How long can gastroenteritis last?
Gastroenteritis is an intestinal infection that causes diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and sometimes back pain. It is caused by germs and bacteria from poorly cooked food and contaminated water. You can also get it from food poisoning. The condition does not warrant medical treatment since the signs can go away in a few days. However, in some cases, a patient can experience persistent or severe symptoms. In such a case, it is advisable to seek immediate medical attention. Typically, the symptoms of gastro can last for 1-2 days and then go away. However, they can go away after a week. Nevertheless, it is important to have enough rest and drink a lot of fluids during this time.
Diarrhea is a common symptom of gastro. It can lead to dehydration. This deprives the body of the necessary fluid for normal body functioning. This can last for about ten days and then go away. With adequate fluids, dehydration can be reversed.
Common in Babies
Gastro is common in babies who are below 24 months old. Therefore, you should keenly observe key signs and symptoms in your baby for early treatment and diagnosis.
What are the signs and symptoms of gastro?
The following are the common signs and symptoms of gastro in both babies and adults:
- Gastro will usually make babies feel unwell and refuse to eat and drink.
- Your baby might start vomiting within the first 24-48 hours.
- Your baby can start having diarrhea, which can last for up to seven days.
- Your baby may experience acute stomach upsets.
- Fever may also set in.
- Your child may feel so tired and always want to sleep.
What are the treatment options for gastro?
Your child can experience an episode of diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration. Therefore, if you suspect that your child is having gastro, it is vital to see your doctor as soon as possible. You should watch out for signs of dehydration like drowsiness, dry lips, dry mouth, cold hands, and little or no urine.
Some of the medications that your doctor may recommend include drinking a lot of fluids and taking enough rest. However, if the baby is too dehydrated to keep fluids in the body, consider taking him/her to the hospital.
How can you care for your child at home?
If your child is having mild gastro, home care treatments can be utilized. Home care involves drinking a lot of fluids so that he/she can replace the fluids lost through vomiting and diarrhea. It is important to note that administering drugs to reduce vomiting and diarrhea can make the situation worse. You should also ensure that your baby’s hands are thoroughly washed with soap and hot water after an episode or diarrhea or vomiting. Remember to keep your baby from other children until diarrhea and vomiting is over.
If your child is having gastro and he/she is still breastfeeding, it is advisable to continue but feed more often. You can rely on oral rehydration solutions like Gastrolyte, Pedialyte, and Repalyte to deal with dehydration. They can be administered within the first 12 hours of the onset of symptoms. You can then administer normal formula slowly but frequently. Moreover, ensure to give your baby a drink whenever he/she vomits.