Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What is Stomach Flu? - Basic Information

What is stomach flu?

With no particular virus that affects digestive system, stomach flu got its name to describe a state of digestive system under attack of any viral illness, and not to be classified as influenza. Now, you can make conclusion that this is, actually, an stomach infection caused by a virus; an inflammation of the gastro intestinal tract due to a viruses or in some cases bacteria or parasites.

What this virus do is, not just affecting the stomach, than it attacks the small intestine too and makes a person affected with the virus suffer from many well known symptoms.

As any other illness, stomach flu also has many names; so you can hear different phrases such are:
-stomach virus,
-gastroenteritis or a
-gastric flu,
but don't get confused with these, they all refer to the same sickness.

What are potential carriers?

We already mention that stomach flu is in most cases caused viral and bacterial, but the question is how this get in your body and organs!? 

Well the answer is really simple, those viruses, bacteria, parasites and toxins are usually brought by contaminated food or water. In some other cases, which are not rare at all, especially nowadays, diets, food allergies and medications can lead to gastroenteritis.

I would especially like to highlight several other ways of getting stomach flu, and would like you to consider it with special attention. Beside those factors above, you should be especially aware that gastroenteritis may be brought to your body from such a bizarre situations as is shaking hands with infected person and consuming food without previous washing hands; kisses with infected persons are even more dangerous since your respiratory organs are the front doors for viruses, not to mention exchange of fluids; and on the and I think you already get it yourself, but let's mention it too, sharing food and utensils with infected person, is potentially more dangerous than anything above.
Be aware that if your family members are sick, you should not get to close to them as you can get sick too.

What causes stomach flu?

There are many viruses and bacteria's which cause gastric flu. At this moment we will just count them, because we will take a special attention on all of them one by one in future posts.

Viral enemies are named:
  • Adenoviru, 
  • Astroviruss, 
  • Norovirus, 
  • Rotavirus and
  • Sapovirus.

Bacterial enemies are named:

  • Aeromonas,
  • Bbacillus,
  • Listeria,
  • Plesiomonas,
  • Salmonella, 
  • Shigella,
  • Staphylococcus,
  • Vibrio and
  • Yersinia.

Parasitic enemies are named:

  • Cryptosporidium,
  • Entamoeba and
  • Giardia. 

In some other cases food allergies, antibiotics, medication and  toxins, can cause gastroenteritis and we will mention them in future posts as well.

The time of incubation of virus, bacteria or parasite can take much longer before any gastroenteritis symptoms occur. The person become a patient once he or she get transferred infections from infected person our other source. Depending on the immune system, the infection will spread and soon the symptoms will appear. That  is the point when all trouble begins.

What are stomach flu symptoms?

When symptoms of stomach flu suddenly appear, this means that causer has done the job, and person begin to suffer from various symptoms. Well, these symptoms are so strong that they are considered as illness itself. Since all symptoms are classified as specific disease, we will pay more attention on each one of them and write more about them in future posts. Here we will just count them as well and letter on we will decompose each problem individually.

So the most common stomach flu symptoms are:

  • appetite loss
  • diarrhea,
  • fatigue
  • mild fever,
  • muscle aches
  • nausea,
  • stomach cramps and chills,
  • vomiting.

As you can see, more or less, all these symptoms are illnesses itself. Considered like that, they all can be triggered because of some other reasons.
Having this in mind, infected person and his or hers doctor must go through the series of laboratory tests to confirm if stomach flu is in case before proceeding to treatment.

Stomach flu treatment

Even if we all would be the most happiest with prescribed medication, in most cases medications are out of use. The most important factor in fight with stomach flu is immune system. While body can dehydrate because of vomiting, it is important to take water, but only in small doses. No solid food should not be used while the symptoms are in the worst phases. When patients symptoms improve, the patient can eat soft bland food. More about diet I will write in future articles.

As you can see, this is an very serious illness and you should never treat it yourself. Respect your doctors profession, they has the best words to prescribe us in such a bed health condition.

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