Following A Good Gut Health Protocol Is The Best Way To Avoid Stomach Flu Said Nutritionist And Lifestyle Educator Karishma Chawla
Stomach flu, also known as gastroenteritis, is usually caused by any virus that may attack the gastrointestinal system. It can also be caused by bacteria through contaminated water and food. Stomach flu can wreak havoc on the system. Remember, our overall health is closely interlinked with our digestive health. Hence, stomach flu can have a deep impact on physical, mental, and emotional health, said nutritionist and lifestyle educator Karishma Chawla.
Stomach flu symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramping, and abdominal pain.
Here are foods that one should have and avoid when down with stomach flu:
*Drinking adequate amounts of fluids is imperative to make up for the fluid loss due to diarrhea and vomiting. Fluids include plain water, infused water with herbs, electoral water, coconut water, broth, herbal tea with ginger, and peppermint. In fact, the smell of peppermint tea may help reduce nausea as well.
Also Check: What Causes An Inflamed Stomach
Is A Stomach Virus Contagious
Yes, a stomach virus is contagious, and you can get it from another persons unwashed hands, from contaminated surfaces, or from food or drink that contains the virus.
The most common stomach viruses in the U.S. are the norovirus , rotavirus , enterovirus, and adenovirus.
Children are typically vaccinated against the rotavirus as an infant. The rotavirus vaccine will help protect most children from severe disease.
Norovirus is the most common stomach virus overall, but is NOT just acquired from cruise ships, as is often thought. Stomach viruses can spread easily from many places where people congregate, such as schools, college dorms, churches, nursing homes, campgrounds, and prisons.
You May Like: How Can You Make Your Stomach Smaller
Food Poisoning And Stomach Flu: Whats The Difference
How can we tell stomach virus from food poisoning symptoms if there are few to no differences between them? Taking a close look at the patients past and current history is the best way for me to distinguish the two conditions.
Food poisoning is generally associated with eating food that is contaminated or believed to be contaminated. After eating contaminated food, food poisoning usually develops within a few hours and goes away within a few days. The stomach flu duration depends on the individual and the severity of the illness.
Also Check: How To Relieve Baby Stomach Pain
How Else Can You Speed Up Your Recovery From Gastroenteritis
As much as eating may be on your mind, there are some other habits and home remedies that you can put you in good stead for a speedy recovery from stomach bugs:
- Rest up This applies to both you and your stomach. Rest is vital to help support the recovery process so dont commit to anything too quickly and take some time out.
- Apply some heat A hot water bottle can be soothing, particularly if you are experiencing any uncomfortable cramps as a result of the recent infection.
- Acupressure Stimulating acupressure points on the inside of the wrist may help to alleviate symptoms of nausea.
- Medications from the doctor If you’ve visited your doctor or pharmacist they may have recommend some medicines such as paracetamol, if your symptoms are accompanied by a fever, or anti-sickness and anti-diarrhoeal medications. However, just be careful not to exacerbate a sensitive tummy by ensuring you take them correctly.
Bananas Rice Applesauce And Toast
Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast are the foundation of the BRAT diet.
Health professionals commonly recommend these bland foods for stomach complaints because theyre gentle on your stomach.
Keep in mind that the BRAT diet alone will not provide your body with all the nutrients it needs.
In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children return to their usual age-appropriate diets as soon as they are rehydrated .
Nonetheless, bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast are safe options to start with when queasy from the stomach flu.
Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast are safe foods to try while sick with the stomach flu.
Eating Right To Recover From The Stomach Flu
If youre experiencing stomach flu, you should make sure youre eating the right foods to help you recover. If you want to get rid of the guilt about eating chicken, plain broths, crackers, toast, gelatin, bananas, rice, and chicken are good alternatives. You should not eat dairy products, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, processed foods, fatty, spicy, or highly seasoned foods, unless you have been diagnosed with the flu. You should also avoid solid foods for a while and, if possible, avoid drinking any liquids at all. As your symptoms improve, it may be time to introduce soft bland foods like eggs, which are both easy to digest and rich in protein. The patient should also be cautious with medications and to rest his or her stomach and intestine in order to fully recover.
What Is The Best Food To Eat When You Have Stomach Flu
If you’ve recently suffered from a stomach bug, also known as gastroenteritis or stomach flu, you might be wondering, if anything, what you can eat. However, it’s crucial during this time to keep hydrated, and not overburden your system with heavy or stimulating foods. You should also be supplying your body with the essential nutrients it needs in order to help support your immune system, keep your energy levels up and fight off the invading bug.
This is why I recommend the following five foods to help support your recovery from a stomach bug:
Next, I explore exactly why you should eat these five foods if youre feeling sorry for yourself and have a stomach bug.
Recommended Reading: What Do You Do When Your Stomach Hurts
How Soon Can I Eat And Drink After Vomiting And/or Diarrhea
Other than drinking to stay hydrated, there are no hard and fast rules about when and what to eat after food poisoning or stomach bug symptoms have subsided. Its more about what you can tolerate. Every patient reacts differently to foodor to the idea of eating again. Its natural to temporarily lose your appetite when experiencing the stomach flu or food poisoning. Whenever your appetite does return, you can go back to eating, even if you still have diarrhea. Most medical experts do not recommend fasting or following a restricted diet when you have diarrhea. This is to help your body restore its energy and to regain its lost fluids, nutrients and electrolytes. Your gage will be how well you tolerate food.
Brat Diet: Recovering From An Upset Stomach
Last Updated February 2021 | This article was created by familydoctor.org editorial staff and reviewed by Peter Rippey, MD, CAQSM
An upset stomach or diarrhea can leave you feeling miserable. If left untreated, it can lead to exhaustion and dehydration, so its important to make sure your body stays nourished. But it can be hard to determine what to eat after throwing up or having diarrhea. A special diet known as the BRAT diet is an effective way to treat both.
Also Check: Does Leukemia Cause Stomach Pain
Eat Drink And Do These With The Flu
Drink plenty of clear liquids
Wait until 2 hours have passed since your last episode of vomiting. Start with small frequent sips. Water, clear soda , herbal decaffeinated tea, broth or over-the-counter electrolyte replacements are great ways to avoid dehydration when you have a stomach flu with frequent diarrhea or vomiting.
Severe dehydration could mean a trip to the hospital to receive IV fluids, so its important to try to stay hydrated if you can, Dr. Lipold says. You may turn to the common ginger ale fix but again, stir or let it sit on the counter in an open container until the carbonation evaporates.
Eat complex carbohydrates
Potatoes and whole grains are your best choices to help replace nutrients you may have lost while vomiting or too many trips to the bathroom. Try lean meats without too much spice or condiments, which can upset your stomach more .
Suck on ice chips
If you cant keep anything else down, ice chips will help give you the hydration you likely need little by little over a longer time, but it may be better tolerated by your stomach, Dr. Lipold says.
See your physician
If you havent been able to keep liquids down for 24 hours, show signs of dehydration, are vomiting blood, have abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea or a fever above 102 F its time to visit your doctor, Dr. Lipold says.
Easing Into New Foods
While you had stomach flu symptoms, your doctor most likely prescribed a diet that consisted of bland foods and increased liquids. The BRAT diet is a common acronym used to treat an upset stomach and the stomach flu, according to FamilyDoctor.org. BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. These foods provide the body with nutrition and help add bulk to your stools to shorten the duration of diarrhea. After your symptoms subside, your doctor may recommend adding fruits, vegetables, potatoes, crackers and jelly back into your diet.
Don’t Miss: How Can I Lose Weight In My Face And Stomach
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.
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.
Read Also: How To Lose My Stomach In 10 Days
Is Oatmeal Ok For Gastroenteritis
You should eat bananas, broth, crackers, rice, and oatmeal as soon as you feel better, for example. Other OTC medications, such as those for fever and headaches, can also help relieve nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever caused by gastroenteritis.
A Digestible Solution: Oatmeal For Diarrhea
When you suffer from diarrhea, it is critical that the food you eat be easy to digest and not cause further stomach upset. Oatmeal, which has a low fiber content, can be eaten when you have diarrhea to help relieve the symptoms. Oatmeal, in addition to being a good source of carbohydrates, can aid in the bodys healing process and the fight against infection. Oatmeal, in addition to being a high-quality source of vitamins and minerals, may also help you recover faster. Furthermore, oatmeals fiber content, which includes both soluble and insoluble fibers, is beneficial for bowel movements and diarrhea control. As a result, when you suffer from diarrhea, oatmeal is the best option.
How Long After Stomach Flu Can I Eat
There are no specific guidelines on this, and the best advice is to pay close attention to your symptoms. Whilst it’s important to include liquids from the get go to help avoid dehydration, limiting food for a little bit longer can often be sensible if your stomach is still very sensitive.
After having stopped vomiting for a few hours, you should be able to start gradually introducing some food. As mentioned above, start with some liquid soups or bland foods and introduce them very gradually before reassessing your symptoms.
Also Check: What To Eat With Stomach Ache
Looking After A Child With Gastroenteritis
You can look after your child at home if they have diarrhoea and vomiting. There’s not usually any specific treatment and your child should start feeling better in a few days.
You don’t normally need to get medical advice unless their symptoms don’t improve or there’s a risk of a more serious problem.
To help ease your child’s symptoms:
- Encourage them to drink plenty of fluids. They need to replace the fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhoea. Water is generally best. Avoid giving them fizzy drinks or fruit juice, as they can make their diarrhoea worse. Babies should continue to feed as usual, either with breast milk or other milk feeds.
- Make sure they get plenty of rest.
- Let your child eat if they’re eating solids and feel hungry. Try small amounts of plain foods, such as soup, rice, pasta and bread.
- Give them paracetamol if they have an uncomfortable fever or aches and pains. Young children may find liquid paracetamol easier to swallow than tablets.
- Use special rehydration drinks made from sachets bought from pharmacies if they’re dehydrated. Your GP or pharmacist can advise on how much to give your child. Don’t give them antidiarrhoeal and anti-vomiting medication, unless advised to by your GP or pharmacist.
Make sure you and your child wash your hands regularly while your child is ill and keep them away from school or nursery until at least 48 hours after their symptoms have cleared .
What Not To Eat After Stomach Flu Or Food Poisoning
While doctors generally agree that you can eat anything your stomach can tolerate, its best to avoid foods that are spicy and fatty. These can be much harder for your stomach to digest than the bland BRAT diet.
You may want to be cautious of dairy products, even with probiotics, since they may irritate your stomach. I would also caution you against eating a big meal.
Instead, start slowly with small meals to see how your stomach handles the food. When youre just starting to eat again, avoid foods with strong odors, as they may trigger nausea and/or vomiting.
The bottom line is to use common sense. Listen to your body about what foods your stomach can and cannot tolerate.
You May Like: How To Hide Your Stomach In Pictures
What To Eat After Stomach Flu Or Food Poisoning
After experiencing the stomach flu or food poisoning, it might be hard to think about eating. However, the right foods, combined with drinking lots of fluids, can actually help speed up your bodys recovery. In most cases, the best way to recuperate from the stomach flu or food poisoning is to prevent dehydration and replace the fluids and electrolytes that your body has lost. Its important to understand when you can and should start eating again and what to eat after food poisoning or the stomach flu. Ill share what foods and liquids are best for your sensitive stomach, and what foods to avoid.
What Other Foods Can I Eat After Stomach Flu
However, doctors usually accept that you can eat anything your stomach can tolerate and avoid foods that contain spicy or fat. This may cause more digestive issues for your stomach than simple, bland foods. If it is dairy products that contain probiotic foods, they can upset the stomach as well.
I recommend you avoid eating large meals. Start slowly with little meals until the stomach can digest them. Avoid food with strong smells that may cause nausea. Let us use good humor. Let me know if your stomach is unable to accept a particular food.
The BRAT diet isnt the only recommended if youre comfortable eating and drinking again, so if youve been slowly reintroducing bland foods, there are other recommendations. Listed below are some other foods that may help restore your appetite and strength.
You May Like: Where Does Stomach Cancer Spread To
What Is Viral Gastroenteritis
Viral gastroenteritis is an inflammation, swelling, and irritation of the inside lining of your gastrointestinal tract. A virus causes this illness. It can infect your stomach, small intestine, and large intestine.
Viral gastroenteritis is very common. In most cases, it lasts only a few days and doesnt require treatment. The biggest danger is dehydration from loss of fluid due to diarrhea and vomiting.
Recommended Diet Plan After Stomach Flu
What you eat after you’ve had the stomach flu may help improve lingering symptoms faster. MayoClinic.com states that allowing your stomach to settle and easing back into a regular diet are two lifestyle choices that can help your digestive system repair itself. Talk with your doctor about a modified diet plan even after your symptoms subside from having the stomach flu. Do not attempt to self-treat or use over-the-counter medications without first talking with your doctor.
Don’t Miss: Can Stomach Ulcers Cause Back Pain