Stomach flu (gastroenteritis) is a term referred used to describe a variety of gastrointestinal problems. The most common signs and symptoms of gastroenteritis are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The most common cause of gastroenteritis in the United States is Norovirus. Other causes of gastroenteritis include Rotavirus, Astrovirus, Adenovirus, and Sapovirus. There are bacterial causes of gastroenteritis such as Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter Aeromonas, E. coli, Clostridium, Vibrio, Campylobacter, and Yersinia spp. Parasites that cause gastroenteritis include Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, and Entamoeba. Treatment for gastroenteritis is generally home remedies such as keeping hydrated to prevent dehydration. At times, hospitalization may be necessary if dehydration occurs. Read more: Stomach Flu (Gastroenteritis) Symptoms, Signs, Treatment Remedies, Diet Article
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Related Disease Conditions
Stool Color, Changes in Color, Texture, and Form
Stool color changes can very from green, red, maroon, yellow, white, or black. Causes of changes of stool color can range from foods a person eats, medication, diseases or conditions, pregnancy, cancer, or tumors. Stool can also have texture changes such as greasy or floating stools. Stool that has a uncharacteristically foul odor may be caused by infections such as giardiasis or medical conditions.
Food poisoning is common, but can also be life threatening. The symptoms for food poisoning are fever, abdominal pain, headache, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Food poisoning has many causes, for example, chemicals (from toxic fish or plants) and bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus or Salmonella). Treatment of food poisoning depends upon the cause.
Dehydration is the excessive loss of body water. There are a number of causes of dehydration including heat exposure, prolonged vigorous exercise, and some diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms of dehydration include headache, lightheadedness, constipation, and bad breath. Treatment for dehydration is to replace lost fluids and electrolytes.
Why Am I So Gassy and Bloated?
Bloating is a feeling that your abdomen is distended or larger than normal, but it does not necessarily mean that it is. Gas (flatulence) also can be a problem if you are bloated. Common, less serious causes of bloating are eating too fast, too much, or too many fatty foods; swallowing air; pregnancy; and menstruation. Cancer and IBD (ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease) are examples the more serious causes of bloating. Examples of foods and drinks that cause bloating are high fiber foods if you don't eat them regularly; eventually the bloating and gassiness will resolve if you eat them on a regular basis; fatty greasy foods, dairy products (for example, cheese, ice cream, milk, and yogurt); foods high in salt (for example, processed, frozen, and canned foods), and artificial sweeteners. Some doctors and other health care professionals recommend natural remedies like chamomile or peppermint tea, or pumpkin to relieve bloating. Examples of OTC medicine (medicine available without a prescription) and other products that may relieve bloating and gassiness are, Gas-X, Beano, Pepto Bismol, Metamucil, probiotics, and Ex-Lax for constipation associated with bloating. If you have persistent or severe gas and bloating, and if you have any of these symptoms see a doctor or other healthcare professional, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, chest pain, bloody diarrhea, fever, or if you think you are or may be pregnant.
Diarrhea is a change is the frequency and looseness of bowel movements. Symptoms associated with diarrhea are cramping, abdominal pain, and the sensation of rectal urgency. Causes of diarrhea include viral, bacterial, or parasite infection, gastroenteritis, food poisoning, and drugs. Absorbents and anti-motility medications are used to treat diarrhea.
Dizziness is a symptom that often applies to a variety of sensations including lightheadedness and vertigo. Causes of dizziness include low blood pressure, heart problems, anemia, dehydration, and other medical conditions. Treatment of dizziness depends on the cause.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea is an uneasiness of the stomach that often precedes vomiting. Nausea and vomiting are not diseases, but they are symptoms of many conditions. There are numerous cases of nausea and vomiting. Some causes may not require medical treatment, for example, motion sickness, and other causes may require medical treatment by a doctor, for example, heart attack, lung infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Some causes of nausea and vomiting may be life-threatening, for example, heart attack, abdominal obstruction, and cancers. Treatment of nausea and vomiting depends upon the cause.
Low Potassium (Hypokalemia)
Potassium is an essential electrolyte necessary for cell function. Low potassium (hypokalemia) may be caused by diarrhea, vomiting, ileostomy, colon polyps, laxative use, diuretics, elevated corticosteroid levels, renal artery stenosis, and renal tubular acidosis, or other medications. Symptoms of low potassium include weakness, aches, and cramps of the muscles. Treatment is dependent upon the cause of the low potassium (hypokalemia).
Is the Stomach Flu Contagious?
The stomach flu (gastroenteritis) refers to variety infections that occur in the GI (gastrointestinal tract). The stomach flu is caused by viruses (for example, Norovirus or "Cruise Ship Virus), bacteria (for example, Salmonella and E. coli), parasites (for example, Giardiasis or Giardia lamblia), medications like antibiotics, food allergies, and toxins. Common symptoms of the stomach flu include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain. Generally, the stomach flu is treated at home by treating symptoms with home remedies and OTC medication.
IBS-D (Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea)
IBS-D or irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea refers to IBS with diarrhea. Symptoms of IBS-D include intestinal gas (flatulence), loose stools, frequent stools, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea. New non-FDA approved IBS tests may help diagnose IBS and IBS-D. Treatment of IBS-D is geared to toward managing symptoms with diet, medication, and lifestyle changes.
Why Do I Have Stomach Pain at Night?
Stomach pains are a common human ailment, but stomach pains that wake you up at night should be taken seriously. Learn about stomach pains, their causes, and how to treat them.
E. coli (0157:H7) Infection
There are many types of E. coli (Escherichia coli). E. coli can cause urinary tract and bladder infections, or lead to sepsis. E coli O157:H7 (EHEC) causes bloody diarrhea and colitis. Complications of E. coli infection include hemorrhagic diarrhea, hemolytic-uremic syndrome, and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. E coli O157:H7 commonly is due to eating raw or undercooked hamburger or raw milk or dairy products.
Norovirus infection causes stomach flu, or gastroenteritis. It's a very contagious illness with symptoms that include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, headache, chills, and muscle aches. Norovirus infection cannot be treated with antibiotics, so treatment focuses on maintaining proper hydration.
Salmonella infection (salmonellosis) is typically caused by the consumption of contaminated foods. Symptoms of salmonellosis include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Salmonellosis typically resolves on its own in four to seven days. It's important to increase one's fluid intake to compensate for the fluid lost by vomiting and/or diarrhea.
Travelers' diarrhea is generally contracted by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. Food is the primary source of travelers' diarrhea. Enterotoxigenic E. coli is the cause of up to 70% of all cases of travelers' diarrhea. There are five unique classes of E. coli that causes gastroenteritis. Other bacteria responsible for travelers' diarrhea include Campylobacter, jejuni, shigella, and salmonella. Viruses such as rotavirus and Norwalk virus (norovirus) and giardia lamblia a parasite may cause travelers' diarrhea. Prevention is careful eating and drinking of water.
Why Does My Stomach Hurt After Every Meal?
Stomach pain after meals is a symptom of many conditions. Learn the signs of stomach pain after every meal, what causes stomach pain, how doctors diagnose stomach pain, and what you can do to treat stomach pain after every meal.
Can Gastroenteritis Cause a High White Blood Cell Count?
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Stomach Flu vs. Food Poisoning
The stomach flu (viral gastroenteritis) and food poisoning are not the same infections. However, they do have a few similar symptoms, for example: Nausea Vomiting Diarrhea Fever Abdominal (stomach) pain and cramping. Symptoms and signs of food poisoning show up earlier (2 hours up to a couple of days) in comparison to the stomach flu in which symptoms may take 4 hours up to 48 hours (2 days) before symptoms begin. Medical treatment for the stomach flu and food poisoning generally is not necessary. A bland diet, drinking plenty of fluids, and rest may be the only treatment necessary.
Second Source article from Government
Children's health is focused on the well-being of children from conception through adolescence. There are many aspects of children's health, including growth and development, illnesses, injuries, behavior, mental illness, family health, and community health.
Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea among infants and children throughout the world. Almost all children have become infected with rotavirus by their third birthday. Repeat infections with different viral strains are possible, and most children have several episodes of rotavirus infection in the first years of life. Children between the ages of six and 24 months are at greatest risk for developing severe disease from rotavirus infection. Rotavirus symptoms include: fever, vomiting, watery diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Rotavirus infection can be associated with severe dehydration in infants and children.
How Long Does the Stomach Flu Last?
Stomach flu or viral gastroenteritis is an infection caused by a virus that infects your stomach. Although the term has flu in it, it is not a true flu. Symptoms that include vomiting and diarrhea, fever and stomach pain can last for one to three days depending on the cause. Diarrhea may persist longer, for up to 10 days, after the disappearance of other symptoms.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a highly contagious viral infection. Symptoms include fever and nasal congestion and discharge. Treatment focuses on supportive care. This disease has a good prognosis in babies and infants.
Antibiotic Resistance (Drug Resistance, Antimicrobial Resistance)
Antibiotics are medications used to kill or slow the growth of bacteria and some fungi. The definition of antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria to change (mutate) and grow in the presence of a drug (an antibiotic) that would normally slow its growth or kill it. These antibiotic-resistant bacteria and fungi become harder to treat. Antibiotic-resistant infections can lead to longer hospital stays, higher treatment costs, and more deaths.
Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome
Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a diseases in which blood clots within the capillaries. Causes associated with HUS include: E. coli, birth control pills, pneumonia, medications such as chemotherapy, Ticlid, and quinine. Symptoms of HUS include: gastroenteritis, abdominal cramping, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. Diagnosis of HUS includes: medical history, physical examination, and medical tests. Treatment includes: rest, fluids, possible hospitalization for blood transfusion or complications due to kidney failure.
How Do You Know if You Have the Stomach Flu?
What is stomach flu and how do you know when you have it? Learn what causes stomach flu and how it is treated.
Is Norovirus Contagious?
Noroviruses cause food poisoning symptoms in infected individuals. Norovirus is transmitted via direct and indirect contact. Infections typically resolve in 24-72 hours. Symptoms of norovirus include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, fever, headache, and body aches.
Travelers should prepare for their trip by visiting their physician to get the proper vaccinations and obtain the necessary medication if they have a medical condition or chronic disease. Diseases that travelers may pick up from contaminated water or food, insect or animal bites, or from other people include: malaria, meningococcal meningitis, yellow fever, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, polio, and cholera.
Are You Too Sick to Work?
When you're not feeling well, it may be difficult to decide whether to stay home or go to school or work. Conditions that are very painful may prevent you from working effectively. Anyone with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or dizziness should stay home.
Reye's syndrome (RS or Reye syndrome) is a sudden, sometimes fatal, disease of the brain with degeneration of the liver. Reye syndrome is associated with giving children medications containing aspirin. Symptoms include vomiting, listlessness, irritability or combativeness, confusion, delirium, delusions, convulsions, and loss of consciousness. Treatment depends on early diagnosis and focuses on protecting the brain against irreversible damage by reducing brain swelling, reversing the metabolic injury, preventing complications in the lungs, and anticipating cardiac arrest.
How Do I Get Rid of the Stomach Flu?
The medical treatment for stomach flu is based on maintaining adequate hydration and body sodium-potassium levels. The treatment for stomach flu initially consists of self-care measures such as drinking fluids, replacing lost electrolytes, resting, eating a bland diet and seeking medical attention if you need to.
How Do You Relieve Upper Stomach Pain?
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What Causes Vomiting? 7 Reasons Why and How to Ease It
Vomiting is a reflex directed by the brain toward the intestines to reverse their peristaltic movements to force the contents of the stomach out through the mouth. It is usually a symptom of an underlying disease.
Local ResourcesFind a local Gastroenterologist in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Tummy Trouble FAQs
- Summer Food Safety FAQs
- Abdominal Pain Causes
- Rotavirus Vaccination ... Postponed as a Precaution
- Gas: Gum for Gas?
- What Is a Hospitalist?
- Is It Salmonella?
- Doctors Answer Digestion Questions
- Norovirus Infection: A Cause for Travelers' Concern?
- What Is the Treatment for Gastroenteritis?
- A Doctor's View on Gastroenteritis Diagnosis
- Ask the Experts - Gastroentrology (Digestion)
Medications & Supplements
- cefprozil (Cefzil)
- hyoscyamine, atropine, scopolamine and phenobarbital (Donnatal)
- chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride and clidinium bromide (Librax)
- Side Effects of Librax (chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride and clidinium bromide)
- Side Effects of Lomotil (diphenoxylate and atropine)
- Side Effects of FluMist (influenza nasal vaccine live)
- Talicia (omeprazole magnesium, amoxicillin and rifabutin)
Prevention & Wellness
- Stomach Virus Strikes 170 Yosemite Visitors, Staff
- Health Tip: Dealing With a Stomach Virus
- U.S. Cases of Infant Gut Illness Plummet After Vaccine Introduced
- Gastro Illness Strikes 277 on Cruise Ship
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- Parenthood May Alter Immune System, Research Suggests
- Fewer Cruises Rocked by Gastro Illness Outbreaks: CDC
- Health Tip: When a Stomach Bug Hits
- Widespread Vaccination Fights Serious Stomach Infection in Kids: CDC
- 'Cruise Ship' Norovirus Bug Can Spread by Air, Study Finds
- CDC Warns of Listeria Danger From Caramel Apples
- Your Stomach Bug May Well Be Norovirus
- Common Infant Vaccine Tied to Slight Rise in Risk for Bowel Complication
- Health Tip: Help Prevent Norovirus
- Dishwashing Won't Kill Tummy-Troubling Norovirus: Study
- Taking a Shot at Sinking the 'Cruise Ship' Virus
- Norovirus Outbreak Traced to Reusable Grocery Bag
- Gastro Woes Often Strike Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
- Diagnostic Scans Tied to Radiation Risk for Gastro Patients
- U.S. Deaths From Gastro Infections Doubled Over 8 Years: CDC
- Norovirus Causes Most Hospital Infection Outbreaks
- Rotavirus Vaccine Linked to Bowel Disorder
- 1 in 6 Americans Gets Food-borne Illness
- E. coli Linked to Heart, Kidney Disease
- Day Care Dilemma: When to Send Sick Kids Home
- Stomach Flu Spread By Contaminated Computer Keyboards
Digestive Disorders Resources
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