Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Unwelcome Visitor

 How To Treat A Most Unwelcome Visitor


Gastroenteritis is a condition that causes irritation and inflammation of the stomach and intestines (the Gastrointestinal Tract).

Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause inflammation of the stomach and large intestine lining; they are the leading cause of gastroenteritis in the U.S.

Noroviruses are found in the stool (feces) and the vomitus of infected people. 

Antibiotics will not be effective if the cause of gastroenteritis is a viral infection.
Using anti vomit and anti diarrhea medicines will most likely prolong the illness.

Allow your body to purge because that is what it needs to do.
People can become infected with the virus in several ways, including:
·         Eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with norovirus;
·         Touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus, and then placing their hands in their mouth, their eyes or nose.
·         Having direct contact with another person who is infected and showing symptoms, for example, caring for someone with a stomach virus, or sharing foods or utensils with someone who is ill. 

This very unpleasant illness is spread by direct person-to-person contact, so attention to personal hygiene is extremely important.  Wash your hands after being in public as well as after using the toilet, whether public or your own, and before eating.  Many people who experience the vomiting and diarrhea that develop from these types of infections or irritations think they have "food poisoning," which they may, or call it "stomach flu," although influenza has nothing to do with it.

As soon as someone begins to experience prolonged loss of bodily fluids, it is very important to consume electrolytes, which are minerals that affect the body's fluid levels, blood acidity, and muscle and organ function, in large amounts to prevent dehydration.  Health food stores carry rehydration drinks that contain electrolytes, and conventional drug stores carry Pedialyte and Gastrolyte, Dioralyte, Electrolade, and Rapolyte which also contain electrolytes.

Signs of dehydration are:
·         Feeling dizzy, lightheaded and weak
·         Having a dry or sticky mouth
·         Producing less urine, darker urine, and urine having a strong odor
·         By the time you feel thirsty, you might already be dehydrated

Probiotics, bacteria that are beneficial to a person's health, are recommended during the recovery phase of gastroenteritis. Live bacteria cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus are said to be effective in soothing the digestive tract and returning the intestinal flora to normal. L. acidophilus is found in live-culture yogurt, and is also found as bottled Probiotics in the refrigerated section of your local health food store.

The following Homeopathic remedies are good to have on hand:



Aloe can be used to relive stomach symptoms such as involuntary loss of stool and diarrhea with burning pains in the rectum or anus. There may be nausea, accompanied by burning in the stomach and esophagus, as well.


Arsenicum is indicated if you are having dark putrid stools that are watery, or if you are having vomiting and diarrhea at the same time. You may feel restless, anxious or exhausted, and experience a burning sensation when having diarrhea. You may be very thirsty, but desire only small sips of liquids. You may also feel chilly.  Children may want company or be afraid to be left alone. Arsenicum can also be used for diarrhea caused by food poisoning.


Chamomile is indicated if you are having abdominal pain and watery green diarrhea, that may have an odor like rotten eggs.  Your face is often flushed, and being covered with a warm blanket makes you feel worse. You may be feeling irritable or angry.


If impending diarrhea is preceded by abdominal cramps, so severe you want to double over, the remedy Colocynthis is indicated.  If pressure on the abdomen helps to relieve cramps, this remedy is a good choice.


Homeopathic Ipecac can relieve nausea and vomiting. It is a good choice for constant nausea, especially if accompanied by pain around the navel. Ipecac is another remedy to consider if diarrhea has a green appearance.  Do not confuse homeopathic Ipecac with syrup of Ipecac found in drug stores.


If your abdomen gurgles and rumbles before you experience explosive watery greenish but painless diarrhea, Podophyllum is the remedy of choice. You may have frequent urges to go to the bathroom and have worse diarrhea in the morning. After bowel movements, you may be left feeling  exhausted.

Pulsatilla can be used for gastroenteritis where there is diarrhea in abundance that just won't stop. Bright yellow in color but with no burning. There may be nausea and vomiting. You may desire foods such as ice cream, pudding and custard to sooth your stomach. There is usually little to no thirst. There may be a yearning for fresh air, either from an open window or going outside into the cool air. There is a tendency to whine,  to want company and a fear of  being left alone.

Veratrum album

When watery diarrhea is accompanied by stomach cramps, vomiting and the chills and cold sweats, think of Veratrum album. Indications for this remedy include a craving for cold fluids and abdominal bloating.  The face is very pale, with dark circles around the eyes and a bluish hue to the lips.

As it is with most visitors after 3-4 days, it is time for this one to leave, so that you can get on with your healing and your life !

© Lynn Cremona 2013, all rights reserved.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care.