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Are bloating, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, mild cough, and body ache signs of flu?

Answered by
Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1954

Answered : 4273 Questions

Posted on Thu, 13 Sep 2018 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: I got sick last night, bloating, threw up, diarrhea (gone today). I had severe stomach pains, which have lessened. I had eaten a bunch of pistachios yesterday which caused my stomach to hurt, then made and ate stew. It was a few hours later (about 2 AM) that I threw up and had diarrhea. Now at 12:43 pm today, Monday, I started drinking water. Took my temp and it’s 99.1. It usually runs 97.6. Since I didn’t get flu shot because I had head congestion and cough, which has calmed down, I was waiting to get the flu shot this week. I’ve stayed indoors mostly, wearing a mask if I go out. I think I was exposed to flu last Tues, by my neuromuscular therapist. He had the flu the previous Fri and Sat. So if this is the flu, it’s showed up 5 days later. I put on a mask while he worked on my neck and after my treatment I wiped my neck and back with hand sanitizer and jumped into shower as soon as I got home. My boyfriend—Who got the flu shot—insists on kissing me. He’s not as careful about sanitizing, though he uses them sometimes. I’m not coughing or sneezing though i’ve Had a cold with no fever 3 times. I have mild asthma so when I was coughing, I used my albuterol inhaler which stops the coughing. This is the first fever i’ve had. I feel a tiny bit hot and tiny bit unwell. My cheeks were bright red this morning. Is there any chance I don’t have the flu? What should I do? I have a prescription filled for Tamiflu while I was waiting for cough and nasal congestion to go away so I could get flu shot. When the cold has come up I have aches for a couple of days. I’ve heard the flu hits suddenly, and hits hard. That symptoms come on suddenly, 3 to 6 hrs. This hasn’t happened yet. I just took my temp again and it’s still 99.1. I just sucked on an elderberry lozenge and my stomach hurts a bits. Is there a chance because i’m 76 I won’t die if this gets worse. I don’t really have severe body aches even though I have a fever.
Answered by Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Possibly a simple viral infection.

Detailed Answer:

Let me tell you that there are at least 200 types of viruses that may give rise to cough and cold. Flu or influenza is just one among them. So, it is hard to conclude whether you have flu.

Going by the description, they do not seem intense and you possibly have a simple viral infection. Whether it is flu, and if so, which strain, can be concluded only after testing. Till then I doubt if Tamiflu is required.

Such respiratory infections spread through aerosols and contaminated respiratory secretions. I do not see a problem with kissing. Nevertheless, it is hard to give you a 100% certainty that a transmission would not occur.

Be sure to take ORS (Oral rehydration solution) to replenish the lost fluids and salts.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Follow up: Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha 3 hours later
Now my temp is fluctuating between 98.8 and 98.5. Since my usual temp is 97.6 or less, sometimes a bit higher and since I read in older folks, temps can run lower and therefore should be taken into consideration—meaning, 98.8 and/or 98.5 would be a temperature. I still don’t feel bad, hardly any cough or nasal congestion—little tiny weakish because i’ve been drinking only water.
Where do I get ORS? I have pedialyte. Would that do?
I don’t really feel like eating, so will have a little bone broth and applesauce with 5,000 IU D3 plus use an essential oil that kills virus. If I cough, I take one puff of albuterol inhaler and cough stops.
By now, if I had flu, seems i’d feel worse by now. Tamiflu has major side effects so i’m glad you said to wait. I’m afraid of it. Especially because I take Xanax 4xa day for panic disorder and I read it can cause mental problems.
Three times this season, I’d get over a cold, then it came back, with a couple days of achiness. No fever. Then achiness would go away but coughing and nose blowing. I was told I have chronic sinusitis and a doctor made me a nasal spray of colloidal silver and DMSO. So, I didn’t use it either because I know DMSO opens all your pores. I’m truly scared to do anything (reason i’m On Xanax).
Maybe I should get a vitamin drip like a Meyers Cocktail tomorrow. I was thinking if I feel better and temp’s in 98 range i’d Get flu shot tomorrow tho my stomach isn’t perfect. I’m driving myself crazy.
Thank you for answering my questions—it really helps to know you’re there.
Answered by Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha 19 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Such viral infections are pretty common and are not concerning.

Detailed Answer:
A temperature of 98.8°F is perfectly acceptable even if your baseline temperature usually remains slightly lower. Since you are otherwise feeling fine, you need not worry.

Pedialyte is a brand of ORS. You need to have it.

The virus would subside on its own irrespective of anything you do or take. You need to give it time. Irrespective of anything you do, it will be there for 5-7 days.

Whether you want to take Tamiflu is your choice. A vitamin drip will not help, unless you have a specific vitamin deficiency. You can use the nasal spray but simple saline nasal drops or saline nasal spray should suffice.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
Follow up: Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha 1 hour later
Thank you for your answer. I do seem to not feel like going out to store, so guess i’m experiencing some mild symptoms.
So, I just type your name in?
I’m drinking pedialyte now, applesauce is outdated so i’m going to eat canned chicken noodle soup.
Wow, 5-7 days? Darn.
This could get worse?? Because I heard if it’s flu it hits fast and hard. Is that always true?
And I probably am a bit vitamin deficient—so I might drag myself to get a drip.
Thank you again. I kind of have pain around gall bladder area, no stones, just polyp. So maybe I ate too much fat. Anyway, thanks.
Answered by Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha 14 hours later
Brief Answer:
Please be patient.

Detailed Answer:

In case you need to contact me directly, you can mention in the query that you specifically intend to ask me (mention my name).

It is good to know that you are taking Pedialyte.

It usually takes 5-7 days from the onset, for the symptoms to resolve. It is unlikely to worsen significantly. Nevertheless, if it does, you would need to visit the ER.

Specific vitamins have specific deficiency symptoms. If you have any, mention the symptoms and I would guide you about what should be done. You cannot just assume that you are vitamin deficient. Whether you want your body to flush the vitamin drip with the urine you pass, is a choice I leave to you. Let me mention that vitamins are required in very minimal amounts and they are not usually stored in the body.

The abdominal pain is possibly due to reflux. Try to take plenty of green leafy vegetables in diet. Walk regularly in the morning. It should help.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Take care,
Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
Follow up: Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha 2 hours later
Dr. Prof Kunai Sahar

So my temp has been holding steady at 97.7 to 97.8. I am now fluctuating between feeling ok and then a little unwell. I hear you say 5-7 days. It just seems I get over it and then it comes back, (for couple months now) though this time with the added stomach thing. I just ate chicken noodle soup, but only a little and I feel ok, yippee.

My primary care had given me probiotics VSL #3, 112.5 billion, which I started last night. I don’t exactly have diarrhea since I think that means constant running to bathroom and I only went once this am, but very loose unformed. Wondering if it’s from starting probiotic—it’s for ibs and ulcerative colitis—I might have ibs I guess. I don’t know why he prescribed that probiotic except it’s the one he takes.

I do have lots of questions about lots of things. Like i’ve had to cancel a long overdue colonoscopy several times because of on and off cold with productive cough. So I wonder how i’m ever going to get it and worry about polyps because i’ve had one before. The GI dr did occult blood test in office and I didn’t have any but it’s going on 10 years since I had a colonoscopy. He doubts I have colon cancer but said I should have gotten one 5 years ago. If i’m coughing how would I ever get one plus with flu season and it has to be done in hosp because of asthma and allergy to latex, i’m worried I could pick up flu.

So, I keep thinking about how people get suddenly worse and with this mind of mine, I worry about everything—I keep thinking am I breathing ok, because the coughing started up again but on and off, I just did 2 puffs of inhaler so coughing stopped but If I do something that takes my mind off it, i’m breathing ok, then I think about it and feel like I can’t get air in. Like writing to you, i’m distracted from focusing on breath and breathe normally. Now, i’m Thinking about it and try to take deep breaths and feel like i’m struggling . I’ve had that happen before and it was anxiety. It’s not easy living like this, going into fear. I appreciate so much your patience and answering all my concerns. I wish I could find a good therapist so I could stop this.

If you’d be so kind to answer my questions i’d be grateful — for the last few years i’ve been lying around a lot, watching TV, after working for 4 years in an alternative cancer treatment center doing counseling and got burned out. Then I started doing social activities and fell, breaking both shoulders, and still am recovering from that (3 years ago). I worry because i’ve been virtually lying in bed, muscle tone dwindling. When I was in rehab my legs became very strong. I need to get back in shape. The vitamin drips help as far as anxiety, once the magnesium and B vits hit I feel relaxed for a day or so. Since Vit c leaves body every 4 hrs I figure that’s fine.

I do get severe cramping in rib cage area (either side) since my fall unless I keep up on magnesium—I just don’t know a good one to take. I had one but ran out, it had mostly mag oxide and a couple others. I read a lot and newer versions of mag are being touted as more absorbable. My diet hasn’t been the greatest, I eat a lot of chicken and for a long while, accompanied by baked potato or sweet potato. I’ve just reintroduced more greens back into diet. I don’t know what to eat because i’ve read cruciferous veg aren’t good for thyroid—I used to juice carrots, cuke, ginger, Vit D3 and a smidge of olive oil and cinnamon and I felt GREAT — but since the fall I just haven’t. Well, i’ll stop for now. I’m in a bit of panic so i’m unfocused and too wordy.

One last thing, the dr who told me to take Tamiflu, Who I want to go in and have him listen to lungs today said if i’m trying to decide whether to take, I should take it. He says if been exposed, should take it as prophylactic — he’s my allergist. I just don’t want to take it if unnecessary.

How would I know if i’m getting worse and then, if and when should I get flu shot?

Thank you again so much. XXXXXXX Green
Answered by Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha 35 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Questions answered in sequence.

Detailed Answer:

Welcome back,

Questions answered in sequence:

1. Feel free to take the probiotic VSL #3

2. It is good that there was no occult blood.

3. The cough could be due to several other viruses also. Please be patient and give the body some time to heal. Steam inhalation should help.

4. Try to relax. Don't think about the disease process so much as it can further aggravate anxiety.

5. It is the mental relaxation that you get with a vitamin drip, that does the trick. It would work even if you are given a vitamin drip which actually does not contain any vitamins (but without you knowing aka the placebo effect). Nevertheless, feel free to have it if you believe it works. It need not actually.

6. Try to exercise regularly. It would help you get back in shape. You also need to control your diet.

7. You may take the Tamiflu. Ideally, you should get tested first (for the specific flu).

8. You can get a flu shot right after that, assuming that you have not taken one this season.

Hope my answers help. Let me know If I can assist you further.

Take care,
Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha, General & Family Physician

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
Follow up: Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha 45 hours later
Hi again Dr Saha,

So I saw my pcp Tues. he gave me flu test. I tested negative. He said Not to take Tamiflu unless my boyfriend gets sick then take prophylactically. So I didn’t. He listened to my lungs and said he heard wheezing and tightness in bronchial area but that was normal for me. He was concerned about the 99.1 fever from Sun, saying he had something fli but didn’t have test kits at that time. His temp never went over 99.9. He felt awful, stayed in bed 4 days, wore a mask 7 more days.

I have another appt with him today at 4 which was scheduled.

Cough is deeper and I can’t cough up except clear to a bit thicker today. My dr said someone else had tested negative to flu and 5 days later tested positive but she’s in nursing home and had been exposed.

So about 4 AM woke up feeling bad - I started drinking water - He said use albuterol inhaler 2 puffs, I have an anti-static Valved holding chamber. So I try to just use 1 puff, but this AM I used 2. I felt really really nervous, moreso than usual, kept drinking water, took a hot steamy shower, was breathing a bit better, went back to sleep. Periodically I kind of woke up and noticed I was feeling better, took my 6 AM Xanax dose at 5.

When I woke up at 10:30 I was feeling achy again, which scared me. I began drinking water and as i’m typing this noticing the achiness is lessening (not gone) and I was going to but waited and thus didn’t use the albuterol and breathing seems a bit better. I also have levelbuterol and nebulizer which I haven’t used.

I’m wondering why I woke up feeling really achy. I couldn’t seem to cough up what’s deeper in chest but kept trying and got some out. Then, after I did all that at 4 AM, felt lot of achiness gone except now still feeling unwell. I feel slightly nauseous, hardly eating, chicken rice soup with parsley and oregano sprinkled in because the thought of eating vegetables makes me sick. Last night I could get down some bites of organic canned chicken, couple bites of spinach, a little thing of applesauce, took Vit C, NAC, 8000 units of D. I just can’t eat much of anything.

I just had echinacea tea bought but i’m highly allergic to ragweed and hear they cross react so i’m going to try it and see what happens.

My dr said get flu shot and I would have gone Today had I not woken at 4 AM feeling awful. So I see him in 4 hrs so will wait.

Tomorrow at 11 AM I see my allergist (he has flu shots available) and was one who said take tamiflu, then once I didn’t have fever he said too late for tamiflu. He also said after effects of this flu are a couple weeks of coughing.

Thing is, i’m still breathing ok without more albuterol at the moment. I still don’t feel like eating, I still haven’t used nasal spray of colloidal silver, I do feel pains in back or side sometimes when I inhale, and yesterday I felt a gurgling which could have been right around diaphragm area.

Well, i’m frightened because no flu shot and that teacher who died in XXXXXXX and i’m in part of Fla, St. Pete where hospitals are full of people with flu.

You have told me 5-7 days,and it’s been only 3 1/2 days but when I woke at 4 AM feeling awful after not feeling achy for few days and with a deeper cough that I can’t cough up, I feared it was worsening. I read you don’t have to have a fever and can be really sick. Did the teacher in XXXXXXX have a fever. People are dying from sepsis and do they have a fever. And they suddenly get worse.

Well, off to take my noon dose of Xanax and drink some echinacea tea and maybe chicken noodle soup and vitamins. BTW, I got a new essential oil in with Immunepower which i’m sniffing. And now suddenly i’m starting to feel a tad worse, chest tightness.

Is there a chance I can get thru this at 76? I just keep thinking I haven’t taken good care of myself so my immune system must be shot or this is from the atypical mycobacterium I supposedly got in 2014.

Driving myself crazy.

Any suggestions on how to get over fearing death? My pcp wants me to take brintellix, says it would change my life but i’m afraid of that too.

Ok, thank you.

Answered by Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha 21 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Steam inhalation should help.

Detailed Answer:
Hi again,

Please do the following:

1. Take steam inhalation.
2. Take Cetirizine tablet (OTC) once daily for next few days.
3. Drink plenty of water.
4. Be patient. Things would soon be fine.

Rest assured that you are not going to die. It is not easy to die. So, why waste your time and energy thinking that you would die.

I think that the suggestion for Brintellix (Vortioxetine) is a good one. You can give it a try. However, you would need to take it for several weeks before you can expect to see any improvement.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care,
Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad

The User accepted the expert's answer

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