What is Gastroenteritis?
Gastroenteritis is an infectious disease of the gastrointestinal tract characterized by inflammation of the gut, vomiting, and diarrhea. In some cases, vomiting is the largest symptom, but in others, diarrhea is more problematic.
There are two types of gastroenteritis: acute and chronic. When the onset of the disease is 12 to 24 hours and it resolves within 2 weeks, it is called acute gastroenteritis. On the other hand, if disease onset is 24 or more hours and takes several weeks or more to resolve, it is chronic gastroenteritis.
Gastroenteritis may be due to several causes. The cause may be viral, parasitic, or bacterial. Common causes of gastroenteritis include viruses such as norovirus and bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella. Medications or illicit drugs may lead to gastroenteritis, as will toxins in water and food.
Common symptoms of viral gastroenteritis include cramps, watery diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, and sometimes fever. Other less common symptoms include headache and blood in stool.
The possible complications that occur as a result of gastroenteritis are:
- Chronic diarrhea
- Transient lactose intolerance
- Decreased nutrient absorption
In case of acute gastroenteritis, your medical provider may recommend the following regime:
- Small sips of water and/or small sips of an electrolyte drink
- Intravenous fluid infusion if the patient is unable to drink fluids
- Bland foods as tolerated
Additional treatments may be available for patients who meet specific criteria, such as recent international travel, as well as for patients who are ill enough to be hospitalized.
In the case of chronic gastroenteritis, your medical provider will work with you to address the underlying cause of your disease and prescribe medications appropriate for that.
Facial abrasions and considered more serious as these have a higher risk of cicatrization and should be cleaned,debrided, and dressed daily. Dressings may require skin adhesives like the combination of gum mastic, styrax,alcohol, and methyl salicylate or tincture of benzoin.
In case of urgent medical care assistance, AfterOurs Urgent Care offers immediate telemedicine services, where medical providers are available to offer assistance. Anyone who experiences signs and symptoms requiring urgent medical attention can simply book their appointment with AfterOurs Urgent Care to directly talk to an expert. If your medical issue is not appropriate for telemedicine, we will let you know and refer you to an in-person facility.
When to visit a doctor:
If you experience watery diarrhea and severe abdominal cramps, you should see a medical provider in order to avoid possible serious complications.
Treatment for gastroenteritis is available at AfterOurs Urgent Care.