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Common Treatment for Stomach Flu Makes it Worse!

stomach fluParents whose children are suffering from vomiting and diarrhea are actually making those children more sick by giving them flat coke, lemonade or fruit juice.

It is a myth that sugary drinks will ease bouts of gastroenteritis. Instead, bad cases of stomach bugs in children under 5 need to be treated with rehydration drinks.

Half of all children under 5 develop vomiting and diarrhea over the course of the year. But some of the most serious cases could be avoided if parents followed the best advice.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
In the United States, more than 3.5 million infants develop acute viral gastroenteritis -- also known as the “stomach flu” -- each year, resulting in more than 500,000 office visits, 55,000 hospitalizations and 30 deaths. Around the world, however, gastroenteritis is actually the leading cause of death among infants.

Of course, here in the United States and in much of the developed world, many well-meaning parents offer their sick kids soda, ginger ale or fruit juice to help “calm their stomach” and give them fluids.

You likely also drink it yourself if you come down with a case of stomach flu.

But as The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence so rightly pointed out, using sugary drinks to treat vomiting and diarrhea is a myth, and a harmful one at that since the high sugar content can actually make the illness get worse.

Fortunately, there are some simple ways to help your system recover from the stomach flu, and I’ll detail those shortly. But first a bit of background on this common ailment …

What are the Causes and Symptoms of Stomach Flu?

A number of different viruses cause diarrhea and other stomach ailments, the most common being:

• Rotavirus, which has been estimated to cause from 30 percent to 50 percent of all cases of severe diarrhea disease.

• Noroviruses, a group of related viruses that account for more than 90 percent of stomach flu outbreaks in the United States each year.
Anyone can come down with the stomach flu, as it’s highly contagious and transfers easily on objects, then into your body if you touch the object and then your mouth, eyes or nose. Symptoms often come on suddenly and typically include watery diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. The affected person may also have:

• Headache
• Fever
• Abdominal cramps ("stomach ache")
• Cough
• Runny Nose
Although these illnesses are usually self-limiting, lasting from one to 10 days if you are healthy, it is vitally important to make sure you don’t become dehydrated.

How to Prevent and Treat the Stomach Flu

Preventing the stomach flu involves keeping your immune system healthy by following these 10 tenets of basic health, along with a few common-sense precautions like:

• Washing your hands (and your children’s hands) with soap and water if you’ve been in a public place or before eating. Be careful not to over-wash your hands, however, as this can create tiny cuts in your hands where a virus can enter.
• Trying not to touch your eyes, mouth or nose (which is how the virus enters)
• Avoiding sharing utensils, drinking cups, hand towels, etc. with others
If you do come down with a case of the stomach flu, the key conventional approach, and this time it is a vitally important one, is to make sure you don't become dehydrated, as that can cause serious problems, even death.

So if any of these natural approaches don’t work it is vital that you go to an emergency room for evaluation.  They will typically insert an IV into your vein and provide rehydration fluids directly into your blood stream which rapidly eliminates the danger of dying from fluid loss.

However, the following simple protocol is often very effective in clearing up the stomach flu long before you get to this point.

If you have thrown up, put your stomach at complete rest for at least three hours. That means absolutely nothing to eat or drink, including no water nor the old wives’ tale favorite of crackers and soda.

Once three hours have passed and no further vomiting has occurred then small amounts of water can be sipped slowly. Again, only after your stomach virus symptoms have stabilized and no additional vomiting is occurring, small amounts of water can be sipped and if that is tolerated you can gradually increase the water.

Do this for one to two hours and if that is tolerated then you are ready for the final phase …

What is the final phase?

Massive amounts of a high-quality probiotic.

Make sure you use a high-quality brand, then take large doses every 30 to 60 minutes until you feel better. By large doses, I mean finish the entire bottle in 24 hours if necessary. It usually won't be necessary, though, as most people seem to improve within several hours after following the above instructions.