Effective Monday, July 19, 2021, the following NOH/OMG office locations will no longer provide on-site blood draws: Westlake, Lorain, Olmsted Falls and Dewhurst. Click here for the nearest lab service location.
It happened. Despite your best precautions, you still came down with the stomach flu. Now your whole body is covered in a cold sweat and your digestive system suddenly feels so terrible, you can barely make it to the bathroom in time.
Unlike the more widely discussed influenza, the stomach flu is really a form of gastroenteritis—most often caused by the norovirus in adults and a rotavirus in children. Not only is the stomach flu highly contagious, but it can also be pretty miserable. Usually lasting between 24 and 48 hours, victims of the stomach flu often experience both vomiting and diarrhea, along with fever and body aches.
Even though it’s bound to be a miserable few days, you can make yourself feel better until the worst subsides by keeping in mind these five tips for stomach flu survival.
Vomiting and diarrhea will quickly dehydrate your body, which will make you feel even worse. But you also don’t want to put too much liquid in your body too quickly. Instead, try slowly drinking clear liquids that will be easy on your stomach. Water is, of course, a good choice, but you can also try clear carbonated beverages—like Sprite or ginger ale—or something with electrolytes, like Gatorade or Pedialyte. Do your best to drink at least 1 or 2 ounces of liquid every 30 minutes.
If you’re no longer vomiting, you may want to try to eat something. However, since the second phase of gastroenteritis is often diarrhea, you’ll want to be careful about what you put in your body. Too much sugar or fiber can make diarrhea worse, so stick to bland, starchy foods. Try bananas, soda crackers, toast or rice and don’t push it—stick to small amounts at a time until you’re sure your gastrointestinal tract is on the mend.
Even though some anti-nausea or anti-diarrheal medicines could help lessen the severity of your symptoms, it’s still best to check with your doctor before taking anything. Often, it’s best to let your infection run its course, rather than slowing it down and risking feeling bad for longer.
Luckily, you can take some precautions if you haven’t yet fallen victim to the stomach flu. First and foremost, do your best to avoid contact with sick people. However, since this isn’t always possible or preventable, follow these three tips for staying healthy: