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Intestinal flu: symptoms, treatment and diet

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Intestinal flu is a prevalent condition and is one of the best known that affects the digestive system. Also known as viral gastroenteritis or stomach flu, it affects both children and adults and is quite contagious, so if a child has it, their parents are likely to be infected. That is why you have to be very careful with hygiene during the duration of the disease. It is an inflammation of the intestine caused by a virus (the most common) and by bacteria, parasites, or even bacterial toxins that contaminate food. In this FastlyHealarticle, we explain the symptoms, treatment, and diet for intestinal flu.

Intestinal flu: contagion and duration

It is widespread for intestinal flu to be caused by a virus, the most common being rotavirus, adenovirus, or Norwalk virus. When you are still a baby, one of the vaccines includes rotavirus, and since it is very contagious, the parents of the newborn will have to take great care of hygiene when cleaning bowel movements.

It produces inflammation of the gastric and intestinal mucosa. The virus enters the stomach and intestines and causes the lining of these organs to become inflamed. Thus, both the intestine and the stomach are temporarily damaged and do not function properly. That is why gastroenteritis causes food rejection for as long as it is active. It is also the cause of nausea and vomiting.

Usually, stomach flu is acute and lasts a few days, between 1 and 3. However, it can become more severe and cause dehydration, so it is essential that if it lasts longer than it should or causes severe symptoms, you go to the doctor as soon as possible.

It is a very contagious disease and can be transmitted by direct contact or sharing cutlery or even food or drink.

Usually, viruses affect the cold more, so it is more common in winter, but it can appear at any time, even in summer.

When it lasts for more than a month, it is a chronic intestinal flu and must be treated medically.

Intestinal flu: symptoms

Gastroenteritis causes an infection in our bowel movements that can cause many different symptoms. These can last from a few days to weeks and increase or decrease as the condition progresses. They include:

  • Sickness.
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea. Our body needs to release pain, and it can do this through diarrhea or vomiting. Muscle cramps or spasms can accompany both.
  • Loss of appetite With intestinal flu, the discomfort in general, but especially in the stomach area, so there may be a lack of desire or reluctance. Even when eating, vomiting or diarrhea can appear, which causes more hesitation.
  • In some cases, there is a fever and chills. These appear to fight infection.
  • Pain in the abdomen area may be accompanied by abdominal distension (swelling of the abdomen).
  • Constant tiredness and fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • In general, there is usually a general malaise.

Treatment and diet for intestinal flu

Treatment of intestinal flu is usually through a specific diet. If it is persistent or more serious, it is possible to resort to pharmacological treatment that will be prescribed, in any case, by the doctor. These may include antibiotics to treat the infection or antivirals to reduce symptoms.

It is essential, as we have said, to watch your diet. For the first few days, the most important thing is not to eat if you don’t feel like it and, above all, to drink plenty of fluids throughout the illness. This condition can lead to dehydration, and therefore it is essential to drink fluids, especially water, constantly. Isotonic drinks that rehydrate a lot or even drink whey are also good.

If it can be eaten, it is better to make the diet bland by inserting easy-to-digest foods. Soups or rice are good since it is also astringent and can calm diarrhea. Of course, as long as it is boiled.

Yogurts are highly recommended for their content of bifidobacteria. Yogurts are ideal since they are not a very harmful food, and you can introduce them little by little along with the liquids.

Little by little, you can introduce more foods to the diet, but they should be astringent and low in fiber. To start the diet, you can resort to the following foods:

  • White rice.
  • Grilled or boiled chicken.
  • Baked potato.
  • Cooked carrot.
  • White fish.
  • Ripe fruits such as banana or pear.

To reduce the amount of fiber, you should avoid foods such as vegetables, legumes, nuts, or whole-grain products such as muesli.

You can expand this information by consulting the article Diet for gastroenteritis.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Intestinal Flu: Symptoms, Treatment, and Diet , we recommend that you enter our Digestive System category .

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