Healthy Living

What Causes Gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis

What Causes Gastroenteritis?

Key Takeaways

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Excessive vomiting
  • Excessive diarrhea
  • You will experience abdominal pains as well as cramps

Bacterial gastroenteritis is brought about by bacteria that cause an infection in the gut. This can lead to the inflammation of the stomach and the intestines. In addition, a person suffering from gastroenteritis can experience the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Acute abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe headache

Studies have indicated that many gastrointestinal infections can be caused by bacteria and viruses. Food poisoning is also a major cause of gastrointestinal infection. Bacterial gastroenteritis is mainly caused by poor hygiene. Moreover, coming into contact with certain animals can lead to gastroenteritis.

What are the symptoms of bacterial gastroenteritis?

The symptoms of bacterial gastroenteritis vary and they depend on the bacteria causing the infection. The following are common symptoms that can set in if you have gastroenteritis:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Excessive vomiting
  • Excessive diarrhea
  • Abdominal pains as well as cramps
  • Blood streak seen in your stools
  • Fever

You should immediately call a doctor if the symptoms persist for more than five days in adults and two days in children. Moreover, call a doctor if your child is older than 3 months and continues to vomit for more than 12 hours or if your baby is younger than 3 months and is experiencing acute diarrhea and vomiting.

Causes of Bacterial Gastroenteritis: Get the Facts

Gastroenteritis can be caused by numerous risk factors. They include eating undercooked foods, ingesting foods that have been stored at room temperature for too long, and food poisoning. Certain bacteria can also cause gastroenteritis, they include: 

  • Yersinia: usually found in pork
  • Staphylococcus: in milk products, eggs, as well as meat
  • Shigella: found in water, particularly in swimming pools
  • Salmonella: in meat, eggs, as well as dairy products
  • Campylobacter: found in red meat and poultry
  • E. coli: usually found in ground beef and salads

Bacterial Gastroenteritis: Transmission

Bacterial gastroenteritis is transmitted through handshaking a person carrying the bacteria causing this condition. If a person is infected with gastroenteritis and touches foods, drinks, other people, or objects, he/she can spread the infection to other people. The infection can also get into your body through your eyes, mouth, and other open parts of the body.

You are also at risk of getting gastroenteritis if you travel a lot. If you are also living in a crowded place, you are at risk of getting the infection. It is recommended that washing your hands and using hand sanitizers that contain more than 60% alcohol can help minimize the risk of getting this infection.

What are the risk factors for bacterial gastroenteritis?

Having a weak immune system, taking drugs that increase stomach acidity, incorrect handling of foods, which includes foods that are undercooked and foods that have been stored for a long time at room temperature can increase your risk of getting bacterial gastroenteritis.

Individuals suffering from gastroenteritis should seek treatment as soon as possible to alleviate the symptoms. Therefore, if you experience some of the above symptoms, talk to your doctor immediately to prescribe the most appropriate drugs for you.