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. Gastroenteritis is a nonspecific term for various inflammatory problems in the gastrointestinal tract with the most common symptoms and signs being diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pains.

As previously mentioned, although it is not caused by influenza viruses, gastroenteritis  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 symptoms of more benign flu strains. In the U.S., less than 2% of the estimated 100 million persons with gastroenteritis 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 that comprise the causes and symptoms that many researchers consider to occur with gastroenteritis.

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Comment from: tfledder, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 13

I had the annual flu shot in fall 2014, but my experience with the flu started at 8 pm this past Sunday night with horrible diarrhea like never before and lasted until 5 am. Every 3 minutes I was on the pot. No fever, cramps (small gurgling only), or respiratory stuff ever! In the morning I tried some soda crackers with cream cheese and was a little better. I made it through 7 hours at work but had to make 5 very hasty trips to the bathroom so as not to mess myself. I'm still a bit weak but that's a regular thing for the last 10 years. I am not sure why. I lost 9 to 10 lb. over this stomach flu!

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Comment from: verysick, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 24

I had nausea, stomach pain, leg weakness, on day one of gastroenteritis. I decided to go to the emergency room. I was admitted, and had CAT scans, blood tests, the whole 9 yards of medical tests. I was admitted to surgical ward the surgeon came in next day and said it's probably a virus; end of discussion. I was kept another day in hospital for food to see how I was tolerating some semisolids and then sent home. I came home, feel the same as I went in; no improvement, and I still don't know what is going on!

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