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 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.


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.


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.


  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 ๐Ÿ™ 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 ๐Ÿ™ 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 ๐Ÿ™ here has been no vomiting and no fever.

  16. Crystal

    I have most of these symptoms diarrhea, chills, dizziness, neausious, tired, cramps, headache. Muscle aches

    Yesterday my stool was purple, and i did not eat or drink anything that was purple, all i ate was lemon meringue pie and a bacon tomato sandwich, and today i got these symptoms, if i just sit under a blanket and not move i dont have cramps..last time i went to the bathroom was about 30 mins ago…im just not sure what to do…i called my mom and she suggested i go to the hospital but i dont want to go there and get sicker than i am, should i just let it go away on its own? What should i eat? Ive been drinking water, cream soda, and i had a french vanilla, and i ate a roast wrap and patatos for super, i just really want this to go away, i also have been taking peperation H because i have hemeroids, ๐Ÿ™ i guess its because its cold out and when i get in the truck the seats are still cold…but yea…as for the symptoms im really hoping they go away asap can someone please let me know how i can get rid of this asap thanks in advance

  17. Just Meee

    My bottom part of stomah feels empty …i vomited twice 1 time today n the other yesterday ..I have sum chills,n i feel nasious .I had diarea only 1 day..Is dis the stomah flu?????n how long does it last????? btw im in 2nd day of these sympthoms n wat should i eat??????Reply bak fast please btw im 11

  18. Kaley

    I’m not sure what I have but it is horrible. I Was fine before I went to bed but then I woke up at 3 am. and started vomiting like crazy. I am so thirsty and dehydrated but even the littlest sips of water make me throw up and dry heave….. What should I do?

  19. Melissa

    Last night I was totally fine till 9 pm last night I kept wake up with stomach ACH and now I have the nasty burps and nothing can stay in me but water I poop everything out and I have a headach

  20. maddy

    It has been 4 days since I felt like I have wanted to through up but yet i have puked only once and I try to eat and drink but it makes me feel like I am going to vomit. To day I only had one gulp of water and I was so weak that I could not get dressed properly and I felt soooo bad I started crying. I feel empty but want to through up, I try to rest and it has not gotten better since 6:30am and it is now 1:24pm. I am also 12 years old. Please help me!!

    1. Ms Tee

      Sounds like you are dehydrated. You should go to the hospital and get some replacement fluids. That’s what I had to do. once I got the bagof fluidsfrom the hospital I felt a little better, Headache still, well slightly. and taking ibroprophen for fever and muscle aches

  21. mel

    I don’t now if I got the tummy flu I feeling sick headache then bowl crap that’s about it I eat something then I’m fine then I feel sick then fin have a little nap and then end up with headache

  22. rashawna

    OK the the doctor said it last from 3 to10 days and I’m having a lot of trouble holding liquids down and I can’t eat cause the minute I take a bite I’m at the toilet and if I drink I’m at the toilet I know it says that you have to stay hydrated but when I get diarrhea I loose more liquid than what I drink why can’t I hold liquid and what do I do

  23. Arabella

    hi, I been having the chills and feeling like shake but my fever is not high at all my I been feeling thowing up and keep using the bathroom can this be just the stomach vrius??

  24. netnav1

    I feel full, also thirsty i burp and can taste what i eat, i also have wet stools the stomach ache started a day ago but none of this happen until now

  25. rileyannt

    I have had some of these symptoms for 8 days now….it started with violent cramps in my abdomen after I drank red gatorade and one new vitamin which I had bought to soothe myself after falling in the kitchen in the am. Stayed in bed over the weekend, went out Monday for vet app’t. with my dog, then got sick again Tuesday night, through Wednesday. Called GI Dr. to see if I needed to be seen; they did not call back for 2 days. Dr. said to take probiotic, “Align” for one week. I suggested it was an intestinal virus.
    From reading I think I need a stool sample test to rule out any parasites in the bowel. The running to and from the John was no joke, and I feel for those who had to. I did not gratefully throw up at all. Very nasty bug; hope everyone can get to a Dr. in early stages and get some relief with at least knowing what is going on and that it will stop.

  26. Claire

    My daughter since a weekmhas started to feel like vomiting while eating, then after a minute or 2 she starts to burb and feels normal. Today she felt sick after waking up till she started to burb and passing gas

  27. Rita

    Hi there my 2 year old daughter vomied twice lastnight and had a small fever. Its been 18 hours since she vomited from then shes been keeping food and liquids down does that mean the bug is passing?

  28. MaryTheresa

    My boyfriend has had the stomach flu for almost two weeks and has diarrhea really bad should he seek medical attention after already seeing the doctor?

  29. Ashlee ??

    I think I had the stomach flu. It started off at a slumber party they had it 59ยฐ in the hotel so I got a sore throat. Then when I got home my body felt weak and I didn’t want to eat anything. My mom ended up getting sick as well the next day but after I threw up I started to fell better. I didn’t throw up food because I wasn’t eating. It’s been 5 days and now when I go to the bathroom it’s almost like peeing, nothing’s hard. I go so often almost every 30 min. What can I do to keep this from happening?

  30. Eljin Mina

    Hi I Have Been Feeling Some Cramps And Excess Hunger And A Slight Fever But None Of The Other Symptoms Do I Have It? Or Maybe Another Sickness It Has Been Going On Since Monday Through Wednesday

  31. Lisa

    I have the stomach flu and i have had it for 5 days now with all the syptoms of fatigue nausea, stomch feeling sensitive a constant headache and the general feeling of being unwell, i havn’t been able to go to school and I’m writing exams and i’ve been to the doctor and you just have to wait it out which is the worst thing

  32. Kenya Patton

    My stomach hurts alot and I have a fever and feeling really dizzy what should I do .and I’m getting constantly headaches

  33. Josh

    Hai i think i have a flu i have been barfing for 3 weeks now and i have had a fever and the chills and really bad nad headaches and so i went to the doctors about. It today and they did nothing except take xrays and then they did not tell me anything and i have been missing school over this

  34. Jacee

    Hi I got sick on a Monday after staying in a resort! It was instant one second i was fine and the next I was bent over cause my belly was burning and cramping! That whole day and the next I lay in bed with stomach pain and bad nausea! The third day i got up feeling fine for work when I got there I worked for about an hour before vomiting and going back home bed! I felt fine by the time I got home and have been eating and everything else! What’s going on? Why won’t it go away?

  35. Bob2020

    I have all the signs but diarrhea (but I’m constipated) I haven’t ate or drank anything but water to take my meds I can’t keep my meds down plus my throw up is green I need to know if it’s the stumic flu or something else

  36. verda micelli

    my beagle has been sick for the past two days. She will not eat and all she does is lay around. She has been making noises like she’s trying to go to the bathroom, but can’t. Also, her stomach is up and down like she is trying to vomit or have a bowel movement. I am planning to take her to the Vet tomorrow, however, at this time we have no Vets available as it is the week-end. Could she have the stomach flu? or gas?

  37. Nicola

    I think I have a stomach flu. My niece had it and I became progressively worse after it. However no one else in my family has suffered. I have had constant throwing up and diarrhoea For 3 days straight and although I am drinking loads of water my mouth is dry constantly. I am tired beyond belief and I can’t help but cry constantly about nothing in particular. I have eaten half a dry piece of toast within these three days and so far no sign of it as all I’m throwing up is water. Is this the stomach flu or something more serious?

  38. J

    if I drink toilet water from the back of the toilet bowl will I still get sick? in my book they say its sweet tasting.

  39. Anonymous

    I feel horrible and have almost all the symptoms except puking and diarrhea. Do you think I have the stomach bug

  40. Virginia

    I ate some bad chocolate cake about a week ago and I puked and know ever since Everytime i go to the restroom I have diarrhea and feel like I am going to puke my guts up and I have to have a trash can in front of me plz help

  41. StrongUp

    We all have different nutrition imbalances, Muscle Imbalances , ETC! I see a lot of people posting what works or has worked for them and saying it’s the solution for someone else. Please don’t listen to fools if you have the stomach flu. A lot of times this includes people in the medical field! I suggest you eat what feels right, move comfortably and rest as much as you need. I personally like to rest a lot and eat what makes me feel better. Learning about nutrition is important and 7up does have benefits to helping an upset stomach even though it seems unhealthy. Good Luck

  42. Anonymous

    I’ve been vomiting and having liquid diarrhea. I’m at a young age, I’ve been fainting and been sleepy and have a bad fever. What should I do ?

  43. McKenna

    I was throwing up for 4days the first 2days every hour the 3rd day I threw up twice in morning after eating soup that night then yesterday once in the morning after eating again that night before I could keep it down the last 2nights but in morning it all came up then yesterday I was feeling a little better that evening. My stomach still hurt a little bit an today I feel eh so idk if I still have it or not could someone tell me if Iโ€™m getting over it or if I should still rest itโ€™s to early for me right now to move around an see if I need to throw up but if throwing up last more then 4days is that bad?

  44. Sarah Baeza

    I’ve been vomiting and having diarrhea at the same, can’t keep any fluids down, feeling dizzy and my muscle aches in pain and having headaches? Should I go in or just stay home and it will get better on its own

  45. Abby

    My name is abby and It all started last Thursday when my back started to hurt I stayed home Friday and slept all day and missed dance. On Saturday I went to dance still feeling sick but feeling better. Sunday I felt fine but by the way 3:00 my back started to hurt again and yest today my stomach started to hurt because my body wonโ€™t let me eat even though Iโ€™m so hungry. I still feel sick should I go to school or not , because I canโ€™t even eat and my stomach is growling so much. :/

  46. Zea

    I don’t know if I have stomach ache or not but I do experience this feeling and symptoms sometimes. Especially in the cold or when I travel and enter a mall, I then feel like I have to burp or else I’ll vomit. I feel nauseous, uncomfortable and my throat hurts too sometimes. However, every time I get to burp (a big one) or vomit, all the uneasiness would just fade away. But I just don’t want to experience this in the first place and ever again. How can I prevent this from happening?

  47. Tash

    Ive been feeling all of this and have been sick for 2 days also with a cough. Should i try to go to work tomorrow or stay home and rest. I can keep water down jyst cant eat and dont have an appetite

  48. Dino Violante

    It was really nice when you said that a person suffering from a milder version of the stomach flu will only experience a few symptoms and will be able to recover a few days later. What will happen if the person is experiencing more than seven of these symptoms? I do not think that is still called mild since my sister has been suffering for four days now. Perhaps, she needs to see a stomach doctor and see what really is wrong with her.

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