Abdominal influenza


Abdominal influenza is the colloquial term for a disease caused by gastrointestinal inflammation (gastroenteritis). With the real flu (influenza) has the gastrointestinal flu but nothing to do. It is usually harmless, but causes unpleasant symptoms such as vomiting diarrhea. In rare cases, a gastrointestinal infection can be more complicated. Here you will learn the most important thing about gastrointestinal flu.

ICD codes for this disease: ICD codes are internationally valid medical diagnosis codes. They are found e.g. in medical reports or on incapacity certificates. A09K52A08J11

Even after recovering from a gastrointestinal flu, one is still contagious for a few days to weeks. Therefore, pay special attention to hygiene after using the toilet.

Dr. med. Mira Seidel article summary stomach intestinal flu
  • description
  • symptoms
  • Causes and risk factors
  • Examinations and diagnosis
  • treatment
  • Disease course and prognosis

Gastrointestinal Influenza: description

In medical terminology, gastrointestinal influenza is also commonly referred to as gastroenteritis, that is, inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Strictly speaking, such a gastrointestinal inflammation does not have to be caused exclusively by an infection with pathogens such as viruses or bacteria, but can also be the result, for example, of cancer treatment. However, the term "gastroenteritis" usually refers to the infectious (contagious) form.

The colloquial term "gastrointestinal flu" is somewhat misleading, because the infectious Gastroenteritis caused by other pathogens than the classical flu (influenza) and there is no relationship between these diseases.

Ultimately, you can get a gastrointestinal flu at any age. But especially often it affects babies and toddlers. In the first three years of life children suffer on average once or twice a year from a gastrointestinal infection. Three-quarters of all sick children are between six and 24 months old. Even in the elderly, the likelihood of developing gastrointestinal influenza increases again.

Gastrointestinal Influenza - what is behind it? How to protect yourself from dangerous diarrhea germs. And what pathogens are even transmitted over the air. How to protect yourself from dangerous diarrhea germs. And which pathogens are even transmitted via the air.

What happens with the gastrointestinal flu?

A gastrointestinal flu is the result of infection with certain pathogens that attack the mucosa in the gastrointestinal tract. These germs, mostly viruses or bacteria, enter the stomach through intake via the mouth and then move on through the intestine, where they multiply before being excreted in the faeces. According to this "walk" through the digestive tract are usually the symptoms of gastrointestinal flu: Symptoms in the initial stages are usually nausea and vomiting. They are later replaced by diarrhea.

What causes vomiting diarrhea?

When pathogens damage the gastric mucosa (either directly or through produced poisons), it can trigger a nausea in the brain. Vomiting is a protective reflex of the body, thus trying to get the unwanted invaders out of the body.

The often severe diarrhea in a gastrointestinal infection, however, is caused by the impairment of mucosal cells in the small and large intestine. Basically, the various pathogens cause diarrhea in different ways. There are three different mechanisms. It is often the combination of these mechanisms that causes diarrhea in gastrointestinal influenza:

  • Secretory diarrhea
  • Exudative diarrhea
  • Osmotic diarrhea

Some pathogens, such as cholera bacteria, induce in the mucosal cells of the intestine an increased excretion of water (secretion) in the interior of the intestine. The porridge there is very fluid (secretory diarrhea).

Other pathogens of gastrointestinal influenza cause a strong inflammation of the mucous membrane, which subsequently secretes mucus and occasionally even blood (exudative diarrhea).

In addition, the food is no longer digested properly because many food components of the broken mucosal cells can not be taken. Through a physical process called osmosis, these undigested constituents draw water into the intestinal interior from the surrounding tissue, which in turn leads to or enhances diarrhea (osmotic diarrhea).

When does one speak of diarrhea?

More than three bowel movements a day and a very soft to watery stool consistency speak for diarrhea. However, the normal bowel habits of a human must be consulted as a comparison. For example, if a person habitually only has one or two days of bowel movements and suddenly has to go to the bathroom twice a day and excrete thin-bodied stools, then this case also involves diarrhea.

Diarrhea can have many causes. In addition to a gastrointestinal flu, for example, chronic inflammatory bowel disease can be behind it.