How do viral gastrointestinal infections affect the body?

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Viruses that cause gastroenteritis invade the cells lining the stomach and intestine, damaging them and causing fluid to leak. This leads in turn to diarrhea and vomiting, which can then lead to dehydration.

Dehrydration, the lack of water in the body, causes weakness and causes urination to be infrequent. Dehydration reduces levels of potassium and sodium, essential nutrients, and can cause blood pressure to drop and heart rate to rise. If these symptoms go untreated, shock and kidney failure can set in.

Continue Learning about Digestive Diseases

Digestive Diseases

Digestive diseases, also known as gastrointestinal diseases, are disorders that affect your esophagus, stomach and small and large intestines. The symptoms of digestive diseases vary widely depending on which part of your digestiv...

e system is affected. Generally symptoms can be blood in your stool, a change in bowel habits, pain, weight loss or heartburn that is not relieved by antacids. See you doctor if you have any of these signs of digestive disease.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.