Gastroenteritis is a viral condition that inflames the intestinal and stomach lining, generally caused by infection with rotavirus, the consumption of contaminated food, or stress. This disease affects more children than adults, and its main symptoms are abundant diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, and stomach cramps. Gastroenteritis is highly contagious, and it is during the presence of symptoms that contagion is most possible.
The discomfort caused by this disease can become unbearable due to the constant colic and the urge to go to the bathroom; however, once the disease has been diagnosed and the appropriate treatment is started, the person progressively improves. How long does gastroenteritis last? This question is asked by many people, and in this FastlyHealarticle, you will be able to know their answers.
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How long does a gastroenteritis last?
Gastroenteritis is a disease that usually heals quickly since as soon as the person begins to take the treatment, the symptoms improve considerably. Gastroenteritis usually lasts two to four days when no further complication occurs. However, when a speedy improvement is desired, drinking at least three liters of water a day and eating chicken broth can help accelerate recovery.
In some cases, gastroenteritis can get complicated and last a little more than six days, but it will never last more than two weeks. When a person has more than 15 days presenting symptoms of gastroenteritis, it is chronic gastroenteritis. However, this condition is scarce and is usually caused by not treating the disease properly in its initial phase. In either case, gastroenteritis is a disease that requires rest for the person to recover appropriately.
Causes of gastroenteritis
Gastroenteritis is a viral disease caused by microorganisms that we can find in the water, in food, and on infected objects or people that, when in contact with our mucosa, make contagion possible. Rotavirus is the leading cause of gastroenteritis in children under five. However, other microorganisms can cause this condition:
- Adenovirus entérico.
- Examples include Escherichia coli, cholera, shigella spp, salmonella, and campylobacter.
- Parasites like la giardia licked.
Treatment for gastroenteritis
Treatment for this disease consists of reducing symptoms so that the person can feel stable again while the virus is eliminated from the body. Therefore, the medical specialist will prescribe a series of medications to decrease the frequency of bowel movements, improve nausea, and relieve stomach pain.
Rest and hydration are essential in treating gastroenteritis since the person is much weaker than usual due to the amount of fluid that the body has lost due to frequent bowel movements. It is also essential to eat a soft diet to help reduce inflammation of the stomach and intestine lining. A specialist will prescribe the intake of antibiotics if it is evidenced through a stool examination that bacteria caused the disease.
Tips for Recovering Soon from Gastroenteritis
- Hydration is essential: chicken broth, water, chamomile, serum, and infusions are effective alternatives to increase fluid intake.
- The body is considerably weakened by gastroenteritis; it is essential to avoid strenuous activity. It is advisable to rest.
- It is essential to taste foods little by little to see how the body accepts them. Therefore, the idea is to eat a soft diet rich in the following foods: white rice, mashed potatoes, chicken broth, vegetable creams, toast, natural yogurt, banana, and apple. In the following article, we explain the diet for gastroenteritis.
- The liquid should be taken in small sips, as large amounts can lead to vomiting.
- Avoid the consumption of juices and carbonated drinks.
When should I go to the ER for gastroenteritis?
If the symptoms of gastroenteritis do not improve after two days, it is essential to see a doctor to perform a stool test and check if the cause of the gastroenteritis is bacteria; if so, it will be necessary to take antibiotics to kill the bacteria and eradicate the disease. In the case of children and the elderly, you should always see a doctor at the beginning of the disease since the dehydration caused by gastroenteritis can be fatal in these cases. If symptoms persist after two weeks, it is also advisable to go to the emergency room.
Go to a medical center if:
- Bloody diarrhea is evacuated.
- You haven’t urinated in eight hours.
- Extreme weakness, fainting, and dry mouth.
- Fever for more than 48 hours.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.