Friday, May 4, 2012

The Grape Juice Trick & Other Stomach Flu Survival Tips

I don't know about you, but since the new year there has been a bout of the stomach flu at least once a month visiting our house.  With three daughters, by the time it runs through all of them, another gastroenteritis seems ready to pounce right around the corner.  Oy!  My youngest daughter has chronic kidney disease, so a bad bout can wind her up in the hospital on an IV drip.  Over the years I've fine tuned our "Sickness Regime" so I thought I'd pass on a few tips.  And at the end of this post is the Grape Juice Trick!

1.  Keep a bunch of old towels on hand to cover their bed and pillow.  If you have an old quilt, you may want to put that on the bed instead of their usual one.
2.  Don't even bother with jammies!
3.  Keep long hair pulled back into a ponytail.
4.  Keep a designated "barf bucket" in your house.  Don't use one of your food prep bowls!  it An old ice cream pail or even a milk jug cut in half (with handle still attached) works great.  You can toss it out without any remorse when all is said and done.
5.  Thank God for modern day washing conveniences.  Then thank Him again.  Can you imagine what our great-grandmother's went through?  At any rate, if the mess is particularly "chunky", you may want to consider swishing clothing or bedding in the toilet first or scraping it up with paper towel.  I can't believe I'm writing about this, but sometimes you just can't chuck it all in the washing machine and hope for the best!  Oh yes, and don't forget to give your washer a good disinfecting cycle.
6.  Did your furniture or carpet get hit?  Here's some clean up tips from ehow.
7.  Contrary to myth, you SHOULD CONTINUE to give a child fluids even when vomiting.  I went through the bulk of my parenting years thinking that you shouldn't give ANY fluids to a child until they've gone an hour without throwing up.  What happens to that poor child if they are vomiting multiple times an hour???  They will quickly become dehydrated, and that will make their stomach even more upset!  Pedialyte or other re-hydration drinks have electrolytes that can be absorbed quickly even if the fluid comes right back up.  Just give small sips every 10 minutes.  Drinking a large amount all at once is too hard on their sensitive tummy at that point.  If you have no pedialyte on hand, cutting fruit juice, flat gingerale, or gatorade 50/50 with water can help in a pinch.  Or here's few homemade pedialyte recipes.  I've not tried these, but a friend of mine who lived in Asia for many years says this is what they used.
9.  If you have a child that refuses to take their rehydration drink (I've got one of those!) then you will simply have to fill a medicine dropper with about 15 ml and give it to them that way.  Insert the dropper into their mouth along the side of their cheek and squirt it in.  Don't squirt it straight in to the back of their throat - they'll choke and splutter that way!
10.  Start gently if they ask for solid food.  You may want to wait till they've gone a few hours without vomiting, but their appetite is usually a pretty good guide.  The BRAT diet is simple to remember - Bananas, rice, apples, toast.  No caffeine, high sugar, dairy or greasy foods till the tummy has settled down totally.

BONUS TIP!
Other than frequent hand washing, and disinfecting of things like door knobs etc, I've never heard many other ways to prevent catching the stomach flu.  Today I read a couple tips (yay Pinterest!) that said drinking three cups of 100% grape juice a day helps prevent gastroenteritis if you think you may have been exposed.  Apparently the juice changes the acidity level in your gut and will keep the bug from finding a nice cozy home in your intestinal tract.  Whether this is a internet perpetuated myth or not, I was very willing to give it a shot, especially since my husband is away and the last thing I need is more sick kids, or worse yet - mama getting sick!

It is interesting to note that I know there's lots of stomach flu going around town, and when I went to the grocery store this morning there were only a couple of bottles of Welch's Grape Juice left on the top shelf.  I had to climb onto the lower rack to reeeeach the last ones way at the back.  Seems to me like other people are buying stock in it as well.  If the whole thing is a myth, it would be a very cleverly construed one by the Welch's company, since they seem to be the only brand with the 100% grape juice!

Anyway, we're not big juice drinkers in this house - it's pretty much just milk or water to drink.  When I brought it home my elder daughter wrinkled her nose in disgust, but when I said it might help her from catching her sister's bug she decided to down it and remarked, "It's pretty good actually!"  I replied, "Yeah....it kind of tastes like....communion!"

Of course by glass number three at supper, we weren't so keen anymore, but still willing.  I will let you know if it seems to do the trick.  I'd love to hear if you have heard or done something similar!

Hoping that you don't face the yucky bug any time soon, but if you do...know that you have my sympathies!

5 days later....Well, I drank grape juice three times a day for 2 days, and my older daughter did it for three days and so far we are stomach flu free.  I don't know for sure if this worked, but I am willing to give it another try if someone else in our family ever gets sick.  I'll keep you posted!

14 comments:

  1. Last year, my friend tried the Welch's trick. Now EVERY TIME her kids got it, she ALWAYS caught it without fail, both ends. Well, her daughter threw up right on her, so she did that trick, and anyways, apparently she had mild diarrhea, but that's it. Then her hubby had the bug, & so she did it again (this was some time later) & she never caught it at all, nor did her kids, which she made do the same. So it does work! & if you DO get anything, it will mild it down, like it did for her.

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  2. That's great to hear, Lara! So far we haven't had any stomach flu this season, but if we do....I'm definitely going to try the grape juice trick again!

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  3. Apple cider vinegar works awesome. 1tsp 2x a day if it is in your house. 1tp 1x day if it is just the season for it. Way better than all the sugar in the juice. :)

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    1. Wow! I have heard so many great things about apple cider vinegar--so many uses. I will have to get me some.

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    2. I tried grape juice but it did not work for me in alleviating the pains of tummy viruses. Cranberry juice in its pure and unsweetened state is a lot better. But apple cider vinegar seems to be the best treatment for tummy illnesses. Started using it about a month ago and have found it to be very good in reducing pain and easing bowel evacuation.

      Bragg's ACV seems to be the best. I recommend you mix it with grape or pear juice to improve its taste and make it a part of your daily regimen.

      Yours in good health ...

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  4. We eat tomato soup and drink tomato juice as soon as some one shows symptoms of the stomach flu. Within a few hours the suffer is feeling better and no one else suffers with them.
    I've done it myself about 3 or 4 times. As soon a I feel a little gurgly, I choke down some tomato soup or juice and I'm good to go. I'll have to try the grape juice though, I like the taste of that a lot better.

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  5. Thank you for writing this article. Last night I had to receice a briefing at work from someone was in the middle of a bad case of the stomach yucks. Unfortunatly the situation was unavoidable and we spent a whole hour together. After words I felt sure that I was going to get was he has so I went online and found your article. After I got off of work I made a bee line to the grocery store and started doing some serious grape juice chugging as I was certain I was going to get sick. About a day later I am symptom free so far. I just hope I started drinking it in time.

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    1. same here! I think I came in contact with an infectious person. so far I am not showing any symptoms so I starting drinking grape juice it had been a lot of hours though I hope I had it in time.

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  6. Thanks for sharing these tips that will definitely aid a lot of people with stomach flu. Preventing stomach flu through grape juice is very much advised rather than curing one. Having habits to prevent one from getting sick is a key factor in staying healthy. Have a nice day! :)

    Lonnie Letellier @ US Health Works

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  7. I think you can substitute pineapple juice (not the powdered type) with grape juice, as long as it’s something citrus-y and loaded with Vitamin C. Whenever I feel like I’m coming down with the flu, I’d buy a can and drink it during and in-between meals. Also, yogurt is a good way of getting them eating during the soft-food stage. You get something soft plus get some good bacteria to help battle the bug.

    Galen

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  8. This trick worked for my household last year 2012. 1 of us got the stomach flu and I quickly ran out and got two bottles of Welches 100% Grape Juice. The rest of the family didnt get the stomach flu. I'm so thankful that I found this. I shall see if it works again this year, since last night I was up with my daughter from 2am-7am with her vomitting 5 times. YUCK! I started in on my grape juice today along with my son and also juicing fresh lemonade, with apples and pure maple syrup, added water and a touch of sugar to kill the tartness. I hope this works.

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  9. Someone mentioned the grape juice not helping with tummy pains and I wanted to note that you are supposed to drink the grape juice before any symptoms. It's for prevention not treatment:)

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  10. Here's what I want to try next time I get the stomach bug or someone in my family... some ACV mixed with the white grape juice and keep probiotics on hand (can't really overdose too bad with probiotics XD). I used a few probiotics last time I had the flu and I got over it much faster than my husband did! Great stuff!

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    1. Sorry! I meant to say the last time I had the stomach bug, not the flu! Although the same regimen probably couldn't hurt to fight off the flu too :D

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