Monday, June 17, 2024

What To Do For Stomach Virus And Diarrhea

Home Remedies And Lifestyle

ASK UNMC! How do I treat a stomach virus that is causing diarrhea?

Diarrhea and vomiting are common with viral gastroenteritis. In most cases, they will resolve on their own within a few days.

Even so, diarrhea and vomiting can be extremely uncomfortable, so its understandable to want to reduce the duration and severity of these symptoms. At the same time, you will want to remain well hydrated to recover quickly and avoid dehydration.

The following simple home remedies can help you navigate the path toward recovery.

Whats The Bottom Line

The more accurate term for the stomach flu is viral gastroenteritis, because its not related to the influenza viruses that cause the respiratory illnesses we see in fall and winter. There are several types of viruses that can cause viral gastroenteritis. The most common of these is norovirus.

If you have viral gastroenteritis, you may pass the virus on to others when you have symptoms and for a few days after they go away. However, the virus can still be present in your stool for weeks after recovery. For this reason, its important to wash your hands thoroughly after using the restroom and before handling food or anything else that will go into your mouth.

Most people recover without seeking medical attention. However, if you experience signs of serious dehydration, blood in your stool, persistent fever, or severe abdominal pain, get medical attention right away.

Know When To See A Healthcare Provider

Most people with vomiting and diarrhea don’t need to see a healthcare provider. But it’s important to know when you do.

See your healthcare provider or seek medical attention if you have any these symptoms:

  • Vomiting longer than 24 hours
  • Blood in your vomit
  • Vomiting with severe headache and stiff neck
  • Signs of dehydrationdark or infrequent urine, dry mouth

Although most people recover from stomach bugs without medical treatment, sometimes these symptoms are caused by more serious problems that do require medical intervention.

Some people may become dehydrated from vomiting and having diarrhea. Some cases of dehydration need to be treated with medications or IV fluidseven if the cause is a simple stomach virus.

Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Gas Pains In Your Stomach

Treatment For Diarrhoea And Vomiting

You can usually treat yourself or your child at home. You dont need to take anti-diarrhoea medicine unless you need to shorten the length of time your diarrhoea lasts.

Children should not take anti-diarrhoea medicine. Anti-vomiting medication is sometimes helpful. Ask your pharmacist or GP for advice.

The most important thing is to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Oral rehydration solutions available in your pharmacy can be useful to treat diarrhoea.

Older children may not like the taste of oral rehydration solutions. Clear, flat lemonade type drinks can be given to them to help avoid dehydration.

What Can I Give My Cat To Ease Vomiting

Pin on Symptoms

There are not many reasonable over-the-counter solutions for cat vomiting. In addition, since cats cant correctly digest plant material, herbal remedies would further irritate the digestive tract. You should not give your cat anything if theyre vomiting. You are far more likely to damage your cats stomach and intestines with herbal and over-the-counter medications than you are to ease their vomiting.

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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.

Research And Statistics: How Many People Get Gastroenteritis

Norovirus is estimated to cause between 19 and 21 million cases of viral gastroenteritis each year in the United States. Data on other, less common types of gastroenteritis isnt readily available.

Worldwide, severe gastroenteritis is believed to cause over one million deaths each year. About one-half of these deaths occur in children.

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Should You Eat Fiber After Youve Had Diarrhea

You may have heard you should avoid fiber when you have diarrhea. This is not necessarily true.

There are two different types of fiber:

  • Soluble fiber can be dissolved in water. It ferments readily in the colon. This type of fiber can be prebiotic. This means it acts as food for healthy bacteria in the stomach. It also delays the speed at which stools pass through and exit the body.
  • Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in the body. Instead, it absorbs water as it passes through the digestive tract. This softens and loosens stools.

When recovering from diarrhea, focus on foods with soluble fiber, like oatmeal. This will help the good bacteria in your intestines recover while building more solid stools.

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Some Studies Show Gastrointestinal Symptoms Are More Common Than Previously Thought & Linked To Poorer Outcomes

Activated Charcoal for Diarrhea, Stomach Flu & Virus

The gastrointestinal symptoms of coronavirus include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and lack of appetite, according to the CDC.

A study conducted in China found that gastrointestinal symptoms might be more common than previously thought. Instead of the 4% initially suggested, the study found that 11.4% of 651 coronavirus patients presented with GI tract symptoms. In the studys conclusion, researchers noted, Attention to patients with COVID-19 with non-classic symptoms should increase to protect health providers.

Medical researchers attempting to understand why coronavirus appears to cause respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms conducted studies on coronavirus patients, using nasal swabs and testing their fecal matter. In a , they noted that the presence of coronavirus could indicate an alternative route of infection and might be the result of fecal-oral transmissions:

In over half of the patients, faecal samples remained positive for SARS-CoV2 RNA for a mean of 11 days after clearance of respiratory tract samples. A recent study further confirmed that 8 of 10 infected children had persistently positive viral rectal swabs after nasopharyngeal testing was negative. Importantly, live SARS-CoV-2 was detected on electron microscopy in stool samples from two patients who did not have diarrhoea, highlighting the potential of faecal-oral transmission.

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When To Get Help From A Doctor

In most cases, you can let GI issues run their course, says Barajas. However, if you become extremely dehydrated, develop sunken eyes, high fever or blood in your stools, you should make an appointment to see your doctor.

“In the case of gastroenteritis or food poisoning, you may have a pathogen that requires additional antibiotic treatment,” says Barajas.

Got nausea and diarrhea?

What Causes Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis happens when germs infect the stomach or intestines, causing inflammation.

In kids, viruses are the most common cause of gastroenteritis. Rotavirus causes many cases of stomach flu in children, but the rotavirus vaccine can help prevent them.

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.

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Diarrhea And Upset Stomach

There are a few different medical conditions that are strongly associated with:

While the symptoms above can be considered a guide to help associate symptoms common among the conditions below, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms. Below are the top condition matches for your symptom combination from MedicineNet:

Is It Stomach Bug Stomach Flu Or Food Poisoning

Stomach virus spreads around St. Louis

Your stomach is in knots as another wave of nausea strikes, sending you to the bathroom for the third time in an hour. But whats the cause? Two likely culprits are stomach bug and food poisoning. But how does stomach flu differ from food poisoning? Understanding the difference may lead to feeling better sooner and even prevent the illness from occurring in the first place.

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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.

Is It Possible To Have Diarrhea With No Fever

Some people may experience diarrhea without other flu-like symptoms, like a fever. Diarrhea can be the first symptom of COVID-19.

In some cases, flu symptoms may come on after diarrhea. Some people may only experience gastrointestinal symptoms without developing any of the more common symptoms.

Research suggests that the virus that causes COVID-19 can enter your digestive system through cell surface receptors for an enzyme called angiotensin converting enzyme 2 . Receptors for this enzyme are 100 times more common in the gastrointestinal tract than the respiratory tract.

increased risk of developing some types of viral infections.

However, research hasnât yet found that people with IBD are more likely to develop COVID-19 than people without IBD.

New information about COVID-19 is emerging rapidly. As researchers collect more data, itâs possible that research will find that having IBD does increase your risk for developing COVID-19.

According to at an IBD center in Milan, people with IBD should take extra precautions to avoid the virus. These include:

  • frequent handwashing
  • covering your face when coughing and sneezing
  • avoiding people with flu-like symptoms
  • staying at home when possible

If you have IBD and have tested positive for COVID-19, speak to your doctor about whether you should stop taking certain medications.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Dehydration

Symptoms of dehydration, the most common complication of viral gastroenteritis, may include the following in adults

  • extreme thirst and dry mouth
  • urinating less than usual
  • dark-colored urine
  • sunken eyes or cheeks
  • light-headedness or fainting

If you are the parent or caretaker of an infant or young child with viral gastroenteritis, you should watch for the following signs of dehydration

  • urinating less than usual, or no wet diapers for 3 hours or more
  • sunken eyes or cheeks

How Gastroenteritis Is Spread

Have You Ever Heard of Norovirus?

The bugs that cause gastroenteritis can spread very easily from person to person.

You can catch the infection if small particles of vomit or poo from an infected person get into your mouth, such as through:

  • close contact with someone with gastroenteritis they may breathe out small particles of vomit
  • touching contaminated surfaces or objects
  • eating contaminated food this can happen if an infected person doesn’t wash their hands before handling food, or you eat food that has been in contact with contaminated surfaces or objects, or hasn’t been stored and cooked at the correct temperatures

A person with gastroenteritis is most infectious from when their symptoms start until 48 hours after all their symptoms have passed, although they may also be infectious for a short time before and after this.

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What Are The Common Side Effects Of Stomach Flu Medicine

Stomach flu medications will vary in their side effects based on the type of drug, the dose, and the patients age. This is not a complete list of side effects, so consult with a health care provider about possible drug interactions or side effects.

Oral rehydration solutions have a long track record of safety. Rare side effects include nausea and diarrhea. It is possible, however, to overdo it. Taking too many electrolytes can throw the bodys balance of electrolytes off-kilter, causing potentially serious medical problems.

Antiemetics work by affecting a part of the brain involved with nausea and vomiting, so drowsiness, lightheadedness, sleepiness, restlessness, and agitation are the most common side effects. Dry mouth is a common complaint. The most serious side effect involves a hazardous change in the way the heart beats called QT prolongation. The risk is greatest when these drugs are taken over a long period.

The most commonly experienced side effect of antidiarrheal agents is constipation. Abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting are also possible.

Complementary And Alternative Medicine

Some doctors may recommend probiotics to treat viral gastroenteritis. Probiotics are live microorganisms, most often bacteria, that normally reside in your digestive tract.

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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Other Symptoms That Need Medical Attention

A person should see a doctor if they or someone in their care has the following symptoms:

  • confusion or a change in their mental state
  • diarrhea lasting more than 2 days
  • severe pain in the abdomen or rectum
  • very frequent vomiting

, and it is easy for someone to pass on the infection. The virus spreads through contact with small particles of the vomit or feces of a person with the infection. Someone can become infected if they:

  • consume food or drink that the virus has contaminated
  • touch contaminated surfaces and do not wash their hands
  • have direct contact with someone who has the infection, for instance, when caring for them or eating with them

People are most contagious when they have active symptoms, such as vomiting, and for the first few days after they recover. However, 2 weeks after a person recovers from norovirus, the virus will remain in their stool.

People can help prevent the transmission of the virus by regularly and thoroughly washing their hands using soap and water. They should pay particular attention to washing the hands:

  • after using the toilet
  • after caring for someone who has a stomach bug
  • after cleaning up after someone
  • before giving medicine
  • before eating, preparing, or handling food

People can use alcohol-based sanitizers to clean the hands, but using soap and water for 20 seconds is the most effective way to remove virus particles.

Here are some ways in which people can avoid transmitting a stomach bug:

People can make a bleach solution with

When To Call Your Doctor

Stomach Flu Symptoms, Treatment &  Remedies

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

Also Check: What To Do For Severe Stomach Pain

What Is The Best Medication For The Stomach Flu

Medications only treat stomach flu symptoms, but most people can endure a bout of stomach flu without medications. There is, then, no best medication for stomach flu, only a combination of drugs that decreases the risk of complications, reduces discomfort, and has a minimum of unpleasant side effects.

Best medications for stomach flu
Drug Name
Two 2 mg capsules followed by one 2 mg capsule after each unformed stool Constipation, dry mouth, flatulence

Many of the standard dosages above are from theU.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health . Dosage is determined by your doctor based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and weight. Other possible side effects exist. This is not a complete list.

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