Will I be passed out on the bathroom floor tomorrow?
January 3, 2006 1:28 PM   Subscribe

Is there any way to avoid suffering from a stomach bug if I've already been exposed?

Yesterday my fiance was horribly ill with some sort of stomach virus/bug/whatever--he puked all day, to put it bluntly.

He's feeling better today, and thinks he caught it at work--(now he remembers that there's been a stomach bug going around.) The last time he was at work was Saturday, and he was fine Sunday, so I'm guessing it takes at least day or so before it actually hits you.

Well, I spent all day Sunday with him (minimal contact yesterday,) so I'm guessing if I've got it, it will hit me tonight/tomorrow. While I love him dearly, I don't really prefer to share his misery in this area. Is there anything I can take/do to avoid tasting my own bile this time tomorrow?
posted by saucy to Health & Fitness (17 answers total)
What most people call a "stomach virus" is likely actually food poisoning. Which means you can't "catch" it unless you ate/drank the same thing.
posted by frogan at 1:37 PM on January 3, 2006

But if you're going to get sick, the best thing you could probably do is stay hydrated (drink lots of water) so you don't get dehydrated if you start vomiting or whatever. Also, take multivitamins (no more than the recommended dose) to help you body fight off the bug and to replenish if you get dehydrated.

Then, take two aspirin and call me in the morning.*

posted by Doohickie at 1:46 PM on January 3, 2006

Response by poster: We've ruled out food poisoning because we actually did eat the same things (both lunch & dinner) and no one else got sick.

Also, several people at his work have been passing this "bug" around.
posted by saucy at 1:48 PM on January 3, 2006

Someone at the office not washing their hands after using the bathroom? I know, ewwwww, but it happens. Regardless, I'm with the above poster about vitamins and hydration.
posted by frogan at 1:52 PM on January 3, 2006

Yogurt can be good, as the beneficial bacteria therein might overwhelm the bad ones in your stomach. I've also recently heard the advice to stay away from antacids, as they may actually make your tummy more welcoming to bacteria.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:54 PM on January 3, 2006

SLEEP. Water. Nutrition. Take it easy on yourself for a couple of days. Avoid big stressors.

If you've got it, you've got it, but you can minimize the damage.
posted by moira at 1:56 PM on January 3, 2006

I spent yesterday morning praying to the porcelin god, luckily it only lasted about 12 hours, and now I'm "right as rain". I was able to trace the virus back a few steps (got it from my roommate, who got it from his girlfriend, etc) we've all been around each other all week, and no one has gotten it more than once. So I doubt there will be a repeat outbreak. I wouldn't worry too much about it, just grin and bear it I guess.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:44 PM on January 3, 2006

I did some research in between bouts of running to the bathroom, and it looks like the best ways to avoid it are:

  • wash your hands often, and well
  • don't share food
  • don't share bodily fluids
  • stop rubbing your face
  • keep washing your hands

  • posted by blue_beetle at 2:47 PM on January 3, 2006

    I had a friend stay over New Year. She felt ill in the early hours of Jan 1, spent the night puking, and it hit me 24 hours later. A friend I was with before I felt ill was ill today. If your fiance has the same type of bug, it'll probably hit you a day after he's been ill.

    I felt very poorly yesterday, much better today. Drink plenty of water, clear broth, eat a little porridge or dry toast if you can.

    And IANAD, but don't take aspirin (or ibuprofen) because it can irritate the stomach.
    posted by essexjan at 2:52 PM on January 3, 2006

    Do not eat yogurt -- or any dairy products -- if there's a chance you're suffering salmonella. It will coat your stomach and intestine, adhere to the cells and then peel 'em off in sheets. Painful, painful, oh-god-let-me-die-now sheets of pain.

    Or, at least, that was my experience.
    posted by five fresh fish at 3:16 PM on January 3, 2006

    What most people call a "stomach virus" is likely actually food poisoning.

    Not sure where you get this idea, but enteroviruses and caliciviruses that cause gastroenteritis are fairly common.
    posted by gramcracker at 10:41 PM on January 3, 2006

    Try Airborne and sooner is better. It is a miracle if you ask me. I have 4 children and could not live without it. They should hire me...
    posted by kgn2507 at 10:48 PM on January 3, 2006

    From the Airborne site it looks like it's more for colds than the stomach flu.

    BTW, does this stuff really work on colds?
    posted by Taken Outtacontext at 7:28 AM on January 4, 2006

    Thanks for posting the website, I should have thought of that. Combined with adequate rest, I find airborne improves any viral-like condition, including ones that effect your stomach. It makes you feel better immediately, and depending when you start it, can either knock it out completely or make it go away much quicker. Now my husband says it's all in my head and so what if it is, it still works! BTW, he also takes it when anyone in the house comes home not feeling well, and will even run out to the store for it in the middle of the night if we run out.

    Now that said, if you are already throwing up, I'm not sure I would take any more than a very small mouthful of anything, if that. Ice chips are good for keeping hydrated.
    posted by kgn2507 at 8:35 AM on January 4, 2006

    >> Not sure where you get this idea, but enteroviruses and caliciviruses that cause gastroenteritis are fairly common.

    While that is true, my point is that the catchall phrase "stomach flu," meaning symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, etc, is more likely caused by something foodborne, either bacterial or viral, making it somewhat less likely that you would catch it merely by being in the same room as someone. IANAD, YMMV.
    posted by frogan at 1:28 PM on January 4, 2006

    So, how're you feeling?
    posted by gleuschk at 7:46 PM on January 4, 2006

    Response by poster: Well, I suppose I dodged that bullet. I drank a lot (a LOT) of water, and though at one point I did feel a little queasy, it most likely was all in my head (or due to all that water floating around, heh.)

    I am going to look into the Airborne stuff for future reference, though. Thanks!
    posted by saucy at 1:03 PM on January 6, 2006

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