What is Gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis occurs when the stomach and intestines become inflamed due to a bacterial or viral infection. Symptoms of this include diarrhoea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.


This condition is relatively widespread, especially among young children. In adults, it is usually caused by food poisoning, when harmful bacteria enter the digestive system or the norovirus. Children may be more susceptible to the rotavirus, a common source of the condition.


Gastroenteritis can cause symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps that can be very uncomfortable and unpleasant. However, in most cases, these symptoms will subside within a week without any additional medical treatment.


It is essential to replenish the fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhoea to prevent dehydration. Drinking a lot of liquids will help compensate for the loss.


When you have the symptoms of Gastroenteritis, it is generally advised not to visit your doctor, as it is a highly contagious condition.


With Mobi Doctor, you can consult with a doctor from the convenience of your own home. This is a great way to identify the source of your issues and, if necessary, obtain a prescription for medication to help you return to health.

Gastroenteritis: Symptoms

The following symptoms can identify Gastroenteritis:

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhoea

  • Stomach pain


Other symptoms may include

  • Headache

  • Body aches

  • Loss of appetite.

Suppose you experience other symptoms besides those listed, such as a high temperature. In that case, it is advisable to seek medical attention promptly, as it could indicate a more severe condition, like appendicitis.

Gastroenteritis: Timeline

Symptoms tend to begin within 24 hours after exposure.


Within 24 hours of infection, individuals may experience Gastroenteritis, characterized by nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and watery diarrhoea. In addition, a lack of appetite, limb pain, and headaches may also be present.


The recovery time is typically short, usually lasting at most seven days.


If your symptoms persist or worsen after a week, it is best to consult a doctor. Otherwise, the symptoms should clear up within a week, though this may vary in some cases.

Gastroenteritis: Treatment

To manage the symptoms of short-term Gastroenteritis, it is essential to:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids

  • Take it easy and get some rest

  • If you experience any pain, take paracetamol to relieve it.


If you are uncertain how to proceed or your symptoms persist for over a week, contact one of our doctors for advice.


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