Gastroenteritis is the technical name given to gastric flu or stomach flu. It is mainly caused by microbial infection. The symptoms include nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. There can be secondary indications like high temperature, headache and swollen lymph glands, depending on the microbe causing it.
Sometimes there can be severe complications. These include reactive arthritis (1%) or Guillain-Barre syndrome (0.1%) which occur in people affected with Campylobacter infection.
Intestinal pain is one of the primary symptoms one will experience when suffering from gastric flu. The pain can be mild for some patients and can be acute for some. The other things associated with this symptom may include nausea which is accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea and mild fever.
What are the Main Symptoms?
There can some side complications due to severe vomiting and diarrhea. These include dehydration and lethargy. One of the last complications is death. One of the primary things causing it is adulterated food and poisoning. When you take meals or dishes from road-side vendors or near unclean environment, there is more chance of getting gastric flu.
Generally if it’s a mild infection, it goes on its own after 1-2 days. But for some cases it can even take 5 to 10 days. The subsidence of the symptoms mainly depends on one’s immune system. If you have Diabetes or any other endocrine diseases, the complications can increase and extend for longer times.
Gastroenteritis can also occur in children. Haemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a complication which is more likely to occur in kids than adults is a potential dangerous condition. This can occur due to infections from E.coli or Shigella species that produces Shiga toxins. It causes a rapid fall in the platelet counts, kidney damage, and low red blood cell counts.
Gastroenteritis can cause dehydration in elderly people, which is more severe if untreated. Sometimes it can be fatal also. Signs of mild dehydration include.
thirst or a dry mouth
dizziness and lightheadedness, particularly after standing up
lack of energy
Signs of more severe dehydration can include:
weakness and apathy (a lack of emotion or enthusiasm)
passing little or no urine
The flu, or influenza, is different from gastroenteritis. It causes sore throats, runny noses, and general aches and pains. It rarely causes stomach problems. [Sources: medindia.net, webmd.com, healthline.com]
The two main culprits for the stomach flu in children are rotavirus and, adenovirus and echovirus. The former is more common in the winter months, and later, both of which prefer the climate in the summer and spring. Barbara Frankowski, MD, professor of pediatrics at Vermont Children’s Hospital in Burlington says that, for toddlers and kids
“A stomach bug is not a serious illness and will resolve on its own after a few days of TLC.”
The difference between stomach flu vs. food poisoning?
The dirty part of stomach flu is that it shares most of the symptoms with food poisoning. But it hits pretty quickly after eating the food in question. Also there can be accompanied fever, which often doesn’t and goes away pretty quickly. But gastric bugs like to hang for three to five (or sometimes even seven days).