Getting Away With Stomach Flu

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Millions of viruses are present in our environment—wherever we are located, whatever task we perform, they are always there and ready to attack our system. The only weapon we have against these viruses is a strong immune system. However, our body is not always a fail-safe system, there are those times that we become vulnerable to viruses and bacteria and this gives rise to the development of diseases and illnesses.

One common illness which affects people, especially children, is stomach flu. Medically termed as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu is caused by a number of viruses which attack the lining of our stomach and intestines. As a condition that affects our GI system, it is expected to give rise to GI related signs and symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting. Vomiting and diarrhea may occur like spells in a day and can lead to dehydration and a lot of other complications which may endanger one’s life and well being.

Dehydration, being the most feared complication of stomach flu can present with difficulty feeding or loss of appetite, restlessness, lethargy or confusion, body weakness as well as decreased skin turgor. Dehydration can even lead to death is it is unmanaged. But this is not what we want to happen, in fact, even before dehydration takes place, we must already act on stomach flu.

Increase Fluid Intake. Needless to say, FLUID INTAKE is indispensable. And when we speak of fluid intake, we not only mean drinking adequate amount of water. By fluid intake, we also mean an increase in electrolyte intake. Electrolytes are important in the proper functioning of our cells.

Fruit juices, energy drinks, as well as hydrites or Oral Rehydrating Salts contain rich amount of minerals and electrolytes which a dehydrated body greatly needs. Each time you vomit or pass out watery stool, be sure to compensate it immediately with fluid. This will prevent your body from becoming weak and fatigued. Furthermore, when dehydration reaches the brain, it can be very fatal to one’s life.

Modify Your Diet. There are foods that need to be avoided when one is suffering from stomach flu. These may include ice-cream, caffeinated drinks, and carbonated beverages. Similarly, dairy products like milk, eggs and cheese need to be avoided.

Rest Your Intestine. As much as we need to avoid intake of foods which can trigger attacks of diarrhea and vomiting, we cannot deprive ourselves from eating. As such, eating foods is not a contraindication, but we need to make sure that the foods we eat will not put too much stress on the intestines and stomach. Easily digestible foods are okay like the BRAT diet—banana, rice, apple and toast.

Treatment for stomach flu is not definite and generic to all people suffering from the condition since it is treated symptomatically. The reason for this is that stomach flu, as a viral infection will self-resolve and will not need any form of treatment to promote its timely resolution. As such, whatever symptoms arise, those are what need to be treated immediately.

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