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6 Ways to Prevent the Stomach Flu Naturally

how to prevent stomach flu

Preventing the Stomach Flu Naturally…

This is the thought that is consuming me right now. I will do anything to avoid getting it.

Give me a respiratory virus over the stomach flu any day.

I hate to puke. Yes. I said Hate…I know. I always tell my kids not to use that word. Normally, I think it is such an ugly word (oh, I hate the word ugly too, by the way…).

Except, of course, when it comes to vomiting. I really do hate it. And really, it is ugly, coincidentally.

When I hear or see someone throw up around me, I start to get heart-palpitations and anxiety. And when I have to throw up myself? Oye.

So…needless to say, over the years of having two school-aged children who get exposed to their fair share of stomach bugs, I have spent lots of hours researching and obsessing (and yes, I literally have obsessed about this) over how to prevent it from taking down our home.

On the news the other night, the headline that popped up was the dreaded one that puts me into a full-blown state of anxiety:

Health Advisors Warn of  a New-Strain of Norovirus Outbreak.

“Operation Vomit-Phobe” has officially gone in to full effect in my house now. Because here’s the thing: if my kids come down with it, I will literally spend the next week sleepless, fearing that every twinge, stomach gurgle, or gas pain is leading to my own slippery slope into vomit-ville.

After spending years studying and learning about out how the stomach virus actually works in our bodies, and collecting a variety of natural home-remedy ideas for prevention, I thought I would share a few of the most successful tips that many people (myself included) SWEAR will work to either prevent, or at least lessen the severity of, that dreaded Stomach Virus. 

So here you go…

How to prevent the stomach flu naturally

6 Ways to try and Prevent the Stomach Flu Naturally…

OR… at least lessen the severity of it if you DO get hit with it!

1. Sip that Apple-Cider Vinegar (with the “Mother”) in a little bit of apple juice on a regular basis. This actually helps to keep your stomach and intestines in a much more alkaline state (contrary to what you may think, I know. But trust me on this, friends). The intestinal virus does NOT like an alkaline environment. It thrives in an acid state.

When you get a stomach virus, it actually isn’t in your stomach, it’s all in your large and small intestines. The effects of what it’s doing to those makes you sick to your stomach (changing the acidity in your stomach). Keeping the pH of the intestines slightly more alkaline is supposed to stop the virus from taking hold. Apple Cider Vinegar works by changing the pH in your intestinal tract to one that doesn’t let the virus multiply. Plus it also has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties so it can assist in killing off the bug if you are exposed.

And, if you have been following me for a while, you KNOW how much I love the Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar. Plus, many people, including myself, say Diluted Apple Cider Vinegar can help alleviate nausea if you do end up sick.

We all sip a version of this Apple Cider Vinegar Concoction in my house when we are trying to prevent the flu.

2. Maximize your intake of probiotics – whether through quality supplements or through natural food sources such as homemade fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, fermented veggies, etc. A build-up of the good bacteria in your intestines will help keep your immune system stronger to try and ward off the virus if you do get exposed.

They are currently doing many studies on probiotics that are showing great promise in their treatment AND prevention of bacterial AND viral gastroenteritis (aka the Stomach Bug).

The right balance of healthy bacteria in the intestines can help to overpower invading bugs that might have the potential to make you very sick.

3. Drink tons of Bone Broth. Seriously. Throw it in a mug and chug away. The minerals and health benefits of true bone broth will also keep your immune system strong and help your body fight off any exposure. The broth acts as a fuel to help strengthen the intestinal walls and will help repair the disruptions that may be caused if you do come down with gastroenteritis. The minerals in broth are easily absorbed by the body.  It supplies the amino acids that help the body detoxify.  The gelatin in it helps to coat the digestive tract.

Although, here is a word to the wise. Stock up on it now. Because if the stomach bug IS traveling through your house, you will not, I repeat, will not want to be dealing with the bones and the smells that come from whipping up a fresh batch while you are in the throes of nausea. I learned this the hard way long ago.

4Enhance the mucosal lining of the intestinal walls. Supplements such as: betain and pepsin, glutamic acid, stomach bitters, apple cider vinegar, Slippery Elm, Marshmallow Root, and amino acids – L-glutamine, and N-acetyl-glucosamine (NAG) are all very helpful in creating a healthy environment that would be inhospitable to welcoming forms of gastroenteritis.

5.  Support that immune system. Focus on natural sources and whole-food supplements that are rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, Selenium, and B-Vitamins. All of these will increase your chances of your body fighting off the invading bugs if you do get exposed.

6. This one is not brain science, but perhaps the most important of all…WASH. YOUR. HANDS. And often. And abstain from rubbing your eyes, touching your mouth, or picking your nose. Those are all the lovely ways those nasty germs can enter your beautiful body.

But, if after all of this you do happen to come down with it, hopefully it will be a much milder case for you.

If you get it, at first do not do too much other than take small sips of water. It is good to let your digestive system rest while it is trying to fight off the bug. But, once you are not heaving into your garbage can or toilet any longer, you can try and still  do the above to lessen symptoms and help your recovery.

Other things to try if you do get it:

1. Take activated charcoal pills to help stop vomiting and nausea.

2. Make some fresh peppermint tea or ginger tea to help calm the nausea. Peppermint is very easy to grow in the garden and keep on hand. Just lightly simmer some fresh peppermint leaves in water, strain, then sip slowly. This can help settle the queasiness. Or you can do the same process with some slices of fresh ginger.

3.  Take a sniff of an alcohol swab. I know it sounds weird, but people swear on this one, this way to Sunday. Please Note: I do not endorse this for children. I do not encourage teaching children any forms of early sniffing habits.

But, apparently smelling alcohol has truly been proven to have an anti-emetic effect. In fact, this method has actually been practiced in hospitals to prevent post-operative vomiting.

4.  After a bout of the stomach bug, once you are feeling better, you should also take massive amounts of probiotics. This will help to restore balance to your depleted intestinal tract.


Sadly…so sadly…I have passed on my emetophobic tendencies to my eight-year-old. If he hears or sees someone throw up, it literally puts him into a tailspin of anxiety. My totally relaxed-anxiety-free kid-when-it comes-to-any-other-issue-in-his-life, goes into a heart-palpitation induced sweat when faced with vomit.

Can you see now why we go through every length to avoid it in our house? 😉

Food Allergy Coaching with the Allergy Free Food Coach

Kim Maes - Allergy Free Food CoachKim Maes, CNC, AADP, known as the Allergy Free Food Coach, is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant and Certified in the Practical Application of Food Allergy Guidelines.. She is also the creator of the Cook It Allergy Free iPhone and iPad Apps and the Cook It Allergy Free website, where she shares her passion for teaching others how easy and delicious it can be to eat whole, pure allergy-friendly meals that the entire family will enjoy.


  1. On January 31, 2013 Stacy Garver said

    I love it!!!! I am exactly the same way when it comes to the stomach flu. Even if somebody calls me (and this is somebody I wouldn’t have been exposed to), I will still get the anxiety. Puking is the absolute worst!!!!! I HATE it too!

    • On February 7, 2013 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      So glad to have someone else sharing in the vomit-phobia misery, Stacy! 😉 Good luck staying healthy this season!

  2. On January 31, 2013 Shelly R said

    So my heart stops when I read health advisors warn of new strain of nori iris outbreak. Yup! I too live with that vomit phobia! All my life! An I too passed it on to my daughter! It’s insanity in my house during the winter months. 🙂 I love all your tips, we already do some of these and am goin to add the rest. One thing we do as well is half a fresh lemon squeezed into water and sip. We do this if we have been exposed to someone with the virus. Or even just start feeling queasy! Thanks again for sharing!

    • On February 7, 2013 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Shelly, thank goodness I am not alone. I HATE when they announce that the latest stomach flu outbreaks. 🙁 I love the idea of the lemon water as well! Going to have to add that one into the mix too. Anything to ward it off, right? 😉

  3. On January 31, 2013 Shirley @ gfe said

    The only time I have vomited since going gluten free is because of getting glutened. Knock on wood, but I am so rarely sick for any other reason any more. I used to even inwardly brag on how few times I’d vomited in my life. And I can’t stand to hear people say the other words for vomit … honestly, they all make one want to x87^%, don’t they? If things are right with one’s body, one is not vomiting, right? That is the goal! These are great tips, Kim. I shared them on my gfe FB page so others can benefit from them, too. :=)

    Thanks! xoxo,

    • On February 7, 2013 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Haha! Shirley, I agree even the word ‘vomit’ is enough to make me want to do it. LOL Thanks so much for sharing my tips. Anything we can do to avoid coming down with it is worth it, right? 😉 I would stand on my head and dance around in my underwear if it meant I was not going to get it.

  4. On January 31, 2013 Angela said

    I had no idea you are emetophobic too! I heard that this new strain of The Norovirus can’t be killed with hand sanitizer…it’s soap and water all day long for me. Ok, gotta run…if I talk about vomit too long it consumes me.

    • On February 7, 2013 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      I can just say that at least now my husband does not think I am totally crazy with my vomit fears. I have plenty of good company! 😉
      However, I am sure our husbands probably make fun of us at the office about all of our neurotic health habits!

  5. On January 31, 2013 Laura said

    I have that anxiety as well! My kids fortunately do not have it, but certaintly do not enjoy getting sick. I give them Garden of Life probiotics on a daily basis. I also started giving them oil of oregano (they take as a shot with a bit of water). I use Source Natural Oil of Wellness Oregano Oil. It is wonderful. I was very glad to read about the ACV because I drink it with water and stevia every single day. I go through a bottle a week. I just never thought it was OK for kids to drink. How much ACV do you give to your kids? I figure I can just mix with honey for them??

    • On February 1, 2013 Caneel said

      I was just reading through the comments after placing my own and see we have a similar routine! I use the Primal Defense kids probiotics for mine and also give them a shot of water with oregano oil each day after school 🙂

    • On February 7, 2013 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hi Laura! So glad to see that there is a quite a crew here of us that share this vomit-anxiety. 😉 I love the Garden of Life probiotics – that is one of the brands that we use here a lot as well. And I should have added the Oregano Oil into the list too. We do it off and on here and I always mean to do it more. Thanks for the great reminder. And as for the giving the kiddos the ACV, I just give them about 1 tsp or so per day. I just mix it in either water with a bit of honey and squeeze of lemon or I mix it with water and some Apple Juice or Apple Cider. 😉 Stay healthy!

  6. On January 31, 2013 Jeannie Wilson said

    I take NO responsibility in giving you this phobia. I don’t remember you ever having an issue growing up. I do remember one episode on red carpet when you were about 6 years old, and I was the one to deal with it – not you! But that is it. I want to say you will outgrow this – but perhaps not. Now we have to make sure the boys don’t have an issue with it. Hopefully I can be there to help out more if they do.
    Love you LOTS, Mommacitta

  7. On January 31, 2013 Maggie said

    Kim I LOVE this post. So much good info here – thank you so much. I really don’t think I could stomach bone broth. I have read so much about the benefits, but I get emetophobic just thinking about that! Haha. Can I do the apple cider thing for us and probiotics and we’re at least a little better off? Water kefir is included as kefir am I right? It’s those minerals, right? So many questions and I LOVE this post. Did I mention that yet?

    • On February 7, 2013 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Thanks so much, Maggie! I know that bone broth can be hard to stomach for a lot of people, but all of the other things will work great too even if you don’t do the bone broth. And yes, water kefir works perfectly to get all of those good bacteria into those bellies. 😉 That is what we usually do around here anyway.

  8. On February 1, 2013 Ellen said

    Kim – you are the best. This is a fabulous post. First, clearly, we are sisters separated at birth. I can barely read the “V” word let alone hear it said for fear of immediately, um, well, you know. But beyond the funny nature of your post (I have to laugh or I’ll, um, you know…), the info you provide is invaluable. I will definitely share this on my FB page. Thank you girlfriend (it’s been far too long!).

    • On February 7, 2013 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Ellen, my friend… how I miss you. You crack me up! Glad to hear that you, too, are part of the anti-vomit club! LOL Hoping you are staying healthy this season. And thank you for sharing my tips as well!

  9. On February 1, 2013 Alisa said

    This is so awesome Kim, but it is sad to say that I’ve not been doing any of this lately! I’ve fallen off the self-care wagon and need to get back on! No time like the present …

    • On February 7, 2013 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      You better jump back on that self-care wagon so that you stay healthy this season, missy! 😀

  10. On February 1, 2013 Caneel said

    LOVE THIS!! I’m just like you when it comes to this stuff. When I hear of one going around, even if it hasn’t hit us yet, I’m like a CDC official tracking down incubation times. I become completely neurotic. My children aren’t the vomit once and be done with it type like some friends have. Mine are let’s go at it every 5-10 minutes for several hours, then once an hour for the next 24 hours and then some. We are on a religious probiotic routine once school starts, and I pack wipes in their lunch and with their snacks. I put a drop of grapefruit seed extract in their water bottles, and I make them take a couple of drops of oregano oil when they get home. 🙂 I’ve been doing raw ACV myself, but need to figure a way to get them to take it! Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one 🙂

    • On February 7, 2013 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Caneel, you are too funny. I am exactly like you in trying to figure out incubation times after we have been around someone who ends up sick. And such a good idea to add in the grapefruit seed extract into their water bottles! I am totally going to copy that idea! 😉 I love that. Good luck finding a way to sneak in the ACV to your kiddos. I usually add a splash of apple juice to their ACV/water mixture or add in a spoonful of raw honey and then they take it without any problems.
      Stay healthy, my friend! 😉

  11. On February 4, 2013 Carol said

    Wish I had read this a couple weeks ago! I didn’t get the flu, an employee of mine did and she was down for the count for almost 2 weeks! I have had the flu exactly once in my life and trust me, I never want to do a repeat of that! Great advice, I will be passing this around to everyone I know as the flu is making its roundas around here.

    • On February 7, 2013 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Thanks for spreading the word, Carol. You have way too much going on to have time for the flu! Stay healthy, my friend!

  12. On March 28, 2013 Darkey Yoshiru said

    OMG XD Thank you so much for this post XD I have been doing most of these things
    Myself for I wasn’t sure I was doing them right ^w^ sadly I do not know what bone soup is >w< . But I will find out XD recently my friend and mom both caught the horrible virus and I went all out drinking grape juice and mixing it with Apple cider vinegar.. eating chicken noodle soup and drinking Kefir ^w^ so far it seems they're over it and it was a 24 hour bug Lol. You should've seen me yesterday XD I worried myself nauseous wearing a doctors mask and quarantining myself sick XD I am still a Tad bit worried but I'M doing everything in my power to stay healthy.. I already have enough health problems as it is XC… I am exteremely emetophobic XP I am deathly afraid with even the thought of vomit.. That's something I'm adding to the list of reasons why I don't want kids when I am older or "supposed to have them " .. Haha thanks for the relief of my worries (somewhat)
    I am still cautious XD
    -Darkey 16

    • On April 1, 2013 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hi Darkey! I hope you were able to use some of these pointers and avoid the dreaded stomach flu in your house! Good luck staying healthy and vomit-free! 😉

  13. On April 22, 2013 Keely said

    Love your post! I too suffer from emetophobia, however I’m getting way better as I learn to trust God more, and do the natural remedies you suggested above, along with some others…I have found echinanea/goldenseal pills (taken as soon as you or your kids are exposed to someone else that has the stomach bug) work AWESOME! We have never gotten sick once being exposed when we take these right away! Anyways, I’m going to subscribe to your blog, good info!

    • On May 1, 2013 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Keely, glad to hear that so many of you also share the vomit-phobia. LOL Makes me not feel SO crazy! 😉 I love the idea of adding the echinacea/goldenseal to the regimen too! 😉

  14. On April 29, 2013 Renee said

    Great post! So I’m wondering how you all figure out the incubation times? My son just had the dreaded bug 2 days ago, and is still not back to 100%, even though he only vomited a few times at the beginning. Now I am on pins and needles waiting for the rest of us to get it. We have been chugging grape juice and taking activated charcoal to prevent catching it, and now I have a few more things to add to our regimen! I, too, am the biggest emetophobe. My mom is a nurse, and never freaked out about vomit like I do, so I’m not sure it’s a learned behavior. I really hope my kids do not have the same issue. It is such a curse in life, because i worry about it all the time. I even went to therapy as a kid for it because I would get so stressed out about vomiting in school that I had panic attacks. Anyway, it’s good to hear that I’m not alone!

    • On May 1, 2013 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Renee, I am not totally sure about the incubation times…but I usually feel like if you have steered clear of it after 4 or 5 days, you should be okay. Hope you are still vomit-free!! 😀 Good luck! So glad to hear that I am in such good company with all of you fellow emetophobes. LOL

  15. On May 1, 2013 Graham said

    Hello All,

    First may I say this is an amazing post lots of great ideas, I panic that I was “infected” and I like statistically calculate my chances of getting sick and incubation times. I have done 10000 things to stop my self from vomiting over the hear and tried everything. Nothing terrifies me more then throwing up.

    Currently I am using GSE (grape seed extract in water and 4 times the dose if you feel your self getting sick) , align probiotic once a day, and lots of Vitamin D 1000iu a day ( 4000 iu if im getting sick).

    I found this amazing site that just talks about being being sick best site i’ve ever seen!

    You should all check it out its amazing! lots of crazy ides and thoughts! and some super cool statistics especially the part about the fact that when you have the flu there is 0 benefit in throwing up! haha

    Take a look and let me know your thoughts one emetophobia person to another!


  16. On May 6, 2013 Robin said

    Just reading this brought both anxiety symptoms and peace knowing that I am not alone. My children just had a bout of something and I have not slept in two weeks due to extreme fear, panic attacks and cleaning. I am a mess. Emetophobe since I was a kid!!

    Culturelle has been a God send though and the duration and sickness was very minimal around here!

    Has anyone used the charcoal? How did it work? Do any of you have IBS, just curious? And, I have actually made a decision to get some help cause I feel that I am putting too much fear into my children about this. I would take ANY sickness over throw up and diarrhea any day!

    Thank you for sharing!!

  17. On May 13, 2013 Tami said

    Hi. My son got sick last Sunday night and I freaked. Started reading everything I could do to stop it from infecting the family. I even quarantined him to downstairs, made him wash his hands and rinse his mouth repeatedly. Lysoled everything ( the aerosal kind kills norovirus). But my 2 1/2 yr old daughter got it Thursday night. No idea how, we were so careful. Of course I am half nauseous all the time just waiting for my demise. My hands are raw from washing, and I just finished my ACV. I will buy more tomorrow if I make it thru the night. The kids were out of commission a full 2 days and my daughter still has some residual diarrhea. And by the way,it is contagious for up to 2 weeks. Found in stools! So that is when washing well comes in handy.
    I am also using thieves oil on my feet and household cleaning. Never heard of oregano oil, I am going to ask about it at my health store. I also started drinking grape juice., but only about 1/2 to 1 cup a day. And a glass of red wine at night I heard helps, so I bought some. I thought I was the only person that researched like mad. My mom thinks I am a little nuts. I will not relax until the 2 weeks is up. Thanks for sharing!

  18. On June 2, 2013 Ang said

    I happened upon this site researching stomach bugs as I wait in the. Ext bedroom to my 10yr old who might be coming down with one. Zofran seems to be working this far but with his fever now present, hopes are dwindling to get through the night vomit-free.
    Love all these natural remedies-I will definitely try them out. As an emetophobe who seems to have passed this phobia genetically to said 10yr old, you cannot imagine how important reading this entry has on my psyche. To know I am not alone-Oye!!!-makes a WORLD of difference. Praying for a miracle at this point. My last personal bout of a stomach virus left me saying ‘I want to die’ after only two basically dry heaving episodes, so now that my kids are older, do wish to be experiencing that and saying that again ever-or at least until they are off to college…thanks for all the honest people admitting to this terrible, life altering phobia-we are not alone in our suffering!

  19. On September 10, 2013 catherine said

    I find it a bit strange that the author of this article claims to fear throwing up, but says ” when I have to Puke” , because no-one really has to puke because emetophobic people can hold from getting sick by either anti-emetics, or just plain willpower. Iv`e done this all my life because I`m emetophobic, I`m surprised that people who claim to be scared of throwing up aactually ever do it!

    • On September 10, 2013 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hi Catherine, I am the author, and actually, it is very rare that I ever throw up, but the times in my life when there was no control of it, such as when I got extreme food poisoning, there was nothing I could do to stop it, regardless of how hard I tried. Your body is designed to naturally eliminate the bacteria, virus, etc that is invading your body. Violent vomiting from food poisoning is virtually impossible to prevent. I know. I tried. It was miserable.

  20. On September 12, 2013 kerry said

    hi I was with someone at work yesterday whose daughter had started the night before with a sickness bug ….. and I am paranoid I am going to catch it tht lady started last night with the bug will I get it ???? help!!

    • On September 12, 2013 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hi Kerry… I would start some of the tips here right away if you have not already. Hopefully you will NOT come down with it but just take some time to beef up that immune system and gut! 🙂 Good Luck and STAY HEALTHY!!

  21. On September 16, 2013 Susan said

    My 7 year old recently had her tonsils removed and she woke up from the surgery feeling very nauseous. The nurse gave us an alcohol soaked cotton ball and told her to smell it. Worked like a charm. This is a great article – thanks for sharing!

    • On September 16, 2013 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Thanks so much for sharing, Susan!! So glad to hear it worked for your daughter’s nausea too. 😉 Hope your daughter is all healed now from surgery.

  22. On September 19, 2013 Manders said

    Wow I thought I was the only one who suffers from vomit phobia. I work in an office atmosphere where people aren’t so clean barely rinsing their hands after using the restroom, whereas I’m scrubbing my hands to the tune of happy birthday! I have taken a daily probiotic for the past 2 years and it really helps my overall immunity. I suffer from IBS (mostly stress induced) so its hard to say if I’ve gotten a real “bug” during those past 2 years. If I hear or know of someone with the stomach bug I get all freaked out and it’s most likely my mind causing me to sprint to the bathroom.

    I’m a nutrition major in college right now and I’m doing some research on foods high in probiotic properties, and the foods you mentioned were spot on. As of course, whenever someone gets a bug, its best it runs its course. The body has a natural way to rid itself of viruses, and by all means if you have to vomit or go #2, it must come out. People need to consider rehydrating as soon as possible. Coconut water is great for rehydration after a sickness like the stomach bug. Thanks for the info and stay healthy!!

  23. On September 20, 2013 Riko said

    This is a GREAT post! I thought I was only the one who has this scare-to-death phobia against vomiting! I even thought about going to get hypnotized not to have this feeling LOL! Glad to know I was not too insane … at least to all those people in here!
    My 15 yr old son woke up at 2:00am in the morning having massive case of vomit/diarrhea, lasting for 5 hours. Good thing he didn’t wake me up until I woke myself up at 5:00, otherwise I’d be shaking in the bed all by myself for the rest of the night (my husband is out of town!). As soon as I heard what had happened to him overnight, I thought I was going to faint. My vision got dark. Then, next thing came up in my mind was, how to avoid the same issue on myself and his 11yr old brother. Try to think of it now, I feel extremely guilty and selfish the fact that I didn’t cuddle up with him like many moms do when their kids get sick, but I was just simply terrified. Just like many of you did, I checked the incubation period, sanitized with benzoil peroxide wipe (which, I heard works for Norovirus??) most of the places that I could think of, bleached wherever I could. I couldn’t eat breakfast for myself, just because I was too freaked out. Now, I’m going through all the tips and things that you’d mentioned … do you know anything about aloe vera juice been beneficial, not only for regularity?

  24. On September 20, 2013 Riko said

    Ahhh, sorry, for above post, I meant by “hydrogen peroxide”, not “benzoil peroxide”!! Having acne is so much easier (yes, then here, we can use benzoil peroxide!) than thinking of throw-up stuff!

  25. On October 18, 2013 Kristine said

    Can I ask question? How much apple cider I will put in the apple juice thanks

  26. On October 18, 2013 Joanne said

    Thank you for your tips. I will be taking note of them. I am also deathly afraid of vomiting and anything to do with the flu. I could actually feel myself getting anxious as I was reading your post!!! Thanks again for the helpful hints.

    God Bless,

  27. On November 3, 2013 Aspie Grrrl said

    Sounds like you suffer from emetophobia, or fear of vomiting. It’s not all that uncommon but can wreck your life/sanity if not controlled. I should know; I’ve been emetophobic since age 2.

    The single best way to avoid stomach viruses is…to avoid them. You can’t get sick if it never enters your body. It only takes a few viral particles–10 or less–to become infected with norovirus, and it can survive on surfaces for WEEKS, unlike influenza or even HIV.

    Once the illness is in your home, all bets are off. I’d resort to wearing a mask at all times. Noro can be spread through the air in vomit/diarrhea droplets (eww) and may settle on surfaces like doorknobs and toothbrushes.

    Thanks for the helpful anti-vomiting tips! It’s that time of year again :

  28. On November 5, 2013 Burton said

    Emetaphobe here – glad to see I’m in good company.

    Great tips! I’ve got a few myself (I don’t want to say how long it’s been since I’ve vomitted, lest I jinx it – I’m sure you all can understand THAT crazy thought!)

    1. healthy body meditation
    2. acupressure
    3. making myself very cold when feeling nausea

    The smelling of alcohol REALLY does work. I was shocked. I often will sniff nail polish remover in the throes of nausea.

    Good luck everyone! Another word of advice – try your absolute hardest not to scan the internet looking for stomach virus outbreaks.

  29. On November 5, 2013 Burton said

    Oh, I also wanted to ad that for all of you (I am included) who will be disinfecting the entire house this winter season, bleach and water has been the only proven mixture to kill the virus – no lysol, no hand sanitizer, no steam, just good ol’ bleach and water.

    • On November 5, 2013 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hey Burton! Thanks for sharing your great tips too! I do the acupressure, meditation (mantras), and making myself super cold too when I am feeling sick. I even got in my frigid ice cold pool in the middle of winter one time just to try and not throw up (it worked, by the way). LOL Good luck staying healthy! And glad to meet another emetaphobe! 😉

  30. On November 25, 2013 Loren said

    Hi all another extreme emetaphobe here with a 2 and a half year old little boy, needless to
    Say I live in constant fear/anxiety/worry every single day even when sleeping no doubt, even had to move my nan in to keep me calm still that’s not working but deep down its nice to have that reassurance knowing if my son does become ill I don’t have to deal with the sick 🙁 anyhoo…..he started nursery for the 1st time in September, I’ve had him pretty much locked away since birth in fear of him catching something 🙁 totally not fair on my son, I give him optibac for children and infants 1 sachet a day in his juice and a chewy sweet vitamin of a morning before school, hoping and praying they will do the trick to help ward any unwanted visitors off!!! My phobia lies more with others being sick than myself but I do tend to panic wen I’ve been around a sick person, I have anxiety attacks reading that a friends child has been ill over Facebook!!!!! A child that’s not and never will be near me or my son, such a life ruining phobia isn’t it 🙁 James has hardly any appetite at the min, bad cough and SORRY TMI mucus in his number 2s which are normal tho :s maybe I’m just reading to far into it tho :s bloody well hope I am anyway. Sorry for the essay haha it’s just nice to vent to people who know how I feel through your own feelings to, and not being judged as weird or pathetic…… I’ll stop now haha xxxx

  31. On December 28, 2013 Gabby said

    My husband is currently ill with a stomach bug. Our son had a mild version of this too. I am guzzling Bragg’s ACV (having it neat) and taking probiotics capsules. I’ve been doing this for over a week now anyway but coincidentially a bug is in our home !! I’m feeling fine though.

  32. On January 5, 2014 Kate said

    Thanks for the tips! I, too, have had this phobia as long as I can remember. Today I was looking up information because my neighbor pet my dogs and then told me his wife was down with a bug for four days. Poor dogs had to get bathed because I couldn’t let them in the house “contaminated.” I can only imagine what my kids would be like if I had them! I also went to therapy for this when I was in college. My psychiatrist told me exposure therapy was the best way to get rid of it and I should work in hospitals or with children. I have done both (still work with kiddos) and it has not helped. I still have a panic attack when someone is or was recently sick.

  33. On January 6, 2014 Heather said

    I love this article! You are my twin when it comes to the stomach bug. I feel the same exact way. I don’t think it’s any way to live, but what are you going to do about it? I have been drinking Bragg’s ACV for well over a month after everyone started getting the stomach bug and I beat it! My two kids had it and my husband had a very mild case, but I didn’t get it at all. I credit it all to drinking the ACV. I try to inform others, but they think I am crazy or don’t want to take the time to do it. Thanks for writing this article and being honest about how you truly feel!

  34. On January 6, 2014 Alys said

    I loved reading your article. So many things I already try. I am deathly afraid of vomiting as is my 10 yo – sadly, I gave her my phobia. We keep Zofran on hand just in case. Nice to know I’m not alone.

  35. On January 6, 2014 Joanne said

    @ Gabby and Heather

    How often do you drink the acv per day? Also how much each time? Had to go the ER tonight and it seemed everyone was sick with the flu! Help!

    Thank you,

  36. On January 8, 2014 Susan said

    Thanks for some more ideas:)
    I am also am emetephobe and due to all of the horror stories (and fun things I have planned with the kids ) my anxiety is in full swing.
    Unfortunately I have passed this to my 7 year old as well.
    We will try to acv for sure.

  37. On January 13, 2014 Jess said

    I also found turmeric works well. I have the pills and take them and lots of probiotics! 🙂 i’m breastfeeding a three month old right now and my two year old daughter and husband just came down with it. Now on to preventing my nine year old, baby and myself from coming down with it! (By the way, i SOOO get the anxiety as well! Tummy gurgles excess gas, anything freaks me out!! I sanitize like crazy too once this junk hits my house!!)

  38. On January 24, 2014 Amber Lo said

    Sadly, we are in the throes of the stomach bug in our house right now. 🙁 When you say massive amounts of probiotics, how much is massive? 🙂 And are there certain probiotics that you recommend? Also, where do you find activated charcoal pills?

  39. On January 24, 2014 Elle said

    OMG. This is the best post!! I’ve been researching prevention methods. Does anyone have any knowledge on the grape juice route?

  40. On February 9, 2014 Nancy said

    Thanks for this post. Yes, I have vomit phobia also. Who knew so many of us do! I like the preventative information best and will focus on that! I tend to go on a starvation diet on the first sign of a “possible” stomach virus! You gave some simple and helpful information:)

  41. On March 26, 2014 caite said

    Ugh.. been up since 3am with my daughter. Severe belly cramps and intense vomiting for hours. My son had it two nights ago but we has thought it was due to gluten reexposure. I thought we were out of the woods but I was wrong. Eh.. I’ve been drinking a tall glass of water and acv daily since but am currently dosing up again while I take care of her. Does anyone else wonder why it ALWAYS hits in the dead of night? And thought I’d also mention… I’m a nurse and worked post surgical units a while and after 5 years in the field I’m still petrified of puking. Bone chilling terror. I’ve had heart palpitations since Sunday night which makes me feel pathetic and selfish esp bc my mom never seemed afraid when I was a child. I hide it and keep them calm but inside I quake. It’s a not being able to breath thing with me. Lack of air and clostraphobic type feeling then I panic and it makes it so much worse while heaving. If I’m going to get it I’m going to get it but i will try to get my kids to sip diluted acv to help them recover as they’ve both already had it/currently have it.

  42. On March 26, 2014 Alexis said

    This really helped!! I have panic attacks when I feel like I am going to be sick. The Norovirus is going around bad where I live and my panic attacks have gotten worse! I get teased by everyone when they see me freak out so… I am glad I’m not the only one!

  43. On April 7, 2014 Holly said

    Right now my aunt and cousins have the dreaded stomach bug. She babysits for me and was cuddling and kissing my son all day on Friday. Now im terrified and my anxiety is at a all time high trying to avoid catching this. Ive been doing the grape juice trick with the kids(7 yrs and 1 yr). Ive only had a few sips myself. But im sitting here at work worrying myself sick. My aunt got it from my niece she babysits after like 8 days. Why would it take so long for her to get it? Now im going to be worried all week that we will get sick. How many teaspoons a day of apple cider would ward it off? I tried it mixed in water last night and it was the most horrific thing. I cant do that again!

  44. On April 8, 2014 Joanne said

    @ Holly…I mix 1 Tablespoon of Apple cider vinegar into 6 oz. of orange juice, 1-3 times a day. It’s actually not bad tasting in oj.

    I also have a dreaded fear of vomiting. I take an Acidophilus tablet once a day for over a year now and I have realized I haven’t been sick at all, even when numerous co-workers were getting the flu, I never did. When my mom had stomach flu a few months back I was terrified I’d get it and never did. Hope you and your family stay well.

  45. On June 6, 2014 Marisa said

    I’m very thankful to have found this site. I have suffered from this phobia since I was little. It has controlled my life. I can sadly say I live in fear of vomit every single day. This morning my nearly 5 year old daughter came down with some sort of vomiting illness, and I’ve sadly been freaking out all day. I started taking ACV in 100% grape juice shortly after I noticed something was right with her earlier. My heart has been racing, I have barely eaten, I’ve used a ton of bleach, and keep using Lysol on surfaces over and over. I’m so scared my hubby and 4 month old are next! I started the baby on some organic rice cereal with Probiotics last week, so I’m hoping that helps. She also had her Rotovirus vax a couple of weeks ago.

    These are some really good tips, and I thank you so much for sharing.

    • On November 12, 2014 Kim said

      I am EXACTLY the same way!! I too have a 5 year old and 3 month old baby….and have been phobic since I was little. Any good tips for me? anything you do with your children to help prevent the stomach virus? I have always been phobic but felt that I could avoid people who were sick then I had kids…..and the phobia is on my all day long. Nighttime is always worse for me too. UGH I hate this phobia and how it controls my life. Any suggestions/tips would greatly be appreciated. 🙂

  46. On June 19, 2014 Diana said

    I thought I was the only one that had a near debilitating phobia of puking. Anytime some one even seems sick to their stomach , I just know I am going to get it and then obsess about whether I am in for it myself. Great tips I will use all of them and now also don’t feel like a freak for the constant worry about getting hit with the dreaded norovirus.

  47. On July 9, 2014 Lucyducy said

    No, you are not alone, Diana. I’ve been having this issue ever since I was 8 yrs old (46 now, hahaha) and after having 2 kids, phobia actually quadrupled … not only I have to (not that I “have to” but you know …) worry about myself getting sick but need to worry about kids and husband!
    My 16 yrs old just came down with something, up all night in the bathroom, and this poor guy, he didn’t have mommy to sit next to him and comfort him … I was hiding (!!!) in the closet so that I couldn’t ‘ hear the sound. That made me feel so sad and awful, felt like I was the worst mom in the whole world. Luckily my husband understand my situation but oh-boy, I wish someone can hypnotize me to get rid of this phobia!!

  48. On August 25, 2014 Ray said

    “Give me a respiratory virus over the stomach flu any day.”

    Try having both. That was my day today. But it only lasted about 4 hours which is strangely unusual because it is normally about 12 hours. Oh well I’m not complaining but those 4 hours were pretty intense. Especially with my terrible cough and runny nose. Try blowing your nose after throwing up, it won’t be pleasant and I can guarantee that!

  49. On August 26, 2014 Nikki said

    Im so glad to read that I am not alone! I hate to throw up only have a handful of times in my life, one being when I was 9 months pregnant and caught the stomach flu. 8 hours of dry heaving before I finally threw up. My daughter just had a bug, and I am at maximum level with anxiety. I feel like the worst mom also. She’s 2 1/2 and my husband was holding her but she wanted mommy and I ran and hid, and she cried cause “mommy rund away”. Ugh! Worst feeling ever on top of your anxiety. I am all about trying anything so I am starting ACV right as we speak.. hopefully it works.

  50. On September 3, 2014 Michelle said

    Thank you SO much for all of your great information! I am also glad to read that I am not alone when it comes to the phobia of the stomach flu! My granddaughters both just came down with it and we were around them this weekend. I am planning a surprise 50th bday party for my husband this weekend so we CAN’T get sick!! Especially him, he is the guest of honor! So I am literally in a panic, worrying that we are both going to come down with it! I was searching frantically on the internet and thankfully found your blog!! I will be getting some ACV after work and making my husband drink it! I have had it before and it tastes awful but it’s worth it if it will prevent us from getting this nasty bug! I had also heard that cinnamon is a good thing to take as well, have you heard anything about that?

  51. On September 13, 2014 Katie said

    OMG! I had NO IDEA there were SO many ppl out there with the same
    Fear as me of Vomit! The fear rules my entire life. I’ve had therapy &
    Am even fighting w/anorexia bc I’m afraid of eating that it will cause me
    To puke. Flu season is like a war & the anxiety, sleepless nights just
    “Waiting” for it to hit my house is unbearable! I will ABSOLUTELY be
    Taking all these precautionary steps & PRAY they help me too!
    This fear of vomit & stomach bugs is like a curse and I TRULY feel
    For ANYONE who battles w/this phobia like I do. No one understands & it
    Was so nice to read that there were so many ppl out there like me.
    Hugs to you all!

  52. On October 14, 2014 Patrick said

    Ugh, I have ALWAYS had an intense fear of throwing up. I will take diarrhea, a cold, body aches, coughing, ANYTHING, but NOT vomiting. It scares me, I panic, I sweat and I hate it. Luckily, I am not blood type O, which is for some reason scientifically proven to the the blood type the vomit bug likes. I drink ACV all day, I bleach door handles, and pray I go another season with no barf. I HATE IT

  53. On October 26, 2014 Jeff watts said

    Vomiting is one of my top three lifetime fears! I will do almost anything to prevent it for my family and myself. I will defiantly take the preventative steps you mentioned above! We do the grape juice as a precaution as well and so far has worked! (Knock on wood). Last Christmas our five year old woke up with the dreaded virus and I was out getting 100% pure grape juice in the middle of the night. Very hard to find on an early Christmas morning if I may add. Thank you so much for your information I will add this to our daily “stomach bug rituals”.

  54. On November 7, 2014 Kevin said

    Thank you for this article. I have suffered from Emetophobia all my life and the first news about the norovirus closing wards in hospitals in the UK has got me in a panic and it’s only the first week in November.
    I have tried NLP, hypnotherapy, psychologists and doctors and no one has been able to cure me of this.

  55. On November 18, 2014 Jamie said

    I’m not afraid of throwing up…unfortunately I struggled with alcoholism in my twenties so I’m definitely used to being hungover and nauseous. I also worked in a veterinarian office where everything I touched daily was pretty nasty. Still, I hate the stomach flu because it’s so hard to be a mom when you’re so sick. I think drinking Kombucha as often as possible really helps. The reason I’m commenting though… I had a mom who basically put me in quarentine when I was sick and wouldn’t touch me if I was sick. It kind of messed me up, my husband actually had to teach me that sick people need love and attention more than ever. When my kids are sick they get to cuddle with me and the bucket all day on the couch. Kids need love expecially when they feel so gross.

    • On January 2, 2015 jen said

      Wouldn’t it be scarier for children if someone with Emetophobia was in a panic around the children? Just curious… I do totally agree with your comment. I know how hard it is to fear such a thing… It’s not easily controlled. With time I think it gets easier… once my son throws up the first time and I get over my panic, I get used to it and learn to read him.. then cuddling comes. I just worry about the first panic.

  56. On December 17, 2014 Jill said

    I also suffer from emetophobia! I actually went for hypnosis for it. I can’t say it worked totally, but it brought some important things to my attention (like trigger words for example)!
    Your post was like reading my own journal! I haven’t even read the entire thing yet….I just had to connect and say thanks for being like me!
    I am a mom of three and TEACHER!! So, as you can guess, this has made my life a living you-know-what at times!
    Thanks for sharing.

    • On February 27, 2015 Kim said

      Jill- same! I suffer from emtophobia, I am a mom of 2, and a teacher. It is on my mind constantly!!! I am always thinking of how to prevent it and not let my kids see me be a lunatic about it. It can be really, really hard and time consuming! Any preventative tips you use for yourself and your family?

  57. On December 23, 2014 kristina said

    I have a flu bug in my house right now. My fiance and my 12 year old have been throwing up. I have a 9 month old and myself who I am trying to not catch it. Any advise, espcially for my infant. thank you

  58. On December 26, 2014 Debbie Rhoades said

    What does “with the mother” mean? from 1. Sip that Apple-Cider Vinegar (with the “Mother”) in a little bit of apple juice on a regular basis.

    • On February 1, 2015 michelle said

      The ‘mother’ is the slimy film builds up in it. That in itself may make you nauseous. 🙂

  59. On December 28, 2014 sarah said

    Just another tip: if you do catch the bug, when you feel yourself getting really hot and sweaty and your heart starts to race, strip off your clothes and take a cold shower or put ice on your neck and stomach until you are freezing cold. this should keep you from vomiting and stop the nausea. The diarrhea will probably continue though. I also suffer from a severe vomit phobia. Hope this helps ease your worries if you do get the bug, it does mine.

  60. On January 25, 2015 Sara said

    I have emetaphobia as well since I was 5. One of my biggest fears of having a child is what will I do if they throw up…PANIC! It’s scary how it can run your life. I would love to start a blog so that we can all just talk it out and maybe it would help.

  61. On January 31, 2015 Molly said

    It is comforting to see how much we are all not alone in this fear! It is so frustrating to be so consumed with the fear of something so much a part of life…especially as parents! I too have caused my oldest daughter to share my anxiety and she goes into full panic mode…crying, hiding, screaming. 🙁 We have been dealing with it this week and I told my husband how I wish I could take it in stride like he does. My whole life it has sent me into a panic. At least I know I am not alone.

  62. On March 11, 2015 Kim said

    Since there are so many emetephobes commenting here, I thought I would list this amazing website for help and also self-help.

    I am 45 and have suffered from this phobia my entire life. The anxiety is debilitating and I can feel it creeping in every October as the weather gets cold and I dread the first mention of “the stomach bug.” I used so many of the techniques on this website and I am now actually therapy sessions with the woman whose site it is (a recovered emetephobe herself). Just to make everyone feel better, she had a YEAR LONG waiting list – that’s how many of us are out there. For the first time, I actually understand how and where the phobia developed and even understanding that has helped so much. I am only about half way through her 16 sessions, but I am already so much better. This winter I took care of my 4 year old son through not one but TWO bouts of the stomach bug. It wasn’t easy by any means, but I did it. Check out her site – we are not alone.

  63. On March 22, 2015 Ileana said

    Thank you for this. Since kindergarten I’ve had that phobia. Never knew it was actual phobia until recently. When I was young I got counseled and told that it was just an anxiety and eiuld get over it. Nope never did lol but I feel relieved to see others with the same phobia and feels good not to feel alone. I have been incorporating more healthy foods in my lifestyle. I noticed eating healthier too has helped so much not just with the flu but also other sicknesses. I do remember hearing grape juice is good, does it matter the regular grape juice motts vs natural?

  64. On March 29, 2015 fc6362 said

    I’d just like to say to all of you commenting, plus the blogger – I’m on a fb support group called emetephobia support and it really helps me when I’m in such a panic. This article sounds just like me but with 4 kids :O

  65. On March 30, 2015 nicole barthel said

    I am also a sufferer of emetophobic for a long time! I cringe everyone I see people post on Facebook they have the stomach bug! I go into full panic mode, and I can’t even function! I have a son and I am so scared and always trying to prevent him from getting sick. I wash my hands constantly and I use Cloris bleach free hand sanitizer when I can’t wash! Everyone thinks I am nuts about this, so it is refreshing to see others just like me! If you guys have any other preventive measures please share!!!

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