Gastroenteritis refers to an infection or severe irritation of the stomach and intestines.

The word Gastro is from gastric which refers to the stomach, and enteral means intestines.

Almost every thing under the sun can cause irritation or infection of the stomach and intestines. Broadly, causes could be biological, chemical or physical. The most common ones are

• Viruses

• Bacteria

• Parasites

• New food items

• Medications

We shall discuss the various causes one after the other.

Generally, it is characterised by unset of abdominal pain, diarrhoea and vomiting. Other symptoms may include blood and mucus in stool, bloating, fever, depending on the causative agent.

It mimics a wide range of illness, some very potentially serious. If you have diarrhoea and vomiting not resolving within 24 to 48 hours, a visit to the doctor is warranted.


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