Q:

What should someone eat when he or she has a stomach flu?

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Quick Answer

Someone who has the stomach flu should initially be given only clear liquids and no food and then gradually progress to easy-to-digest foods that are soft and bland. While recovering from the stomach flu, there are also certain types of food that a patient should avoid, which include spicy and fried food, peas, beans, raw or dried fruits and vegetables, whole grain bread, cereals or bran, nuts, coconut, popcorn and dairy products. Dried bananas are one exception to that rule.

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Full Answer

Also known as viral gastroenteritis, the stomach flu is an infection of the stomach and the small intestines, which may be caused by certain types of viruses. Among the viruses that may cause stomach flu include noroviruses, adenoviruses and rotaviruses. Common stomach flu symptoms are diarrhea, fatigue, dehydration, light fever, appetite loss, muscle aches, vomiting and nausea. Symptoms may last between 1 to 3 days.

Apart from the food that should be avoided by an infected individual, certain beverages, such as alcohol-based and caffeinated drinks, should also be avoided. The diet of an infected individual should initially start with just clear liquids. He or she then should follow the suggested diet progression during recovery, from soft food, such as gelatin, soups and saltines, to foods like applesauce, bananas, mashed potatoes and plain pasta.

Since the illness can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected person, it is important to practice proper hygiene and properly sanitizing utensils or surfaces that may be contaminated.

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