We all hate getting sick, it’s the worst feeling in the world. You don’t feel like moving or doing anything at all for that matter and sometimes you don‘t even have the strength to.
But stomach flu is a whole different level. When it strikes, you get bombarded with awfully unpleasant symptoms that immediately render you useless and miserable.
The early stages begin with fever, chills, and nausea. And then those develop into severe diarrhea and vomiting, accompanied by aching of the body. It’s the worst.
And even if it passes after a week up to 10 days, you can’t cure it while it’s present. You have to go through the excruciating ordeal whether you like it or not.
With that being said, we will provide you some remedies that you can use in order to produce a little bit of relief and make the most grueling symptoms tolerable.
Remedies for Kids
Stomach flu is already tough as it is, but having to witness your own child go through the excruciating symptoms is tougher.
If your child suffers stomach flu symptoms for more than 2 days, it is best to bring them to a doctor.
This will not only ensure your child’s recovery but also ensure that it’s actually stomach flu that’s causing your child’s symptoms and not another condition.
Aside from that, you should also encourage your child to stay hydrated. Give them lots of fluid (water for kids; breast milk and/or formula for infants).
Stomach flu can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea which causes the body to lose a lot of fluids. It is extremely important to replace fluid loss to avoid dehydration.
Use medication only under the advice of a doctor
Stomach flu is incurable. It can pass by on its own, but it cannot be cured while it’s there.
Medications and antibiotics are useless if you’re aiming to eradicate the flu itself. What you can do, on the other hand, is reduce the severity of the symptoms.
You can use over-the-counter medicines but do so carefully. For example, you can take ibuprofen if you’re experiencing fever and body aches.
If you experience an upset stomach after taking this medicine, immediately discontinue use. Tylenol is also known to relieve fever and body aches but is not advisable for people with liver problems.
If you are looking to relieve your diarrhea or nausea symptoms, you can choose between several medications including metoclopramide, prochlorperazine, promethazine, or ondansetron.
Consult with your doctor first before trying any of these medicines out. And always remember not to take them on an empty stomach.
In order for your body to fight the infection that causes stomach flu, you need to rest. Resting your body will speed your its recovery up a bit.
Minimize your daily activity and sleep a lot. When you’re not doing anything, take a rest.
This will help your body heal and recuperate. Once your body recovers, it will fight the infection causing the flu and work hard to repair cell damage.
Acupressure is known to be effective in relieving nausea and motion sickness. It is recommended that you target the acupressure point called P-6, or the 6th point on the Pericardium meridian.
This pressure point is located inside the wrist. You can find this pressure point by:
- Placing 3 fingers on your wrist,
- then put your thumb on the point under your index finger.
- On that point, you will feel 2 tendons underneath the skin under the thumb. That is the P-6 pressure point.
Gently massage that pressure point using small circular motions for 2 to 4 minutes, or until you feel relieved.
Try the BRAT diet
It can be quite difficult to eat when you have stomach flu. Even if you force yourself to do so, your body just rejects the food you consume.
Sometimes, just the thought of it makes you want to vomit. In spite of that, you still have to try to fill your stomach in with something.
It is best to start with a simple and bland but healthy diet. The BRAT diet is probably the most recommended diet for people suffering an upset stomach.
It consists of Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast.
These foods are capable of making your feces firmer and are not difficult to digest. They also contain the nutrients that you lose from suffering the symptoms of stomach flu, including:
- Carbohydrates: all four foods contain carbohydrates that can replace the energy you lost from diarrhea and vomiting.
- Potassium: bananas contain a lot of potassium. This nutrient can help strengthen the lining around your stomach.
- Sugar: Applesauce contains sugars that can help improve diarrhea.
For toast, go for white bread as it is easier to digest compared to whole wheat bread which contains fibers.
On the other hand, you should avoid foods that contain the following:
- Fiber: As previously mentioned, fiber is not easy to digest so it is best to avoid it when you’re suffering stomach flu symptoms.
- Grease: Avoid greasy foods such as bacon, fries, pizza, and fried foods as they may cause indigestion.
- Dairy: although some people can handle it, dairy foods can be hard to digest to some and may even cause stomach distress and lead to even worse diarrhea.
- Spices: stay away from spicy foods, particularly curries, chili sauces, and even tomato-based meals.
Fluids are your best friend
Fluids play a critical role in our overall body health. When we get stomach flu, we lose a ton of liquids. We lose liquids from sweating, from vomiting, and from diarrhea. And like eating, it is also difficult to ingest liquids.
So start slowly and take small sips of liquids every now and then. Do not force yourself to drink too much in one gulp, as it may induce vomiting.
The kinds of fluids that you should be drinking are the following:
- Water, or any kind of clear liquid
- Over-the-counter drinks like Pedialyte, which is good for all ages
- Over-the-counter sports drinks like Gatorade for teenagers and adults
- Teas, preferably peppermint and ginger flavored, to help relieve an upset stomach and reduce vomiting
You should avoid drinking the following:
- Teas high in caffeine like black tea
- All kinds of coffee
- Chocolate drinks
- Alcohol beverages
If there is an epidemic of stomach flu around your area, be extra cautious. There have been known cases of prolonged and untreated stomach flu becoming a risk factor for developing stomach cancer.
As much as possible, avoid contact with people infected with the flu. Wash your hands with soap often and get plenty of sleep.
These may seem useless but trust us when we say these practices are of great help in preventing the acquisition of stomach flu. Better be safe than sorry.
For more tips to treat stomach pain-related conditions, read our following article linked below.