This year’s stomach bug is a long, lingering one. Here are a few ways to prevent it, and some ideas for treating symptoms if it’s too late.
An ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure — especially when it comes to vomiting. So start the obsessive hand-washing rituals and doorknob/light switch bleaching now, folks. Teach your kids to do it habitually right now, in early November, and you just might spare yourselves a nightmarish Christmas or New Year’s. Be methodical, and remember–you’re not just cleaning. You’re doing battle on behalf of your family.
2Try the Grape Juice Trick
So if you spend any time online (which, obviously, you do), you’ve probably seen this article floating around in the last year or so. In it, one mom claims to have discovered the holy grail — a secret to preventing stomach flu, even after you’ve been exposed. She swears her family has been healthy for six years by drinking grape juice on the daily, and ramping up intake post-exposure. Now, this claim has little, if any, scientific validity … but honestly, what wouldn’t you try if you knew the stomach bug was looming over your family? We tried it and well … it was too late for me, but the rest of my family started in with grape juice after my son and I spent Thursday and Friday (and Saturday, and Sunday …) sick. So far, we’re the only ones down and out. Yes, correlation is not causation. But it may not hurt to try.
3Embrace time-honored remedies
On Saturday afternoon, two days into the horror show, my dad googled a list of stomach bug remedies and encouraged me to try dry toast and chamomile tea. Now, I’m a believer in toast solely as a vehicle for either butter or avocados, so the idea of dry toast was … unpalatable. But to be fair, everything was unpalatable at that point, so I tried it. To my surprise, the combo of toast and chamomile tea really seemed to calm my stomach for a solid few hours. It didn’t last much longer than that, but when you’re in the grips of the grippe, you’ll take any measure of relief.
4Try trendy rememdies
Apple cider vinegar is one of the greatest health trends of the past decade, so it should come as no surprise that it’s found it’s way into many arsenals of natural stomach-bug weapons. And while it is trendy, it’s also got a little bit of the science going for it. ACV is antiviral and antimicrobial, which means it actually might come in handy when combating the nasty bug. Also, it helps ease symptoms by absorbing excess acid in the stomach, which can calm bloating and ease cramps. Fair warning, though — it is NOT easy to stomach (haha, get it?) if you’re already afflicted.
5Just give up
Can you tell this is the stage I’m at? At a certain point — say, day three — you can just throw in the towel and surrender. It was here that I stopped insisting on sparkling water and chamomile tea instead of the Sprite I grew up drinking when ill. Logically, I know that soda is full of sugar and is a horrible choice when sick. But guess what? Sprite makes me feel better than anything else, and I didn’t care if it was the placebo effect. I’ll take all the placebos, thankyouverymuch. The worst part about this year’s stomach bug is how long it has lasted … it’s not apocalyptic like last year’s, but it lingers. And at a certain point, you just have to surrender and survive. And pray, of course — that always helps. Good luck, friends.
Read more: Prayer to say when a family member is sick
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?