The stomach flu – or viral gastroenteritis – is a health condition which affects people of all ages. It shouldn’t be confused with influenza however, as both throw up varying symptoms. It is caused by eating spoiled foods or contaminated water - the bacteria from which cause a viral infection in your system - meaning you are suffering for at least two to three days, usually unable to eat or drink.
The common symptoms of stomach flu are:
- Watery Diarrhea: Diarrhea is the primary symptom and the most troublesome. You will feel like you need to run to the toilet every few minutes; your bowels will be constantly moving and groaning.
- Abdominal pain: Stomach cramps and aches.
- Vomiting: Nothing will sit well in your stomach and anything that goes down will most probably come straight back up. Empty reaching – the motion where you try to vomit, but there’s nothing to come up – is quite a regular occurrence as well.
- Headaches & Fever: You’ll find your temperature is probably on the high-side, which brings on a fever and the chilling factor.
- Dehydration: You will be parched, as you won’t be able to ingest anything to hydrate your body. As well as that, you will be excreting water in your diarrhea and your sweat.
- Fatigue & Lethargy: Tiredness and weakness will set in, as you are not able to replenish the lost water and energy content your body needs.
- Dizziness: All of the above factors will contribute to a feeling or dizziness or vertigo. You probably won’t feel confident standing up for long periods without feeling sick and weak.
These symptoms can set in at varying times after your system has been contaminated, usually between 4 to 48 hours. The virus typically stays rooted in your stomach for no more than four days before it finally leaves and you begin to feel normal by degrees. It will take a good few days before you will have fully recovered from the effects of it however, as your body will have gone through a lot of physical trauma and may have been over-burdened in coping with the illness.
A doctor cannot do much for this particular strain and will probably advise that you just see it out by drinking lots of clean, fresh water and easily digestible foods to get you through those rough few hours. But getting water and vitamin supplements into your system is paramount.
To lessen your chances of acquiring this virus in the future, improve your hygiene practices (i.e. wash your hands and finger-nails regularly and only eat properly cooked food). Watch out for others doing the same, because their hygiene can impact your health as well.
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