Symptoms and Diagnosis of Gastroenteritis

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gastroenteritis often involves stomach pain or cramps, diarrhea and / or vomiting, with noninflammatory infection of the upper small bowel, or inflammatory infection of the colon.
This condition is usually an acute onset, usually lasting 1-6 days, and self-limiting.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Abnormal flatulence
  • Abdominal pain
  • Stomach cramps
  • Bloody stools (dysentery - suggesting infection by amoeba, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella or some pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli)
  • Fainting and Weakness
  • Heartburn

Some of the major factors include poor eating in children. Diarrhea is common, and may be followed by vomiting. Viral diarrhea usually causes frequent watery stools, whereas blood stained diarrhea may indicate a bacterial colitis. In some cases, even when the stomach is empty, bile can be vomited.
A child with gastroenteritis may be lethargic, suffer lack of sleep, run a low fever, have signs of dehydration (including dry mucous membranes), tachycardia, decreased skin turgor, skin color discoloration, sunken Fontanelles, sunken eyes, dark eye circles, glass eyes, poor perfusion and ultimately shock.

Gastroenteritis Diagnosis
Gastroenteritis is diagnosed based on symptoms, a complete medical history and physical examination. An accurate medical history can provide valuable information about the presence or absence of similar symptoms in other members of the patient's family or friends. Duration, frequency, and the description of the patient's bowel movements and if they have vomiting and is also relevant to this question commonly asked by the doctor during the examination.
There is no specific diagnostic tests are required in most patients with simple gastroenteritis. If symptoms include fever, bloody stools and diarrhea persist for two weeks or more, examination of stool for Clostridium difficile can be recommended along with the culture for bacteria, including Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter and Escherichia coli enterotoxic. Microscopy for parasites, ova and cysts can also help.

A complete medical history can help in the diagnosis of gastroenteritis. An accurate and complete medical history includes information about the patient's travel history, exposure terhadapracun or irritation, change the diet, preparation or storage of food habits and drugs. Patients who travel may become infected E. Coli or parasitic infection contacted from drinks or food. Swimming in or drinking contaminated water from fresh water suspiciously like a mountain river or wells may indicate an infection of Giardia - organisms found in water that causes diarrhea.
Food poisoning must be considered in cases when the patient is exposed to cooked food is stored or not. Depending on the type of bacteria that cause these conditions, the reaction appeared within 2 to 72 hours. Detect specific infectious agent is required in order to establish the proper diagnosis and effective treatment plan.

The doctor may want to know whether the patient has used broad-spectrum antibiotics or some in their past. If so, they can cause irritation of the digestive tract.
During physical examination, the doctor will look for other possible causes of infection. Conditions such as appendicitis, gallbladder disease, pancreatitis or diverticulitis can cause similar symptoms, but physical examination will reveal the special tenderness in the abdomen that is not present in gastroenteritis.

Diagnosis of gastroenteritis, especially exclusion procedure. Therefore in rare cases when symptoms are not sufficient to diagnose gastroenteritis, several tests can be performed in order to rule out other digestive disorders. These include rectal examination, complete blood count, electrolytes and renal function tests. However, when the symptoms are conclusive, there is a separate test from the test bench is required to properly diagnose gastroenteritis, especially if the patient has traveled to risk areas.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Gastroenteritis


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