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People often mistakenly think that the “stomach flu”
(viral gastoenteritis) is the same as the
“flu” (influenza). This isn’t true. They are completely different viruses. So don’t
expect the flu shot to protect you from the stomach flu. This infection of the
digestive tract is caused by a number of different viruses. It usually produces
a combination of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea sometimes with abdominal pain or
fever. Occasionally there are some upper respiratory symptoms but usually not.
If you are experiencing the stomach flu, in addition to our standard
protocols for infections, we also recommend “activated charcoal.” This
is available though any health food store and most pharmacies. For an adult we recommend two
capsules with a glass of water three times a day as much as possible on an empty
stomach. This charcoal treatment is also good for food poisoning. It will work
best with an empty stomach. It works by absorbing the virus or toxin so the
least food or beverage (except water) in the stomach around the time taking it
the more effective it is likely to be.
If the person cannot swallow capsules or is vomiting everything swallowed,
then the capsule can be opened up and mixed into water and sipped. It is not
easy to mix it into the water but it is possible.
Charcoal is also available through our office and can be
Warning: This self
treatment should never be used if you are not completely sure of the
diagnosis of your, or your child's, health problem and should only be used after
your qualified health care provider has evaluated the condition. This advice is
meant to augment and not replace the necessary care of a licensed primary care
provider. If the health problem is serious enough that you would consider
calling your primary care provider, you should still call him or her. However,
even in those cases where other treatment is prescribed you will often find
these treatments helpful.