Medical Conditions

Gastroenteritis (Gastro)

What is Gastroenteritis? (or Gastro)

Gastroenteritis, more commonly referred to as Gastro, is an infection that causes a lot of suffering to the patient during the few days that it is most active until it usually disappears. Some of the ways patients suffer from Gastro include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal (stomach) ache and pain
  • Various other symptoms

The various risks, causes, symptoms and treatment of gastroenteritis will be discussed in this article, which is only general knowledge about Gastro. For a specific analysis of your case and to receive a diagnosis and potential treatment, please seek appropriate medical care – which may include seeing a doctor online for non-emergencies. Seeing a doctor online may be an appropriate course of action for mild symptoms and cases of gastro.

What is viral gastroenteritis

Many people ask what is gastro, or what is gastroenteritis, only to realise that it is a very familiar infection that they’ve known but may be unfamiliar with. The gastro virus, or the gastro bug is simply an infection of your intestines. The meaning of Gastro varies depending on your symptoms, but ultimately, it’s severity ranges from a slight stomach ache for 1-2 days with diarrhoea, to a lot of vomiting and diarrhoea for longer than a few days. The gastro virus or bug are actually caused by various types of viruses and bacteria which ultimately result in gastro or food poisoning.

What is the gastro virus or bug?

What is known as the gastro virus, is in fact the most typical source of gastroenteritis. These viruses quite simply spread across people via touch, where the bug is usually on the person’s hand/s after visiting the bathroom. Since the gastro bug is on the person’s hands, whatever they touch may also have the gastro virus and become infected with the bug. By the same transmission method of the gastro virus, if the person touches food during food preparation, the bug is then transmitted to the food (food poisoning), which can cause further transmission to other people. Due to the transmission routes which are commonly susceptible to many people’s touch such as food poisoning, outbreaks can occur with bugs causing many people to get gastro, in close communities such as schools, universities, offices or hospitals.


What is the meaning of gastro virus?

Gastro meaning differs between medical source, although a traditionally recognised meaning is the inflammation of the stomach lining, and both the small and large intestines. This gastro virus is very contagious and occurs commonly, causing millions of diarrhoea cases every year.

What are typical gastro symptoms?

Some signs of gastro or the symptoms of gastroenteritis are visible once the bug has entered the body. These symptoms usually show after food poisoning, which occurs once a person has consumed food which is infected with bugs that are known to cause gastroenteritis. These viruses and bugs will be discussed in more detail in this article.

The main symptoms of gastro include diarrhoea and vomiting. The main gastro symptom, diarrhoea, is the watery faeces that occurs a few times within a one-day period. Although not common in gastroenteritis symptoms, diarrhoea may contain signs of mucus or blood. These gastroenteritis symptoms may be accompanied by the following signs of gastro:

Stomach or abdomen aches and pains which feel like cramps. These cramp symptoms may reduce after the main symptom, diarrhoea, has passed.

Fever, headache and limb pain are other gastroenteritis symptoms that don’t commonly occur, but are still present in some cases


What to expect from the symptoms of gastro?

One of the major symptoms of gastro is vomiting – this usually occurs for about one day, but may last longer. Diarrhoea will usually last for about a few days longer than the vomiting, after which somewhat loose stools could occur for about 7 days until everything reverts back to normal.

These two major symptoms of gastroenteritis, diarrhoea and vomiting, involve releasing a lot of bodily fluids, which could ultimately cause dehydration. For any case of suspected dehydration, we recommend that you consult a doctor immediately for advice. Slight dehydration is usually not a serious problem, where a large amount of fluid replenishment could revert the dehydration. In contrast, more serious dehydration could result is much more serious effects, including possibly death. We recommend that immediate, emergency care is seeked in this situation as your vital organs require fluids to properly continue to work. With a lack of hydration, some of the symptoms of gastro, and dehydration, include:

  • Muscle cramping
  • Light-headedness
  • Tired feeling
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Urine passing
  • Other symptoms of gastro, and serious dehydration in adults may include:
  • Confusion and potentially coma
  • Increased heart rate
  • Bodily fatigue


Who does dehydration due to gastroenteritis most likely affect?

Dehydration as a result of gastro is more probably to affect:

  • Adults
  • Elderly
  • Women who are pregnant
  • Diarrhoea and/or vomiting persons, who aren’t able to replenish the fluids lost