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Remedies for an Upset Stomach

An upset stomach is a common problem that is divided into two main categories. Chronic problems include anything that lasts more than a couple of days. If you are experiencing chronic problems, you should see your doctor.

One-time, occasional issues can be handled by trying these things at home:

  • Reflect. Are you overeating, eating spicy food or unwittingly eating spoiled food?
  • Avoid eating heavy meals, fatty foods and processed foods until you feel better. (Or you could avoid these altogether!)
  • Go on a bland diet.

Treating a stomach bug

Did you know that the flu shot we get in the fall is NOT for the “stomach flu”? You know, the vomiting and diarrhea bug? We get many calls at NurseDirect from people who have gotten the flu shot and can’t understand why they have vomiting and diarrhea. The flu shot is for upper respiratory problems, headaches, body aches, sore throats and the overall hit-by-a-truck feeling. So the influenza shot you get in the fall will unfortunately not protect you from the stomach bug that seems to ravage the Valley in the fall and winter.

This gastroenteritis, or stomach flu as it is frequently called, seems to hit hardest later in the year but can appear all year long. Often times it starts suddenly with an onslaught of vomiting over and over, followed by diarrhea right behind it. Although it seems endless at the time, the worst of the vomiting usually ends after 8-10 hours. The diarrhea tapers off, but doesn’t completely leave your system for several days. Remember though, everyone’s immune system is different and these viral bugs hit people differently. All models vary! You may or may not have fever with this bug.

There can be a lot of abdominal cramping with the stomach flu. Typically the cramps build up until you vomit or pass some stool. It lets up a little, only to build up and start the cycle again. Now, this is the important part! If the cramps or pain become constant and relentless it may not be the stomach flu. It is important to distinguish this difference between constant pain and intermittent-type pain. Constant pain could indicate something more serious and you need to see your doctor! Continue Reading »

Should she stay or should she go? When to keep kids home from school

Isn’t it hard sometimes to know when to keep your child home from school? It surely is a common question we get at NurseDirect on early school mornings. Kids can be sick during the night but feel fine by morning and a parent wonders what to do. Here are some guidelines to help with your decision making:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea: Keep children home until 24 hours free of episodes. An occasional episode of vomiting can be just a fluke, perhaps something just not sitting right, but a second time is grounds for staying home. Diarrhea and school don’t mix.
  • Sore throat: This a tough one. A minor sore throat can go to school but if it’s accompanied with stomach upset, headache or fever you should keep your child home.
  • Rashes: Many rashes are contagious, especially a generalized one that’s coupled with a fever. In these cases keep the kids home. A localized rash such as ringworm can go to school if covered.
  • Lice: These children need to stay home until treated and completely nit free.
  • Cold symptoms: Mild runny nose and cough can go to school. Children who’ve been up all night coughing should stay home, as they are most likely too tired to focus at school. Continue Reading »

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