10 Symptoms of Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis, often referred to as the stomach flu, is one of the most common illnesses in the United States. When infected, the lining of your stomach and intestines become inflamed. This can cause extreme discomfort and a number of different symptoms. Despite being an extremely unpleasant experience, having gastroenteritis isn’t something you need to be rushed to the hospital for. In fact, most people recover in a few days; without any kind of treatment or doctor’s assistance.

While this is a very common infection, there is a more severe form of it that you should be aware of. While rare, it can be dangerous, so if you notice your symptoms aren’t getting better after a day or two consider consulting a medical professional, just to be safe.

1. Abdominal Pain

As the viral or bacterial infection attacks the lining of your stomach and intestines, you may start to have abdominal pain or cramping. This pain can vary from mild to severe depending on the severity of the infection. It will most often feel like an aching or a tightening in your gut, and when combined with some of the other symptoms, it can lead to a very unpleasant experience.

If you can keep from throwing it up, pain medicine is something that could help ease this particular symptom. A heating pad or blanket on the affected area can also help to relax tense or cramping muscles. It may seem ineffective, but applying heat to your abdomen can actually help lessen the pain caused by this viral infection. It’s not a miracle cure, and likely won’t make it go away completely, but it can definitely help make things a little less miserable.

If the pain in your abdomen is severe or in a location other than around your stomach, or if it doesn’t start to fade over the next day or two, talk to your doctor. It’s important to rule out anything serious when symptoms last longer than they should or affect areas they shouldn’t.