Several different viruses can cause the disease commonly referred to as the stomach flu, also known by the medical term viral gastroenteritis. This viral disease is contagious and spreads easily from person to person through direct or indirect contact. The virus can also be contracted through unsanitary food and bad hygienic habits of those handling the food.
Stomach virus symptoms
When a person comes in contact with stomach virus, it penetrates the body and settles in the gastrointestinal tract, where it attacks the lining of the stomach, large and small intestine, leading to inflammation.
The symptoms in most cases include nausea and vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea. They may be accompanied by dizziness, chills and fever, muscle ache, headache, weakness and fatigue and loss of appetite.
The symptoms usually start one or two days after the contact with the virus. They may last just one day or they may persist, although less severely, for a week or ten days.
Stomach virus remedies
The problem with this disease is that it is caused by viruses. This means that it cannot be treated with specific medications, like antibiotics. There are things one can do to speed up the recovery and alleviate the symptoms.
Body needs rest in order to become strong enough to fight the virus. Rest preserves body energy and helps with nausea. It is best to stay in bed and not eat or drink anything, not even water, for the first few hours. That way the stomach will empty and it will not be further irritated.
It is very important to prevent dehydration which can easily occur due to vomiting and diarrhea. Most people are not aware of the amounts of fluids lost during stomach flu, and dehydration not only slows down the healing process, but it can also leave severe health consequences. It is best to take small but frequent sips of rehydrating solution. This solution is made from four cups of water with half teaspoon of salt, half teaspoon of baking soda and four tablespoons of sugar. After the symptoms have subsided a little, one can start with clear fluids like water, herbal tea and fat free chicken broth. It is recommended to avoid coffee, alcohol and citrus juices.
For the first 24 hours of stomach flu it is best not to eat anything solid. After that time some bland food can be consumed in order to restore energy. Bland foods include bananas, toast, plain noodles, unsalted crackers, rice and similar. Greasy and spicy foods, as well as dairy products and raw vegetables, should be avoided. Even after the flu has passed, it is recommended to avoid foods that can irritate the stomach and trigger vomiting and diarrhea.