What Are The Things That You Should And Should Not Do While Coping With Stomach Flu After The Holidays

The primary concern during a bout of gastroenteritis is avoiding dehydration.

After the holiday season with increased social gatherings, it’s not uncommon to experience a bout of gastroenteritis, also known as the stomach flu.

Symptoms of gastroenteritis include stomach pain, watery diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and in some cases, fever and headache. It is spread through consumption of contaminated food or water, or close contact with an infected person, including sharing food and utensils.

Don’t let this gastrointestinal illness affect the start of your year. Keep these guidelines in mind to manage the stomach flu effectively.

Make sure to have an adequate supply of clear fluids on hand.

Dehydration is the primary concern during gastroenteritis. The symptoms can cause fluid loss, so replenishing your body with liquids is crucial.

Clear liquids like water, oral rehydration salts, or broth are recommended for rehydration. Additionally, due to the loss of electrolytes such as sodium and potassium from vomiting, it may be beneficial to drink sports beverages to restore them in your body.

Adults should take loperamide to manage diarrhea symptoms.

The symptom of diarrhea can cause dehydration and taking medication like loperamide can help manage the looseness of stools in adults, reducing the risk of dehydration. However, if you experience diarrhea with blood, it is best to seek medical attention instead of self-medicating, as this may indicate a more serious underlying condition.

Remember to frequently wash your hands.

To prevent the spread of stomach flu, it is crucial to regularly wash your hands after coming into contact with potentially contaminated food or water. Encourage others in your household to frequently sanitize frequently touched surfaces, especially if you have been sick, to lower the chance of a stomach flu outbreak.

It is not recommended to try to eat when your diarrhea or nausea symptoms are severe.

If your symptoms such as diarrhea or nausea are severe, it’s best to avoid eating. Let your digestive system recover for a few hours before attempting to eat again. During this time, focus on getting some rest and taking small sips of water to stay hydrated.

Don’t consume solid foods immediately.

Consider eating only if you haven’t vomited in several hours and you can keep liquids down. Start with bland and easily digestible foods, such as rice, oatmeal, bananas, soups made with broth, or small amounts of bread.

As your stomach improves, you can gradually return to a normal diet over the next few days to make up for any lost nutrients. Taking probiotics, such as Lactobacillus reuteri, on a regular basis can also support gut health and improve your natural resistance to intestinal infections.

Childhood Gastroenteritis

Different management strategies are needed for gastroenteritis in children compared to adults. Hydration and continued food consumption are important during stomach flu in children. Zinc supplementation can aid with severe diarrhea, and probiotics can boost gut immunity. If you are uncertain about how to handle your child’s stomach flu, it is best to seek advice from a pediatrician who can provide an appropriate care plan for the symptoms they are experiencing.

Stomach flu, when managed properly, is usually not life-threatening. However, if you experience symptoms like fever, dehydration (extreme thirst, lightheadedness, dry mouth), or vomiting food, liquids, and/or blood, it is recommended to seek immediate medical attention from a doctor or emergency room.

Medical Disclaimer

Your physician is always the best resource for providing the appropriate medical guidance for your situation. If you suspect an adverse drug reaction, seek medical assistance promptly and report it to the FDA at www.fda.gov.ph. Only purchase your medication from reputable and trustworthy pharmacies and retailers.