Gastroenteritis is known as the pathology that causes inflammation in the intestinal membrane, which can be caused by a bacterium, a parasite, or a virus, mainly by the infectious agents Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba histolytica, Norovirus and rotavirus, the latter being the most frequent, especially in children and it is straightforward to transmit it to other members of the family or people with whom there is more excellent contact.
Although gastroenteritis is a pervasive disorder, it can be severe, mainly for children, the elderly, and people with a weakened immune system. You should be careful if someone close to you is suffering from this intestine inflammation. If you wonder why gastroenteritis is contagious, at FastlyHealwe, want you to know some essential things.
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Why is gastroenteritis spread and how to avoid it
Gastroenteritis is a disease transmitted as an infected person constantly expels microorganisms through vomiting and bowel movements. If you come into direct contact with these fluids, this pathology is the fastest way you incurred, answering your doubt as to why gastroenteritis is contagious.
It is for this reason that prevention is based simply on hygiene measures and trying to be in contact with gastroenteritis sufferers for the least amount of time possible. However, this disorder could also be caused by eating contaminated or spoiled food that contains these infectious agents, for example, if the vegetables were watered with wastewater that contained gastroenteritis microorganisms. You did not disinfect them properly before. To ingest, it is essential to pay attention to everything consumed.
Suppose the person with gastroenteritis is someone you cannot avoid contact with. Maintaining good hygiene practices is usually efficient so that you do not contract this pathology as a precaution. It is best not to share glasses, cutlery, personal hygiene products, and other utensils while the infectious agent is active in the body.
On the other hand, if you are a person with inflammation in the intestine, you should wash your hands continuously, avoid expelling vomit anywhere and perform an excellent cleaning of the bathroom constantly.
Main symptoms of gastroenteritis
The symptoms that you can observe if you or someone close to you has this inflammation in the intestinal membrane include abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, which appear between 4 and 48 hours after coming into contact with the virus. Also other symptoms you may notice are chills, clammy skin, sweating, fever, joint stiffness, muscle pain, poor appetite, and weight loss.
The most challenging situation in gastroenteritis is dehydration, mainly in children and the elderly. This is why they must be in constant hydration and visit a doctor urgently, especially if you observe symptoms of dehydration such as dry or sticky mouth, sunken eyes, low blood pressure, absence or low urinary output, among others.
What to eat if I have gastroenteritis and what to avoid ingesting?
Due to the loss of fluids caused by gastroenteritis, the following nutritional recommendations are recommended:
- Perform a liquid diet: By consuming a large number of fluids throughout the day, you prevent dehydration and help eliminate germs from the body. You can opt for mineral water, lemon water, or sports drinks.
- Yogurt with bifidobacteria: This product is ideal if you have, or someone close to you, been going through numerous vomiting or diarrhea, but they have already stopped as a way to restore intestinal flora.
- Astringent diet without fiber: this should be done after the digestive rest necessary during gastroenteritis and is based on reducing diarrhea. Rice, potatoes, carrots, boiled or grilled chicken breast, white fish, toast, and cheese are good to start eating slowly after the worst is over.
You must avoid consuming:
- Sugar and foods that may contain it, such as chocolate.
- Dairy products.
- Spicy or sour foods.
Treatment for gastroenteritis
Since you know why gastroenteritis is contagious, your treatment for this infection must be controlled by a doctor and, probably, is based on avoiding dehydration; that is why you should constantly drink a lot of fluids, even if sometimes you don’t feel like it. To consume it. You should drink small amounts, 60 to 120 ml, for approximately 30 to 60 minutes.
Sports drinks are advised for older children and adults, although you should avoid giving them to young children with gastroenteritis. It would help if you didn’t consume fruit juice, soft drinks, cola drinks, broths, or jellies, as these can worsen the picture.
If you are hungry and want to eat, you should eat small portions frequently, such as cereals, vegetables, fresh apples, yogurt, and lean meats. You mustn’t self-medicate since by not knowing the origin of the disease, the drug you are consuming can be inefficient and even counterproductive; in addition to that, in most cases, the administration of antibiotics is not necessary unless it is bacterial gastroenteritis with very severe diarrhea.
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 Why is gastroenteritis contagious, we recommend that you enter our Digestive System category .
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.