Gastroenteritis is an infection of the intestines which causes diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. It usually heals in a few days but sometimes it takes longer. The potential risk of this condition include dehydration.
Gastroenteritis is caused by bacteria or virus. Young children are more susceptible to this condition but can also affect people of all ages.
Gastroenteritis in adults can be caused by a virus called norovirus or “winter vomiting bug” or bacterial food poisoning.
Symptoms of gastroenteritis
- Feeling sick
- Sudden watery diarrhea
- Vomiting and mild fever
- Loss of appetite
- Upset stomach
- Aching limbs
- Take plenty of rest. Lay down in a curling fetal position to lessen the pain.
- Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Drink at least 3 liters of water every day for men and 2.2 liters of water for women. Another alternative is drinking water with electrolytes especially when vomiting and having diarrhea. These fluids make up for lost vitamins and minerals. Take oral rehydration salts for lost glucose and other essential minerals due to dehydration.
- Avoid drinking fruit juice or milk to prevent further damage and worsen the condition.
- Suck on ice cubes to prevent dehydration and lower the body temperature if experiencing mild fever.
- Chop up fresh ginger and allow it to steep in hot water for at least 10 minutes and drink the mixture. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that relieves pain in the stomach
- Take the BRAT diet which includes rice, bananas, apples and toast for at least 2 days. These foods are rich in fiber and easy to digest. Other variations of the diet include tea and yogurt.
- Take the prescribed over-the-counter indigestion medications to lessen the symptoms of indigestion. Avoid medications that further damages the lining of stomach such as ibuprofen.
- Take the prescribed medication to reduce vomiting. They are in the form of suppositories or given through an IV to prevent the possibility of vomiting t after taking them
- Maintain personal hygiene such as frequently washing hands while still in the healing stage. Stay off from work or at school at least 48 hours after the symptoms totally disappear.
- Take a rotavirus vaccine to prevent experiencing severe symptoms of gastroenteritis.
- Wash clothing, beddings and washable toys that are exposed to the infected person to prevent the spread of the virus.
- Clean bathroom and kitchen surfaces using a chlorine-based cleaner to sterilize the areas and prevent the spread of bacteria.
- Avoid eating undercooked and raw foods to prevent the spread of stomach virus. Meats are prone to carry this virus. Wash fruits and vegetables to remove any bacteria from the outside.