Nausea and "Stomach Flu"

There is understandably some confusion between the terms "flu" and "stomach flu." While stomach flu is not a medically precise term, most of us instantly understand what it can mean: nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and similar miseries. Stomach flu is a friendlier term for gastroenteritis, a highly contagious infection of the gastrointestinal tract usually caused by a virus.

(In contrast, the "flu"—short for influenza—is an illness that usually affects the lungs and causes very different symptoms.)

For nausea related to stomach flu, some doctors may recommend an over-the-counter remedy or prescription drug; other doctors may suggest waiting for the virus to run its course. If you are experiencing nausea and other symptoms of stomach flu, ask your doctor which approach may be best for you.