Gastroenteritis (Stomach Flu): Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medically Reviewed on 9/2/2015

Gastroenteritis, sometimes referred to as "stomach flu," is irritation and inflammation of the stomach and intestines. While viruses are common causes of gastroenteritis, the condition has nothing to do with the influenza virus, so the term stomach flu is a misnomer. Rotavirus and norovirus are the two most common types of virus that cause gastroenteritis. Bacterial infections can also cause the condition. Some bacterial causes of gastroenteritis include Salmonella, Campylobacter, and E. coli. Less common causes of gastroenteritis are toxins, medication side effects, and heavy metals in drinking water. Symptoms of gastroenteritis typically include nausea, vomiting, and watery diarrhea. If dehydration is present, signs and symptoms of dehydration, such as dry mouth, thirst, and dry skin, can occur.

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/2/2015

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