1. What are the common symptoms of gastroenteritis?
The common symptoms of gastroenteritis include vomiting, diarrhoea, nausea, stomach pain, cramping, fever and headaches. Excessive vomiting and/or diarrhoea may lead to dehydration, which must be immediately attended to.
2. Whom should I consult if I have gastroenteritis?
A general practitioner can be consulted for treatment if needed. Most cases of gastroenteritis are cured without treatment and with little rest and care. If severe symptoms, such as constant vomiting, blood with diarrhoea, fever over 100.4 F or severe dehydration, occur, medical attention should be sought as soon as possible.
3. What kind of diet should I take if I have gastroenteritis?
High fluid intake is recommended to prevent dehydration. Rehydration drinks, such as the oral rehydration solutions, are easily available and must be consumed if required. Food should be consumed in small amounts, and bland or plain food is preferred until the patient starts to feel better.
4. Are there any complications in gastroenteritis?
Complications associated with gastroenteritis include severe dehydration; malabsorption of nutrients; chronic diarrhoea; transient lactose intolerance; systemic infections, such as meningitis, pneumonia, haemolytic uraemia syndrome, toxic megacolon and other infections, which occur due to the bacteria Salmonella, Yersinia and other species.
5. Can probiotics help in management of gastroenteritis?
Probiotics may help treat gastroenteritis and can be taken as part of the diet. However, gastroenteritis requires rest, and in some cases, medication or medical attention should be given priority to avoid complications.