It can be depressing with having developed stomach flu symptoms. Being stuck in the toilet with diarrhea for days is not exactly something that anyone would bargain for. Other than diarrhea to contend with, you may also be sick in bed with other stomach flu symptoms such as vomitting, nausea and cramping.
Stomach flu arises when cells on the small intestinal lining become damaged . The damaged cells leaks fluid, resulting in diarrhea with a watery consistency. Contrary to what people believe, stomach flu is not caused by a bacterial infection nor a virus that causes influenca. Hence, there is no need for antibiotics, a conventional treatment used to fight bacteria. Stomach flu is also known as viral gastroenteritis or stomach virus. It is caused by different types of viruses.
The rotavirus is the main virus that usually causes watery stools in children below the age of five years old. Children who develop an infection from the rotavirus, are down from between two to seven days, with stomach flu symptoms like fever and stomach pain and cramping. You can also become infected with rotavirus but symptoms would generally be milder.
There are also three other viruses that can cause stomach flu.
Calicivirus is actually a group of viruses with the norovirus being the most likely culprit of stomach flu in people of all age ranges. Diarrhea, vomiting, headaches, muscle pain and fatigue are some of the stomach flu symptoms, which takes up to three after exposure to appear.
Adenovirus is particularly active in young toddlers age 2 and under. Only one out of the 50 different strains of virus causes vomiting and diarrhea.
Astrovirus is often found if you have a weaker immune systems. It is also more likely to inflict the elderly, infants and young children. This virus enjoys the winter time and most people will show symptoms in about three days after exposure.
This is one virus that is especially contagious. In fact, you can contract it just by touching objects contaminated with the virus. If you share drinks, utensils or eat food prepared unhygienically by someone who is infected, it is very possible to develop stomach flu symptoms pretty quickly. An infected person who does not wash his or her hands properly after using the bathroom are more than likely to spread the virus. You can also develop stomach flu symptoms when you eat food grown in viral infected soil or in contaminated waters . Viruses can be found virtually everywhere.
Oddly enough, some people do not get a stomach virus. However, this does not preclude them from passing on an infection. That explains why not everyone falls sick nor at the same time. Only some get sick in households, classroom settings, nursing homes, day care settings, etc.
Unfortunately, there is no immediate cures for viruses; hence, you would just have to allow your stomach flu symptoms to run its course. However, it is possible to reduce the intensity of the symptoms.
The biggest problem is dehydration. If you or a loved one has the stomach flu, you must ensure that you consume enough fluids. Mild juices, water and broth are great at keeping your fluid levels up.
Children are most likely to suffer from dehydration. It is best that they consume electrolyte replacement drinks to help. In addition, until the stomach is feeling better and stools become more solid, both children and adults should avoid dairy products and alcohol and caffeine. All these tend to aggravate stomach flu symptoms further.
To prevent contracting stomach flu symptoms, you would also need to practise proper hygiene habits. These include washing your hands before meals and after changing diapers. If you need to eat out, avoid places that do not have adequate water supply or proper toilets.