Gastroenteritis: Causes & Symptoms

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You have likely experienced gastroenteritis at one point in your life or another, even if you don’t realize it.

What is Gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis manifests as irritation and inflammation in your stomach and intestines. It is usually caused by a bacterial infection. Gastroenteritis is the formal medical term for stomach flu, also known as gastric flu or stomach virus.

Causes

  • In children: It is the rotavirus that causes the disease.
  • In adults: The norovirus is the cause.

Symptoms

The condition is most commonly characterized by:

  • Extreme nausea
  • Cramping
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This decidedly unpleasant sickness usually doesn’t last more than 3-4 days before your body can eliminate the viral or bacterial infection, but it can also last longer, making life quite miserable.

Word of Caution: While most people immediately turn to antiemetics (to stop vomiting) or antibiotics to rid themselves of the infection, this can weaken the immune system, and future attacks are likely to occur, as stomach flu is very common and spreads easily.

Some of the symptoms of stomach flu are only made worse because people rely solely on medication when far more should be done for a good recovery. In fact, this reliance on a simple medicinal fix could make the symptoms last even longer, while natural remedies and behavioral strategies can have you back on your feet and your stomach back to normal in no time.

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