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What Are Symptoms of the "Stomach Flu"?

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Updated March 22, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

When you hear the term "stomach flu," you probably know the major symptoms that follow. But there can be more stomach flu symptoms than just vomiting and diarrhea. There are also many different causes of the stomach flu.

Stomach Flu Symptoms

Symptoms of the stomach flu may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Weakness
  • Muscle Pain
  • Weight Loss
  • Decreased appetite

Causes of Stomach Flu

Many viruses and bacteria can lead to symptoms of the stomach flu. Most often, it is caused by a virus, such as norovirus and rotavirus. It's important to note that although the influenza virus can sometimes cause gastrointestinal symptoms, a "stomach flu" isn't referring to an influenza infection.

Typically, the stomach flu is a "self-limiting" illness, which means it will go away on its own after a few days. In some cases, bacterial infections may hang on longer and need to be treated with antibiotics.

Sources:

"Viral Gastroenteritis." PubMed Health 12 Apr 10. US Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. 25 Feb 11.

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