What is Gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis, also known as the stomach flu, causes inflammation of the stomach lining and intestines. This is often caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Viruses that often cause gastroenteritis are rotavirus and norovirus, while bacteria such as campylobacter and salmonella can also cause the stomach flu. Gastroenteritis can spread by becoming in contact with someone who has the virus, consuming contaminated food or water, or from unwashed hands. Common symptoms of gastroenteritis include:

  • Watery diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain/cramping
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Dehydration

Diarrhea and vomiting can cause dehydration. If you have dry skin, a dry mouth, feel very thirsty, or lightheaded, visit a medical professional as soon as possible.

How to Treat Gastroenteritis

If you believe you may have gastroenteritis, there are some steps you can take at home to lessen your symptoms. Be sure to stay hydrated- drink clear fluids slowly in small amounts. Patients should avoid dairy, caffeine, and alcohol until symptoms subside. Also, be sure to get plenty of rest, as you will be tired.

If you experience vomiting that lasts longer than a day or have fever or severe diarrhea for more than two days, you should seek medical help immediately. Other signs of when to call a doctor include:

  • Bloody vomit or diarrhea
  • Sudden, severe pain in the abdomen
  • Dehydration
  • Children under the age of 2 with vomiting, diarrhea, or fever for more than 12 hours
  • Symptoms that continue longer than a week

If you or a loved one is experiencing any gastroenteritis symptoms, seek the help of Ultra Med Urgent Care as soon as possible to find relief. Our staff will work with you to find the source of your illness and lessen your symptoms.