Is your diarrhea a bit out of control? You may have contracted the stomach flu. Diarrhea is the most common disease in India and affects millions of people every year. It can be caused by a variety of viruses, bacteria, parasites, or even a food-borne illness such as Salmonella or E. coli. Although there are various treatments available to reduce the symptoms of diarrhea, as a general rule of thumb, it is important to take preventive measures in order to control this disease. In the section below, we will discuss everything you need to know about the stomach flu, how it is spread, and most importantly, the preventive measures that you can take to reduce your risk of contracting this disease.
You probably have what they call Stomach Flu. There is no need to worry if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, as these can be taken care of. However, if you feel your symptoms are more severe and if any child is experiencing any of these symptoms, you should consult a doctor.
Fun fact: Stomach flu is called Gastroenteritis in scientific/medical terms. If you're shy, use this term when sharing your problems. Sometimes, it can get quite embarrassing when you tell people you have diarrhea or stomach flu. This is a very common situation and many of us have been put on the spot, and we're sure you must've felt like running away or hiding at that moment. So, go on flaunting your knowledge and stop feeling awkward.
How to Differentiate Between stomach Flu and Food Poisoning
Often people mistake stomach flu for food poisoning. Hence, you must know the difference between the two. Stomach flu is contagious and can happen to you while coming in contact with an infected person(who is a carrier of the virus). On the other hand, food poisoning happens when you consume food or water directly infected by a virus, bacteria, or, in some rare cases, a parasite.
What is Stomach Flu?
Stomach flu is related to the intestines- simply put, it is the inflammation of the stomach and intestinal lining, which can result in vomiting and bad diarrhea. It will end up making you sick and stuck at home. One thing is for sure; you won't be able to leave your house if you have stomach flu, not only because you won't be in a condition to do so but also because it's contagious. With that being said, you will probably pass it on to others and curse yourself later. To avoid this, kindly stay home and read further to know more.
List of Symptoms and When to See a Doctor
The above-mentioned symptoms are the same for everyone. Stomach flu symptoms can vary, as the age group experiencing it can be diverse too. The symptoms of an adult also differ from that of an infant. Along with this, you should also be aware of when to see a doctor.
- Who are unable to keep their liquids inside for more than a day, i.e., 24 hours- severe diarrhea.
- If they are vomiting blood or having diarrhea for more than two days.
- Who have a high-grade fever above 40C
- If they have constant headaches, muscle aches, and nausea.
If you have any of the above mentioned symptoms, it indicates that your stomach flu is terrible, and you immediately need to see a doctor before it gets worse.
- Having fever above 38.9C
- If the child is in a lot of discomfort and pain and is highly irritable.
- There is bloody diarrhea.
- You need to be very careful when a baby vomits. It is often seen that babies vomit without reason, but you have to be careful when a baby has stomach flu.
- The child is dehydrated. Dehydration in children is something that you should keep track of. A child would probably be unable to tell you on their own. You should know if there is any deviation from the usual amount of liquid they intake or the number of times they pee.
- Those with unusual drowsiness or crying without tears. The doctor or someone
Note: A teenager or an adult can always share their symptoms with someone older or the doctor itself, unlike a child. So, keep this in mind when dealing with an infant or a child.
Age Groups Likely to Experience Complications
A few age groups are at risk of experiencing complications when suffering from stomach flu and need to be well aware before things get out of control. These people are-
- Children under the age of 2
- People above the age of 65 years
- Pregnant women
- People with comorbidities such as diabetes or somebody who is on a dialysis
Have you ever wondered what it's called when you suffer from severe diarrhea while traveling? Let's delve into the next.
It is one of the most common travel-related illnesses. Around 30-70% of travelers all around the globe suffer from Traveler's Diarrhea. It usually depends on the-.
- The Travel destination and Season. Usually while traveling to hot and humid places causes traveler’s diarrhea. It is because most bacterias breed quickly in a hot / humid environment.
It usually results in significant dehydration. Dehydration is the loss of excess water from the body, which can be very dangerous. To overcome this, the doctor might prescribe you an ORS solution(Oral Rehydration Solution) to help replenish the electrolytes in the body.
Things to Keep in Mind and Avoid the Next Time
For you to avoid stomach flu, it is imperative for you to keep a few things in mind. You must avoid consuming certain foods and be extra cautious before drinking water. As they say, "prevention is better than cure," or prevention is better than regretting it later. Keep in mind all the points to prevent it from happening to yourself or someone you know.
- Washing hands. Maintaining hygiene is good, and washing your hands before and after eating and before/after going to the washroom is an important part to follow.
- Washing vegetables and fruits. Especially since the pandemic, we all have realized the value of washing our veggies before eating. You should remember that stomach flu also requires you to do the same.
- Vaccination. The first and foremost thing to keep in mind is vaccinating your child. Vaccinations are of utmost importance for your child. Do get them done before the child comes of age.
- Avoid sharing stuff. You should avoid sharing utensils in the kitchen and even towels.
If somebody is already suffering from stomach flu, then these are the points to be kept in mind-
- Do not be in close proximity to the person.
- Do not share anything with them for the time being.
- Avoid touching their laundry and if it's unavoidable, then wear gloves while doing it. Use hot water to wash their laundry, bed sheets, and other bedroom items.
- Use disinfectant. Try to disinfect all surfaces the infected person might have come in contact with. Use a household bleach solution to clean all surfaces.
- Self-isolation. We're all very well aware of this term now. The infected person must isolate themself from other family members.
Remedies to Help You Treat Stomach Flu
It is best to visit your doctor if you think your symptoms are severe. The doctor knows best. However, a few remedies can give you instant relief and will probably stop the infection from spreading more than it already has.
- Stay hydrated at all costs. It would be best if you didn't let your body run out of fluids; this is bound to happen with diarrhea. So, you need to keep drinking water and keep yourself well hydrated.
Note: Avoid coffee and alcohol. Some people would think of coffee as a liquid, but it can affect your sleep and upset your stomach; both of these will hamper your recovery.
- Avoid a few foods. Stomach flu will lead to a loss of appetite. Make sure that you eat the right foods. The right foods include a bland diet, something devoid of spices and tomatoes, as these can worsen your diarrhea.
- Avoid dairy. Avoid dairy products such as milk.
- Foods to eat. You're far from likely to feel ravenous when suffering from stomach flu. But you have to eat to feel better. Eggs, rice, porridge, or a good homemade Khichdi will make you feel much better.
- Homemade Tea. You can add a few things to make your tea, and drinking will help you recover fast. Add ginger, peppermint, or even chamomile to water and bring it to a boil. This will bring some relief to those stomach cramps, for sure!
- Ayurveda solutions.You can go to Zandu care for various ayurvedic remedies. They’re tried and tested and a lot of people are content with their remedies.
- Acupressure. A few studies suggest that acupressure, pressing specific pressure points, can help relieve nausea and vomiting.
- Rest. There is no better way to recover faster than to rest properly at home.
By now, it must be clear that you're aware of all the symptoms and causes of stomach flu. The fact that you should've avoided travel makes you regret all your decision-making. For god's sake, you wouldn't have gotten that Traveler's diarrhea! Take a long breath, and remember to follow all the steps mentioned above. Prevention is better than cure, but sometimes you fail at preventing a few things. Still, it's not as bad. You can always get treatment to feel good. Trust us; you will get better real soon.