Acute Gastroenteritis/ GI Infection

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Acute Gastroenteritis/ GI Infection

Understanding Acute Gastroenteritis:

Acute Gastroenteritis is an infection of the gut, i.e. the intestines, which can cause diarrhoea, and can also cause the patient to feel sick and suffer from abdominal pain. In most cases, the infection that causes this disorder will clear up on its own. In some cases, though, this can go on for much longer. The main danger from Acute Gastroenteritis is dehydration, as this disorder causes a huge loss of fluids from the body. Let us look at this condition in a little more detail:  

What Causes Acute Gastroenteritis:

Primarily caused by an infection of the intestines, the severity of Acute Gastroenteritis can vary, ranging from a mild stomach upset for a few days to severe diarrhoea and vomiting for many days. A number of germs, including viruses, bacteria and other microbes, can cause this disorder. External factors like food poisoning i.e. eating food infected with microbes can also cause gastroenteritis. Another group of microbes called parasites can also be a cause.

Water contaminated by bacteria or other microbes is another common cause for Acute Gastroenteritis.

Common Symptoms of Acute Gastroenteritis

There are a number of symptoms linked with Acute Gastroenteritis. These include:

  • The main symptom of Acute Gastroenteritis is diarrhoea, often coupled with vomiting. Diarrhoea is a disorder that results in loose or watery stools, which usually occurs at least three times in 24 hours. Blood or mucus may also appear in the stool passed, caused due to certain infections.
  • Severe cramps and pain in the patient’s abdomen.
  • A high temperature, headache and aching limbs can sometimes occur due to Acute Gastroenteritis.

If vomiting occurs, it often lasts only a day or so but sometimes longer. Diarrhoea often continues after the vomiting stops and commonly lasts for several days or more. Slightly loose stools may continue (persist) for a week or so further before a normal pattern returns. Sometimes the symptoms last longer.

Treatment for Acute Gastroenteritis:

In most cases of Acute Gastroenteritis, the symptoms of the same usually clear up on their own within a few days, by which time your immune system usually clears up the infection. In cases where symptoms are severe, the patient may need to be hospitalised to help with dehydration or other complications.

In most cases, the following treatment protocols are suggested:

Ensure that you consume a lot of fluid: The main aim here is to ensure that your body does not get dehydrated, due to excessive vomiting or diarrhoea.  For most adults, fluids drunk to keep hydrated should mainly be water.

Eat as normally as possible: Most doctors will advise that you eat small, light meals if you can. Plain food items like bread and rice are good options to try first. Do not try to force yourself to eat, though, as it may cause your condition to get worse.

Prescribed Medication: In most cases, anti-diarrhoeal medicines may not be necessary for your treatment. They can help with the symptoms of this disorder, though.

The Apollo Clinic Experience:

Acute Gastroenteritis can be a very painful disorder to go through. While there is no permanent cure for this medical condition, our expert gastroenterologists are well equipped to make sure that that your time spent suffering through condition remain as short as possible. At our centre, the treatment for Acute Gastroenteritis is holistic, and begins from a thorough study of your case history and the symptoms being shown. Our experts also regularly check you for signs of dehydration, as well as your temperature, pulse and blood pressure, as well as any type of tenderness in your abdomen. If you feel that you are suffering from severe symptoms of acute gastroenteritis, get in touch with one of our specialists immediately. 

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