Help!! I Have the Stomach Flu

by in Acidophilus, Cinnamon, Diarrhea, Stomach Flu December 9, 2007

By Dr. Nicole Sundene

There is not much worse than being cursed with the diarrhea and vomiting of the stomach flu.

The stomach flu is typically a gastroenteritis caused by a virus or bacteria spread from person to person, or infected water or food.

The unfortunate symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea should resolve within 72 hours of onset.

If symptoms persist, if they are accompanied by abdominal pain, bleeding, high fever, or extreme symptoms a doctor’s visit would be necessary.

Otherwise there is not much your doctor can do for you other than make sure that you are not dehydrated. It is best if you just stay home to prevent infecting the rest of the world with the stomach flu.

  • Simply stay on clear fluids such as chicken broth, diluted juices or electrolyte solutions such as recharge or Emergen C.
  • If you vomit up even small amounts of fluids try drinking a teaspoon of liquid and then doubling that every 15 minutes until you are up to speed again. They say it is better to vomit up the fluid then to simply not drink it at all. Children can be given Pedialyte popsicles or fluid and Jell-O to ensure their fluid intake is optimal. A high fever causes dehydration so even if vomiting and diarrhea are no longer present be sure to provide adequate amounts of clear liquids.
  • Once food is able to be reintroduced the BRAT diet is commonly recommended by most doctors. BRAT stands for “Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast” Be sure the rice is white as is the toast. Yes this is the rare occurrence that I am recommending white foods so enjoy! Also helpful for slowing down diarrhea are blueberries, cinnamon, plain yogurt (to replenish the good bacteria) and a tea made from a tablespoon of brown rice in a cup of water. This is a popular diarrhea remedy for those suffering from HIV induced diarrhea, you can then eat the rice after drinking the “tea”.

If you are experiencing diarrhea in this 72 hour period, you are best off not to suppress the diarrhea with some over the counter medicines (unless of course it is your wedding or there is some VERY special event going on). The body is simply trying to flush out the “bad guys”.

So as long as you are not getting dehydrated or experiencing any blood in your stools allowing the diarrhea to run (no pun intended) it’s course while supporting your body is the fastest way to recover from the stomach flu.

Remember you can do a spring cleaning or just wait for nature to give you one in the form of diarrhea!

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