The stomach bug is going around. I hate being sick — especially having a virus that is not so friendly to your bowels.

Gastroenteritis is an infection of the stomach and intestines. Stomach flu is caused by viruses, but it also can be caused by bacteria or parasites. It can last up to 10 days.

Common symptoms are diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, sometimes fever, muscle aches and loss of appetite. Gastroenteritis can be confused with food poisoning, but food poisoning only lasts a few hours after eating.

Here are some remedies to help make the suffering easier:

  • Have a cold towel near to put on your forehead. This helps cool yourself if you have a fever.
  • The stomach bug can be dehydrating and if you’re like me, I want to gobble water, but I can’t. What I suggest is having a cup full of ice cubes to suck on. It will help rehydrate your body a little at a time.
  • After you think the bug is gone and you can keep liquids down, only eat soft foods like applesauce, Jell-O, toast, saltines and broth.
  • Avoid caffeine drinks. Gatorade, Sprite, caffeine-free tea and apple cider vinegar are the way to go.
  • Have paper bags or trashcans at your bedside in case you can’t make it to the bathroom.
  • Get lots of rest.
  • Watch all of your favorite television shows and movies.
  • Catch up on your podcast listen list.
  • Make lists of all things that you’re not getting done due to being sick.
  • Remember the good ole days when you could drink as much water as you wanted and your body didn’t reject it.

How to avoid getting sick:

  • Disinfect everything that you touch and use;
  • Avoid close contact with people;
  • Wash hands regularly;
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth; and
  • Practice other good health habits.