Gastroenteritis - Symptoms & Treatment
Gastroenteritis involves diarrhoea or vomiting, with noninflammatory infection of the upper small bowel , or inflammatory infection of the colon , both part of the gastrointestinal tract . Viral gastroenteritis is an infection caused by a variety of viruses that results in vomiting or diarrhea. Often called the stomach flu, gastroenteritis is one of the most common acute illnesses worldwide, yet it has no effective treatment. Your best defense against this illness is prevention. All ages and both sexes may be affected yet the most severe symptoms are experienced by infants and those individuals over sixty years old. The use of certain drugs such as aspirin, antibiotics or cortisone drugs may increase risk for this condition. If you're otherwise healthy, you're likely to recover without any complications, although you may feel miserable for a week or more. There's no effective treatment for gastroenteritis, so prevention is key. In addition to avoiding food and water that may be contaminated, thorough and frequent hand washing is your best defense.
Gastroenteritis (gastro) is a very common illness in infants and children. In the United States it is second only to the common cold in frequency of occurrence. These symptoms could be those of viral gastroenteritis an intestinal infection marked by watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and sometimes fever. Food poisoning, stress, excessive alcohol or tobacco use, viral infections, food allergies, improper diet, certain drugs, food consumed in foreign countries and intestinal parasites are all possible causes for this condition. Gastroenteritis caused by viral infection or bacteria is easily passed from one person to another. Children then develop frequent, watery poos (diarrhoea). Often children may have tummy pain and fever with the diarrhoea. Some children may have a runny nose, or a sore throat. Higher or more prolonged fevers, more severe tummy pain and blood or mucus with the diarrhoea may suggest that Gastroenteritis. Care should always be taken to wash the hands often, especially when preparing food and after bowel movements.
Causes of Gastroenteritis
The common Causes of Gastroenteritis :
- Salmonella food poisoning
- Staphylococcus aurea food poisoning
- Such as the Campylobacter bacterium .
- Radiation or chemotherapy
- The bacteria themselves don't cause illness, but their poisonous by-products can contaminate food. Some strains of staphylococcal bacteria produce toxins that can cause gastroenteritis.
- Food poisoning
- Psychological problems
Symptoms of Gastroenteritis
Some Symptoms of Gastroenteritis :
- Occasional muscle aches or headache.
- Abdominal cramping
- Low-grade fever.
- loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- fever or chills
Treatment of Gastroenteritis
- Antibiotic or antimicrobial therapy is usually not indicated unless systemic involvement is present.
- The principal treatment of diarrhoeal illness in both children and adults is rehydration, i.e. replenishment of water lost in the stools.
- Antidiarrheal medications are generally not given because they may prolong the infectious process.
- Self-care measures to avoid dehydration include drinking electrolyte solutions to replace fluids lost by diarrhea and eating no solid food until the diarrhea has passed.
- If vomiting occurs, it's best to refrain from any drinking or eating for the next half hour.
- Drink 8 to 12 glasses of liquid daily to prevent dehdyration through diarrhea or vomiting
- Take non-aspirin medications for aches and avoid aspirin and ibuprofen since these medications may irritate the gastrointestinal system.