How is gastroenteritis treated?
Treatment plans for gastroenteritis are individualized depending on the underlying cause and your age, medical history, and any other conditions you may have. Treatment generally involves a multifaceted plan that addresses the cause; minimizes the discomfort of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea; and decreases the risk of dehydration.
When gastroenteritis is caused by a self-limiting condition, such as viral gastroenteritis, treatment includes:
Not eating solid foods to rest the stomach and intestines until symptoms have passed
Drinking plenty of fluids (water or rehydrating fluid, such as Pedialyte) to ensure adequate hydration
In some cases, medications are used to treat gastroenteritis. Antibiotics may be prescribed when gastroenteritis is caused by a bacterial infection, such as in bacterial food poisoning due to Shigella, Salmonella, or Campylobacter infection.
Treatment of severe gastroenteritis that does not resolve or leads to dehydration may require hospitalization and rehydration with intravenous fluids.
What are the possible complications of gastroenteritis?
Complications of gastroenteritis can be serious, even life threatening in some cases. Complications can include:
Severe dehydration, which can lead to an electrolyte imbalance and shock
Aspiration, which is when contents of the stomach flow into the lungs during vomiting (a rare occurrence)
·A rip in the esophagus (Mallory-Weiss tear) due to multiple violent episodes of retching and vomiting (a rare occurrence)
What is gastroenteritis?
Gastroenteritis is a general term for irritation and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. The hallmark symptoms of gastroenteritis are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Gastroenteritis is quite common and can occur in any age group or population.... Read more about gastroenteritis introduction
What are the symptoms of gastroenteritis?
The symptoms of gastroenteritis can range from mild to severe and may vary depending on the underlying cause. Symptoms of viral gastroenteritis, caused by a viral infection, generally resolve within 24 to 48 hours. Other causes of gastroenteritis can last longer.... Read more about gastroenteritis symptoms