Stomach virus is a common condition that anyone can suffer from at any time. It is not a very serious condition that you need to be worried about. However, it is of course an annoying situation that will cause you to throw up or vomit time and again and cause more bowel movement than usual or diarrhoea. The reason behind this is the number of different kinds of viruses.
Often the condition of stomach virus is referred to as stomach flu and Rotavirus, E. coli and Salmonella are the most common types of viruses that cause this condition. Usually the body can get rid of these stomach viruses on its own and there is no immediate treatment for this. The stomach virus or the stomach flu will run its course. However, there are some home remedies that will help you to feel better, faster!
What To Do For Stomach Virus?
Increased Fluid Intake for Stomach Virus
The first thing that you need to do if you have stomach virus or stomach flu is to drink lots of water. With vomiting and diarrhoea, your body will lose lots of water. So, in order to stay hydrated, you need to drink a lot.
However, what you drink must be monitored. You can drink normal water. If you find difficulty drinking a lot of water, you can take small sips in frequent intervals or even have some ice chips in your mouth. If you drink slowly, the water will sit in the stomach for a longer period. Also, if you drink too much of normal water, it will wash off the electrolytes that are still present in your stomach. So drink electrolyte water. Electrolyte water is also quite useful to provide energy to the body. Also, light vegetable broth or peppermint tea or ginger tea will help to soothe the stomach. Even light fruit juice or sports drinks are helpful.
It must be kept in mind that you should absolutely avoid black tea or coffee or any other caffeinated drink. This would also include chocolate and alcohol. Avoid any kind of sugary drinks.
Bland Diet or BRAT Diet
Eating as much of bland food as possible is the best idea when you have stomach virus. The ideal bland diet is the BRAT diet which includes banana, rice, applesauce and toasted bread. As you vomit due to the stomach flu, your body will lose a lot of potassium, which is very important for the body to function properly. Banana is a very rich source of potassium. So, if you add banana to your diet, it will replace the lost potassium in your body. For the rice, try using white rice. This will provide the carbohydrate that you need to produce energy in the body. Brown rice contains too much of fibre and will produce more gas and bloating feeling, which will worsen the condition.
One of the easiest foods to digest is applesauce, which is a rich source of carbohydrates and sugars. Also, its pectin content will help in the healing process of diarrhea. For the last component of the BRAT diet, try using the white bread toasts as they are processed and easy to digest. The brown breads are more difficult to digest as it has a lot of fibre.
If you want some variations to the BRAT diet, you can go with pretzels and crackers or some similar carbohydrate sources or even baked potatoes without butter is good.
Return to Normal Diet after Stomach Virus
Though the bland diet is better than eating nothing, it must not be continued for too long. A day or two of the bland BRAT diet is always a good idea to relieve the stomach and to soothe it and calm it down. However, in order to fight off the stomach virus, you need the other nutrients that will provide energy to the body. Return to your usual, normal diet as soon as possible. Do not start eating rich food. Instead, you can start slowly with light food like simply cooked vegetables, soup, fruits or lean proteins like boiled chicken, eggs and fish etc.
Yoghurt for Stomach Virus
Yogurt is a very useful part of your diet when you have stomach virus. If you eat low fat, low sugar fermented yoghurt every day with your meal, it will help you to get rid of the stomach upset faster. This is because the fermented yoghurt contains a large portion of “good” bacteria which can help the body to get rid of the virus.
Taking as much of rest as possible is essential when you have stomach virus. This is because; at rest the body works best to fight off the virus. So, try to get enough sleep and reduce your daily activities as much as possible. The body fights off the virus better, when your body is at rest as most of the resources from your body are used for getting rid of the virus, when you are asleep. It is important to get at least double the amount of your usual sleep, which is 6 to 8 hours, when you are sick or have stomach virus.
Acupressure for Treating Stomach Virus
Sometimes acupressure is said to be useful for fighting stomach virus. However, you must know how to do acupressure properly for getting the benefits. Acupressure is believed to be helpful in reducing nausea as well which is associated with the stomach virus.
Sometimes the symptoms are quite severe. You may have severe stomach ache or may even have high fever. In that case you may take the over the counter medicines. These may help you to cope with the difficulties for the time being, but would not cure the condition. However, there is no treatment that can cure stomach virus.
Antibiotics do not work for these viruses. You have to let the viruses complete their cycle and only then will the condition be cured all by itself.
- Mayo Clinic. “Viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu).”https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/viral-gastroenteritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20378847
- Cleveland Clinic. “Stomach Flu (Gastroenteritis).” https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15203-gastroenteritis