What are the causes of acute gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis is also known as the stomach flu which involves the inflammation of the stomach and intestines. The indications linked to gastroenteritis usually include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

The prevention of gastroenteritis usually depends on the mode of infection but observing proper hand washing after using the bathroom and before preparing a meal or eating is beneficial in preventing the spread of the infection to others. In most cases, individuals usually acquire acute gastroenteritis through contact with infected stool, contaminated water and from bacteria present in meats that are undercooked. If you want to learn ways to properly manage the symptoms, click here.

Bacteria

Acute gastroenteritis

The moment the bacteria enter the digestive tract, the individual can suffer from nausea and vomiting that can eventually cause sores that bleed and blood-streaked diarrhea.

The infections caused by bacteria can eventually lead to acute gastroenteritis. The common bacteria that instigate the condition include salmonella, E. coli, campylobacter jejuni and shigella. It is important to note that the bacteria can enter the body via contaminated water and food. The consumption of raw or undercooked meats, handling of foods without observing proper hand washing and contaminated water are ways in which bacteria can enter the body.

The moment the bacteria enter the digestive tract, the individual can suffer from nausea and vomiting that can eventually cause sores that bleed and blood-streaked diarrhea. The symptoms usually start within 12-36 hours starting at the time of contamination. The management for gastroenteritis caused by bacteria includes increasing the intake of fluids to avoid dehydration and avoidance of solid foods until the diarrhea starts to clear up. As for severe cases of gastroenteritis, the doctor would start an antibiotic therapy that the individual should strictly follow to achieve proper recovery from the condition.

Parasites and chemicals

The parasites such as cryptosporidium and giardia lamblia can cause acute gastroenteritis. These parasites can enter the body through consumption of contaminated water.

There are also chemicals that can cause acute gastroenteritis. The common chemical toxins that can cause the condition include heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and mercury as well as poisonous mushrooms. The individual should be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids and get enough rest to treat the condition.

Viruses

The most prevalent cause for acute gastroenteritis is a virus. Several viruses can instigate the infection. Essentially, there are two main types of viruses that can trigger the condition including norovirus and rotavirus.

The rotavirus usually affects children between 3-15 months old while norovirus affects school-age children and adults. Always bear in mind that both viruses can transmit via the oral-fecal route. The rotavirus is capable of spreading and the symptoms usually start within one to two days from the start of the infection. The treatment for viral gastroenteritis usually includes the prevention of dehydration by increasing the fluid intake and allowing the individual to rest. Once dehydration occurs, it is best to seek immediate medical care.

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