Digestive Health

Updated 10 March 2016

What is gastroenteritis?

'Gastroenteritis' means inflammation of the stomach and intestines.

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Gastroenteritis is an acute infectious syndrome caused by a micro-organism ingested in contaminated food or water or from other sources.

The virus or bacterium affects the stomach lining and intestines, causing some or all of the following symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal cramps. It sometimes also causes more general symptoms such as fever and headache.

 Gastroenteritis is also called:

  • Gastro
  • Gastric flu
  • Diarrhoeal disease
  • Traveller's diarrhoea
  • Food poisoning

Read more:

Causes of gastroenteritis

Symptoms of gastroenteritis

Treating gastroenteritis

Reviewed by Dr Karin Richter, MMed Path (Medical Virology), FC Path(SA) Viro, Dip HIV Man (SA), Dip Obst (SA), MBChB , Clinical Virologist, Senior Lecturer, Department of Medical Virology, University of Pretoria, Faculty of Health Sciences, and Consultant Pathologist, Tshwane Academic Division, National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS)

Previously reviewed by Dr Eftyhia Vardas BSc (Hons), MBBCh, DTM&H, DPH, FC Path (Virol), MMed (Virol), Clinical Virologist, Director HIV AIDS Vaccine Division. 

 

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Digestive Health Expert

Dr. Estelle Wilken is a Senior Specialist in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at Tygerberg Hospital. She obtained her MBChB in 1976, her MMed (Int) in 1991 and her gastroenterology registration in 1995.

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