What is stomach flu?
Stomach flu is a viral infection that attacks the stomach and small intestine. This is also known as viral gastroenteritis. It usually lasts for one to three days. You will read here more about stomach flu and will find the answer of the common question, “how to restore gut health after stomach flu?”
How does stomach flu occur?
Many viruses can cause stomach flu. These include rotaviruses and adenoviruses, as well as the Norwalk virus. Infected individuals can have the virus in their body fluids before symptoms appear. Direct contact can spread the virus. You can spread the virus by touching, kissing, and sharing food, drink, and utensils with infected people.
The virus causes inflammation in the stomach and intestine. Inflamed stomachs and intestines can cause problems that prevent them from working as efficiently as they should. Your digestive tract may be able to move food faster.
Stomach Flu/Stomach Bug: Common Symptoms
Common symptoms of stomach flu include:
- Abdominal pain
- Headache and even a low-grade fever
- Muscle pain
You may have already experienced this, but it is pretty standard for people with stomach flu to experience multiple symptoms simultaneously.
Post-infectious IBS symptoms are caused by an infectious GI bug-like viral gastroenteritis, Salmonella, or E. coli. If a patient has a documented GI infection, they may suspect the condition. However, their digestive function will not return to normal. They should seek help immediately if they have this suspicion.
Is Stomach Flu a Real Flu?
Although it is sometimes called the “stomach flu,” acute gastroenteritis doesn’t have the flu. The CDC states that gastroenteritis is the most common cause in the United States due to norovirus or rotavirus. Parasitic and bacterial infections could also be responsible. These infections can be transmitted from person to person or spread via contaminated food and water.
Although doctors may recommend medication to ease nausea and rehydration, antibiotic therapy is not recommended in most cases. Gastroenteritis is typically self-limiting, meaning that it heals on its own. It can cause long-term issues like post-infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO).
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How to Restore Gut Health after Stomach Flu?
According to some studies, certain probiotics have shown to be effective in treating stomach viruses. These studies have not produced consistent results. Experts still don’t know much about the mechanism of probiotics. Probiotics live microbes are good for human health. They can be found in food such as yogurt, yogurt, and probiotics.
A large number of microbes also live in the digestive system. These organisms collectively are called the microbiome. Each person’s microbiome is unique and complex. This is why people may respond differently to probiotic strains if any.
This article discusses the use of probiotics to treat a stomach virus. It also addresses whether they can be used to protect the microbiome or prevent future infections. We also discuss the potential side effects and when it is best to consult a doctor.
Can probiotics help treat a stomach virus?
It is not clear whether probiotics can help treat stomach viruses.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Liver Diseases Trusted Source suggests that probiotics might help relieve diarrhea. This can sometimes be a sign of a stomach virus. There are many other causes of diarrhea than stomach viruses. It is essential not to stop diarrhea. This is because the body is trying to get rid of harmful substances.
To determine if probiotics can help with stomach viruses, we need to examine how probiotics kill or inhibit intestinal viruses. This topic has been the subject of mixed research.
A review of an older 2012 review trusted source reviewed evidence from animal and human studies and test tubes. Probiotics are effective against intestinal viruses in children, according to the authors. It was less evident in adults.
A 2020 meta-analysis by Trusted Source found evidence that Saccharomyces boulardii may be able to treat gastroenteritis in children. It analyzed 29 clinical trials and found very low-quality evidence suggesting that S. boulardii might offer a benefit.
A 2018 clinical study trusted Source with 971 children didn’t yield favorable results. The probiotic Lactobacillus Rhizobium did nothing to reduce diarrhea and vomiting caused by a viral or bacterial infection in the digestive tract.
The effectiveness of a probiotic may depend on the probiotic used and whether the person is using it. But, the truth is that probiotics and stomach viruses are still in flux.
Are probiotics able to protect the microbiome from a viral infection?
Probiotics could help prevent the microbiome’s damage from a viral infection. It may control what health professionals call post-infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome (PI-IBS).
- IBS can be a common condition.
IBS can occur in people who have had a stomach infection. It could be caused by the toxins some bacteria and viruses create. Risk factors include genetics, anxiety, and stress.
An older 2014 study trusted Source shows that changes in the gut microbiome cause PI-IBS. This could mean that protecting the microbiome against damage after an infection can help prevent PI-IBS.
This was based on older research done by the 2007 Trusted Source. Probiotic supplements can prevent PI-IBS if taken when a person has a stomach virus.
The Canadian Society of Intestinal Research suggests that probiotics can be taken before and after a stomach virus. This may reduce the damage to the microbiome.
Restoring Gut Health: How to Cure Stomach Virus Symptoms and Tips for Gut Health
Holiday and travel gut problems can occur for many reasons, including new foods, food safety issues, food sitting in the hot sun, swimming in unfamiliar water, and highly contagious viral infections.
You may have experienced food poisoning, nausea, or diarrhea. It is essential to understand what happened and how to treat it in the future. Although the worst symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea are usually gone, you may feel upset and gurgling in your stomach.
It is essential to assess whether you have food poisoning after you have recovered from your illness. The norovirus is a highly contagious virus that can be easily transmitted from infected food, water, or surfaces. This is the most common cause of the outbreak of cruise ship stomach bug epidemics. Your condition could lead to “Post-Infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome” (or a sensitive stomach).
Viral food poisoning is a fast, violent onset that causes severe vomiting and diarrhea. It usually resolves in 24 to 48 hours. Viral food poisoning may make you feel nauseous and unwell.
If you have experienced food poisoning, especially after or during travel to foreign countries, you should suspect a parasite. You don’t need to travel far to get a parasite. Giardia is the most common parasite in America. It can be contracted from inadvertently drinking water from a non-municipal source, such as a well in a country.
Bacterial food poisoning can occur within 6-12 hours of eating contaminated food. It is more likely that you have been exposed to bacterial toxins if it occurs earlier than this, for example, after eating potato salad or rice that has been left warm for several hours. This infection causes severe vomiting, and it resolves quickly.
Bacterial food poisonings are usually characterized by diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Bacterial poisoning can last 3 to 4 days and may require antibiotics.
If untreated, parasitic and bacterial infections can persist for several weeks. Consult your doctor if you have persistent symptoms.
Food poisoning can lead to a leaky gut, which reduces your ability to digest and absorb nutrients. I recommend that you take a supplement to heal your intestinal mucosal barrier.
Saccharomyces boulardii (five million CFUs, a measurement of viable bacteria) is a friendly yeast that binds to toxins. It helps line and protect the intestinal linings and restore the normal function of cells. This reduces diarrhea and improves digestion. OTC, it is also available as Florastor. You can take 2 to 3 capsules daily, decreasing as your symptoms improve.
Next, you will need to replenish your gut with friendly bacteria using Probiotics. These probiotics are as crucial for healthy intestinal tracts as your cells. When you have a stomach bug, choose a probiotic high in the count and lactose-free with at least 50 million CFU per capsule—one capsule taken twice daily before eating.
You can eat a gluten-free and dairy-free diet while you are recovering. You may be able to eat a little bit of cultured food as your symptoms improve. You can also make a basic Congee Rice soup with immune-boosting ingredients such as shiitake, maitake, or Reishi mushrooms. This will help to settle your stomach and improve digestion.
Chamomile, ginger, and fennel are herbal teas that can reduce nausea and soothe the stomach. I also recommend Stomach Ease as well as Ginger teas from Yogi Tea. You can drink the tea or add honey and a few mint leaves.
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