Here is a video on gastroenteritis management:
Robina 7 Day Doctors and Acupuncture recommends this video
The symptoms of gastroenteritis can include:
- loss of appetite
- abdominal cramps
- abdominal pain
- bloody stools (poo) – in some cases
- pus in the stools – in some cases
- generally feeling unwell, including lethargy and body aches.
- There are many things that can cause gastroenteritis, including:
- viruses – such as norovirus, calicivirus, rotavirus, astrovirus and adenovirus
- bacteria – such as the Campylobacter bacterium
- parasites – such as Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium
- bacterial toxins – the bacteria themselves don’t cause illness, but their poisonous by-products can contaminate food. Some strains of staphylococcal bacteria produce toxins that can cause gastroenteritis
Treatment depends on the cause, but may include:
- plenty of fluids
- oral rehydration drinks, available from your pharmacist
- admission to hospital and intravenous fluid replacement, in severe cases
- antibiotics, if bacteria are the cause
- drugs to kill the parasites, if parasites are the cause
- avoiding anti-vomiting or anti-diarrhoea drugs unless prescribed or recommended by your doctor, because these medications will keep the infection inside your body.
General suggestions on how to reduce the risk of gastroenteritis include:
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after going to the toilet or changing nappies, after smoking, after using a handkerchief or tissue, or after handling animals.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before preparing food or eating.
- Use disposable paper towels to dry your hands rather than cloth towels, since the bacteria can survive for some time on objects.
- Do not handle raw and cooked foods with the same implements (tongs, knives, cutting boards), unless they have been thoroughly washed between uses.
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