How to treat a stomach flu. Suggest

Stomach flu or viral gastroenteritis, as it is referred to medically, is a common infection of the intestinal tract that can be quite discomforting. It causes severe diarrhea, painful abdominal cramps, vomiting and at times even fever. The infection is however not very serious, but if neglected and not treated appropriately can cause complications. The main risk is posed from dehydration, due to loss of fluids. The infection is therefore mainly a risk to those with a weakened immunity and to infants or the elderly.

Stomach flu infections are caused due to contact with an infected individual or through the consumption of contaminated food or water. Since the infection is caused by a virus there is not much that can be done by way of conventional medical treatments. The main focus of the treatment is to relieve the symptoms and facilitate natural healing. The infection should generally resolve within a day or two for a healthy individual. The key to managing the problem is prevention, through strict personal hygiene. The main area of focus in your treatment should be to prevent dehydration and replenish the loss of fluids.

First of all make sure that you avoid using any antibiotics, as they are of no use against viral infections and can only lead to the development of bacterial resistance. The self care steps listed below should suffice to see you through the infection:
  • Keep in mind that it is important that you give your digestive system a chance to recover, by giving it a chance to rest and settle. Avoid eating and drinking for a few hours, restricting your intake to water and electrolyte solutions. After this stick to fluids like fresh fruit juices, water, and electrolyte solutions.
  • Curd and yogurt with active lactobacilli can also help soothe the condition.
  • Make sure you do not include any caffeinated drinks like colas and many of the energy or sports drinks as they could cause further dehydration.
  • As you begin to recover you can gradually begin to include soups and broths, and then mild bland foods that are easy to digest like toast, and bananas.
  • Avoid all alcoholic, caffeinated, and fatty, oily or spicy foods till you have recovered completely.
  • Stomach flu leaves you severely weakened so avoid exerting yourself and get plenty of rest.
  • Be wary of any medications, as most of them can worsen the condition. If you do need to take medications for any other pre-existing condition then please consult your doctor.

answered by S D

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