Although there are several names for a stomach flu, the condition itself is very uncomfortable and distressing to deal with. Usually caused by a virus, stomach flu or gastroenteritis as many doctors put it, stomach flu is considered to be one of the most common health related ailments in the US. Extremely contagious, the illness can cause severe vomiting and dehydration. However, there are several ways you can treat the condition at home itself without opting for medications or treatments. Here are some valuable tips that would be of help to you in combating the stomach virus.
- As soon as you notice the stomach infection, stop eating and drinking anything. Remain on an empty stomach for a few hours. This will let your stomach settle down. You can start drinking some fluids after two hour or so, but no more than two hours, as your body would already be dehydrated after diarrhea and vomiting.
- Don’t gulp down entire glasses of liquids after this time interval. Rather, start sipping and slowly increase your intake. Some fluids you can opt for include water, apple juice, vegetable juice, popsicles, ice chips, broth soup, gelatin, etc. If you have dehydration, drink Gatorade to balance the electrolyte levels in your body.
- Try getting some rest. The more active you are, the more agitated your stomach would become. So confine yourself to a quiet environment and get some much-needed sleep until your stomach feels better. You would also be putting the others around you at less risk of contracting the infection as well.
- After having fluids for some time, try switching to a more solid diet. You can test if your stomach is ready to handle solid food by munching on some crackers. The crackers would reduce excess stomach acids as well as bring down symptoms like nausea. If you are able to keep the crackers in, switch to a solid diet, including a few solid foods along with the fluids that you drink.
- OTC medications would help reduce some of the more severe symptoms of stomach flu. You can opt for medications like ibuprofen for the same. Consult a doctor for details regarding dosage.
- Stay away from spicy, fried and oily foods until your stomach settles down. It would also be wise to avoid consuming dairy products, caffeinated beverages and alcohol until the symptoms of the flu reduce completely.
Stomach flu usually lasts about from a week to 10 days. Here are some remedies that you must try regularly during this period. If the symptoms remain unabated, consult a doctor for further treatment options.