I was talking with somebody who believes that when having stomach flu (gastroenteritis) and feeling nausea, you should try to vomit. This person's theory is that the stomach flu virus makes some foods (the ones that cause nausea) toxic to the body. According to this person, the food that has become toxic by the virus is detected by the body as harmful and thus a person feels nausea so that they may vomit the now toxic food. Then, after the toxic food is vomited out, the body is relieved and can recover more easily from the stomach flu.

I thought this was an absurd theory and that you should try to avoid vomiting while having stomach flu to prevent the loss of nutrients. However, I don't know what the actual recommended course of action should be.

How exactly does stomach flu (gastroenteritis) cause nausea? Is the virus making the food we eat toxic? Or it is just making the stomach extra sensitive to anything?

  • 1
    I suspect that theory is untrue. For one thing, vomiting won't remove the virus from your digestive tract; so if the virus is somehow turning food "toxic", any new food that you eat will also be made toxic (I suppose you could vomit and then not take in any new food, but that seems like a very bad idea). For another, gastroenteritis has a number of causes, only some of which are viral. Though will be interesting to see what someone with a medical background says.
    – aroth
    Jan 24 '16 at 9:57
  • Please support your question with a citation that can be reviewed (not "somebody"). Note "stumach flu" has nothing to do with influenza but most likely norovirus. I recommend the wiki article on human norovirus.
    – Atl LED
    Jan 26 '16 at 2:47

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