Published on Sep 20, 2015 and last reviewed on Sep 07, 2018 - 2 min read
Gastroenteritis is a common condition encountered by almost everyone. Despite it being common there is a widespread lack of awareness regarding its common causes and especially regarding its treatment. This article is aimed at giving general public better understanding of this condition and its treatment.
Gastroenteritis, commonly called the tummy flu or upset stomach is basically inflammation of the gut. It is a disease most commonly caused by viruses but can also be caused by some bacteria and rarely by parasites, antibiotics and other medications.
Common viruses that cause gastroenteritis are rotavirus and norovirus. Most common bacteria that cause this disease are E.coli, Staphylococcus, Salmonella, Bacillus and Enterococci.
Regardless of the cause, the symptoms are the same.
Signs of Dehydration:
The most serious consequence of gastroenteritis is dehydration caused by large amount of fluid loss during diarrhea and vomiting. This can be particularly dangerous and even fatal in young children. In fact gastroenteritis is one of the leading causes of death among children under 5 years of age in developing countries. The most common reason is severe dehydration and failure of timely re-hydration therapy.
Watch out for signs of dehydration which include extreme thirst, loss of skin turgor, dry mouth, lips and eyes, lethargy, dizziness and decreased urine.
Treatment for Gastroenteritis:
Treatment of gastroenteritis is aimed at prevention of dehydration. As mentioned above, the most common cause is viral infection and so antibiotics will not work in such cases. Plenty of oral fluid in take is at the heart of the therapy. Oral rehydration solutions (ORS) which are available over the counter must be consumed to replace electrolytes and minerals. Fruit juices and sports drinks are also helpful. Viral infections mostly resolve on their own within 3-5 days. If however the illness lasts longer and is associated with high grade fever, blood in stools, or severe dehydration then immediate medical attention must be sought. Bacterial or parasitic infections may require antibiotic/antihelminthic therapy. Severe dehydration may require admission and intravenous fluid replacement.
Prevention of Gastroenteritis
Gastroenteritis can be prevented by taking the following measures:
Consult a Medical Gastro online for more information regarding tummy flu --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/medical-gastroenterologist
Query: Hello doctor, I am a 24 year old female. What could be the cause of a severe stomach pain that happens after eating nuts, seeds, and things with oil in them? By oil, I mean even olive oil and not just greasy foods. This reaction has been happening for a year or so, and I have avoided these foods as ... Read Full >>
Answer: Hello, Welcome to icliniq.com. Severe stomach pain and cramps can be caused by pancreatitis and food allergy. In your case, both are equally probable. Pancreatitis is a common cause of pain that occurs after the intake of oil-rich foods. Food allergy is a diagnosis of exclusion. I suggest the f... Read Full
Query: Hello doctor, My 20 months old daughter did not pee last week for above 24 hours, the next day she did pee, but also vomited. On the same day, she was having a fever of 102 F, so we went to the pediatrician. He gave Vomitab, Calpol, and an antibiotic injection. From the past three days, the urine ou... Read Full >>
Answer: Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com. Please note that this must be two different infections. The reason why the child has not passed urine now is probably because of dehydration. It is advisable to give her 100 ml ORS (oral rehydration salts) with the passage of each loose stool for maintaining hydration. ... Read Full
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Answer: Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com. Your history fits into the acid peptic disease. I do not find any sign of cancer over here (attachment removed to protect patient identity). I would recommend you the following. A combination of Pantoprazole and Domperidone once daily for a few days. A good probiotic, t... Read Full
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