What is 'stomach flu?'

stomach pain
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

What many people commonly call "stomach flu" isn't flu at all. If you're tired and have an unsettled tummy, you may have a stomach virus.

"'Stomach flu' is a misnomer," explains Dr. Kermott, a preventive medicine specialist. "Influenza is respiratory. It has to do with the lungs."

"You get the , the fevers, the myalgias—where you feel like a train has hit you," says Dr. Kermott.

So what is the ailment we call "?"

"It is just a common term for a viral gastroenteritis," says Dr. Kermott. "And everyone has probably had it."

Dr. Kermott says the best remedy for it is simply to rest.

"Symptoms exist because it's telling your body what to do," she adds. "It's telling you to slow down."

Dr. Kermott's advice is to avoid eating or drinking anything for a few hours.

"You just want to have your settle a little bit first," says Dr. Kermott.

Then, she says, it's important to stay hydrated. Sip on a clear fluid. Water is best, but clear sodas or weak teas are OK, too. If you can't tolerate liquids, try chewing on ice chips.

When your stomach has fully settled, try eating small amounts of easily digestible foods like soda crackers, unbuttered toast, gelatin or a banana. Avoid fatty and spicy foods until you're fully recovered.


Explore further

How to avoid traveler's diarrhea

©2019 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Citation: What is 'stomach flu?' (2019, January 29) retrieved 24 January 2020 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-01-stomach-flu.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
1 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments