L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


How to prevent gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis occurs all over the world, affecting people of every age, race and background. In developing nations, it is a leading cause of death of children. Gastroenteritis attacks your intestines. Enteritis is inflammation of the small intestine. Many factors are responsible for the onset of the disease. The most common factors are overeating and spoilt food. Diarrhoea is the main symptom of acute enteritis and bowel movements are frequent. Bloody diarrhoea usually means you have a more severe infection! the patient complains of poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and flatulence. The body temperature rises and the arterial pressure falls in severe cases. Depending on the cause, signs and symptoms may appear from within a few hours to days after you are infected. They usually last just a day or two, but occasionally they may persist for as long as 10 days.

You are most likely to contract viral gastroenteritis when you eat or drink contaminated food or water, or share utensils, towels or food with someone who is infected. Contaminated drinking water also can cause viral diarrhoea. But in many cases, the virus is passed through the faecal-oral route, that is someone with the virus handles the food you eat without washing his or her hands after using the bathroom. A number of viruses (noroviruses) can cause gastroenteritis. Rotavirus is a common cause of infectious diarrhoea in children. Nowalk virus generally affects older children and adults. It can sweep through families and communities, leaving everyone it infects seriously ill.

Dehyderation — a severe loss of water and essential salts and minerals — is the most common serious complication of gastroenteritis. If you are a healthy adult and drink enough liquids to replace fluids you lose from vomiting and diarrhoea, dehyderation shouldn’t be a problem. But infants, adults and people with suppressed immune systems may become severely dehyderated when they lose more fluids than they can replace. In that case, they may need to be hospitalised and given interavenous fluids. In extreme cases, dehyderation can be fatal.

Prevention and remedies

Cleanliness is the most important preventive factor. Wash your hands and your children’s hands thoroughly. If your children are older, teach them to wash their hands, especially after using the bathroom. It is best to use warm water and soap and to rub hands vigorously for at least 10 seconds, remembering to wash around cuticles, beneath fingernails and in the creases of the hands. Then rinse thoroughly.

Use separate towels in the bathroom.

Cut your children’s and your nails in routine.

Everybody’s living and dietary habits must be clean and hygienic. Keep all food items and drinking water well-covered.

Avoid sharing utensils, glasses and plates.

Deposit of water should not be allowed and special attention should be given for cleaning toilets and bathrooms.

Use appropriate chemicals to ward ofd flies and mosquitoes.

Wash your hands and utensils before preparing food.

Bed rest is recommended and drinking water should always be boiled.

When you’re travelling, take precautions against consuming contaminated food or water.

Drink only well-sealed and carbonated water. Avoid ice cubes because these may be made from contaminated water. Avoid raw food, including peeled fruits, raw vegetables and salads, that have been touched by human hands. Avoid half-cooked fish and meat.

For enteritis patients, food should be highly caloric and rich in proteins and vitamins.

Use boiled water of an Ayurvedic mixture containing onion, ginger, lemon-pudina juice, imli, and black salt.

Avoid eating out or consuming ripe or unripe fruits, salads, spicy food and dairy products for a few days.

Consult your doctor immediately in emergency.

— Dr Anil Dheer


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |