What are the symptoms of gastroenteritis?
The main symptoms include poor feeding in infants, vomiting and fever, usually rapidly followed by diarrhoea. Viral diarrhoea usually causes frequent watery stools, whereas blood stained diarrhoea may be indicative of bacterial colitis. The type and
severity of the symptoms depend on the type and quantity of microorganism or toxin ingested. Symptoms also vary according to the person's resistance.
Diarrhea is the most common symptom and may be accompanied by visible blood and mucus. Loops of intestine may be painfully swollen (distended) with gas. The person may have a fever, feel generally sick, and experience aching muscles and extreme exhaustion. Most people experience two or more of the following: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, headache, low-grade fever (99° F) and muscle aches. Viral gastroenteritis may last several hours to several days, with the average episode lasting 24-48 hours. In contrast, bacterial or parasitic infections can last well over a week and may require medication for treatment. In these cases, laboratory tests are necessary before appropriate antibiotics can be prescribed.
The child with gastroenteritis may be lethargic and have signs of dehydration (dry mucous membranes, tachycardia, reduced skin turgor, sunken fontanelles and sunken eye balls, poor perfusion and ultimately shock.
More information on gastroenteritis
What is gastroenteritis? - Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the stomach and intestine resulting in diarrhea, with vomiting and cramps when irritation is excessive.
What causes gastroenteritis? - The most common cause of gastroenteritis is viral infection. Gastroenteritis arises from ingestion of viruses, certain bacteria, or parasites.
What is stomach flu (viral gastroenteritis)? - Stomach flu (viral gastroenteritis) is a viral infection that affects the stomach and small intestine. It is also called viral gastroenteritis.
What is bacterial gastroenteritis? - Bacterial gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines caused by bacteria or bacterial toxins.
What is eosinophilic gastroenteritis? - Eosinophilic gastroenteritis is a rare disease in which the lining of the stomach, small intestines and large intestines become inflitrated with eosinophilis.
What are the symptoms of gastroenteritis? - The main symptoms of gastroenteritis include poor feeding in infants, vomiting and fever, usually rapidly followed by diarrhoea.
How is gastroenteritis diagnosed? - The symptoms of gastroenteritis are usually enough to identify the illness. However, if identification of the infectious agent is required.
What're the treatments for gastroenteritis? - Symptoms of uncomplicated gastroenteritis can be relieved with adjustments in diet, herbal remedies, and homeopathy.
How is gastroenteritis prevented? - If the gastroenteritis is caused by a virus, it probably cannot be prevented. There are few steps that can be taken to avoid gastroenteritis.