8. When To Bring in Medical Help
The biggest challenge from stomach flu (other than feeling miserable) is possibly becoming dehydrated through constant vomiting and diarrhea. If this occurs, medical attention will be required, as it can be life-threatening, notes WebMD.
Severe dehydration will present as lightheadedness, sunken eyes, constant thirst, fewer tears, dry or sticky mouth, less elasticity of skin, and less urination. It’s particularly important to monitor young children and those who can’t communicate how they’re feeling.
9. Risk Factors for Gastroenteritis
While anyone can end up with stomach flu from the reasons we’ve mentioned, there are certain groups that can be more susceptible to developing the illness, says the Mayo Clinic.
Those groups include young children in elementary schools or daycare, as their immune systems may not have developed enough to fight off a stomach bug. Older adults may also be at higher risk (especially those in nursing homes), as their immune efficiency starts to drop. Anyone who has lowered immunity from an infection such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or is undergoing treatment such as chemotherapy may also be more likely to get stomach flu.
10. How Bad Can Stomach Flu Get?
Unlike influenza, which can lead to life-threatening respiratory conditions (including pneumonia), stomach flu doesn’t usually lead to anything serious, says MedicineNet.com. “Most patients who get gastroenteritis have no complications and will completely recover,” it offers.
However, dehydration is still a major concern when it comes to stomach flu, as it can be deadly too. Infants, pregnant women, the elderly and the immunosuppressed “usually dehydrate faster than healthy adults,” and it can be more of a challenge to rehydrate them through traditional oral methods.