Gastroenteritis – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

You must be quite familiar with the words “Diarrhea”, “Vomiting”, and “upset stomach”, and these are also known to be part of Stomach flu. The stomach and intestines undergo inflammation in this condition due to bacterial infection. Moreover, these symptoms are medically known as Gastroenteritis. It can also occur due to viral and parasitic infections in your digestive tract.

Gastroenteritis affects a child and the elderly much more severely than a healthy adult. Moreover, it can turn life-threatening if the gastroenteritis symptoms are overlooked. 

Let’s get to know about Gastroenteritis causes and symptoms and treatment to prevent it. This will help you to get a better understanding of when to consult with a medical specialist.

Symptoms of Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis can affect you irrespective of age. The most common symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, fever, abdominal pain, nausea, mild fever, loss of appetite, muscle ache, incontinence, inability to eat properly, general weakness of the body and headache.

Suppose these symptoms continue for a long time. In that case, it can lead to dehydration, dry skin, dry mouth, feeling thirsty all the time, problems in urination, urine is dark in color, unable to urinate for more than 8 hours, cold hands and feet and sunken eyes and cheeks. You might get the feeling of nauseated, lightheaded, lethargic, dizzy, etc.

Dehydration can affect a child more quickly than an adult. Most often, small children are unable to convey the gastroenteritis symptoms. So, you need to look for the signs, check the diapers and stay aware.

These symptoms start appearing within 3 days of getting affected and can last for more than 10 days, depending on the infection range (mild to severe). The symptoms can go beyond control, including vomiting, constant body ache and bloody stool.

Thus, you must immediately consult a doctor to get proper treatment before it gets severe. Otherwise, the patient might have to be hospitalized to retrieve the lost fluid.

Causes of Gastroenteritis

Rotavirus and norovirus are the two specific causes of Gastroenteritis. There are several ways through which Gastroenteritis can get spread:

  • If you intake contaminated food and water, the virus is generally foodborne.
  • If you come in contact with a person affected by the virus.
  • Dirty or unwashed hands after the use of the toilet.

Other than viruses, bacteria such as E.coli, Shigella, and Salmonella can also trigger Gastroenteritis. And, the ways you can get infected are:

  • If you have undercooked poultry items, then the chances of the disease increase.
  • If you do not wash the bed covers, change the bedsheets from time to time.
  • Not washing hands before consuming any food with bare hands.
  • In case you come in contact with an infected person at an office or daycare center (for children)

Gastroenteritis can also occur due to parasite infection, such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium, and they spread through:

  • These parasites can be present in a contaminated swimming pool.
  • There are chances of stomach flu if your drinking water is contaminated.
  • If you eat unwashed fruits or vegetables.

There are certain unusual ways, too, through which you might get infected by Gastroenteritis, such as:

  • Eating too much citrus food
  • Eating seafood that might have toxins.
  • Laxatives, chemotherapy drugs, allergic to antibiotics, etc.

Who gets most affected by Gastroenteritis?

Anybody can suffer from Gastroenteritis, but few specific individuals come directly under the risk radar.

  • Infants and children get affected easily due to their pre-developing immunity system or under-developing immunity.
  • The elderly can also experience stomach flu due to reduced immunity power with age.
  • Individuals working in nursing centers or hospitals deal with gastroenteritis patients and are usually in direct contact with the infected person.
  • Students who live in hostels or dormitories can experience a sudden outbreak of Gastroenteritis.
  • Children who attend daycare or school can get affected if other students already suffer from Gastroenteritis.
  • Individuals intaking immunosuppressant medicines due to auto-immune disease mostly get infected easily.
  • Patients who are suffering from HIV/AIDS or going through chemotherapy.

How to prevent Gastroenteritis?

As we know, prevention is better than cure. So, if you see the preliminary signs of Gastroenteritis, your first step should be to prevent dehydration. You must take oral rehydration and start drinking clear fluids. This should be done slowly but frequently, as too much can make you feel nauseated.

You must check your diet and eat easy-to-digest food, such as bananas, toast, chicken, rice, etc. During this phase, you must avoid aerated drinks, caffeine, alcohol, and dairy products altogether. 

Other than this, maintain hygiene, wash your hands before cooking or eating, sanitize the kitchen more often, change your bedsheets daily, and wash dirty clothes every day. 

You must stay away from work or try working from home if there have been symptoms of Gastroenteritis among your colleagues until the situation improves. If there have been stomach flu symptoms at daycare or school, keep your children away for a few days.

Medical Treatment for Gastroenteritis

The doctor would first confirm the cause of the Gastroenteritis, whether it is bacterial, viral or due to parasites. This is done by examining stool or feces samples and conducting a blood test and physical examination. Now, depending on the results, and gastroenteritis symptoms treatment is prescribed.

  • Put restrictions on certain foods such as dairy products, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, seasoned food, and sugary items.
  • Advising to drink plenty of liquid, either in the form of soup, broth, sports drinks, and rehydration formulas. These are easily available at your nearby pharmacy.
  • Prescribing to avoid medicines such as antibiotics, aspirin, ibuprofen or any kind of pain relief drug.
  • Medication for fever and pain is prescribed, which is generally paracetamol. Along with that, antidiarrheal medications are advised, including Imodium.
  • For children, there are vaccinations that can prevent stomach flu due to rotavirus. Oral vaccination helps to reduce the severity of rotavirus. Your doctor will be able to help with the proper guidance.

Conclusion

It is always advised not to go for over-the-counter medicines as it can lead to severe abdominal pain and worsen the condition if you intake the wrong dose of a drug. So, get an appointment with certified doctors at ILS Hospitals who are there to assist you around the clock through high-end medical facilities.

 

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5 Complications of PCOS – Causes and Treatment

PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is part of a lifestyle disorder where small follicles develop within the ovaries and restrict the regular menstrual cycle. Women of any age can experience PCOS, a hormonal disorder. In this condition, ovaries produce androgens, which are in general present in the least quality. Interestingly, some women develop cysts while others do not. So, the name might seem to be quite misleading. However, the exact cause behind the polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms is yet to be retrieved. 

PCOS has an association with long-term complications, such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Only early diagnosis and proper treatment is the only feasible treatment. 

Let’s get to know about the symptoms, complications, causes and treatment.

Symptoms of PCOS

PCOS can either develop during puberty with the initiation of the first menstrual cycle or later in life due to the response to increased BMI. You need to opt for immediate diagnosis if any of these polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms show up:

  • Irregular periods – Prolong menstrual cycle or infrequent menstruation, which includes abnormally heavy flow.
  • Excess androgen – Physical signs such as the growth of facial and body hair, medically known as hirsutism, baldness, and severe acne and oily skin due to elevated male hormone levels.
  • Skin problems – Dark patches at the back of the neck, near armpits or under the breasts. You can see the formation of skin tags near the neck and armpits.
  • Overweight – Sudden gain in weight primarily around the abdomen.
  • Polycystic ovaries – Missing out periods based on the monthly schedules because ovaries may fail to function normally. The ovaries become enlarged, and cysts develop.

Causes of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

The exact cause is yet to be determined; however certain factors have been found to be associated with the syndrome, such as:

  • An abnormal rise in androgen leads to male baldness, acne and hirsutism. 
  • Excessive Insulin production leads to a rise in sugar levels in the blood, which triggers the production of androgen.
  • Reduction in progesterone makes it challenging to predict the time for period. Further, you may even miss your periods. Mostly there are chances of a rise in infrequent periods. 
  • Obesity can also trigger the rise in insulin levels, which eventually affect the ovaries and hormonal production.
  • Heredity reasons or mutation in genes can also be the reason behind PCOS.

5 Noteworthy complications associated with PCOS

PCOS can lead to a number of complications due to an abnormal rise in hormones, such as –

Infertility

Cystic ovaries create a restriction on the proper ovulation schedule. As you know, one egg gets released every month from these ovaries, and due to a lack of sperm, it does not undergo fertilization. But, in case the egg is not released or unhealthy, conceiving can become quite difficult even with the presence of sperm. This can lead to infertility or the inability to get pregnant. 

Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes

If your body becomes insulin resistant, it will start secreting more androgens. Subsequently, the cells in the muscles, organs and tissues are not able to absorb the blood sugar leading to an increase in glucose levels in the blood. This medical condition is known as diabetes which increases the risk of cardiovascular as well as nervous disorders. 

Metabolic syndrome 

These are a group of symptoms that aid in increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, stroke, etc. The common symptoms associated with metabolic syndromes are high triglyceride, low good cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and high sugar level. 

Depression

PCOS generates a high abnormality in the hormonal level, and this leads to unwanted changes being noticed in the body. Subsequently, hormonal fluctuations affect emotions negatively and generate depression and anxiety.

Sleep Apnea

This is a medical condition that interrupts your sleep, where you might feel a repeated pause in your breathing. Most women who are overweight suffer from sleep apnea. Moreover, the risk associated with sleep apnea increases due to PCOS, which can become life-threatening.

Other complications due to PCOS

PCOS also have several other ways to affect your well-being, such as –

  • Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
  • Miscarriage or premature birth
  • Severe liver inflammation 
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Endometrial cancer

Diagnosis and treatment process for PCOS

As soon as you see the polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms, you must consult with a certified medical specialist. They will go through your medical history, understand the symptoms, and conduct a physical examination. Along with that, several tests confirm the disorder.

  • Physical examination – Pelvic examination, which includes the checkup of your reproductive organs, both internal and external is mandatory.
  • Ultrasound test – To understand the size of the ovary and the presence of cysts. It also determines the thickness of the endometrium.
  • Blood test – To detect the level of androgens and other hormones. Blood glucose level is also checked, along with cholesterol and triglycerides.

How can you reduce the chances of PCOS?

Treatment of PCOs requires focusing on multiple aspects and is also based on the severity of the symptoms. The entire treatment process is divisible into two segments:

Category 1: Do you want to become pregnant in the future? If “YES”, then –

Change in diet and lifestyle activities 

You must focus on maintaining a stable BMI, reduce weight, carry out more physical activities and add a healthy diet to your daily routine. This will help to maintain the insulin secretion in your body and reduce glucose levels.

Medications prescribed by doctors

Drugs can help to maintain a normal flow during menstruation and also clear all the restrictions during the menstrual cycle. However, these often lead to abdominal bloating and pain around the pelvic region.

Category 2: Do you want to become pregnant? If NO, then –

Birth Control Pills

These can reduce the androgen level, control the menstrual cycle, and reduce acne.

Medicines for Diabetes

These are prescribed to reduce androgen and insulin resistance and help in regular ovulation.

Along with these medications, a healthy diet, ditching smoking and drinking, and regular activity are also necessary.

Additional treatment for PCOS

If you have been struggling through PCOS for quite some time and have excessive hair growth on your face and body, then opt for cosmetic treatment, such as laser hair removal. However, always consult with a doctor because PCOS has a risk of developing into endometrial cancer.

Conclusion

Diagnosis at the preliminary stage can help to prevent the situation from turning into a severe condition. So, book an appointment with a certified specialist of ILS Hospitals and do not miss out on the follow-up appointments.

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Discharge Instructions To Follow After A Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopic surgery is a surgery in which the laparoscopic surgeons use special surgical tools and make few smaller incisions to treat a person. Laparoscopic or minimally-invasive surgery is known for its immense benefits as follows:

  • Speedy recovery

  • Less blood loss

  • No or minimal pain

  • Low chances of infection

  • No or less discomfort

  • Higher rate of success

  • Early discharge

  • Cost-effective.

After any laparoscopic surgery, the patients get certain discharge instructions from their laparoscopic surgeons. The recovery time is different for each patient, but, in general, it is much faster than traditional open surgery. Today, ILS Hospitals would like to share the general discharge instructions that need to be followed post laparoscopic surgery. So let’s look at the discharge instructions that a patient must follow post keyhole surgery for a quicker recovery.

1. Consuming a soft diet:

A bland and nutritious soft diet has to be followed after a person undergoes minimally-invasive surgery. Soft foods are good because they are digestible and aids faster recovery as your body does not have to work hard for digesting food. The food should be cooked with less oil and spices. Some of the examples can be boiled and mashed- potatoes, vegetables, rice, peeled fruits, poached eggs, strained vegetables and meat soups, fruit juices, porridge or dalia, pureed dal, lentils or masoor ki dal, and so on depending on the patient’s choice.

2. Avoiding certain foods:

Some foods should be avoided or else they may delay the patient’s recovery. Some of them are fried and oily foods, fatty foods (like red meat), spicy foods, and stale foods as they may cause indigestion, heartburn, and acidity. Also, there’s no question of eating roadside and outside food, so home-cooked food is your only good companion.

3. Taking medications on time:

No matter wherever you go, when it comes to timely medications, doctors from different hospitals are on the same page.

4. Avoiding overstrenuous activities:

It is important to not overexert the body post any surgery. The incisional site is still raw and not completely healed, so all sorts of vigorous activities (outdoor sports, running, moving furniture, carrying heavy weights, climbing stairs, jumping etc.) need to be postponed for some time.

5. Taking care of the incisional region:

The incision, even though minute, must be taken care of by keeping it clean, dry and safe. Do not scrub, scratch and disturb the surgical incisions site and wear loose-fitting comfortable clothes. Never expose the surgical site to sunlight.

After any laparoscopic or minimally-invasive procedure, please get proper discharge instructions from your doctor or medical professional for better recovery. You can get your laparoscopic treatment done from experienced laparoscopic surgeons at ILS Hospitals in Kolkata and Agartala.