How To Get Rid Of The Stomach Flu: 7 Home Remedies That Can Help
Getting rid of a stomach virus can actually be as simple as waiting 24 to 28 hours for symptoms to subside. If youre looking to feel better faster and recover well from the stomach flu, there are some natural remedies that you can easily do at home that have been known to help boost the recovery process.
Do you know what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say about how to get rid of stomach flu caused by the norovirus? According to the CDC:
There is no specific medicine to treat people with norovirus illness. Norovirus infection cannot be treated with antibiotics because it is a viral infection. If you have norovirus illness, you should drink plenty of liquids to replace fluid lost from throwing up and diarrhea. This will help prevent dehydration.
When you have the stomach flu, youre most likely dealing with diarrhea and/or vomiting. Both of these symptoms mean a lot of water loss for your body and the chance of dehydration which only makes you feel that much worse. To avoid becoming dehydrated from the stomach flu, its really important that you consume a lot of clear liquids like water, coconut water and herbal tea.
2. What To Eat
3. What Not to Eat
You want to know how to get rid of the stomach flu fast? Well, what you dont put into your body can be just as important or helpful as what you do put into your body! If you have the stomach flu, there are certain foods and drinks youll want to avoid until youre feeling better.
Fever And Young Children
Use a digital thermometer to check your childs temperature. Dont use a mercury thermometer. There are different kinds and uses of digital thermometers. They include:
Rectal. For children younger than 3 years, a rectal temperature is the most accurate.
Forehead . This works for children age 3 months and older. If a child under 3 months old has signs of illness, this can be used for a first pass. The provider may want to confirm with a rectal temperature.
Ear . Ear temperatures are accurate after 6 months of age, but not before.
Armpit . This is the least reliable but may be used for a first pass to check a child of any age with signs of illness. The provider may want to confirm with a rectal temperature.
Mouth . Dont use a thermometer in your childs mouth until he or she is at least 4 years old.
Use the rectal thermometer with care. It may accidentally injure the rectum. It may pass on germs from the stool. Label it and make sure its not used in the mouth. Follow the product makers directions for correct use. If you dont feel OK using a rectal thermometer, ask the healthcare provider what type to use instead. When you talk with any healthcare provider about your childs fever, tell him or her which type you used.
Below are guidelines to know if your young child has a fever. Your childs healthcare provider may give you different numbers for your child. Follow your providers specific instructions.
A baby under 3 months old:
A child age 3 months to 36 months :
Will Probiotics Help With Vomiting & Diarrhea
Sure. Maybe. We dont know.
See, the problem with talking about probiotics is that its a lot like talking about antibioticsyou really need to know which strain youre talking about, what dose youre giving, and what aim youre targeting. The field of gut bacteria is rapidly developing and were learning more information all the time.
The truth is that for an acute stomach virus lasting just a few days, a probiotic supplement may not work fast enough or strongly enough to make the symptoms end significantly faster.
A better approach is to fortify your childs gut bacteria before she even gets sick. We know the food good gut bacteria eat is fiber from plants, and that the people with the most plants in their diets have the widest variety of gut bacteria. So keep working on getting those fruits and veggies into your kids!
For more on this topic, see my interview with gut health expert Dr. Will Bulsciewicz here.
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Follow These Steps To Help With Diarrhea:
Of course, if your child is also vomiting, then youll have to do the frequent-small-amount approach we just talked about until she can keep bigger volumes down.
Again, if there is a lot of diarrhea, youll want to give fluids that have a small amount of sugar, plus some sodium and potassiumsomething like Pedialyte. If your child has only a small amount of diarrheasay, once or twice a dayisnt vomiting and is over 6 months old, then water should likely be fine.
A breastfed baby can keep drinking breastmilk. If you give formula, however, you may want to consider a lactose-free or soy formula for a few days.
Avoid milk and high-sugar sports drinks. Remember: lactose and other sugars are absorbed along the intestinal villiand those villi arent looking so hot right now. As a result, that sugar hangs out inside the small intestine & pulls more moisture in by osmosisessentially worsening or prolonging diarrhea. We want the opposite to happen, so avoid these drinks if you can!
Now, if there is very frequent diarrhea, then you may want to give the BRAT diet for part of a day or even a full day just to help slow things downbut dont do it for more than a day.
Stomach Flu Causes And Risk Factors
What are stomach flu causes? A number of different viruses can cause viral gastroenteritis or stomach flu including noroviruses and rotaviruses. First, lets talk about the norovirus, which is said to be the number one cause of viral gastroenteritis in children and adults. If your stomach flu is caused by the norovirus, then the period during which you are contagious starts from the time you start to feel sick up until three days after you are better with some individuals being contagious as long as two weeks following their recovery. The norovirus causes stomach flu symptoms within a day or two of being exposed to the virus. On the plus side, most people who have the stomach flu due to norovirus feel better within 24 to 48 hours.
Another virus, the rotavirus, is the top cause of stomach flu in kids and infants, but it can also affect adults. Symptoms usually begin within one to three days of exposure. However, with this virus at the root, the stomach flu can be caught from someone before symptoms appear and even up to two weeks following recovery! Astrovirus and enteric adenovirus can also cause stomach flu.
How do you catch these viruses and end up with the stomach flu? The stool and vomit of infected individuals contain the viruses that cause stomach flu. The viruses that can cause a case of the stomach flu can easily spread from close contact with infected individuals through the following:
So how do you get rid of the stomach flu?
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Infectious Gastroenteritis In Children
Gastroenteritis can spread quickly. Infectious gastroenteritis is caused by viruses, bacteria or parasites. It is usually ingested through food or drink. Some of the common types of infectious gastroenteritis include:
- Escherichia coli infection
Children may not have all symptoms, but in general, gastroenteritis symptoms can include:
- loss of appetite
- bloody stools in some cases
- pus in stools in some cases
- generally feeling unwell including lethargy and body aches.
Eating While You’re Sick
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Preventing The Stomach Flu
You might not be able to stop your child from catching the stomach flu but you can try. You can at least prevent it from happening as often.
The best way to prevent the stomach flu is wash your hands and wash them again. Teach your child how to wash their hands properly and to wash them often. Use warm water and soap. Set a timer or have your child sing as song so that they scrub their hands for at least 20 seconds.
Here are more ways to help prevent your child from catching and spreading the virus:
- Keep your sick child home and away from other children.
- Teach your child to wash their hands properly several times a day, especially after using the bathroom and before eating.
- Show your child how they can cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or the inner side of their elbow when sneezing and coughing.
- Tell your child not to share drink boxes, bottles, spoons, and other eating utensils.
- Clean hard surfaces like counters and nightstands with a mixture of detergent, vinegar, and water. Some viruses can survive for up to 24 hours on hard surfaces and even on clothing.
- Wash your childs toys in warm soapy water regularly, especially if the stomach flu or other viruses are going around.
- Use separate bathroom towels for each family member.
How Can I Help Prevent The Flu In My Child
The best way to prevent flu is to have the yearly flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is given as a shot . A nasal spray is not recommended for the 2017-2018 flu season. The CDC says this is because the nasal spray did not seem to protect against the flu over the last several flu seasons.
Each year, a new flu vaccine is available before the start of the flu season. Talk with your healthcare provider if you have questions about how vaccines work and how well they prevent flu. The first time a child between the ages of 6 months and 8 years gets a flu vaccine, he or she will need a second flu vaccine one month later.
The vaccine is advised for all children 6 months and older. But for some children, its more critical for them to get a flu shot. The flu shot should be given to any child who has any of these:
A long-term heart or lung condition
An endocrine disorder such as diabetes
A kidney or liver disorder
Weak immune system from HIV/AIDS or long-term steroids
A blood disorder such as sickle cell disease
A flu shot should also be given to:
A child who has a family member with a chronic health condition
A child or teen taking aspirin as long-term therapy
A child with parents or caregivers at high risk of complications from the flu
Some side effects of the vaccine can be like mild flu symptoms, but the vaccine does not cause the flu. Possible side effects of the flu vaccine include:
And you can help prevent your child spreading the flu to others if you:
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When Should I Seek Help For My Child With Gastroenteritis
You should see your doctor or after hours medical centre urgently if:
- your child has vomiting and/or diarrhoea and is less than 6 months old babies can become dehydrated and unwell quickly
- your child is drowsy and difficult to rouse
- your child has a lot of diarrhoea
- there is blood or mucus in your child’s poo
- vomiting is increasing or your child cannot keep fluids down
- your child starts vomiting green fluid
- your child develops severe stomach pains
- your child shows signs of dehydration
- you are concerned for any other reason
You should see your doctor if:
- your child’s diarrhoea continues for more than 10 days
Dial 111 within New Zealand for urgent medical help if you are very concerned about your child.
Fighting Kids’ Cold & Flu Symptoms: Stuffy Noses
Whether it’s from a cold, flu, allergies, or another form of infection, keeping stuffy noses in check is important to your children’s health. Not only will they feel better, but stopping a stuffy nose will help stop the spread of infection too.
Tips to Stop Stuffy Noses
Stuffy nose home remedies for kids include the following:
- If your child is has a stuffy nose, make sure he or she is well-hydratedfluids help thin mucus.
- You can also use a humidifier or vaporizer in their room to keep air moist and clear their congestion.
- Nasal washes with saline may be used for older children.
- Raise the head of your child’s bed or crib a few inches to help nasal secretions drain more easily.
- If little noses are irritated from blowing them, dab some petroleum jelly on the skin to soothe the outside of the nose.
- Children over 5 years old may benefit from pediatric nasal strips that help open the nostril slightly to give relief from nasal congestion.
- Medicated nose drops should only be given to children over 6 years old and should not be used for more than two or three days. Using them for too long will make congestion worse.
- For babies with congestion, you can use an infant nasal suction bulb to remove the mucus. Put three drops or warm water or saline in each nostril first to soften the mucus. Wait a minute, then suction it out.
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Are Stomach Bugs Contagious
Gastroenteritis is quite contagious. It is spread through contact with body fluids that contain viral particles, bacteria, or parasites.
This contact is not always as obvious as changing diapers or cleaning up vomit. These particles can transfer by touching surfaces with unwashed hands, sharing food or utensils, and other unhygienic practices.
Should I Keep Giving My Child Their Normal Food If They Have Gastroenteritis
- you can offer your child food if they are hungry, even if diarrhoea continues
- continuing to feed your child can speed up recovery and can reduce the length of time your child has diarrhoea
- your child may refuse food at first – this is not a problem as long as they take fluids
- if possible do not stop giving food for more than 24 hours
- starchy simple foods are best – try and offer foods such as bread or toast, porridge, rice, potatoes, plain biscuits, yoghurt, milk pudding
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What Is A Stomach Bug
Although it is frequently called the stomach flu, stomach bugs have nothing to do with theseasonal influenza virus , which is a respiratory illness. Stomach bugs are usually viral illnesses that may affect both the stomach and the intestines.
A stomach bug is a gastroenteritis, which means inflammation of the stomach or intestine, saysAymin Delgado-Borrego, MD, a triple-board certified doctor in pediatrics, pediatric gastroenterology and pediatric hepatology at KIDZ Medical Services in Florida. This inflammation can be the result of either a viral or bacterial infection.
Gastroenteritis is common. It is responsible for approximately1.5 million office visits, and 200,000 hospitalizations each year in the United States.
While 90% of children in the United States will have a mild case that does not require medical treatment, there are risks of complications, particularly of dehydration. Approximately 300 children die each year of gastroenteritis in the United States. This number is higher in developing countries, particularly where sanitation and access to clean water and medical care are limited.
What Is The Treatment For Gastroenteritis In Children
Symptoms of gastroenteritis often settle within a few days or so as a child’s immune system is usually able to clear the infection. Children can usually be treated at home. Occasionally, admission to hospital is needed if symptoms are severe, or if complications develop. For information about treatment, see the separate leaflet called Acute Diarrhoea in Children.
Note: if you suspect that your child is dehydrated, or is becoming dehydrated, you should seek medical advice urgently.
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What Is Gastroenteritis And What Causes It
Gastroenteritis is an infection of the gut . It is common. Many children have more than one episode in a year. The severity can range from a mild tummy upset for a day or two with some mild diarrhoea, to severe diarrhoea and being sick for several days or longer. Many viruses, bacteria and other microbes can cause gastroenteritis.
A virus is the most common cause of gastroenteritis. Rotavirus is the most common virus causing gastroenteritis in children in the UK. Almost every child in the UK has a rotavirus infection before they are 5 years old. Once you have had rotavirus, your body usually becomes immune to getting it again. Therefore, it is uncommon for adults to get rotavirus because most will have had it as a child. Adenoviruses are another common group of viruses that cause gastroenteritis in children. Adenovirus and rotavirus infection are more common in infants and younger children than in teenagers.
Viruses are easily spread from an infected person to another by close contact. This is often because of the virus being present on the infected person’s hands after they have been to the toilet. Surfaces or objects touched by the infected person can also allow transmission of the virus. The virus can also be passed on if the infected person prepares food. Outbreaks of a virus causing gastroenteritis can often occur – for example, in schools or hospitals.