You have devoured your favorite shrimp salad at dinnertime. In a few hours you might be racked by stomach cramps and diarrhea. You will probably experience vomiting and low grade fever too. This is a classic case of gastroenteritis - a condition where the intestines are inflamed due to bacterial or viral infection. Gastroenteritis infection can also be caused due to food poisoning, food allergy, intestinal parasites, viral infection, medication or food consumed while you are traveling. Gastroenteritis can affect anyone but it is usually more severe in infants, the elderly and immunosuppressed people. Gastroenteritis in children can be serious if left unattended. It is the leading cause of death among children worldwide.
Viral and Bacterial Gastroenteritis
Viral gastroenteritis is caused by a viral infection that affects the stomach and intestines. In fact, viral gastroenteritis is one of the most common ailments in the U.S. A person can contract this viral gastroenteritis infection from contaminated food or drinking water. Within a few hours, the first symptoms are noticed. While viral gastroenteritis infections usually clear up without medicines within a few days, bacterial gastroenteritis needs to be treated. Rotavirus is the most common cause for viral gastroenteritis. It affects infants and young children and can surface as an outbreak during some seasons. Rotavirus can also affect other age groups. The Norwalk Virus is another cause of infectious gastroenteritis. It is common in school-going children. Viral gastroenteritis is usually treated with self care measures. Bacterial gastroenteritis infection can be caused by Salmonella, Escherichia coli (E coli), Campylobacter or Shigella. These bacteria can be found in poultry, eggs or meat. Once they enter the body, they multiply and produce toxins. After a few hours of eating, symptoms of bacterial gastroenteritis appear.A stool assay can help in identifying the specific agent for the gastroenteritis and aid treatment.
Usually the reaction to gastroenteritis infections hinges on your immune systemís ability to resist the infection. A person suffering from gastroenteritis will probably feel nauseous and experienced a bloated feeling. Abdominal cramps and mild to severe watery stools may be noticed for a couple of days. Severe cases of gastroenteritis can result in dehydration. Signs of dehydration to look out for are dry skin, excessive thirst and absence of urination for many hours. If a person suffering from gastroenteritis experiences severe abdominal pain or high fever or blood in the stools, consult a health professional at once. With little children, it is essential to give them clear fluids to replace lost fluids due to vomiting and diarrhea. Infants can be breast fed normally. Gastroenteritis can be very serious in infants. If you notice dry mouth, sunken eyes and irritability, consult a doctor immediately.
Immunologists as they are also called, allergists are physicians who specialize in diagnosing and treating any disease relating to the immune system of the body. Allergists may also specialize in any particular type of allergy like food allergy or may specialize in treating a particular age group such as adults or children. Allergists who treat children are called pediatric allergists. The general conditions treated by allergists are asthma, eczema, insect bites and allergies due to environmental pollution or food. Allergies arise due to various reasons in our day to day life and allergists will be the right persons to identify them.
Choose the right allergist
Modern day innovations have made it easy for people who have to undergo allergy treatments. Medications of the recent days no longer give the patient a drugged feeling as they used to earlier thereby imparting the freedom to carry on with their usual routine. New immunotherapy systems are replacing the traditional ones are both easy to use and highly effective.
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Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: December 1, 2022