated that up to 20 percent of Americans have food sensitivity. Please note that celiac is a serious condition and ongoing exposure to gluten can cause increasing damage. Celiac should not be self-diagnosed.
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List Of Natural And Home Remedies For Adults And Children For Diarrhea
Treatments for Adults
- Adults should drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Replenishing water loss is important. Avoid milk as it can make diarrhea worse. Sports beverages can be beneficial because they replenish electrolytes in addition to providing hydration.
- If the patient is able to eat, avoid greasy or fatty foods. Adults, infants, toddlers, and children should be encouraged to follow the BRAT diet . The BRAT diet is a combination of foods to eat to treat diarrhea. If diarrhea is accompanied by nausea, have the person suck on ice chips until the nausea stops. After the diarrhea subsides, avoid alcoholic beverages and spicy foods for two additional days.
- Individuals may be able to continue their usual activities if they are mildly ill with diarrhea however, strenuous exercise should be avoided because exercise increases the risk of dehydration.
- If you are pregnant women and have diarrhea make sure to rehydrate to avoid dehydration, and consult your doctor.
Treatments for Toddlers and Children
Are herbs safe to take for diarrhea?
How Long Does The Stomach Flu Last How Can I Treat It
Stomach flu symptoms usually last 1 to 3 days. Since the stomach flu is a virus and not a bacterial infection, current medicine cant fix the fluit has to get better on its own.
But theres something you or your family can do to feel better in the meantime. Intense diarrhea and vomiting can dehydrate you, which, on top of stomach flu symptoms, can make you or your little one feel even worse. See the Lyte and rehydrate with Pedialyte to feel better fast.
But because it can be brought on by several different viruses throughout the year, stomach flu can hit at any time.
* Mild to moderate dehydration.
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Children And Vaccination For Rotavirus
Rotavirus is a virus that causes severe gastroenteritis in babies and young children. All young children should receive the rotavirus vaccine at 6 weeks and 4 months of age. A third dose at 6 months may be needed depending on the brand of vaccine used.
This vaccine is effective in preventing the rotavirus infection in about 7 out of every 10 children vaccinated. It is also effective in preventing severe gastroenteritis in about 9 out of every 10 infants vaccinated. The vaccine provides protection for up to 5 years.
What Symptoms Relate To Diarrhoea
As well as the loose and watery stools of diarrhoea, you may sometimes have other symptoms, including:
- diarrhoea at night
- signs of dehydration
Ongoing diarrhoea can lead to dehydration and an electrolyte imbalance, making it dangerous, especially to the very young or older people, who can be affected very quickly.
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How The Stomach Flu Is Treated
In most cases, stomach flu, also known as gastroenteritis, doesnt need to be treated by a healthcare provider. Home remedies, like drinking plenty of fluids and eating a bland diet, can help ease symptoms until the illness passes.
While gastroenteritis can be caused by bacteria, fungus, and parasites, viruses like norovirus and rotavirus are the most common causes. In most cases, the term “stomach flu” is used to describe viral gastroenteritis.
Although there are currently no antiviral drugs able to treat the stomach flu, there are certain medications that can make you feel more comfortable as you recover as well.
While not comprehensive, this article lists some of the home remedies, OTC medications, prescription drugs, and complementary therapies that may provide relief from stomach flu symptoms.
Eating When You Have Diarrhea
You can bake or broil beef, pork, chicken, fish, or turkey. Cooked eggs are also OK. Use low-fat milk, cheese, or yogurt.
If you have very severe diarrhea, you may need to stop eating or drinking dairy products for a few days.
Eat bread products made from refined, white flour. Pasta, white rice, and cereals such as cream of wheat, farina, oatmeal, and cornflakes are OK. You may also try pancakes and waffles made with white flour, and cornbread. But dont add too much honey or syrup.
You should eat vegetables, including carrots, green beans, mushrooms, beets, asparagus tips, acorn squash, and peeled zucchini. Cook them first. Baked potatoes are OK. In general, removing seeds and skins is best.
You can include desserts and snacks such as fruit-flavored gelatin, fruit-flavored ice pops, cakes, cookies, or sherbet.
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Rotavirus Calcivirus Adenovirus Astrovirus And Torovirus
Rotavirus is the common cause of diarrhea in children and affects children especially between 3 and 15 months of age. It is responsible for childhood diarrhea in 35% of hospitalized and 30% of community based cases. Adults can also get affected though they mostly remain asymptomatic and keep excreting the virus. The virus spreads by the fecal-oral route. In the temperate zones the infection occurs during winter whereas in the tropics it occurs year-round. Vomiting often heralds the illness and is followed shortly by watery diarrhea. The average duration of the illness is 5-7 days.
What Not To Drink
Most likely, you wont be in the mood for these during a bout of stomach flu anyway, but avoid:
- caffeinated drinks like coffee, strong black tea, and chocolate, which can affect your sleep at a time when getting enough rest is crucial
- alcohol, which acts as a diuretic.
All of these things can also upset your stomach.
Keeping food down can be difficult with the stomach flu. Dont force yourself to eat if the mere thought of food makes you cringe. When you do finally feel you can get something down, its best to start slow and simple.
The BRAT diet bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast can be your go-to when it comes to an uneasy stomach. These four foods are easy to digest, contain carbohydrates to give you energy, and replenish nutrients:
- Bananas: Bananas are easy to digest, can replace the potassium you lose from vomiting and diarrhea, and strengthens stomach lining.
- Rice: White rice is easy for your body to process and provides energy from carbs. Brown rice has too much fiber and may produce excess gas.
- Applesauce: Applesauce provides an energy boost due to the carbs and sugars, and it contains pectin, which can help with diarrhea. Its also easy to digest.
- Toast: Avoid whole-wheat bread, as fiber can be difficult on the digestive system. White bread is processed and easier to digest.
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How Norovirus Is Spread
Norovirus can spread very easily.
You can catch norovirus from:
- close contact with someone with norovirus
- touching surfaces or objects that have the virus on them, then touching your mouth
- eating food that’s been prepared or handled by someone with norovirus
Washing your hands frequently with soap and water is the best way to stop it spreading. Alcohol hand gels do not kill norovirus.
How To Stop Diarrhea: Causes Risk Factors And Home Remedies
Diarrhea is a common type of gastrointestinal upset or infection. It causes frequent and excessive discharging of the bowels in the form of abnormally watery stools and stomach pains. If you or one of your children has recently developed diarrhea, the first question youre likely asking is Can you tell me how to stop diarrhea fast?
If youre experiencing any of the symptoms described above, you might be affected by an acute case of diarrhea. Acute diarrhea lasts one or two weeks while youre temporarily sick. Or you might have chronic diarrhea, which persists for longer than several weeks. You have diarrhea is you have very loose or watery stools three or more times within 24 hours.
Believe it or not, acute diarrhea can be one of your bodys best defense mechanisms against a temporary infection or virus. Although theyre uncomfortable and unpleasant to deal with, short-term diarrhea symptoms help rapidly expel harmful substances out of your GI tract before they have a chance to cause even more trouble or complications.
Chronic diarrhea symptoms, on the other hand, are a bit different. They tend to come and go depending on other dietary and lifestyle factors. This includes the state of your immune system and the level of stress youre dealing with.
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Gulp Down A Sports Drink
Most people think of Gatorade as a sports beverage, as it replenishes electrolytes after a workout, helping restore hydration. It works the same way when you have diarrhea. If the volume and frequency of watery stool is significant, steps must be taken to avoid dehydration, Dr. Masoud explains. The most important thing to remember is that with fluid losses also come electrolyte depletion.
Complementary And Alternative Medicine
Taking a probiotic supplement may help restore the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut and potentially shorten a diarrhea outbreak.
Be sure to speak with your healthcare provider before using probiotics or any other complementary or alternative medicine . Just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean that it is safe or effective.
A 2018 review published in Complementary Medicine Research urged caution when using CAM to treat viral gastroenteritis, stating that the remedies are “mostly unsupported by scientific evidence.”
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How To Care For A Child With A Stomach Bug At Home
You can treat stomach bugs at home by making sure your child keeps drinking fluids and gets plenty of rest.
The best way to keep your child well hydrated is with an electrolyte-containing solution such as Pedialyte®. Have your child take small sips frequently meaning every five minutes or so throughout the day. Avoid having them fill their stomach too much at once, or it might come back up. Also avoid anything too high in sugar, such as soda, juices or sports drinks, as these might make the diarrhea worse. Water will prevent dehydration but doesnt replace any of the salts or sugars that your child may be losing.
For a breast-feeding infant, give breast milk or formula.
Your child might be fussy and resistant to drinking. Its important to get through the first few times. As your child drinks, theyll start feeling better.
Continue with solid food if your child can tolerate it. Your child may vomit a few times as they adjust. Thats OK. Take a step back by giving them smaller amounts of food and drink and work up from there. Soon your child will be back on the road to good health with lots of energy.
Can Diarrhoea Be Prevented
Gastroenteritis the most common cause of diarrhoea is highly infectious, and mostly spread by contact with another person who has the illness, or from contaminated food.
These measures can help to stop the spread:
- wash hands frequently using good handwashing technique
- follow good food safety practices
- if a household member has diarrhoea, they should not prepare food for the other members, and everyone should follow regular handwashing and hygiene practices
- anyone who has diarrhoea should not visit hospitals, aged care facilities, or swimming pools
- babies can be vaccinated against rotavirus
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Babies And Children With Gastro
If you have a baby under 6 months, they should be checked by a doctor. Its also a good idea to have babies older than 6 months and young children with gastro checked by a doctor in case they are dehydrated.
If you cannot find rehydration fluids, or your child refuses to drink it, giving diluted fruit juice is reasonable. You could try a cube of ice or an ice-block if your child wont drink.
Babies can continue milk feeds throughout the illness, with rehydration fluid between feeds.
How Can I Prevent Viral Gastroenteritis
You can take several steps to keep from getting or spreading infections that cause viral gastroenteritis. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water
- after using the bathroom
- after changing diapers
- before and after handling, preparing, or eating food
You can clean surfaces that may have come into contact with infected stool or vomit, such as countertops and changing tables, with a mixture of 5 to 25 tablespoons of household bleach and 1 gallon of water.7 If clothes or linens may have come into contact with an infected persons stool or vomit, you should wash them with detergent for the longest cycle available and machine dry them. To protect yourself from infection, wear rubber gloves while handling the soiled laundry and wash your hands afterward.7
If you have viral gastroenteritis, avoid handling and preparing food for others while you are sick and for 2 days after your symptoms stop.7 People who have viral gastroenteritis may spread the virus to any food they handle, especially if they do not thoroughly wash their hands. Contaminated water may also spread a virus to foods before they are harvested. For example, contaminated fruits, vegetables, and oysters have been linked to norovirus outbreaks. Wash fruits and vegetables before using them, and thoroughly cook oysters and other shellfish.7Find tips to help keep food safe.
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What Is The Rotavirus
Rotavirus is a contagious stomach virus that causes severe diarrhea in infants and young children. Before a vaccine was introduced in 2006, almost all U.S. children were infected with rotavirus before their 5th birthday8. Each year, the vaccine prevents an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 hospitalizations among infants and young children in the United States8.
Settings with many young children, such as childcare centers, are the most common sources of transmission. Similar to norovirus, rotavirus can spread by touching your mouth with unwashed hands that are contaminated with rotavirus particles or eating contaminated food9. The symptoms of this easily transmittable virus include10:
- Severe watery diarrhea
- Abdominal pain
Some adults may have a higher risk of getting rotavirus, including those who are older, those who care for children with rotavirus, or those with compromised immune systems8. Since neither the vaccine nor infection provide full immunity, it is possible to get rotavirus more than once9. The incubation period for rotavirus disease is approximately 2 days and symptoms may last 3-8 days11.
Severe dehydration resulting from the frequent bowel movements and vomiting is a serious health concern in children. Here are some symptoms of dehydration to look out for in children10,11:
- Lack of tears when crying
- Dizziness when standing
- Unusual sleepiness or fussiness