What is Gastroenteritis?

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Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract that is caused by gastrointestinal infections of the stomach and the small intestine.  Its infection is viral, parasitic or bacterial which is manifested by vomiting, diarrhea, and severe abdominal cramps.contaminated-milk

Microorganism causing gastrointestinal infections include adenovirus which is the most common cause of pediatric diarrhea second to rotavirus and also causes respiratory illness.  The most frequent cause of diarrhea in young children and infants in severe cases is the rotavirus.  Campylobacter is a bacterial infection frequent in children under two and is especially found in raw or undercooked poultry meat, or in contaminated milk. Food-borne gastrointestinal illnesses are Salmonella found in raw meats, poultry, seafood sand eggs and dairy products and Shigella found in water polluted with human feces. Another bacteria which causes gastroenteritis is E.coli that are found in ground beef and salads and Yersinia which are found in pork.

Bacterial gastroenteritis is often brought about by poor hygiene, close contact with animals or consumption of contaminated food or water.  Children are more susceptible to bacterial gastroenteritis.  Good hygiene should be implemented strictly by washing their hands regularly. Children should be taught against putting their dirty hands in their mouths or near their eyes.  Adults on the other hand should also make sure to wash their hands after changing their kid’s diaper and when preparing food by cooking them until they are well done.

small-intestine-stomach-fluTo prevent infection, contaminated surfaces should be disinfected using bleach. Proper hand-washing should be enforced and soiled clothing should be wash immediately. If you already have gastroenteritis, you should take precautionary measures to prevent spreading the bacteria by washing your hands after using the toilet and to avoid handling food for other people until your condition has improved.  Keeping away from uncontaminated persons is also best to avoid infecting them.  Avoid unpasteurized milk, raw meat or raw shellfish.  If you store food, be sure to either store them in very hot or very cold temperature for more than a couple of hours. Salads and vegetables should be washed thoroughly and separated cutting boards should be used for raw and cooked meats. When you travel abroad, drink bottled water and get yourself vaccinated with recommended vaccines.

For mild cases of gastroenteritis, you should drink lots of fluids to replenish the ones lost when you have diarrhea. Include some salty foods in your diet and eat in little amounts but often.  Take food or drinks with potassium like banana and fruit juices.  To keep your electrolytes balance and treat diarrhea. Some home ingredients may be used. To alleviate abdominal pain, use ginger.  To soothe and strengthen stomach against future infection, you can use apple cider vinegar and basil. Try to avoid eating dairy products and high-fiber food to lessen diarrhea.

It is best to wash your hands often and use hand sanitizer to  help avoid being infected. All-natural supplements may be able to help as well. Ask you doctor’s advice before taking any medicines.

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