We had to manage our way through without the help of homeopathy – not easy or pretty but we all survived.
Things I have learned about viral gastroenteritis
1. Antibiotics are unlikely to help you and may make it worse
Antibiotics will have no effect on the viruses that cause the majority of stomach flus. Antibiotics will destroy the healthy bacteria in your digestive tract.
Dehydration is often a much bigger concern than the original infection - especially in the summer heat.
- Drink small amounts frequently – even if you don’t want to!
- The recommended minimum daily liquid intake amounts if you are suffering from vomiting and/or diarrhea are: infants/toddles - 500ml (2cups); children - 1 litre (4 cups); adults - 3 litres (12 cups)
- Drink clear liquids like water/water with lemon, weak herbal teas or an oral rehydration drink DIY or from the pharmacy.
- Try to avoid any sports drinks or sodas – they are too high in sugar and the colorants used can increase gastrointestinal upset.
- In a pinch, dilute sports drinks with at least 50% clean water and add a pinch of salt.
- In a pinch, dilute fruit juices with 75% clean water and add a pinch of salt
- Avoid all caffeine, dairy, sugary drinks and alcohol.
3. Herbal treatments can provide substantial relief
You can often find something helpful even in a neglected spice rack, pantry or tea cupboard.
- Steep, covered 5-10ml (1-2tsp) of the dried herb/spice you are using in boiled water for 5-10 minutes. Drink it hot or cold in small sips.
Chamomile - is antimicrobial and can reduce nausea, cramping, bloating, and gas. It has calming properties and a mild, soothing taste.
Cinnamon – relieves nausea & vomiting and thanks to its mildly astringent properties it is useful for diarrhea.
Cloves – are antimicrobial and an anti-nauseant that will allay vomiting (use 1-3 whole cloves) per cup of water.
Ginger – prevents vomiting, can reduce cramping, gas and nausea.
Meadowsweet – protectes and sooths mucus membranes, eases nausea, asprin like chemicals reduce fever and achiness.
Peppermint – is an anti-microbial that can reduce cramps, gas, vomiting and pain.
4. Reintroduce solid foods slowly
Once your gastrointestinal tract is irritated it will take a while for it to calm down back to normal. Reintroduce solid foods gradually and start with bland easy to digest foods like: oatmeal, congee (or rice water), plain broths, scrambled eggs, potatoes, plain yogurt, toast, bananas, apple sauce, etc.
5. Get help if:
i. There is blood in the vomit or stool
ii. Dehydration has set in: crying without tears; deep yellow urine; or, no urine in over 6 hours.
iii.There is a very high fever - 38.9C (102F) for adults and 39.4C (103F) for children
iv. There is persistent or excessive abdominal pain
Homeopathy Helps - Quickly
If you are lucky enough to have access to homeopathic remedies, I have listed the most commonly required remedies for stomach flu below. Follow the Acute Treatment Guidelines.
Argentum Nitricum key symptoms: belching & loud gas; green diarrhea; retching with diarrhea; anxiety.
Arsenicum Album is an excellent choice if you suspect food poisoning. Key symptoms: fear of vomiting; anxiety & restlessness; chills; burning pains; acrid emissions; exhaustion & weakness; thirsty for small sips but liquids are vomited immediately; simultaneous vomiting and diarrhea; white coated tongue.
Chamomilla key symptoms: abdominal pain and watery green diarrhea; irritability; worse any warmth; flushed face.
Ipecacuahna key symptoms: NO relief from nausea, even after vomiting; clean, healthy looking tongue; headache; very offensive breath.
Nux vomica key symptoms: nausea with cramps; painful vomiting – often with ineffectual attempts to vomit; irritable & sensitive; cold drinks result in retching.
Phosphorus key symptoms: craves cold drinks but will vomit them as soon as they warm up in the stomach; burning in the stomach; better after sleep.
Podophyllum key symptoms: explosive diarrhea mixed with gas and sputtering; gagging & retching; offensive stool; abdominal gurgling.
Veratrum Album key symptoms: severe – projectile vomiting; simultaneous vomiting and diarrhea; painful diarrhea with cramping; worse from sleeping; coldness with a cold sweat; abdominal bloating; craving for lots of cold water.
If your symptoms are not improving, getting worse or your energy is not returning please contact me, I can help.