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Gastroenteritis is an illness started by the infection and inflammation of the digestive system. Typical symptoms comprise stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting. In numerous cases, the condition heals itself within a many days.

The main complication of gastroenteritis is dehydration, but this can be averted if the fluid lost in heave and diarrhoea is replaced. A person suffering from severe gastroenteritis may need fluids administered intravenously (directly into the bloodstream via a vein – the setup is frequently appertained to as a ‘drip’). Some of the causes of gastroenteritis include viruses, bacteria, bacterial toxins, parasites, particular chemicals and some medicines.

Symptoms of gastroenteritis

The symptoms of gastroenteritis can include

  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Puking
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bloody stools (poo) – in some cases
  • Pus in the seats – in certain cases
  • Generally feeling bad – including lethargy and body aches.

Causes of gastroenteritis

There are numerous things that can beget gastroenteritis, including

  • Viruses – similar as norovirus, calicivirus, rotavirus, astrovirus and adenovirus
  • Bacteria – similar as the Campylobacter bacterium
  • Parasites – similar as Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium
  • Bacterial toxins – the bacteria themselves don’t beget illness, but their toxic by- products can pollute food. Some strains of staphylococcal bacteria produce toxins that can beget gastroenteritis
  • Chemicals – lead poisoning, for example, can spark gastroenteritis
  • Medication – certain medication (similar as antibiotics), can be get gastroenteritis in susceptible people.

Infectious gastroenteritis

Infectious gastroenteritis is caused by viruses, bacteria or parasites. In each case, infection occurs when the agent is ingested, generally by eating or drinking. Some of the common types of contagious gastroenteritis include

  • Escherichia coli infection – this is a common problem for travellers to countries with poor sanitation. Infection is caused by drinking polluted water or eating polluted raw fruits and vegetables.
  • Campylobacter infection – the bacteria are plant in animal faeces (poo) and raw meat, particularly poultry. Infection is caused by, for example, consuming defiled food or water, eating undercooked meat (especially chicken), and not washing your hands after handling infected animals.
  • Cryptosporidium infection – parasites are plant in the bowels of humans and animals. Infection is caused by, for illustration, swimming in a polluted pool and accidentally swallowing water, or through contact with infected animals. An infected person may spread the parasites to food or surfaces if they don’t wash their hands after going to the toilet.
  • Giardiasis – parasite infection of the bowel. Infection is caused by, for example, drinking polluted water, handling infected animals or changing the nappy of an infected baby and not washing your hands latterly.
  • Salmonellosis – bacteria are plant in animal faeces. Infection is caused by eating defiled food or handling infected animals. An infected person may also spread the bacteria to other people or surfaces by not washing their hands duly.
  • Shigellosis – bacteria are plant in mortal faeces. An infected person may spread the bacteria to food or surfaces if they don’t wash their hands after going to the toilet.
  • Viral gastroenteritis – infection is caused by person-to-person contact similar as touching polluted hands, faeces or heave, or by drinking polluted water or food.

Diagnosis of gastroenteritis

It's important to establish the cause, as different types of gastroenteritis respond to different treatments. Individual methods may include

  • Medical history
  • Physical examination
  • Blood tests
  • Stool tests.

Treatment for gastroenteritis

Treatment depends on the reason, but might include

  • Plenty of fluids.
  • Oral rehydration drinks, offered since your pharmacist.
  • Admission to hospital and intravenous fluid extra, in simple cases.
  • Antibiotics, if bacteria are the cause.
  • Medicines to kill the parasites, if parasites are the cause.
  • Avoiding anti-vomiting or anti-diarrhoea medicines unless specified or recommended by your croaker, because these medications will keep the infection inside your body.