Does it happen that one minute you find yourself perfectly fine; and in the next moment, you are running to the bathroom? If yes, then it might be because of the stomach flu virus. Stomach flu virus, or the viral gastroenteritis, is actually a serious problem. It must be mentioned that stomach flu is not technically influenza at all. This is called so because the condition makes one feel as bad as seasonal flu does. When you suffer from nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and fever at times; you must know that you are infected by the stomach flu virus. Symptoms in case of stomach flu can range from mild to extremely severe, and can last from 24 hours to 48 hours, or as long as 10 days.
Stomach flu is also known as the “winter vomiting bug” and doctors believe that this is a “family affair”. It means, if any one person of the family gets the stomach flu virus, it is most likely to happen that every other member of the family in the house will get the infection, as it is greatly contagious.(1, 2)
Antibiotics won’t generally help in treating stomach flu virus, because it is a viral infection. However, there are some home remedies for stomach flu virus which can help you ease the sickness for a while. But, it must be strictly noted that home remedies won’t cure the stomach flu virus infection; and you need to visit your doctor for the appropriate treatments.
Home Remedies For Stomach Flu Virus:
The conditions of Stomach flu or its symptoms can be improved with some home remedies. Below we have mentioned some of them.
Things To Eat and Drink When Suffering from Stomach Flu Virus:
It is always essential for you to know what to eat and drink if you a have stomach flu virus in the body. It is generally suggested by the doctors that sticking to the BRAT diet or the bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, for some days would help you get some relief from the stomach flu virus infections. There are also some other foods to eat and liquids to drink that could act as an effective home remedy to treat stomach flu virus. There are also some foods you need to avoid if you have a stomach flu virus, as they can aggravate the condition.
BRAT diet includes bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. All these foods are bland and binding, which helps in making the stools more firm. It is important for you to follow a BRAT diet if you have stomach flu virus.
Bananas are packed with potassium. In case of diarrhea, potassium is the nutrient that is generally lost from the body. Bananas which are rich in potassium are good foods which help in replacing the nutrients lost from diarrhea and vomiting. Moreover, banana also contains a high amount of pectin fiber, that helps in easing diarrhea, making it an effective home remedy to fight stomach flu virus.
Crackers and Pretzels:
It is essential for you to take foods which are rich in sodium content. The salt helps in retaining water so that you do not get dehydrated. Crackers and pretzels would be good food sources for reducing symptoms of stomach flu virus. Make sure that you keep drinking when you are eating.
You can begin adding more of bland foods back to your regular diet once you feel that your stomach can take them. You need to start trying easy-to-digest foods, such as, rice, chicken, and gelatin. Protein content present in lean meats and also in well-cooked eggs can provide you the energy that you require. If you want to eat vegetables, eat them cooked, not raw. You can also add fruits to your diet.
It is true that dairy products are generally not a good choice if you have stomach infections, as they can be really hard to digest. However, live bacteria or the probiotics found in yogurt help you in getting back the normal functioning of your digestive system. Ensure that you are choosing plain and unsweetened yogurt.
Zinc supplements can also work as a good home remedy for stomach flu virus. These supplements might reduce the duration as well as the severity of the stomach flu.
We already discussed that probiotics help with stomach flu. They help you get your digestive system right back in balance. You can take probiotic supplements if you are being infected with the stomach flu virus. However, make sure that you consult with your doctor about these supplements; as there are 3 special types of probiotic supplements that work great for stomach flu virus.
Just like yogurt, kefir or a fermented milk drink is packed with probiotics; and drinking this during a stomach flu infection, would help replenish the good bacteria in the gut in a natural way.
Dehydration is one of the most serious side effects of stomach flu. However, if you are not able to keep anything in your stomach, not even water; then the best thing that you can do is to take 1 or 2 ice chips. Simple suck them and remain hydrated.
You need to increase your fluid intake when you have vomiting or diarrhea, which are common with a stomach flu virus infection. You can thus take 1 cup of clear fluid every hour (if you are an adult). Make sure you sip the liquid slowly so that you keep it down. You can drink water, and sports drinks. However, avoid caffeinated, carbonated, or sugary drinks as they can worsen the condition of diarrhea.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most effective home remedies for stomach flu virus. For using this as a remedy, honey in 1 cup of lukewarm water. This solution would help you get rid of gas and stomach cramps occurring due to stomach flu virus infections.
Rice water is loaded with electrolytes. Strain it, let it cool and sip it on. According to a study which was published in the Lancet, it was found that rice water eased diarrhea in babies better than the solution of an electrolyte.(3)
You can use caffeine-free tea as a home remedy if you have stomach flu, as they can help replenish the lost fluids, and some types of teas, such as, the peppermint tea, might also calm your stomach; ginger tea, might help you ease symptoms of nausea. Simply add lemon juice to get the benefit of a little extra vitamin C.
Herbs To Use:
One of the best herbs that work as a great home remedy for stomach flu virus infection is peppermint. It offers you great relief from an upset stomach. There are studies which have found that mint actually help in treating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome or IBS and indigestion. You can also calm your upset stomach even by chewing peppermint. However, the best way to get the most benefit from mint in case of a stomach flu infection is by taking its tea.
Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. This ancient herb is used as a digestive aid as well as a natural remedy for nausea, since ages.
You can try drinking ginger tea or ginger ale prepared from real ginger root, can take ginger capsules, or can also simple chew a piece of clean ginger root to get relief from stomach flu virus infection.
Tea (Chamomile, Rooibos, Fennel):
Rooibos tea, or red tea, is known to calm your digestive tract and help in treating stomach cramps. Chamomile tea has also got soothing properties. Fennel is known to help with symptoms like gas, indigestion, cramping, and bloating and it is also quite easy to take in tea form.
Things To Do:
One of the most important, simplest as well as natural ways to encourage the healing from illness at home is to take enough rest. In case of severe vomiting and diarrhea, simple taking rest is not just that helpful; however, it is one thing that you would actually want to do since another symptom of stomach flu is fatigue.(4)
So, by taking the required amount of rest and enough of sleep in case of stomach flu infection or any other illness; you can feel good and get relief from the weakness.
One of the best home remedies for stomach flu virus is a heat pack. Simply put a microwaveable heat pack or a heating pack on your stomach to get some relief from stomach pain and cramps.
Another important home remedy for stomach flu virus infection is a cold compress. Though it won’t exactly stop vomiting or stomach cramps; however, by putting a cool cloth on the forehead you can get enough of comfort if your insides are in turmoil.
Keep a note that in case you are feeling queasy; or in case you are vomiting, then let your stomach get some rest. Stop eating; let things settle down well, at least for a few hours.
It is very true that stomach flu virus infection is a real unpleasant experience; however, most individuals recover completely without any complications. It is always important for you to remain well hydrated if you are suffering from stomach flu. You can also try the above mentioned home remedies for stomach flu virus. However, in case you have serious symptoms or in case your condition does not get better in a day or two, do consult with your doctor and take the appropriate treatments.
NOTE: It is always better to consult with your doctor before trying any home remedies.
- Stomach Flu: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Home Remedies, Diet
- How Long Does Stomach Flu Last & is it Contagious?
- Is Stomach Flu Contagious & What are the Natural Remedies to Get Rid of it?
- Incubation Period For Stomach Flu
- What To Eat When You Have Stomach Flu?
- Probiotics For Stomach Flu: Is It Helpful?
- Diet For Stomach Flu: Foods To Eat & Foods To Avoid When Infected With Stomach Flu?