Stomach Flu Symptoms, Causes and Possible Treatments
Stomach flu is a term that generally refers to the condition of having a bout of stomach flu. However, it could also be an expression of difficulty in swallowing a thing because of the discomfort felt in the region. Those who are affected by this kind of illness often complain of bloating, nausea, vomiting and pain in the chest.
A number of conditions may lead to the development of gastroenteritis. The most common of these conditions is streptococcus bacteria, which are present in the gastrointestinal tract. Streptococcus bacteria may cause abdominal pain, indigestion, abdominal cramps and severe fatigue among other gastrointestinal complaints.
Streptococcus is a genus of gram-positive coccus or spherical bacteria that belongs to the family Streptococcaceae, within the order Lactobacillales in the phylum Firmicutes. The cell division in streptococci occurs along a single axis, so as they grow, they tend to form pairs or chains that may appear bent or twisted.
The stomach flu symptoms can be classified into two groups; acute and chronic. Acute symptoms include fever, intense pain, vomiting, nausea and diarrhoea. The duration of the illness may vary from one day to a few weeks. As far as chronic stomach flu symptoms are concerned, patients may have a recurrence of the symptoms after having recovered from their initial bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea.
The upper respiratory tract infections may also give rise to gastrointestinal disturbances
- Shortness of breath
- Discharge of mucus from the nose and eyes
- Pain in the chest and headache are some of the common symptoms.
- Lethargy and low energy levels can also be felt.
Gout and rheumatoid arthritis are two other common causes of a person suffering from stomach problems
Rheumatoid arthritis is generally felt in the lower back, hips and thighs and the appearance of gout in the lower part of the legs and feet may cause swelling, pain and fever. Hyperesthesia is also experienced in some patients. A person may feel sleepy, tired and even dizzy when he is affected by this disease.
Diarrhoea and abdominal pains and fever are the most common forms of nausea and vomiting in some gastrointestinal disorders. When this happens, patients may experience symptoms like pain in the chest, fainting and loss of appetite.
Sleepiness and malaise are also common stomach flu symptoms. They may happen in a patient after not feeling well for a period of time. This may also be seen as a symptom of something much more serious.
Pain is another common symptom of stomach flu. The pain may be felt in the lower portion of the abdomen, thigh, lower back or shoulders. Severe and prolonged pains can cause serious harm to the body.
Sometimes the problem may be due to infection in the digestive tract. During the healing process, the immune system is supposed to produce antibodies that prevent further attack by infectious agents.
Gastric ulcers may also result in stomach flu symptoms. These are visible sores on the stomach that have the same symptoms as the gastrointestinal disorders mentioned above.
There are some symptoms that cannot be determined as stomach flu symptoms because they are linked to many other causes. These causes include diseases like
- Pulmonary tuberculosis
- Streptococcal bacteremia
- Skin diseases
- Cancer and many others.
In some cases, there are no known symptoms of stomach flu but certain factors may trigger the illness. Other health conditions like
- Metabolic disorders
- Brain tumours
- Hyperthyroidism may also cause stomach flu symptoms.
Gastroenteritis can be a recurring health problem. Therefore, a patient should consult his doctor so that he can be kept well. Gastroenteritis is the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, the stomach and small intestine.
The symptoms may include diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal pain. It is usually caused by viruses. However, bacteria, parasites, and fungus can also cause gastroenteritis. In children, rotavirus is the most common cause of severe disease.
Eating improperly prepared food, drinking contaminated water or close contact with a person who is infected can spread the disease. The treatment is generally the same with or without a definitive diagnosis, so testing to confirm is usually not needed.
How to prevent gastrointestinal
- Hand washing with soap
- Drinking clean water
- Breastfeeding babies instead of using formula
- Proper disposal of human waste.
- The rotavirus vaccine is recommended as a prevention for children.
Children infected with rotavirus usually make a full recovery within 3 to 8 days. However, in poor countries treatment for severe infections is often out of reach and persistent diarrhoea is common.
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