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Gastroenteritis: symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Gastroenteritis occurs when the intestinal and gastric mucosa becomes inflamed due to a virus, bacteria, or parasites, producing a series of intense symptoms. Diarrhea is the most common of all. Although, in general, this condition does not represent a danger when it is cared for and controlled adequately, the dehydration produced by constant bowel movements can become a problem, especially for children and the elderly, who are at risk of losing fluid more quickly. Recognizing the symptoms in time is very important to find the appropriate treatment and avoid dehydration; that is why at FastlyHealwe, explain the symptoms and treatment of Gastroenteritis.

What is Gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis is one of the most common viral diseases today; this condition causes inflammation in the intestine and stomach lining that generates a series of annoying symptoms. It is also known as stomach flu and is produced in most cases by the contagion of a virus that can be transmitted through infected food or water and from one person to another.

Certain bacteria and parasites can also lead to this gastric disorder, which in most cases stops within a few days of contagion if it is a virus and which, in the case of bacteria and parasites, will require specific medication. When the symptoms of this condition last less than two weeks, it is classified as acute Gastroenteritis; if they extend up to 4 weeks, it is defined as persistent, while when the Gastroenteritis lasts more than a month it is classified as chronic.

Causes of Gastroenteritis

The microorganisms that cause Gastroenteritis can be found in the water we drink, the food we consume, and also in many objects that we use daily and that, if they come into contact with our mouth or mucous membranes, could lead to this condition. It is also a disease that can be spread from one person to another, so you must be careful not to exchange fluids or personal items with someone who suffers from Gastroenteritis.

This condition can affect children, the elderly, and people with a weakened or compromised immune system, so these groups should be closely monitored.

The most common viruses that cause Gastroenteritis are:

  • Rotavirus is the leading cause of this condition in children, affecting adults of all ages.
  • Norovirus is another common cause of Gastroenteritis in children.
  • Enteric adenovirus.
  • El astrovirus.

The bacteria can also cause this condition; some of the most common culprits are the E- Coli, cholera, Shigella spp, Salmonella, or Campylobacter. In addition, certain parasites can also cause inflammation in the gastric and intestinal mucosa; typically, these live in contaminated waters, Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium being the most common.

Symptoms of Gastroenteritis

In cases of viral Gastroenteritis, symptoms usually appear in the first 48 hours after infection, appearing suddenly and with intensity.

The most common gastroenteritis symptoms are:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Intense diarrhea may have the presence of blood and mucus.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Bowel sounds may be present.
  • In addition, you may experience fever, chills, fatigue, and muscle pain.

Addressing this condition is very important as these signs can quickly lead to dehydration, especially in more vulnerable patients.

Treatment of Gastroenteritis

Usually, the diagnosis of Gastroenteritis is made by simply evaluating the symptoms and the patient’s condition. In the case of people who have traveled or who have been exposed to the virus, it is easier to determine that it is viral Gastroenteritis; however, if the symptoms do not stop after 48 hours, a stool analysis will likely be required to determine if this condition it is being produced by bacteria, parasites or the specific type of virus that causes it.

When the condition is caused by a virus, medication is recommended to reduce vomiting and diarrhea and a soft diet that allows the gastric and intestinal mucosa to deflate. Antibiotics are only recommended when Gastroenteritis has been caused by bacteria and is always under medical indication. Taking any medication without medical supervision is not recommended.

Staying hydrated is essential, so it is recommended to intake water frequently and in small sips, liquid serum, light soups prepared at home, and infusions such as chamomile, which will help reduce inflammation and abdominal pain.

Recommendations to cure gastritis

Hydration is essential to prevent the table; in addition to drinking plenty of water, liquid whey complicated and sports drinks, but always in small sips constantly, it is essential:

  • Do not do the strenuous activity as the body is weakened by all the symptoms.
  • soft diet is recommended to test the acceptance of food. White rice, mashed potatoes, homemade vegetable or chicken soups, homemade vegetable creams, toast, plain yogurt, banana, or apple are good alternatives to eat during this stage. Eat small portions and evaluate the way your body reacts.
  • Don’t drink liquids in large amounts or you could encourage vomiting. The intake should be little by little, always avoiding the consumption of juices, soft drinks, or teas since these are not suitable for this condition.
  • Isotonic drinks are not recommended for young children; in these cases, liquid or ice cream is the best alternative.

When to go to the doctor in the emergency room?

If the Gastroenteritis does not normalize and the symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting extend for more than 48, it is essential to go to a medical center as soon as possible. It is advisable that if babies, children, or the elderly present symptoms, they are immediately taken to the doctor because they are patients more prone to rapid dehydration.

It is also recommended to visit a specialist if:

  • It is impossible to retain any liquid or food; intravenous hydration is likely needed.
  • No urine for 8 hours or more.
  • Crying without blood occurs.
  • Stools contain blood.
  • It manifests in extreme weakness, dry mouth, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Fever that does not go down after 48 hours.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Gastroenteritis: symptoms and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Digestive System category .

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