What Stomach Infection Symptoms Can Tell You
Stomach infection symptoms are often quite similar no matter what the cause, and generally include such things as nausea, diarrhea, a bloated feeling, or a stomach ache. At times it can be difficult to tell just what the nature of the infection is, which can make treatment difficult, if treatment is indeed needed. Sometimes, we decide to just “ride it out” when we feel one or more stomach infection symptoms, which can be a sensible decision in some cases, but could be a wrong decision in others.
In this article, we'll look at the most common types of stomach infections along with their accompanying symptoms. This will hopefully be useful information should a stomach infection be experienced. The more common disorders which may or may not result from an infection are gastritis, gastroenteritis, and the tummy bug.
Gastritis – Gastritis can be due to a number of things, all of which lead to an inflammation of the stomach lining. Gastritis is in itself not an infection, and can be caused by such things as stress, alcohol abuse, and certain medications taken in excess, or over a long period of time with aspirin being one example. The most common cause of gastritis however is a bacterial infection. The bacteria in question is called Helicobacter pylori. Thisis the same bacteria that is usually responsible for causing stomach ulcers. In most instances, a bacterial infection in the stomach will clear up on its own in a relatively short time. In more severe cases, or cases which persist, an antibiotic may be needed to cure the ailment.
Another type of infection causing gastritis is a viral infection. This a less common type of stomach infection. It is most often experienced by those who have a weak immune system, or have an autoimmune disorder.
Gastritis Symptoms - Insofar as stomach infection symptoms relating to gastritis are concerned, they can include nausea and vomiting, a stomach ache, and a loss of appetite. Those who have a mild form of gastritis may not have any symptoms at all. At the other end of the scale, those who have a severe case of infection, and consequently a severe case of gastritis, may have blood in their stools or vomit up blood.
Gastroenteritis And Gastroenteritis Symptoms – Gastroenteritis is somewhat similar to gastritis in that the stomach lining may be irritated and inflamed, but in the case of gastroenteritis, the inflammation extends into the intestines as well, and in some cases upwards into the esophagus. An infection is usually due either to bacteria that exist in food, especially food that is spoiled, or in unclean drinking water. An infection can also be caused by parasites that can be found in spoiled food and unclean water. As is the case with gastritis, the stomach infection symptoms often include diarrhea and vomiting, but the symptoms may be more severe than those experienced when gastritis is the case. Sometimes the symptoms seem nearly identical to those experienced when one has stomach flu, but in the case of gastroenteritis, influenza is not involved. The main danger gastroenteritis presents is, if the symptoms are quite severe, diarrhea and vomiting can lead to dehydration, a situation which can be quite serious and even life-threatening to infants and the elderly.
The bacteria that is most often responsible for a bout of gastroenteritis is the Escherichia coli bacteria, which can cause what is commonly referred to as traveler's diarrhea. This is also the bacteria most likely to be present in case of food poisoning. Of the several viruses that can bring on stomach infection symptoms, perhaps the most famous one is the norovirus, the leading cause of gastroenteritis outbreaks, and best known as the Cruise Ship virus. Gastroenteritis can also be caused by such things as lactose intolerance, or various food allergens, but these causes do not fall within the category of infections.
Tummy Bugs – (For Children Only) - A tummy bug episode is nothing more than an episode of gastroenteritis, but is given the name tummy bug since in this case we are talking about children. Mild forms of gastroenteritis or tummy bug outbreaks are quite common in children, and unless a case is particularly severe, where dehydration could be a danger, these outbreaks are more or less taken as they come, as there will usually be several episodes experienced during one's childhood years. The stomach infection symptoms experienced during a tummy bug episode are the usual symptoms, diarrhea and/or vomiting, and an occasional high fever. Unlike gastroenteritis as experienced in adults, which can be caused by a number of things, tummy bugs are almost always caused by a bacteria or a virus. More often than not, the bacteria or virus responsible for a given episode is never identified.
In the course of a lifetime one can be expected to experience several incidents of either gastritis or gastroenteritis resulting from a stomach infection. One will also no doubt experience, but quite probably will not remember, an episode or two of what could be called infantile gastroenteritis, but is know as the tummy bug, a name that just seems more appropriate.
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