Stomach Flu Remedy

Prompt stomach flu remedy is needed to reduce the symptoms and prevent dehydration.

What we call "Stomach flu" is known medically as gastroenteritis.

It is an irritation of the stomach and intestines. Diarrhoea and vomiting are the main symptoms.

Treatment of diarrhoeal illness in both children and adults is rehydration. Rehydration is the replenishment of water lost from the body during the illness.

Depending on the degree of dehydration, it can be done orally with commercial or homemade rehydration fluids, or through intravenous delivery.

Loperamide medicine is commonly used for symptomatic treatment of diarrhoea. It slows down gut motility.

Loperamide is effective against diarrhoea resulting from gastroenteritis or inflammatory bowel disease. It is available in many countries generically under brand names such as Lopex, Imodium, Dimor and Pepto Diarrhoea Control.

In very high doses, loperamide may cause constipation but an appropriate single dose will not slow down the duration of the disease.

Loperamide is not recommended in children, particularly those children younger than 2 years. This is because it may cause systemic toxicity due to an immature blood/brain barrier. Oral rehydration is the main and appropriate treatment for children.

Antibiotics are of little or no use as stomach flu remedy. They only work if there is persistent symptomatic colonisation, common in Giardia lamblia infestations or septicaemia infestation. Otherwise, antibiotics can cause or worsen diarrhoea.

Viral Stomach Flu Remedy

Generally, most cases of viral gastroenteritis resolve over time without a particular stomach flu remedy or treatment.

Treatment has to be focussed on reducing the symptoms and preventing dehydration.

In viral gastroenteritis, the combination of diarrhoea and vomiting can cause dehydration. The symptoms of dehydration are:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Little or no urine (or dark yellow urine)
  • Decreased tears
  • Severe weakness (lethargy)
  • Dizziness

    A quick stomach flu remedy is needed to deal with dehydration.

    Mild dehydration can be treated by drinking liquids. Severe dehydration may require intravenous fluids and hospitalisation. If severe dehydration is left untreated, it can be life threatening.

    Children require special consideration. The small body size in infants and small children puts them at a greater risk of dehydration from diarrhoea and vomiting. The elderly and people with weak immune systems are also at a high risk.

    Oral rehydration solutions such as Pedialyte can replace lost fluids, minerals, and salts.

    Use the following steps to help relieve the symptoms of viral gastroenteritis.

  • Do not eat for a few hours. This will allow your stomach and intestines to rest.

  • Sip small quantities of clear liquids such as water. If vomiting is still a problem, you can suck on ice chips. Other clear liquids you can drink include weak tea and apple juice

  • Dairy products, caffeine (e.g. coffee), and alcohol must be avoided until full recovery. Also, avoid liquids that are acidic (e.g. orange juice) or have a lot of carbonation.

  • Provide infants and children with oral rehydration solutions. These will replace fluids and lost electrolytes.

  • Steadily reintroduce food. Start with bland food, which is easy-to-digest. You can include foods like toast, plain noodles, eggs, broth and rice. Also, eat fruits like apples and bananas. Avoid foods that are acidic, spicy and fatty.

  • Get adequate rest.

  • Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen, or other NSAIDS unless authorised by your doctor.

    Keep in mind that, although sometimes called "stomach flu," viral gastroenteritis is not caused by the influenza virus.

    Also, remember you can avoid viral gastroenteritis by washing hands thoroughly after using the bathroom and changing diapers.

    In addition, disinfect contaminated surfaces and avoid sharing foods and liquids with infected persons.

    For causes, symptoms, prevention and likely complications of stomach flu (Gastroenteritis) Click here.

    Other related information:

  • Salmonella

  • E. Coli

  • NSAIDs

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