Know About Gastroenteritis Symptoms & Management


gastroenteritis symptoms

Gastroenteritis, commonly known as stomach flu, is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines caused by an infection, often resulting from a viral or bacterial source. For the best insights on this condition, watch DocTube.

Gastroenteritis symptoms can vary in intensity and duration, but they typically include the following:


This is one of the most common symptoms of gastroenteritis. The stool may be watery, loose or contain mucus and may occur quite frequently.

Nausea and vomiting

Many individuals with gastroenteritis experience feelings of nausea, which may be followed by episodes of vomiting. Vomiting helps to expel irritants or infectious agents from the digestive system and is one of the commonest gastroenteritis symptoms.

Abdominal cramps

The inflammation in the stomach and intestines can cause abdominal discomfort and cramping. These are other common symptoms of gastroenteritis.


Gastroenteritis may be accompanied by a mild to moderate fever and chills, which is the body's response to fighting off the infection.


Diarrhea and vomiting can lead to fluid loss, thereby causing dehydration. Signs of dehydration include dry mouth, increased thirst, decreased urine output, dizziness and fatigue.

Loss of appetite

Due to nausea, vomiting and abdominal discomfort, the patient may experience a decreased appetite and feel less inclined to eat.

Muscle aches and headaches

Some individuals with gastroenteritis may experience muscle aches and headaches, which are often associated with viral infections.

It is important to note that these gastroenteritis symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, so it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis whenever a patient experiences these symptoms. Additionally, severe or prolonged symptoms, presence of blood in the stool, persistent high fever or signs of dehydration should prompt immediate medical attention.

After identifying the symptoms of gastroenteritis, it is imperative for the patient to seek proper management and treatment so that the conditions gradually subside. The management of this condition focuses on relieving the different gastroenteritis symptoms, preventing dehydration and allowing the body to recover from the infection. These usually involve the following:   


Replacing lost fluids and electrolytes is crucial to prevent dehydration. Drink plenty of fluids, such as water, oral rehydration solutions (ORS), clear broths and herbal teas. Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages as they can worsen dehydration. Small, frequent sips are often better tolerated than large amounts at once.

Oral rehydration solutions (ORS)

These solutions contain a balance of salts and sugars that help replenish fluids and electrolytes. ORS packets can be purchased at pharmacies or can be prepared at home using water, salt and sugar, following the instructions provided.


Allow your body to rest and recover by getting sufficient sleep and avoiding strenuous activities.


Over-the-counter medications such as antidiarrheals and anti-nausea medications may provide temporary relief from symptoms. However, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before taking any medications, especially for children or individuals with pre-existing medical conditions.


Initially it may be helpful to stick to a bland diet that includes easily digestible foods like plain rice, toast, boiled potatoes and cooked vegetables. Avoid spicy, fatty or greasy foods that can further irritate the digestive system. As symptoms improve, gradually reintroduce a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.

Good hygiene practices

Gastroenteritis is contagious and thus practicing good hygiene is essential to prevent the spread of infection. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the bathroom, before preparing or eating food and after coming into contact with someone who is ill. 

Seek medical attention

While most cases of gastroenteritis resolve on their own within a few days, certain situations may require medical attention. Patients must consult a healthcare professional if they experience severe and persistent symptoms, signs of dehydration, the presence of blood in the stool or high fever. 

It is important to note that these management strategies are general recommendations. The specific treatment and management approach may vary depending on the underlying cause of gastroenteritis, age, overall health and severity of gastroenteritis symptoms

  How beneficial is ORS in the case of gastroenteritis?  

When suffering from gastroenteritis, having ORS is greatly beneficial as they help to replenish fluids as well as electrolytes in the body. However, in case ORS is not available at home, you can make a solution of water, sugar and salt to ease your symptoms

  Which foods are worst while suffering from gastroenteritis?  

While suffering from gastroenteritis, patients must avoid having fruit juices, carbonated drinks, caffeinated drinks, broths as well as packaged or canned soups. It is also important to avoid fried items and those foods that are rich in fat such as potato chips, pastries and French fries.


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