Stomach flu symptoms start manifesting themselves a couple of hours or even a few days after the virus has entered the gastrointestinal tract in the individual. Stomach flu or gastroenteritis as it is also known as, is caused by viruses which enter the gastrointestinal tract and settle in the stomach and intestines and multiply in these organs.

Common viruses

The common viruses which cause stomach flu are as follows:

  • Rotavirus which causes vomiting and diarrhea in infants and young children.
  • Calicivirus which includes among others the Norovirus and Sapovirus. These are the main cause of gastroenteritis in adults.
  • Astrovirus which causes stomach flu in children and in a milder way in adults.
  • Adenovirus of which there is a wide variety and only two types of these cause gastroenteritis in children and adults.

Typical Stomach Flu symptoms:

 Diarrhea caused by Stomach Flu

  • Diarrhea in the form of watery stools
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle aches
  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Low grade fever
  • Chills
  • Excessive thirst
  • Headaches
  • Lethargy
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

In normal or mild cases of stomach flu a patient may experience just some of these symptoms which clear up in a day or two and do not need any medication. The patient should be kept on a liquid diet and should avoid milk and dairy products, carbonated drinks, caffeine, alcohol and solid food.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is the main symptom of stomach flu. It occurs in the form of frequent watery stools in the course of the day. If the condition does not ease and if there are traces of blood in the stool then medical intervention should be sought.

Nausea

A patient may experience nausea accompanied by and uneasiness in the stomach. There may be an urge to vomit. Most of the time, the stomach contents empty out through vomiting.

Abdominal cramps and ache are also symptoms of stomach flu. There may be general discomfort in the region of the abdomen accompanied by flatulence. These symptoms gradually ease in a day or two.

Headaches and muscle ache

Headaches and muscle ache can also occur during an attack of stomach flu. This can be accompanied by mild, low grade fever and chills. A patient may feel lethargic and fatigued and the best remedy for this is rest. Loose motions and vomiting can tire a person out and the body will need rest.


Vomiting and diarrhea

With frequent vomiting and diarrhea the patient may lose a lot of body fluids and there may be a tendency to dehydration. This is a matter of concern and should be treated with urgency. Sips of water or even sucking on ice pops would help while the patient experiences bouts of vomiting. If there is excessive loss of body fluid then some electrolyte replacement fluids should be given.

Medicine

doctor and patientMedicine for diarrhea should be avoided as this will only prolong the illness and may have side effects. It is best to let the stomach flu run its course. The symptoms of stomach flu normally ease in two or three days.

If the symptoms of stomach flu do not ease in a couple of days and the patient still suffers from diarrhea and vomiting then medical intervention should be sought. Symptoms like blood in the stool, high fever and dehydration may be due to some other illness which could be diagnosed with laboratory tests.

Preventative steps

Stomach flu and its symptoms can be prevented by maintaining hygiene. Eating utensils should not be shared with a person who is suffering from stomach flu. This infection is contagious and can be passed through contact with a patient. Hands should be washed with soap and warm water.

The symptoms of stomach flu like fever and body ache can be treated with medication if necessary, otherwise it is best to let the infection run its course.


Comments

  1. ang

    Im not sure if this is what I have. But I never get sick and I have these symptoms. My mom wants me to eat. Should I? Im not hungry at all. I can drink liquids fine though. But the thought of eating makes me want to puke. But I cant. My stomach is empty. I drink juices water and pedialite.

  2. trish

    this past wednesday feb 20, i started out with a headache, then chills and body pain. my stomach was growling insanely and i had to go to the bathroom often. i thought i was getting the flu or cold, but it feels more of a stomach bug than a flu or cold. i’ve been eating crackers, 7up, soup, plain white bread. do those help? i don’t have the body pain or chills or so much of a headache anymore, but what other foods / liquids could i drink to speed up recovery? thanks

    1. James

      Stay away from salty and sugary foods. Salty food dehydrates you more and sugary foods will upset your stomach. My advice is to not even drink 7up even when you are not sick. Stick to Water so you can stay hydrated. If you find you are throwing up or having excessive diahrea, then you may want to go to the pharmacist and get some electrolyte suppliments that you pour into your water.

      If you read above, you will see that a liquid diet is good. Soup will be fine and you can add some delicious vegitables which will give you immune boosting vitamins.

  3. Anonymous

    I’m not sure if I have the stomach flu. I have most of these symptoms except chills, and muscle aches. I had most if the symptoms yesterday. I had a headache when I got home from school, and I started feeling nauseous but I didn’t really notice it because that happens a lot to me. But then my stomach started hurting and I didn’t feel good at all. I took and hour nap then I vomited. I vomited twice after then went to bed. I’m drinking some water but I’m getting hungry and I’m not sure if I should start eating or what I should be eating?

  4. Albuscus

    Hello there,
    My guy friend has the stoumache flu and I found out today :( I feel really bad about it:( bc I hate to know that he’s in pain :< is their any pacticural medicines he can take? He's 10years old (I am too)
    Please reply soon,
    Your fellow listener Alba

  5. Maddie

    My sister had the stomach flu and hers was bad when she ate she vomited and I feel bad. If I had the stomach flu I would stay home untill I get better. She was so miserable that she almost stayed home for the week.

  6. Karina

    I started yesterday with all those symptoms and i feel worse today, but my dad still send me to school :( i think im going home right now i dont feel so well i can’t stand to be in one place sitting down i need to move or sleep

  7. Jenn

    I don’t know what I have but I eat and drink normally. My only problem is diarrhea for three days now. Would anyone know what this is. There is no signs of blood in it.

    1. ryan

      That’s what I got is just diaherra the 1st nite I had vomiting that was it now just diaherra. I slept practically all day yesterday

  8. myra

    i feel very sick. i have all the symptoms. i feel like vomiting all the time. this stared about 2:00am i could not go to school . what will help me i cant eat or drink i throw it all up.

    what can help me? all i can drink is yellow gatorade.

    1. Anna

      I have same crap. Will b three days tomorrow. No throwing up just horrible bad cramps an running to the John but sometimes nothing happens. I have to get back to work. Tried peptones. Gas pills. Have nexium from dr. Any ideas. Bad. Thx u

  9. dee

    Oh no, I think I have the tummy flu aswell.
    Todays the 5th day.. of running in & out of the bathroom. After im done I get this horrible sore feeling in my stomach and nasty tasting burps. Im getting very annoyed at this point. Pls go away soon ):

  10. jack

    So i have bad stomache pains can’t sleep well diareah but. it’s just watery nd. feels like i need to puke all the time but can’t is this the stomache flu?

  11. Lizzy

    I have diarrhea and sleepiness and my tummy gargles but no vomiting. I burp the taste of nasty and my BM is watery. Is this tummy bug? it is going around my school to though…

  12. Alexander White

    I’m having all these symptoms. The worst is when I start shaking and feel like I’m going to pass out. I feel nauseous, very weak, dizzy. It’s hard for me to eat and drink without feeling sick. I’m having excessive diarrhea. I keep drinking but I think I’m still dehydrated. I go from feeling hot to cold, hot to cold. Some times the symptoms go away then return. It’s the worst when I wake up. I feel like my stomach is full even though I’ve hardly eaten.

  13. sds1072

    I have been having all of the same symptoms that everyone above has listed. I am on day 4, and now I have a light blood color in my stoole. Went to the E.R just for them to determine it was a virus, so I did get some meds. But now I am concerned about the blood. Plz help!

  14. Roxanne T.

    It i have cramping so bad, feels good f I keep heat on it and don’t move . No vomiting, but in the bathroom a lot. Anything I eat goes right threw, for 2 days. Took some medicine for that and that got better I’m hungry but my stomach hurts ,like I’ve pulled muscles and did a lot do sit ups. Do you think it is the stomach flu. And when will I get better. Thank you

  15. cheyenne

    Well last night I had diharrea from 12am to 3 am. I finally fell asleep. Then I woke up at 6 am and my stomah still hurt. I’ve been to the bathroom twice since. My atomach feels empty and weak. I don’t know why. I havent ate. I didn’t eat dinner last night. It’s been since 6pm yesterday since I’ve ate. Please reply back to me. I really need answers. Im scared there is something wrong with me. Will I be oka? Please help :( here has been no vomiting and no fever.

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