What is gastroenteritis?
Gastroenteritis, also known by the names of stomach flu, tummy bug, intestinal flu, food poisoning and traveller’s diarrhoea, is the is the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, particularly involving stomach and intestines.
Gastroenteritis is a very common condition, and usually caused by variety of bacterias and viruses, though it may also be caused by parasites and fungus too. It is a contagious illness and can spread via contaminated food or water, and person to person contact. It may spread easily at places where people live in close contact with each other, like schools, child care facilities, nursing homes, cruise ships, people who live in crowded dwellings like slums, etc.
The most common symptoms of gastroenteritis include diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, etc. Symptoms usually subside in 2-3 days, without causing any long term complications or side effects.
Treatment is usually accompanied by oral rehydration therapy to compensate for the loss of water and electrolytes in the body through diarrhoea. Homeopathy has a very effective role to play in cases of gastroenteritis. The medicines prescribed by best homeopathy doctor can stop the symptoms immediately, giving rapid relief to the patient.
Gastroenteritis is usually caused by viruses. Common viruses that may cause GERD are-
- Rotavirus, that affect children and infants is the common cause of very severe form of diarrhoea, all over the world.
- Norovirus, is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in adults.
- Adenovirus, that can affect people from all ages.
- Astrovirus, which is again common in children.
Bacterias do not cause the disease often, but some of them like-
- salmonella and
- shigella may cause gastroenteritis. They are mostly spread by undercooked meat, eggs or poultry juices. Salmonella has also been known spreading via pet reptiles and live poultry. Shigella usually spreads through contaminated food and drinking water.
- Cryptosporidium may also cause gastroenteritis. They are usually spread by contaminated swimming pools or drinking water.
Sign and symptoms
Symptoms of gastroenteritis start 2-3 days after the infection, and may present as-
- Watery diarrhoea, with no blood
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle of joint pains
- Fever with chills
- Abdominal cramping with pain
- Loss of appetite
These symptoms may last for maximum of about 10 days, but require medical help if the symptoms worsen.
In adults, the need to see the doctor arises when-
- Diarrhoea has lasted more than three days and is not reducing in frequency
- Vomiting has persisted for more than 2 days
- There is blood in the vomitus
- There are signs of dehydration, like excessive thirst, dry mouth, no or very less urine, dizziness, etc.
- There is blood in the stool
- High fever continues
For infants and children, need to see the doctor arises when-
- Child has been vomiting for several hours
- Child is in lot of pain
- He/she has blood in the stool
- They start showing signs of dehydration, which can be evaluated by observing the intake of water and outflow of urine.
- Infants have sunken soft fontanelle on the top of the head
The most important complication that anyone can develop in gastroenteritis is dehydration, which is marked by excessive loss of water and essential electrolytes from the body. Infants, old people and people with compromised immunity are more at risk for developing dehydration. In severe cases hospitalisation and IV replacement of lost fluids may be necessary. Dehydration can rarely become fatal, but in severe cases, it may happen.
Doctor can easily diagnose gastroenteritis by looking into the symptoms of a person. He may send stool sample for laboratory tests, to confirm the microorganism responsible for causing gastroenteritis.
Homeopathy is the safest and most natural way of treating the symptoms caused in gastroenteritis. The best homeopathy doctor will prescribe the medicines considering the mental and emotional states of the child or person, along with their physical symptoms to treat the disease.
Homeopathy medicines not only rapidly relieve the physical symptoms of the patient, but also calm down the mental state, to give full relief to the patient.