Gastroenteritis: Causes & Symptoms

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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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.

About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve is a health and wellness enthusiast and started working on Organic Facts since 2012 and is currently responsible for managing it. She follows naturopathy and believes in healing with foods. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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