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Gastroenteritis: What it is, causes, symptoms and treatments

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

 When a woman has a child, especially if it is the first, she has numerous doubts and fears that she does not know how to resolve daily. To eliminate any uncertainty, it is advisable to go to a professional and follow the strictly indicated instructions. There are instances where the woman is going through some disease, no matter how mild, and is very afraid of damaging the child’s health by maintaining close contact, especially when she is still breastfeeding.

A frequent alteration is the inflammation of the intestine caused by some virus, parasite, or bacteria, and a significant number of mothers may wonder: Can I breastfeed with gastroenteritis? To learn more about this topic, we recommend that you continue reading the following FastlyHealarticle.

Gastroenteritis: what it is and causes

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases [1] declares gastroenteritis as an infection that causes inflammation in the stomach and intestinal mucosa that can cause significant discomfort to the patient. Hence, it is essential to see a doctor follow the instructions for treatment and calm the disorder’s symptoms. It is a widespread pathology since viral gastroenteritis is considered the second most common disease in many countries, such as the United States.

Although some bacteria, parasites, and certain chemicals can trigger this disease, the most common cause is infection with the virus called norovirus, which can be found in many places such as contaminated food and water; however, it is a very contagious pathogenic agent, so being in contact with a person who contains it can have a great chance of suffering it, which will depend on the hygiene maintained by said infected person because it spreads through feces and vomit.

At the same time, other prevalent viruses that can cause gastroenteritis are rotavirus, enteric adenovirus, and astrovirus. Although all these agents generate the same symptoms, some may cause them more intensely than others, although it will also depend on the patient’s age and their general health.

Main symptoms of gastroenteritis

It is essential to know how to detect the symptoms of gastroenteritis to take the necessary care and avoid infecting the people with whom you live. Some of them can last a couple of days to more than a week, depending on the pathogen causing the infection. The most common symptoms that accompany gastroenteritis are:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Strong or moderate abdominal discomfort.
  • Fever.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches.
  • Shaking chills.

In the following article, we will talk about diarrhea in pregnancy.

Gastroenteritis during lactation

Knowing all of the above, mothers may have doubts about breastfeeding their children if they are infected by any viruses that cause this alteration in the intestine for fear of transmitting the disease. However, the Spanish Association of Pediatrics [2] ensures that it is a situation that should not cause so much concern since the baby receives numerous defenses to fight bacteria and viruses, although the woman must take certain precautions so as not to infect the child by other means.

Although germs are not transmitted through milk, preventive measures must be taken before having contact with the child, mainly:

  • Proper handwashing after going to the bathroom.
  • Maintaining adequate hygiene for both the mother and her child can be of great help in avoiding infecting the child.

Taking these precautions, the mother with gastroenteritis should not have any fear of breastfeeding her child; on the contrary, it is always essential that it is done so that he becomes strong and can fight against various external threats.

When to see a doctor for gastroenteritis

Generally, patients do not need to undergo any specific treatment to get rid of gastroenteritis. However, it is essential that the patient rest and consume many fluids since they could suffer dehydration thanks to the symptoms caused by this intestinal infection. Although a medical consultation is necessary, the Texas Department of State Health Services [3] states that a professional should be seen urgently when the patient:

  • You cannot drink or eat normally.
  • You have dizziness.
  • Your body temperature is too high.
  • You have had diarrhea for more than two days.
  • You notice blood in your liquid stools.
  • Expels vomit with blood.

On the other hand, if the nursing baby has been infected with gastroenteritis, in addition to paying attention to the above symptoms, you should go immediately to the pediatrician if he is more sleepy than usual, shows signs of dehydration such as dry mouth, sunken eyes, he cries without tears or his diapers remain dry for more than 3 hours, also if he has a fever that lasts more than a day. In the following article we will talk about gastroenteritis in children.

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 Can, I breastfeed with gastroenteritis? We recommend that you enter our Pregnancy and baby health category .



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