Unfortunately, there is not a specific therapy for treating norovirus gastroenteritis – so any treatment tips are primarily geared towards preventing dehydration, providing symptom control, and trying to increase comfort until the symptoms ease up or cease.
Try a B.R.A.T. diet.
Some people think that fasting will help speed up the recovery from norovirus. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Your body needs food to fuel your immune system to help you get over the norovirus more quickly.
Instead of not eating at all, people infected with norovirus should try eating a light diet of easily digestible foods. An acronym to remember is BRAT, which stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. These foods are generally thought of as “good” for people who are experiencing gastrointestinal upset. Additional foods to consider include soups or pasta.
If your infant has norovirus, they should be given the foods they would usually eat.
Any time you have gastrointestinal problems, it is important to replace the fluids that are lost due to vomiting or diarrhea. Becoming dehydrated will only make you feel worse, and it can cause additional symptoms or complications. Dehydration is especially concerning for infants and the elderly. If at any point, you or an infected person seems to be dehydrated and is unable to replenish enough fluids through drinking, they need to seek medical help immediately for fluid replacement via IV.
Try over-the-counter remedies.
Depending on the specific strain of norovirus, and your general make-up, over-the-counter remedies for nausea and diarrhea may be worth trying. While they are not effective in all cases, they can help reduce symptoms. If you are experiencing headaches in addition to nausea and gastrointestinal problems, consider trying acetaminophen or aspirin. Ibuprofen is not recommended because you likely will not have enough food in your system to adequately protect your digestive system from Ibuprofen.
Getting rest and fluids seems like cliché, but they really are the best ways to help your body fight off an infection like norovirus. Take a few extra naps, and stay home from work or school in order to help yourself feel better and prevent others from getting sick.
If you feel that your symptoms are severe, they last longer than 2 or 3 days, or you feel that you are dehydrated and unable to adequately replenish liquids on your own, consider visiting AFC Urgent Care Worcester for walk-in norovirus treatment. Most major insurances are accepted and walk-in patients are always welcome. For questions, please call 508-755-4010.