A stomach bug can make 24 hours feel like an eternity. With symptoms like diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramping, getting rid of it is a high priority. Viruses, contaminated food, viral gastroenteritis or gastroenteritis from another cause like chronic disease cause these symptoms. But the stomach flu is actually viral gastroenteritis or inflammation of some part of the digestive system. How you handle symptoms will determine how long it takes to get over the bug.
- Skill level:
Do not eat or drink for the first several hours when symptoms of the stomach flu appear. Your intestinal system needs a break from digestive processes to rid yourself of the cause of the bug. Do not eat or drink for at least four hours if you are vomiting. With no vomiting, drink small amounts of water, ginger ale or electrolyte-replenishing beverages first . Then eat a little bit of food after a two to four-hour break.
Focus on staying hydrated with small amounts of fluid. Take a sip or two of a beverage and then see if it stays down before having any more. You can have ice chips or lick a Popsicle. Avoid gulping or drinking quickly even if you feel thirsty. Also, avoid caffeine, alcohol or hot beverages. Do not drink milk products as these can upset the stomach too. Drink slowly and often to prevent dehydration.
Rest so your body can recover. Resting is the best treatment for any type of virus so that your own immune system can combat the cause and get you back to normal functioning. The best place to rest is away from other people and distractions, so going to work even if symptoms appear mild could prolong your recovery and infect other people.
Do not take medications to lessen symptoms. You might be tempted to take an aspirin or pop some antacids with stomach flu symptoms, but do not. Aspirin and other medicines can further upset the stomach, according to Mayo Clinic. Even prescribed medication for other conditions may not stay down when the stomach is upset. Check with your doctor if you miss several doses of a prescribed medicine.
Tips and warnings
- There is not real cure for the stomach flu since it is caused by a virus, but you can get symptoms to go away more quickly. Re-introduce mild foods like rice and bananas back into your diet when recovering for the stomach bug.
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