Best treatments for a stomach flu

Stomach flu is a viral infection affecting the intestines and the stomach. The more appropriate medical term is gastroenteritis and it can sometimes also occur due to a bacterial infection. Gastroenteritis or as it is more commonly known as stomach flu is a contagious condition. The characteristics symptoms are stomach cramps, vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. Low fever and muscle ache can also occur. In case, you have these symptoms, it is vital to seek stomach flu treatment immediately.

The symptoms of stomach flu usually clear up within 7-10 days or so without the need for medication. Since, gastroenteritis is caused by a virus; there are no medicines to treat the infection. But it is important to use home remedies to provide some relief from the symptoms. If necessary, consult a doctor.

Here are some stomach flu treatment options.
• The body loses a lot of water during stomach flu due to diarrhea and vomiting. Therefore, there is a real risk of dehydration from this type of infection. Drinking lots of fluids water, soup, broths are good options. But dehydration can also cause loss of minerals and salt from the body. To replace these lost salts, use electrolyte solutions. Refrain from giving sugar-rich sports drinks and milk to children. For nursing infants, ask your paediatrician for recommendations. Stay away from orange juice, tea, coffee and chocolate drinks.

• When it is possible to keep the fluids down, you can try eating solid foods. Bland food is the way to go for stomach flu treatment. Foods like banana, bread, crackers and rice are all good meal options during stomach flu. Avoid spicy and acidic foods and also ingredients high in fat and fiber. It is important to start with small portions.

• Include ingredients in your food and fluids that can help with nausea. You can try ginger tea (boil fresh ginger and water and drink up), add some in your soups or simply chew a fresh piece of ginger. You can also try tea made with fresh mint leaves or dried chamomile.

• Use over-the-counter (OTC) drugs if you have fever or muscle pain due to stomach flu. Ask your doctor for recommendation if you want a medicine for young children.

• Adequate rest is imperative for successful stomach flu treatment. The body can become tired with all the symptoms and needs energy to fight the infection.

Some cautionary steps, when you or your children have the stomach flu, it is important to take some precautions.
• If your symptoms last longer than a week, consult your doctor. Severe symptoms like dehydration can cause other health problems.
• For infants and toddlers, if the symptoms do not clear away in a day or two or worsen, seek immediate medical counsel. Signs of dehydration in infants and small kids are dry lips, excessive crankiness, lethargy, high fever and lack of urination or tears.
• If you or your kids experience bloody stools, it may signal worsening of the infection.