Stomach Flu: What Gastroenteritis Really Is?

It sounds fairly benign, the stomach flu. But if you’ve had it, you know — having this bug is far from dull

Between the nausea and numerous trips to the bathroom, having the stomach flu can be exhausting.

The good news is: it will be over soon.

The illness doesn’t typically stay round long. But in the meantime, having some idea of what to expect and how to ease your symptoms can make its stay a bit more tolerable.

This article will explain what the stomach flu is and how it spreads. But first, let’s talk about what the stomach flu actually is.

What Is the Stomach Flu?

Gastroenteritis, or stomach flu, is a viral infection of the gastrointestinal tract (also called the gut). It’s not caused by bacteria that can be passed from person to person. Instead, it’s most often caused by viruses spread through fecal contamination or airborne particles that can easily be inhaled.

The gastrointestinal tract includes all internal organs — including your mouth, throat, esophagus and stomach as well as parts of your intestines (large intestine) and anus — that help you digest food and pass waste out of your body.

Your immune system acts to protect this region from infection. But sometimes people who have weakened immune systems are more prone to catching the virus than other people are. That’s because weakened immune systems may not be able to keep viruses from entering your body through mucus membranes in your nose or mouth or other areas where air can get in and infect you.

Stomach Flu Symptoms

What You Should Know About Them What you do when you have a stomach bug depends on what symptoms you experience along with any medical conditions you have: Headaches : You may experience headaches with nausea , but they tend to go away after a day or two of rest . If they don’t go away by themselves , it’s a good idea to see your doctor.

  • : You may experience headaches with , but they tend to go away after a day or two of rest . If they don’t go away by themselves , it’s a good idea to see your doctor.
  • : Nausea is the most common symptom of stomach flu. It can come on suddenly and last for several hours. But with some exceptions, it goes away on its own within 24 hours . In fact, some people have severe nausea that lasts for weeks after the illness first strikes.
  • : Diarrhea occurs when you have frequent and watery bowel movements that sometimes contain blood or mucus in them (these are called bloody stools). Diarrhea may be mild or severe and can last up to five days if left untreated — or up to three days if treated right away with an over-the-counter medication like Imodium or Pepto-Bismol (check out our best drugstore remedies section).
  • : You may feel abdominal pain and cramping. A mild case of stomach flu may cause mild abdominal pain, but severe cases can cause severe abdominal pain. Fever
  • : You might also have a high fever . It’s not normal for a person with a cold to have a fever , but it’s possible with a stomach bug .
  • : You might also have a high . It’s not normal for a person with a cold to have , but it’s possible with a . Vomiting : If you’re vomiting , you might be losing fluids through your vomit , which is why you might feel thirsty and weak. Other symptoms of vomiting include nausea , headache, chills, muscle aches, dry mouth, fatigue and thirst.
  • : If you’re , you might be losing fluids through your , which is why you might feel thirsty and weak. Other symptoms of vomiting include , headache, chills, muscle aches, dry mouth, fatigue and thirst.

What The “Stomach Flu” Isn’t

There are some symptoms that are not related to a stomach bug. These include:

Constipation : Sometimes you may experience constipation with a stomach bug . It’s common for people to lose the urge to poo, and it may last for several days. If that happens, you should see your doctor or pharmacist. One thing you can do is drink lots of water and eat plenty of fibre-rich foods like fruits , vegetables and whole grains .

: Sometimes you may experience constipation with a . It’s common for people to lose the urge to poo, and it may last for several days. If that happens, you should see your doctor or pharmacist. One thing you can do is drink lots of water and eat plenty of fibre-rich foods.

Stomach Flu cures

Antibiotics are not the solution to a stomach bug. Antibiotics only kill bacteria and do nothing to treat the symptoms of a stomach bug. If you have a stomach bug, you should see your doctor or pharmacist to get the right treatment.

Antibiotics do not work for everyone and may not work at all if taken within 24 hours of symptoms appearing.

If antibiotics are prescribed, they should be taken according to the instructions on the packet and checked with a pharmacist before being given again. It’s important that you take these medicines as directed so that they work properly in your body.

It is best to go to a doctor or pharmacist who is experienced in treating stomach bugs for advice on what medicine is most suitable for you . You may also want to read more about how antibiotics affect gut bacteria .

Treatment For Stomach Flu

The following are some natural remedies that you can try if you have a stomach bug :

Drink plenty of fluids. This is important because it helps to replace lost fluid in your body and stops dehydration . This will help your body stay well hydrated and prevent any further problems.

This is important because it helps to replace lost fluid in your body and stops . This will help your body stay well hydrated and prevent any further problems. Eat foods rich in vitamin C. These include citrus fruits, blackcurrants, red peppers, berries, broccoli , cauliflower , cabbage and Brussels sprouts .

Vitamin C is also found in some vegetables like green peppers , spinach and tomatoes . Other foods that are high in vitamin C include avocados, potatoes, sweet potatoes and green leafy vegetables like kale.

These include citrus fruits, blackcurrants, red peppers, berries, broccoli , cauliflower , cabbage and Brussels sprouts . Vitamin C is also found in some vegetables like green peppers , spinach and tomatoes . Other foods that are high in vitamin C include avocados, potatoes, sweet potatoes and green leafy vegetables like kale.

Drink plenty of water or herbal tea with honey or lemon juice mixed with water. You could also try fresh ginger tea. These should help to soothe the symptoms of a stomach bug too.

Ginger tea can be made by mixing finely grated fresh root ginger with boiling water for about 10 minutes then strain out the ginger pieces before drinking it.

You could also try fresh ginger tea. These should help to soothe the symptoms of a stomach bug too. Ginger tea can be made by mixing finely grated fresh root ginger with boiling water for about 10 minutes then strain out the ginger pieces before drinking it. Drink plenty of lemon juice mixed with honey or unrefined sugar .

This is because lemon juice contains an enzyme called ascorbic acid which is known to be effective in soothing upset stomachs.

You could also try this homemade remedy: Mix 1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon of grated fresh horseradish and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in a glass of warm water and drink it straight away.

Take digestive biscuits that contain bicarbonate (such as Maalox). These can help to relieve the effects of gastric problems such as bloating , flatulence or pain . They are especially helpful if you suffer from IBS, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis .

Bicarbonate has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties so they can help reduce the symptoms associated with these conditions too.

These can help to relieve the effects of gastric problems such as or . They are especially helpful if you suffer from IBS, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis . Bicarbonate has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties so they can help reduce the symptoms associated with these conditions too.

Take plenty of water. This is because dehydration can lead to more severe symptoms if it is not treated quickly enough.

This is because dehydration can lead to more severe symptoms if it is not treated quickly enough. Take painkillers that contain paracetamol (such as Panadol and Nurofen). These are safe for children over 12 years and they work by reducing the pain and inflammation associated with a blocked stomach or sore throat . They also help to relieve tummy ache , diarrhoea , indigestion and heartburn .

How long will I feel ill for?

The length of time that you are ill with stomach flu depends on how sick you are when it first starts, how contagious the virus is and how well your body fights off the infection. If you have a mild case of stomach virus then symptoms might last for 2 days or less – but if it’s more severe then they can last up to 4 days or longer! Usually the worst symptoms come first – usually with a fever . Once this has passed then your temperature will start to drop again, as well as any other symptoms like nausea , vomiting , diarrhoea and loss of appetite . This is because your body is trying to fight off the virus in your intestines .

Conclusion

Stomach flu is not a very serious illness, but it can be unpleasant and make you feel really unwell. It usually happens when you have a cold or flu that has spread to your stomach, which can happen when you catch the bug from someone who has the same symptoms as you do. You probably know by now that it is never good to go to bed with a sore throat, so try not to do this if you have stomach flu. Instead, drink plenty of water and take painkillers if needed. It’s also important to rest and keep hydrated, which will help your body recover quickly from this illness.

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