No one wants to get sick, especially with the stomach flu. The nausea, fever, chills, aches and diarrhea can lead to an uncomfortable feeling all day. Even though there is no cure for the stomach flu, the remedy can help provide relief from the detrimental symptoms. To recognize and manage stomach issues including stomach flu, sign up for first aid course in Vancouver today.
What are the possible causes of stomach flu?
The stomach flu or also known as gastroenteritis can be caused by various viruses that attack the gastrointestinal system. The viruses can be acquired from food that was incorrectly prepared or due to lack of proper hand washing. Those who have stomach flu often develop symptoms of nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, fever and sore muscles. Depending on the type of virus, the condition can last from 1-10 days.
The stomach flu is not the actual flu. The flu or influenza is triggered by a virus that attacks the respiratory system which affects the throat, nose and lungs.
When an individual acquires the stomach flu, the body requires rest in order to fight off the virus. The individual must adequately rest and minimize the level of activity that he/she normally engages in. While the individual is resting, the body works to fight the virus and repair the damage on the cellular level.
Increased intake of fluids
Remember that fluids are vital in fighting the stomach flu. Make sure that the individual drinks plenty of fluids especially if he/she has fever or vomiting. Take note that dehydration can easily develop if he/she has stomach flu. Clear liquids such as broth and water are highly recommended. Adults and older children can also consume sports drinks to help replace lost electrolytes during stomach flu.
In case the individual has difficulty in keeping liquids down, try small sips at regular intervals. Another option is clear soda or ginger tea to minimize nausea. There are also some beverages that can worsen stomach flu. It is best to avoid alcohol, coffee, caffeinated tea and soda since these drinks can cause stomach upset. If the individual has diarrhea, it is best to avoid drinking juices since they can worsen this symptom.
Keeping food down can be difficult if an individual has stomach flu. If the individual can eat, it is best to stick with plain foods such as cereal, crackers, rice, toast and potatoes. Even small amounts of banana, yogurt and fresh apples can help with diarrhea. Do not force the individual to eat if it makes him/her feel nauseated.
Avoid foods that contain caffeine, spicy foods, dairy products and high-fat foods. These foods can worsen the condition and subsequently make the diarrhea and nausea worse.
Is stomach flu communicable?
A virus is responsible for causing stomach flu. The common viruses include norovirus and rotavirus. The symptoms manifest 1-3 days after exposure to the virus. The individual is contagious before the symptoms develop.
Even after the individual has recovered from the symptoms, he/she can stay contagious for up to 2 weeks. As for children, they stay contagious for a longer period. There are also vaccines available for some types of rotavirus. If possible, avoid close contact with infected individuals as well as avoid sharing foods and wash hands regularly.