Your body is aching and suddenly you find yourself running to the bathroom repeatedly. It doesn't take a lot to know that the diarrhea or vomiting are a result of the flu. But what is it that you really have and how do you treat it?
Somach Flu Symptoms
It is incorrect to say that the stomach flu is really a flu - more properly referred to as influenza. This actually affects the respiratory system and not the stomach or intestines. It is possible to have a bacterial infection such as salmonella or E. coli present diarrhea, fever, vomiting and headaches which can be easily confused as the "stomach flu."
If you are experiencing what you feel are "stomach flu" symptoms, but symptoms persist for more than 4 days or get worse, see your doctor. Make sure you are drinking fluids to replace those lost from diarrhea or vomiting. Your doctor can diagnose a bacterial infection and prescribe the proper antibiotics which will help ease symptoms in as little a 24 hours.
Stomach Virus Symptoms
People who experience the "stomach flu" are often afflicted with viral gastroenteritis. The most common symptoms are watery diarrhea and vomiting. Headaches and abdominal cramping are other common symptoms along with a low fever. Symptoms may last as little as 24 hours or as long as ten days with a three day bought being the most common.
There is no treatment for the stomach flu. Antibiotics will only kill bacteria not viruses. So really the only treatment is to hydrate and get lots of rest to replenish the fluids lost. You can also treat the symptoms such as pain reliever for body aches and stomach cramping. Ibuprofen or aspirin can also treat low grade fevers associated with the stomach flu.
How Does the Stomach Flu Spread
The stomach flu is contagious to those in close contact with the virus. Sharing food or drinks or other close contact can transfer the virus. If you are sick or around those who have the flu, wash your hands more frequently and don't share drinks or utensils.