Gastroenteritis means an inflammation of the stomach and intestines and the factors behind this health condition are bacteria, viruses, food or water contaminated by bacteria or parasites and certain medications while the symptoms of this health condition are unbearable abdominal pain, cramping, weakness, tiredness, muscle cramps, headaches, dehydration, dry mouth and tongue and sunken eyes, which will interfere with one’s daily routine. Those who are severely dehydrated due to gastroenteritis will exhibit symptoms such as confusion and rapid heart rate and can go into a coma.
Even though gastroenteritis is a common occurrence, not many are aware of it but it will be imperative for one to seek timely intervention if he/she has been detected with this condition as delaying treatment can worsen one’s health. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Roy Patankar, Gastroenterologist and Director of Zen Multispecialty Hospital in Mumbai’s Chembur, answered some of the common questions regarding gastroenteritis that you shouldn’t miss:
1. Are gastroenteritis and flu one and the same?
There are a lot of misconceptions regarding gastroenteritis and flu but you need to understand that these are two different things. Gastro is termed as an infection that is usually seen by a variety of viruses, such as rotaviruses and noroviruses, but it doesn’t happen due to influenza viruses. When speaking of the flu, it tends to impact one’s respiratory system (nose, throat, lungs, etc.) and one can exhibit signs such as coughing, congestion, fever, and muscle aches. Gastro is known to affect the intestines and one will have symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
2. How can gastroenteritis spread?
If you have gastroenteritis then it can spread to others by touching handrails, elevator buttons, sharing utensils, and other items. So, it will be imperative for you to take utmost care if you suffer from this condition.
3. How is gastroenteritis treated?
Well, there is no specific treatment for this condition. One will be asked to rest enough, drink enough liquids to stay hydrated and avoid eating outside food that can worsen one’s health. Have chaas, coconut water and even soups. It is better to include probiotics in the diet to improve the health of the gut. Do not eat spicy, oily, canned or processed foods.
4. How to prevent this condition?
It is a known fact that one cannot completely avoid contact with viral and bacterial causes. Thus, people will have higher chances of suffering from this condition at least once in a lifetime. However, it is possible to keep this condition at bay by adhering to strict personal hygiene like washing hands from time to time and cooking food properly.