Gastroenteritis is an intestinal infection which is characterized by watery diarrhea, pain in the abdomen, nausea and vomiting, and occasionally even fever.
Most common causes of bacterial gastroenteritis are:
- You will contract gastroenteritis when you drink or consume contaminated water and food, or if you share towels, napkins, utensils or food with someone who is infected.
- Bacteria such as – Clostridium difficile, salmonella and E. Coli are the usual causative agents.
- The bacteria pass through the feco-oral route — that is, someone having the bacterial infection handles the food you eat without washing his or her hands after using the toilet.
Symptoms Of Bacterial Gastroenteritis
Gastroenteritis is seen as:
- Watery diarrhea, several episodes.
- Blood in stools, especially when the infection is severe.
- Abdominal cramps and pain.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Body pain
- Low grade fever
Depending upon the cause, the symptoms may appear 2 – 3 days after you’ve been infected and can range from mild to severe. Symptoms persist for about 3 – 4 days, but could also persist as long as 10 days.
It is vital that you meet your doctor and carry out tests and investigations and start treatment promptly.
Treatment Options For Bacterial Gastroenteritis
These guidelines will help handle the infection as well as the symptoms of the infection efficiently:
- You need to take a course of antibiotics to manage the infection effectively. Confer with your health care provider, he will ask you to carry out a few tests and will put you onto suitable antibiotics.
- Stop eating solid foods for a day or two.
- Consume plenty of fluids. Have fruit juices, soups, broths and lime water. Try sucking on ice chips.
- Have ginger tea; 2 to 3 cups daily. Ginger will immediately battle stomach pains and cramps and will allay the nausea and vomiting successfully.
- Ease back into eating. Start with eating bland, easy-to-digest foods, such as toast, bananas, rice and chicken.
- Avoid certain foods till you have completely recovered. These include – caffeine, dairy products, alcohol, nicotine, and fatty foods.
- Take a vitamin C supplement; it will help boost your immune mechanism and fight the infection faster. You may also take – limes, lemons, oranges, berries and guavas; these are loaded with the vitamin.
- Pro-biotics are recommended as well. Take 1 to 2 sachets daily. Pro-biotics provide you with ‘friendly’ bacteria which help restore the normal flora of your gut and bring you back to normalcy.
- Take an oral re-hydration solution, that’s available at pharmacies without a prescription. Talk to your health care provider in case you have questions about how to use it. The solution will re-hydrate and will help replace the lost electrolytes.
- Homeopathy drugs offer immense relief. Lycopodium Clavatum, Nux Vomica, Arsenic Album, Podophyllum, and Mag Phos provide relief from the stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and exhaustion. Homeopathic drugs are safe and exceedingly effective. They will help deal with the symptoms of gastroenteritis speedily.
- Avoid over the counter anti diarrheal drugs, unless they have been recommended by your doctor. They can trigger unfavorable effects. Be very cautious with medications. Certain medicines can make your stomach more upset. Before selecting a pain reliever or fever reducer you need to talk with your doctor, more so with children.