stomachflu-urgent care

First Med Urgent Care: What Is Stomach Flu?

Information From First Med Urgent Care

When patients visit an urgent care and hear the words “stomach flu” it is commonly misinterpreted as Influenza or what we call the “flu.” Our urgent care would like to clear this little misconception and explain what the stomach flu really is, in case you don’t know. Stomach flu is actually referred to as gastroenteritis. What does that mean, you ask? Basically, gastroenteritis is an illness that can be caused by a few different factors here in this list:

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Parasites

The bacteria, viruses or parasites could come from various places such as spoiled food, unclean water or reactions to certain food products. The symptoms of gastroenteritis can include:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Swollen lymph glands

Although eating may seem unpleasant while experiencing these types of symptoms, it is important to continue to try. When you are able to keep food down, it is recommended to stick with bland foods such as toast, rice, bananas, and applesauce. Also, with this type of illness, as many others, our urgent care staff recommend that you continue to drink plenty of fluids. You should consider keeping a glass of water around so that you will remember to drink, because gastroenteritis can cause dehydration. Of course, if you feel weak or dizzy these can be signs of dehydration and you should call your urgent care doctor.

If you cannot drink or eat anything due to continuous vomiting or diarrhea, skip urgent care treatment and have someone get you into emergency care as soon as possible. Other things to warn others to watch out for are if you have ongoing fever and/or fainting. At that point, someone needs to be calling 911. Good luck out there in the world of illness and keep on top of stomach flu or gastroenteritis should you find yourself in the thick of it.