Stomach flu symptoms have to be something everybody dreads.
Nobody would want to spend half of their day in the bathroom, sick with stomach flu. It is one of the most uncomfortable, not to mention embarrassing, conditions out there. What if you had to work that day? What if you have a very important meeting? What if you had to do a presentation? Could you even imagine yourself in those situations? I’m sure a lot of people are familiar with stomach flu symptoms. They may have even had it once or twice in their life. But do we really know what causes it? And how do we treat these symptoms? We cannot just stay in the bathroom forever, right? This article is all about stomach flu symptoms, what they are, their causes and treatments. So if you want to know more, then read on.
The Basics of Stomach Flu Symptoms
As we could already deduct, stomach flu symptoms are caused by stomach flu. They are also known in the medical world as viral gastroenteritis. What happens here is a there is an inflammation in your intestinal area, which causes stomach flu symptoms to manifest. The causative organisms behind this would be the following: adenovirus, astrovirus, rotavirus or norovirus. People affected with the stomach flu do not respond to your usual round of antibiotics. They are admitted to the hospital to be monitored closely, and is usually discharged after a few days.
Transmission of viral gastro enteritis is through consumption of infected food and water. It is highly advised that you look into how the food is prepared prior to eating. Street food are some of the main culprits of stomach flu symptoms.
The virus could also be transferred through contact with affected people. Prime examples would be caregivers, nurses and the medical staff.
People at risk for getting the stomach flu virus would be the very young and the very old. People who are immunocompromised are also at risk.
Stomach Flu Symptoms
As stated earlier, stomach flu symptoms are really a nuisance. Nobody wants to be stuck with them. However, each person might exhibit different symptoms. With that in mind, those listed below would be some of the most common reported symptoms of viral gastroenteritis.
- Abdominal pain – this may be cause by cramping and hyperactive bowels. Your system would try its hardest to eliminate the virus from your body, thus causing abdominal pain.
- Diarrhea – this results from the inability of your intestines to absorb fluids and nutrients because of the inflammation caused by the virus.
- Nausea – this refers to feelings of wanting to vomit
If left alone, these symptoms could lead to some very serious complications.
- Dehydration – dehydration is one of the most common complications related to viral gastroenteritis. Due to excessive vomiting and diarrhea, the fluids are depleted. This severe loss would also lead to loss of salt and minerals in the body. When the body’s balance of electrolytes is disturbed, a lot of other complications could follow. Dehydrations is classified into 3 stages:
- Mild dehydration is characterized by a slightly increased heart rate and decreased output. All other factors are still normal: alertness, mucus membranes, respiratory rate and blood pressure.
- Moderate dehydration is characterized by a slightly lethargic patient. His heart rate and respiratory rate are slightly increased with a thready pulse and dry mucus membranes.
- Severe dehydration is characterized by very dry mucus membranes and you could observe cracking in the lips. Heart rate and respiratory rate are highly increased, eyes are sunken and tenting is observed when testing for skin turgor.
Treating Stomach Flu
Treatment for stomach flu is very simple. Its main focus is on hydration. However, there are also other treatments that are used in conjunction with hydration.
- Hydration for patients suffering from dehydration should be hydrated round the clock. In the hospitals, they use a volume per volume method of replacing the loss fluids. They usually use a normal saline solution to replace body fluids. The amount replaced would equal the amount that is lost. Hydrites are also used to replace fluid losses. That is if they can tolerate oral intake.
You could also make your own hydrite at home during emergency cases. You would only need a spoonful of sugar and a pinch of salt mixed in a tall glass of water.
- Pharmacologic therapy would include medication that would help slow diarrhea. However, most doctors would prefer to have everything out, and just replace their fluid losses volume per volume. This would ensure that your body has eliminated all the toxins and would result in a cleaner gastrointestinal system.
The best way to control stomach flu symptoms would be to take care where you place your hands. If you cannot do that, the next best thing for you to do would be to wash your hands regularly.