Gastroenteritis – Symptoms & Treatment


Diarrhea and vomiting are symptoms of the fairly common disease referred to as gastroenteritis. Usually, a bacterial or viral stomach virus is at blame. Although it affects people of all ages, small children are most susceptible. A virus called rotavirus is the reason for the majority of illnesses in youngsters.

Adult cases of norovirus, sometimes known as the “winter vomiting bug,” or bacterial food poisoning are typically the culprits. Although it can be quite uncomfortable, gastroenteritis often goes away on its own after a week. Until you feel better, you can usually take care of yourself or your child at home.

Symptoms of Gastroenteritis

The following are the primary signs of gastroenteritis:

  • Sudden diarrhea that is watery.
  • Feeling sick
  • Vomiting, which can be projectile
  • A mild fever
  • Other signs and symptoms might include headaches, aching muscles, nausea, and lack of appetite.

Typically, the symptoms start to show up a day after contracting the infection. Although they can linger longer, they normally endure less than a week.


The majority of patients with gastroenteritis are aware of this from their regular symptoms, therefore they typically seek to visit a doctor or get medical assistance. The majority of the time, modest symptoms resolve on their own within a few days without the need for any special care. You might, however, need to consult a doctor if you have gastroenteritis in certain situations. Among the diagnostic techniques are:

  • Medical history
  • Physical examination
  • Blood tests
  • Stool tests.

Gastroenteritis Treatment

Drink a Lot of Fluids

You should see a doctor if you think you may be dehydrated. The modest amount of sugar and salt makes it easier for the body to absorb the water from the stomach (intestines).

They neither halt nor lessen diarrhea. If rehydration drinks are unavailable, underdeveloped nations employ homemade salt/sugar combinations. But they must be produced carefully since too much salt can be harmful.

Eat Normally as Much as You Can

When suffering from gastroenteritis, it used to be recommended to abstain from food for a while. Now, nonetheless, it is advisable that you try to consume small, frequent meals. Follow your hunger as a guide. As soon as you can, eat something, but keep drinking. If you do feel like eating, start by avoiding foods that are greasy, hot, or heavy. Simple meals like whole grain bread and rice are ideal choices to start with.


Typically, antidiarrheal medications are not essential. However, you might want to cut back on how frequently you visit the loo. In pharmacies, you may purchase anti-diarrheal medications. Antidiarrheal medications should not be administered to newborns or young children under the age of 12. Additionally, avoid using antidiarrheal medications if you have a fever or pass blood or mucus along with your diarrhea.

When to Consult a Doctor

If you believe you have gastroenteritis, you often do not need to visit a doctor because it should get better on its own.

  • You have severe dehydration symptoms, such as prolonged feeling dizzy, passing only a little or no urine, or if you start to lose consciousness.
  • You have bloody diarrhea
  • You are continually throwing up and unable to swallow any liquids.
  • Your fever is greater than 38C (100.4F).
  • After a few days, your symptoms have not started to get better.
  • You have diarrhea & vomiting together with a significant underlying ailment. This includes renal disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or a compromised immune system.
  • To determine what is causing your symptoms, your doctor may advise sending a sample of your feces to a lab. If this indicates that you have a bacterial infection, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics.