The stomach flu is a common virus people get during the colder months and is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever. The illness can make you feel downright awful and may even cause you to miss days from work. However, there are things you can do at home to manage your symptoms and feel better.
1. Make Rest a Top Priority
Adequate rest helps your body repair itself and fight off the stomach flu faster. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep every night and do as little as possible during the day. Instead of doing your normal daily tasks, relax on the couch and let your body get the rest it needs.
2. Stay Hydrated
When you have the stomach flu, you can lose a lot of bodily fluids through vomiting and diarrhea. That is why you have to drink plenty of water throughout the day to replenish the fluids you lost. You can also drink a sports drink, broth, or ginger tea. Stay away from caffeinated and alcoholic beverages as they can upset your stomach even more.
3. Eat the Right Foods
Food might be the last thing on your mind if you have the stomach flu, but eating will help you have more energy and replenish nutrients. Stick to bland foods that are easy to digest, such as toast, bananas, and rice. Avoid eating greasy, spicy, and fibrous foods because they can make you feel sicker.
4. Use a Heating Pad
If you have stomach cramping, try placing a heating on the area for 20 to 30 minutes. Doing so will help reduce some of the inflammation in your body and relieve your cramping. If the heating pad feels too hot, put a towel between it and your skin.
5. Know When to Go to Urgent Care
While most cases of the stomach flu will resolve themselves, sometimes they can be more serious. It is important to recognize when it's necessary to see a doctor. If you have a fever of 104 or higher, can't keep any liquid down, or are vomiting blood, you should go to an urgent care center as soon as possible. A medical professional will examine your condition and determine the best treatment.
If you follow these tips, you should be able to recover from the flu and get on with your normal routine. However, if you still feel bad, go to an urgent care center.