How to Recover from the “Stomach Flu” or Enterovirus

How to Recover from the “Stomach Flu” or Enterovirus

Carolyn’s entire family got hit very hard during winter break this year with the “stomach flu”, and just this week over 1/3 of a certain school district in Illinois were felled by this nasty bug. A friend reported on Facebook that her flight was delayed because a sick passenger needed to get off the plane.   The “Stomach Flu” is actually Enterovirus or norovirus, since it is after all, not really a flu per se. First her young toddler came home after a holiday party and began vomiting and having diarrhea, and the illness slowly but surely tore its way through her family of five.

While conventional medicine will tell you there is nothing you can do to speed recovery but “wait it out”, there are actually many things you can do to recover faster.

  1. The homeopathic remedies Veratrum album and Arsenicum album often help with this year’s version of the enterovirus, especially when vomiting is accompanied by diarrhea. I have found Veratrum album to be more indicated this year. It literally stopped my own son’s case of “tourista” in its tracks as he was feeling ill on our way to the airport on a recent trip we took. In the United States, where I live, homeopathic remedies can be found at many natural food stores.
  2. Bone broth. This is the time to make bone broth, and if you are too sick to make some yourself, you can have someone pick some up already made for you. I like Kettle and Fire brand, or if you are local to a broth shop, like Fresh Thymes in Boulder, you can pick up some fresh bone broth there.   Or you can order online here

To make your own bone broth, which is the most cost effective way to go, here are some great recipes.

Also I recently sampled a powdered version of bone broth that I found at the Natural Food Store. It definitely needed            a little more flavoring, but it does the job and may be easier to keep around your house for a while without having it go          bad.

          Bone broth is a very healing nutrient dense food. Bone broth contains easily digestible micronutrients and                 minerals to help tissues to repair properly. This is very important when you have just suffered an acute GI                                 inflammation from a viral infection. If you are still feeling nauseated, take small sips as tolerated. Bone broth is also             vital for chronic GI issue recovery, too.

  1. Activated charcoal – this product is easily found in your local natural food stores. Not only does it bind and absorb toxins from your gut, but it also slows down the accompanying diarrhea that often goes along with the enterovirus.
  2. Curing pills is also very useful during enterovirus. These are a Chinese herbal medicine blend and are also often stocked in a Natural Food Store. This is an old Chinese formula designed specifically to shut down nausea,vomiting and diarrhea. And it usually works!
  3. Berberine – berberine is a botanical compound from the plant Berberis aquifolium, or Barberry, which has antibacterial qualities. It also has been shown to help eliminate the symptoms of enterovirus
  4. For nausea, I usually recommend teas which contain mints and/or ginger. These herbs have been shown in scientific studies to alleviate the symptoms of nausea from organic causes (such as pregnancy and viral infections of the GI tract).

Reintroducing foods

After a bout of the enterovirus, you want to slowly add in certain foods before you return to your normal diet. As much as I love bone broth, I also recognize that eventually you will want to supplement that with some real food. These are foods I recommend starting slowly with, as tolerated.

  1. Chicken or veggie soup – so this way you are adding in a few more culinary ingredients so that the broth has more nutritional value. I would stick with chicken and veggies ( no grains) in the beginning, or just veggies if you don’t eat meat. This will begin to add easily digested nutrients as well as bulk into the mix.
  2. Apple Sauce. This is a relatively easy to digest and absorb food, and it also contains soluble dietary fiber, which will help to bulk your stools out.
  3. Rice – after a bout of gastroenteritis, white rice (if you tolerate grains at all) will help solidify stools as well as being somewhat less allergenic than wheat as well as give you some physical energy since gastroenteritis can really leave you feeling drained.
  4. Toast. Due to the population I mainly work with, most of my community is gluten free. For those off gluten, a gluten free toast will do. If you are fine with gluten, any whole grain toast will do.
  5. Electrolytes. Remember, you lost a lot of electrolytes during that bout of illness. One of the main dangers of a bad bout of gastroenteritis is that one, especially children, can become dehydrated. This is why something like Recharge (a more natural Gatorade) or even Gatorade or Pedialyte is important for reabsorbing fluids and electrolytes which is vital to our physical health.
  6. Probiotics will also help replenish and balance the microbiome and gut flora which is vitally important after a diarrheal illness.

Prevention – Number one prevention is to keep your immune system healthy by staying well rested and nourished. Avoid sugar, caffeine, alcohol and other junk foods and get good sleep. Also if you are sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after symptoms dissipate to avoid spreading your illness. Wash your hands often, especially if you are in crowded public places much.

My practice focuses on gut health! I would like to invite you to work one on one either in person if you are local, or long distance through video or phone, I am currently accepting new patients. You can also opt to have a FREE 15 minute phone consult with me to see if you and I are a good fit for each other! To schedule any appointment, you can do this online at or by calling my office (303) 443-2206 M-F 8:30-5 Mountain time to speak with my receptionist. I hope to hear from you soon! Be well!

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