Understanding Gastrointestinal Infections and Symptoms

Gastrointestinal infections affect the stomach and intestines, causing symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain. Hygiene practices and safe food handling are crucial for prevention.
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Prepared by Shruti Sahoo, reviewed by Dr. Eugene Smith

Gastrointestinal Infections FAQ

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How are gastrointestinal infections categorized?

Gastrointestinal infections can be categorized in several ways based on the location of the infection in the body, germ causes, and where they are acquired. You may end up with an upper or lower GI infection. Upper GI infections occur in the mouth, esophagus, or stomach, while lower GI tract infections affect the intestines.

What is a viral gastrointestinal infection?

Viral gastrointestinal infections are very common, and often people refer to these as the stomach flu. Norovirus is a type of viral gastroenteritis. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Diseases (NIDDK), norovirus causes 19 to 21 million cases of stomach flu in the United States each year.

What causes a gastrointestinal infection?

There are a number of bacteria, viruses, and parasites that cause gastrointestinal infections. GI infections typically last for a few days and are characterized by abdominal cramps and discomfort followed by diarrhea and can lead to dehydration.

What are the symptoms of a gastrointestinal infection?

Gastrointestinal infections can be bacterial, viral, or parasitic. No matter the cause, the symptoms are unpleasant and can include diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and nausea. Most infections will resolve on their own, but if a person has symptoms of dehydration or other complications, they should see a doctor.

Gastrointestinal Infections References

If you want to know more about Gastrointestinal Infections, consider exploring links below:

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