Acute Gastroenteritis: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments
Also known as stomach flu, acute gastroenteritis is a condition where one’s stomach and intestines are swollen and tender. It is different from gastritis as it affects not just the stomach but also the intestines.
1.3 million deaths detected globally in 2 billion cases as per a 2015 statistic.
- Is self-diagnosable, but requires medical tests under severe conditions
- Can be diagnosed via CBC, blood test, endoscopy, or X-ray
- Can affect both men and women
- Caused by virus, bacteria, or parasites
It is a very common illness that is frequently caused due to a norovirus infection. Transmitted mostly through the fecal and oral route.It is self-diagnosable and the time taken for the issue to clear up may be anywhere from days to few weeks. Rest and fluid intake are known to help the patient recover from the condition. Maintaining good personal hygiene helps prevent the infection from spreading.
Ages affected – above 65 years – very often; infants to 5 years – very often
Self – diagnosable
- People may experience
- Headache, abdominal pain
- Mild to severe fever
- Vomiting and severe nausea
- Normal to severe diarrhea
- Dehydration (most common with people those of weak immune systems)
Self-Care: Stop eating solid food for a few hours (to allow the stomach to settle down ), sip water and liquids to avoid dehydration, attempt to eat small amounts of food frequently, rest well.
Medications: Antibiotics such as cefixime and ceftriaxone are prescribed in case of bacterial infections.
Specialists: In any of the above symptoms, it is always better to consult a physician.
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