Gastric Flu Symptoms

Common Gastric Flu Symptoms

Gastric flu symptoms are miserable, but for most people the condition passes quickly.  For people in high risks groups however, such as the very young, the very old and those with compromised immune symptoms, the disease can be serious.

Gastric flu, properly called Gastroenteritis, refers to an infection or inflammation in the intestines. It is a bit of a misnomer as the gastric flu is not related in any way to the influenza virus. The most common way to get gastric flu is by eating food that is contaminated with one or more types of bacteria.

Here are some of the most common symptoms.


These are among the most common gastric flu symptoms. Because they can all cause dehydration rather quickly, it is important to drink plenty of fluids to counteract these symptoms.

Abdominal Pain/Cramps/Bloating

If the abdominal pain is severe, you should visit your doctor as it could be a sign of a serious condition requiring immediate attention.  Better safe than sorry.

 Lethargy/Low Grade Fever

While not everyone with gastric flu will experience a fever, most will have some level of lethargy. Studies have shown that “fighting through” the flu can actually increase the duration. Instead, rest when your body is telling you to rest. Doing so may actually shorten the duration of your symptoms.

Diagnosis is typically made just based on symptoms. Treatment involves treating just the symptoms as there is no treatment that can cure gastric flu. The disease usually passes without any medical intervention.

To treat symptoms, patients may be advised to take over the counter anti-diarrhea medicine and pain relievers such as Tylenol.  You should also be sure to drink plenty of fluids to replace what you may be losing through vomiting and diarrhea. Plenty of rest from normal activities is also advised.

Some people claim to have had luck treating gastric flu symptoms with alternative medicines, such as probiotics. Some studies have found that eating yogurt can shorten the duration of the gastric flu.

The best way to prevent gastric flu is by being sure that all food that you consume is properly cleaned and cooked to the recommended temperatures.

While the typical gastric flu does not require a visit to the doctor, it is important to keep in mind that any combination of the above symptoms can be indicative of a number of conditions. Gastric flu symptoms mimic the symptoms of some more serious conditions. For that reason if the symptoms persist or become worse, it is vital to visit your doctor. If symptoms have not improved within a few days, a visit to the doctor would be in order.

The saddest truth about gastric flu is that millions die from it in undeveloped countries. This can be attributed in part to the lack of clean, healthy drinking water and poor sewage containment systems.

If you are suffering from gastric flu symptoms, it should pass within a matter of a few days. It’s miserable, but take heart in the fact that in developed countries, it is rarely serious.