Gastroenteritis (stomach flu) is a common, worldwide disease and almost everyone suffers from it a few times in their life because it is almost impossible to avoid contact with some of the viral and bacterial causes. It is an illness triggered by the infection and inflammation of the digestive system. Typical symptoms include abdominal cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. In many cases, the condition heals itself within a few days. The main complication of gastroenteritis is dehydration, but this can be prevented if the fluid lost in vomit and diarrhea is replaced. A person suffering from severe gastroenteritis may need fluids administered intravenously (directly into the blood stream via a vein – the setup is often referred to as a ‘drip’). Some of the causes of gastroenteritis include viruses, bacteria, bacterial toxins, parasites, particular chemicals and some drugs.