Gastroenteritis - Experience

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Definition of gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis (often referred to as the "stomach flu," however, it is not related to the influenza virus) is a nonspecific term for various problems in the gastrointestinal tract with the most common symptoms and signs of diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pains.

As previously mentioned, although it is not caused by influenza viruses, it is commonly referred to as the "stomach flu" because most people have acute symptoms that last a day or so, and then begin to resolve, like the more benign flu strains. In the U.S., less than 2% of the estimated 100 million persons with symptoms per year ever require hospitalization, but in developing countries it is a leading cause of death, mainly due to dehydration. Severe gastroenteritis can cause dehydration. Also, people with symptoms of diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, fever greater than 101 F (38.33 C) for longer than 5 days, or have severe infection (sepsis), and other problems will be considered to have another disease (for example, shigellosis). Not all doctors agree on the nonspecific term of gastroenteritis so for this article, the parameters are presented.

Return to Gastroenteritis (Stomach Flu)

See what others are saying

Comment from: sharon, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 28

I had gastroenteritis. I got hospitalized for three days, and threw up everything I ate and I have a bad stomach cramps and I also had diarrhea. I"m having fever right now, I think it's still connected to this gastroenteritis. I really want to get well soon. I already lost 5 pounds on my weight.

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Comment from: /59, Female (Patient) Published: June 02

Within minutes my gastroenteritis was so bad, no time to breathe; the diarrhea was explosive it was everywhere! I couldn"t control them after 8 hours I went to the hospital where they left me lying in my own feces. When doctor came I was white as ghost, severely dehydrated and was admitted to hospital for a week so weak I could hardly stand. I am home in bed, but can"t handle any food but can keep down fluids. This was the most embarrassing and horrible thing I have gone through; would rather have a baby.

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