Stomach Flu

Archived Q&A and Reviews

One-year-old's long recovery from stomach flu

Feb 2008

so my lovely daughter, 1 year old, had the stomach flu for the second time last week - the virus which is going around since i came down with it as well. i wanted to ask if anyone else has had similar experiences with this long recovery. my son always has cleared these types of infections quickly (24 hr recovery at the most)

the first time she got the stomach flu (about 10 mo), she was sick for about 5 days - minimal eating, only able to handle 2-3 oz of formula at a time, no solids, slow recovery back to more appropriate volumes of food and drink. the problem for me was she is on the 5th percentile in weight and there was already concern for poor growth.

so, last week she started vomiting. thurs all night, friday a little pedialyte and lots of vomit, some diarrhea. then sat still vomiting once am, once pm, sun still vomiting once pm, then monday one vomit in the morning. seemed like towards the end vomiting occurred after lying down and would happen even up to 10 hrs after food.

we are in the midst of the slow recovery and ability to hold down some food and drink. doctors say she's fine, maybe some reflux.

what i want to know is does anyone else have a child that is so slow to recover from these gi illnesses? thanks. anon

Are you sure it's not a food intolerance or allergy? I'd give her baby probiotics nonetheless and take her off dairy. anon mom
Not exactly on point with your question, but I think the stomach flu that's making the rounds just happens to be more virulent, i.e. not just a 24 hour variety. I got it 3 weeks ago, and it took over a week to get back to normal. Then I got it AGAIN, last week. Same exact symptoms, diarrhea, fever, vomiting, etc for 4 days. Just getting back to normal now. Maybe I never completely got over it the first time. At any rate, this time I used probiotics and that seemed to help my recovery. There is a probiotic available for kids called Florastor Kids that you can get at Elephant. Ask for the powder, which you can then mix with breastmilk or formula. My pediatrician said its safe for infants and recommended it to me when my baby was 3 months old (and got diarrhea from the antibiotics she was on.) anon
My son had his first stomach flu at 17 months and it lasted for 11 days. The 1st day was projectile vomiting and diarrhea. The next 2 days he was better, kept stuff down, but had a low grade fever. Then, vomiting returned - for 4 days, with two of those days having diarrhea as well. Then, 4 more days of general malaise. After a stomach virus, my hubby is usually perfectly fine in 2-3 days, I however, am usually actively queasy/potty attached for 2-3 days, then recovering for another 3-5. Even as a child, I had at least 3 days of active vomiting and then another 2-3 days of sporadic illness.

Things that will help speed recovery: probiotics. Get some at Whole Foods or a health food store - they have special ones for kids, and get some for you too. They're more helpful with diarrhea for kids, for adults, they just help you feel better overall. Keep up the fluid intake. Pedialyte has the right amount of glucose and salt (Gatorade has more sugar, which can prolong diarrhea.) Adults can drink pedialyte as well. Knudsen's organic Recharge is a better rehydration drink than Gator/Powerade. Or, some electrolyte water (get it at Trader Joes, Whole Foods & Target), and you can add some fruit juice to it. Mashed potatoes, made with chicken broth; rice jook (cook rice in waaaay too much water then drink the rice water and eat the smushy rice); bananas & apple sauce are good for SOME folks, for others, the fruit sugar is a laxative, which you don't want, so just keep an eye out for that. Cooked carrots are also a good one to eat.

What one doc told me was that after a moderate/bad stomach bug, the stomach gets into a vomiting pattern, which you have to break by keeping the foods really bland and easy to digest. Once that works for a few days, then re-introduce more normal food. Which contradicts current best practices, which urge getting back to a normal diet as quickly as possible. But some of us have stomachs that just can't do that. Hang in there! Been there

i've noticed quite a few kids having these long GI illnesses lately (say, the past 2-3 years). personally, i think it's due to the new rotavirus vaccination. it's a live virus, and the vaccinated child sheds the virus in stool for up to 2 weeks afterwards. so any less than scrupulous handwashing on the part of the caregivers leads to the virus being spread. anon