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The stomach flu makes itself known with no hesitations – the beginning stages are combined of the chills, fever development, and nausea, shortly followed by vomiting, diarrhea, and severe aches and pains. Unfortunately, there is no cure; you’re going to have to let the virus run its course. There are remedies, however, that will help relieve the symptoms of the stomach flu.
- Staying hydrated. Fluids are crucial during the stomach flu, as you’ll be losing quite a bit of body fluids due to sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea. It may be difficult to keep liquids down; if this is the case, try smaller sips at regular intervals or chewing on ice. The best liquids to consume during this time are clear ones (such as broth or water), Pedialyte, sports drinks (these replenish electrolytes), and certain teas (such as ginger and peppermint; these help calm the stomach and alleviate nausea). Stay away from drinks with caffeine, refrain from eating chocolate, and don’t drink alcohol during this time; all of these can affect your sleeping pattern as well as upset your stomach.
- Altering your diet. In addition to liquids, it is also difficult to keep food down while battling the stomach flu. Try the BRAT route – bananas, rice (white only), applesauce, and toast (white only). These foods are easy to digest, have carbs that will give you energy, and they replenish nutrients that you have lost. Avoid dairy, fiber, greasy foods, and spices; all of these can irritate the stomach.
- Trying acupressure. This method has proved to be effective in treating different types of nausea. Finding pressure point P-6 by measuring the width of three fingers down from the bottom of the palm of your hand. Press the width with your thumb; you’ll feel a sensitive area between two tendons. Massage with your thumb for 2-3 minutes.
- Your body will need lots of rest in order to fight off the infection. Reduce the amount of activity during the day and rest as much as possible. When you’re not in the bed, lay down on the couch.
- Taking OTC medicine as directed. Ibuprofen helps with fever and aches, but it can cause you to have an upset stomach if too much is taken. If you become dehydrated, ibuprofen can negatively impact your kidneys. Take as directed and with food. Tylenol is usually recommended for those with the stomach flu (unless you suffer from liver disease). It helps relieve aches and fever with fewer side effects as ibuprofen and a much smaller risk of upsetting your stomach. If you need relief from nausea or diarrhea, your doctor may prescribe an antiemetic to stop nausea and/or vomiting. Check with your doctor, however, before purchasing OTC antidiarrheal meds, such as Imodium or Pepto Bismol. You can also talk to our pharmacist.