published on: 25th august, 2021

What is gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis is a digestive tract irritation caused by a viral, bacterial, or parasitic infection. Diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain are among the symptoms. Gastroenteritis is also referred to as a stomach bug, stomach flu, intestinal flu, food poisoning, and traveler's diarrhea.

What causes stomach flu (gastroenteritis)?

Bacteria, parasites, toxins, and viruses can all cause illness. Viruses are the most common cause of so-called stomach flu. Adults are frequently affected by norovirus, while children are frequently affected by rotavirus. These viruses primarily infect the lining of the small intestine.

What are the symptoms of gastroenteritis?

Diarrhoea is the most common symptom of gastroenteritis, and it occurs when your bowel movements (feces or stools) become watery and you need to go to the toilet frequently and urgently. Although diarrhoea is the most common symptom of gastroenteritis, it can be caused by a variety of other conditions. Other symptoms and signs of gastroenteritis include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Mild fever and chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache and muscle aches
  • Tiredness and general body weakness
  • Incontinence (loss of control over bowel motions)
  • Poor feeding in infants.

When should you see a doctor for gastroenteritis?

You should be able to fight off the stomach flu virus without seeing a doctor. If you have signs of dehydration (dark urine, infrequent/low urine output, dry mucous membranes, lightheadedness, dizziness, and so on), seek medical attention immediately. Call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • High fever.
  • Bloody diarrhea.
  • Severe pain.
  • Symptoms that fail to improve/resolve over time.

The information on this website is not meant to be used to diagnose health conditions or to replace legitimate medical advice.

Dr. Vikram Kamal Kumar

General Practitioner – ER department

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