Here is the best way to get rid of the stomach at home (2023)

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The prospect of the stomach flu strikes fear into the hearts, minds and guts of anyone who has ever spent a long night bent over a toilet bowl. Stomach worms tend to hit fast and hard. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are the key symptoms. Combined, they can make you feel like you've been run over by a train.

Unfortunately, it's not always possible to tell when someone is infected with something that can make you feel so bad. "The biggest problem is that you'll probably be exposed before you even know they have it," he says.Steven Furr, medical doctor, a family physician in Jackson, Alabama, and a board member of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

The best protection is good hygiene. So go wash your hands, then come back and find out more about these scary tummy troubles - how long they can last and how to manage the symptoms.

What is the stomach?

A stomach infection is an intestinal infection that causes nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea – and sometimes fever.

Some people use the terms "stomach flu", "stomach virus" and "stomach flu" interchangeably. The latter is a misnomer. Thevirus infectionit's not the fault of these symptoms. A better term is gastroenteritis.

There are three main causes of gastroenteritis:

  1. Virus: A virus such as norovirus or rotavirus
  2. Bacterial: Bacteria such as Salmonella orE coli
  3. Parasitic: A parasite such as giardia or cryptosporidium

In other words, you are sick because of some pathogen you have been in contact with or because of something you ate.Viral gastroenteritisspread from person to person, through contaminated surfaces, or when a sick person contaminates food when handling it.Food poisoningit can be bacterial (when improperly stored food develops bacteria) or parasitic (when food or water is contaminated with a microorganism or worm). Whatever the cause of the disease, all three types can make you feel miserable.

How do I know if it's the stomach or something else?

It can be hard to tell what causes gastrointestinal problems. They have different causessimilar symptoms– and when you keep throwing up, maybe you don't really care.

However, knowing who the culprit is can be helpful as it can affect how symptoms are treated. Consider who you have been in contact with, what you have eaten and where you have last been, which may give some insight into the possible cause of your illness. Then look at the table below.

Compare popular stomach viruses
stanCauseSymptomsDiagnosisTreatmentUsual duration
GastroenteritisVirus, bacteria or parasiteNausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, dehydration, fever or chillsPhysical examination, blood or stool testFluids, rest, over-the-counter medications to relieve symptoms, Rx to treat bacteria or parasitesIt depends on the causative agent: norovirus lasts 2 days, rotavirus lasts 3 to 8 days, campylobacter and salmonella last 2 to 7 days. Generally, wait 24-48 hours for symptoms to improve
fluVirus controlFever, chills, body aches, sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, fatigueFlu quick testFluids, rest, antivirals like TamifluOn average 5-7 days
COVID 19Virus SARS-CoV-2Congestion, cough, fever, fatigue, sore throat, loss of smell or taste, nausea, vomiting, diarrheaTest for COVID-19Fluids, rest, possible hospitalization in severe cases1-2 weeks for mild cases

How to get rid of the stomach flu

Unless you are dealing with bacterial or parasitic gastroenteritis, there is no cure for the condition. Treatment consists in relieving symptoms so that the patient feels better and begins to recover.

1. Liquids

Fluids are crucial when recovering from an attack of gastroenteritis, whatever the cause. "The most important thing in those first 48 hours is staying well hydrated," she saysDavid Cutler, dr. z, a family physician at Providence Saint John Health Center in Santa Monica, California. Small, frequent sips of clear fluids can help absorb some fluids and prevent dehydration. Consider sucking on an ice cream as this slowly releases fluids from your body.

Oral rehydration solutions may be superior to sports drinks in maintaining electrolyte balance during rehydration. The soups are also good. Be sure to drink whatever suits you as this can reduce vomiting and increase fluid intake. Avoid carbonated drinks or drinks containing sugar. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages, which can make you urinate more frequently, which increases fluid loss.

If you have trouble keeping fluids, "eat ice cubes as much as you want, or your body will allow it," she suggests.Jay Woody, Dr. doctor, medical director of Intuitive Health. You can start drinking in small sips every 10-15 minutes when you can tolerate the drink.

2. Rest

When your body is recovering from a virus or infection, you need extra sleep. Vomiting, diarrhea and fever can make you feel extremely tired. Listen to your body. Lie down and take a nap whenever possible.

3. Nutrition

Patients should eat what they can tolerate. Smaller meals, soups or broths, and bland dishes with little leftovers are often better tolerated. Although the BRAT diet has been suggested as a good way to start introducing foods after recovering from gastrointestinal disorders, the evidence to support this is weak. BRAT is short for bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. Basically, it's a diet of bland foods that don't put too much strain on an irritated stomach and intestines.

Just do not follow this diet plan after recovery. It is low in fiber and protein. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)does not recommend the BRAT diet for infants and young children. Instead, focus on helping your baby stay hydratedthe use of oral rehydration solutionslike Pedialyte.

RELATED:A Parent's Guide to Stomach Problems

4. Over-the-counter treatment

Typically, viral gastroenteritis is a self-limiting condition that does not require treatment. The basis of treatment is adequate fluid exchange. If you are struggling with diarrhea and vomiting, over-the-counter medications can help. The two most commonly recommended drugs are Imodium A-D(loperamide) i Pepto Bismol(hiposalicylan bizmutowa), both are antidiarrheal drugs. They are considered safe for adults, but they can also make up for fluid loss as fluid can build up in the intestines. They recommend the AAP and the World Health Organization does not give loperamideto children.

Tylenol (acetaminophen) may help relieve fever or chills. Avoid ibuprofen, which can irritate an empty stomach, says Dr. Furr.

Some research suggests that probiotics may shorten the duration of infectious diarrhea, but more research is needed.

RELATED:How Much Tylenol Can I Take?

5. Prescription drugs

For bacterial or parasitic gastroenteritis, you may need an antibiotic or another prescription to recover. Rx will not help with viral infections. If gastroenteritis is particularly severe or bloody, or lasts more than two weeks, your doctor may perform a stool or blood test to determine the cause of your symptoms and prescribe appropriate medication.

Patients may need anti-nausea medications to reduce fluid intake, reduce the need for intravenous fluids, and reduce hospital admissions.

How long does abdominal pain last?

A typical case of viral gastroenteritis lasts only a few days (although it will feel like very long days). "Symptoms usually go away within 24 to 48 hours," says Dr. Fuhr. "But those first 24 hours can be quite challenging."

With viral gastroenteritis, timing and hydration are key. As lame as it may seem, you really have to wait. Usually, most mild cases of gastroenteritis go away on their own within a few days.

If you have a bacterial or parasitic infection, you may need several medications before you feel better.

When should you see a doctor?

If someone is in poor health, such as a baby or elderly person, it is always a good idea to consult a health professional. Weakened patients can become dehydrated much more quickly, which can lead to a number of problems. Patients with the following comorbidities require closer monitoring and a lower threshold for hospitalization: immunodeficiency, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes mellitus, renal failure, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, patients taking diuretics.

Warning signs and symptoms that indicate you need to see a doctor, even if you are otherwise healthy, include:

  • Urinate less than three times in 24 hours
  • You have severe abdominal pain
  • You have been hospitalized or have taken antibiotics in the last six months
  • you are difficult
  • Experience weight loss
  • You have blood or pus in your stool
  • You vomit blood
  • You have had diarrhea for more than two weeks

Of particular concern is bloody diarrhea. "This could indicate something more serious is going on," says Dr. Furr.

Once you've recovered, you probably want to avoid itAlwaysget sick again. In the case of stomach worms, prevention is key. Dr. Cutler emphasizes the importance of a behavior many of us have adopted more rigorously since the start of the coronavirus pandemic: hand washing. "Wash your hands," he says. "Now everyone is tuned in to it, but it's so important." It can even help you avoid the stomach virus if another family member gets it.


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