Gastroenteritis

When you have diarrhea and vomiting, you may say you have the "stomach flu." These symptoms often are due to a condition called gastroenteritis. With gastroenteritis, your stomach and intestines are irritated and inflamed. The cause is typically a viral or bacterial infection.


Symptoms of Gastroenteritis

With gastroenteritis, the main symptoms you probably have are watery diarrhea and vomiting. You might also have stomach pain, cramping, fever, nausea, and a headache.

Because of diarrhea and vomiting, you also can become dehydrated. Watch for signs of dehydration, such as dry skin and a dry mouth, feeling lightheaded, and being really thirsty. Call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.


What Causes Gastroenteritis

There are many ways gastroenteritis can be spread:

  • Contact with someone who has the virus
  • Contaminated food or water
  • Unwashed hands after going to the bathroom or changing a diaper

The most common cause of gastroenteritis is a virus. Gastroenteritis flu can be caused by many different kinds of viruses. The main types are rotavirus and norovirus.