Arm yourself against January’s stomach flu
The viral stomach flu is an inflammation of the walls of your stomach and intestine, and is caused by bacteria and parasites. In January its spread is particularly violent, but the symptoms don’t usually last longer than 3 days. How can you avoid the symptoms, or treat them if you can’t? Here are our tips for fighting the stomach flu.
Treating stomach flu
Stomach flu causes diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and sometimes light fever, headaches and aching muscles. To ease the symptoms, follow these simple rules.
6 tips for treating stomach flu:
- Drink lots of water to combat dehydration due to diarrhea and vomiting
- Eat salty foods to compensate for the loss of sodium caused by the flu
- Eat foods that are easy to digest: rice, carrot puree, apple sauce, bananas
- Avoid foods that are rich in fibre – they’ll exacerbate the diarrhea: these are raw fruit and vegetables, pulses and complex carbohydrates
- Break meals up: 6 to 10 small portions of food a day to regain your strength despite a lack of appetite
- Get a boost from plants like camomile, oak or blueberry. Ask your pharmacist for advice.
Avoiding January’s flu epidemic
The stomach flu virus is particularly contagious, and is transmitted through touch, through stools and through saliva. During epidemic times of the year, you need to be extra careful to avoid the spread.
6 precautions to take during epidemics:
- Take vitamin C supplements to boost your immune system
- Wash your hands several times a day, especially before eating, before preparing food and after visiting the toilet
- Avoid all contact with people who have the flu
- Don’t share food, cutlery or towels with those who have the flu
- Keep family toothbrushes separate
- Stop preparing food for others if you are ill yourself
Identifying possible complications
Keep an eye out for symptoms that persist or are severe: they may lead to dehydration. These symptoms may also have another, more serious cause.
7 alerts to take seriously:
- Diarrhea that lasts more than 5 days
- Black stools, or stools with traces of blood
- Violent stomach cramps
- Diarrhea after visiting a foreign country
- Not urinating for more than 12 hours
- The presence of blood in vomit
- Overall deterioration
If these symptoms become apparent, consult your doctor without delay.