Gastroenteritis written on label tag with pills and Stethoscope on wood background

When Gastroenteritis Leads to More Serious Problems

Gastroentiritis also called the stomach flu, results in diarrhea, stomach pain, and vomiting that typically lasts for a week at most. What most people don’t know is that it could also sometimes trigger secondary issues or dangerous complications. While most of these complications will go away in time, others might persist.

Dehydration is a Common Complication, But…

This is the most common gastroenteritis complication and occurs because the body loses electrolytes and fluids that are not replenished because of diarrhea and vomiting. While common, it can also cause more severe issues like kidney and urinary problems, heat injury, hypovolemic shock, and seizures. It is particularly hazardous for the elderly, young children, and those with compromised immune systems. In the event that you are severely dehydrated, you may need to go to your local GI doctor in Salem for a checkup and have your fluids replenished via an IV.

Complications in Pregnant Women

Although most expectant mothers will recover from the stomach flu without lasting issues, it can result in complications such as early labor. With this in mind, it’s recommended that you visit your doctor if you suspect you have gastroenteritis to ask for advice on how to curb your symptoms.

Potential Long-Term Stomach Issues

In most cases, gastroenteritis symptoms go away once you’ve treated the infection that made you ill. In other cases, however, stomach problems like the ones below could persist:

  • Gut changes. Gastroenteritis could upset the balance of microbiomes in the gut, which means that quantity and variety of beneficial bacteria in your gut will be reduced.
  • Crohn’s Disease and Colitis. These conditions can cause your digestive tract to get inflamed. They might be triggered by an abnormal reaction of your immune system. What happens is that when your body attempts to fight off an infection, it may likewise attack healthy digestive tract cells.
  • Post-Infectious IBS. This is similar to classic irritable bowel syndrome and causes constipation or diarrhea, stomach cramps, and nausea. While symptoms can persist for months or years, they will go away eventually.

The Reactive Arthritis — Gastroenteritis Link

A seemingly simple case of stomach flu can lead to reactive arthritis in some individuals. Reactive arthritis is a severely painful type of inflammatory arthritis that could be triggered by an infection from E.coli, salmonella, Vibrio, Shigella, Yersinia, Campylobacter, and others. Some individuals get better following the first flare, with symptoms lasting from three months to a year, while in some individuals, symptoms can be chronic or recurrent.

The Link Between Aneurysms and Gastroenteritis

A gastroenteritis episode may likewise increase your risk of developing a bulge in your major capillary’s wall. This is called an aortic aneurysm. Although you may not feel any symptoms when you have an aortic aneurysm, it could be fatal if it bursts.

What to Do If You Suspect Warning Signs of Gastroenteritis Complication?

Doctor conducting tests

It’s very crucial to keep in mind that the majority of individuals with stomach flu will recover fully without developing any complications. But if you suspect that you have developed a complication, visit your doctor as soon as possible to determine your specific symptoms and condition.