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COMPLETE AND COMPREHENSIVE Stomach Infection

Stomach Infection

What is a Stomach Infection?

Stomach infection is a common health condition and can be of various kinds including typhoid, food poisoning, etc. A common type of stomach infection is viral gastroenteritis which is an intestinal infection causing inflammation and irritation. Stomach infection causes issues like vomiting, diarrhoea and other symptoms such as fever and nausea. Bacteria, viruses, and parasites are the primary causes of stomach infections.

The most common source of stomach infection is consuming contaminated water or food. If you are healthy, chances are you will recover without experiencing any complications. However, stomach infections can be dangerous for infants, older people, and individuals with a weak immune system.

Prevention is the best cure as there is no effective treatment except symptom management.

What are the types of stomach infections?

There are three types of stomach infections which includes:

  • Bacterial infections: It includes foodborne infections and food poisoning. The source of this type are salmonella, listeria, staph infection, and clostridium perfringens. Food items that cause this type of infection are undercooked or raw meat, eggs, poultry, deli meats, unwashed fruits & vegetables, unpasteurized dairy and juices, etc.
  • Viral infections: Viral infections are among the common gastroenteritis conditions and are caused by norovirus. Vaccines are a useful treatment option for this type of stomach infection.
  • Parasites: Parasitic infections are caused by worms, intestinal helminths, and protozoan parasites. The common parasitic infections are cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis. These infections can be contracted by swimming in contaminated water or consuming it as well.

Stomach infection symptoms

The symptoms of a stomach infection are the same in general, however, they might vary in terms of severity. Here are some of the symptoms that you tend to have during a stomach infection: 

  • Diarrhoea 
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Stomach cramps, appetite loss, fever
  • Muscle aches due to electrolyte imbalance
  • Gas and bloating
  • Unintentional weight loss

It is important to know that stomach infections or gastrointestinal issues begin suddenly and last for less than a week, though they might continue longer.

Stomach infection causes

One of the primary stomach infection causes is contaminated food and water. People who eat or drink contaminated food or water are most likely to get stomach infections. They are also susceptible to contract gastroenteritis if they share towels, food or utensils with someone who already has viruses causing the condition.

There are several viruses that causes stomach infections such as:

  • Noroviruses: Children and adults both experience this infection and this is among the common causes of foodborne disease across the world. It can also spread among people who are in contact with those who are infected and are sharing food with them. An individual can contract the infection by touching a surface that has been contaminated with the virus.
  • Rotavirus: It is one of the common causes among children as they touch objects that are contaminated with the virus and putting those fingers into their mouths. The infection is found to be severe in infants and children. Adults infected with this virus might not experience any symptoms though they can still spread the disease.

When to see a doctor

In the majority of cases, there may be no serious symptoms in people who have stomach infections. However, it is recommended to consult a doctor if symptoms like abdomen pain, high fever, diarrhoea for more than two days, black stools, frequent vomiting, and changes in the mental state are experienced.

There are people who are at risk of complications if they have stomach infections. These people are individuals with weak immune systems, older adults, children, and pregnant women.

Stomach infection diagnosis

The doctor will diagnose stomach infection depending on an individual’s symptoms. First, he/she will start with a physical exam to understand the causes and the severity of the condition. The healthcare expert will recommend some tests for ruling out the probability of other diseases. Here are the tests that doctor might order:

  • Stool samples - to look for viruses, parasites, and bacteria in the stool
  • Sigmoidoscopy - done by inserting a thin and flexible tube with a tiny camera from the anus into the large intestines. It will help in getting a look for bowel disease and inflammatory signs. It is a fifteen-minute procedure and usually doesn’t need sedation.

Stomach infection treatment

No specific clinical treatment is there for stomach infections and antibiotics are also not effective against viruses. Stomach infection treatment involves self-care measures such as staying hydrated, lifestyle and home remedies, etc.

Lifestyle and home remedies

Here is how stomach infection can be treated with some lifestyle and home remedies:

  • The very first and important thing is letting your stomach settle. Make sure to stop consuming any kind of solid food for a few hours or a day.
  • You can suck on ice chips and make sure to drink small sips of water frequently. Drinking plenty of liquids is important. You can also include oral rehydration solutions or ORS.
  • Ease back into eating once you feel better or when you feel hungry. You must ensure not eating hard-to digest foods and include easy to digest foods like banana, rice, soup, oats, etc. If nausea returns, make sure to stop eating again.
  • You need to abstain from substances such as highly seasoned foods, alcohol, nicotine, and fatty food items.
  • For fast relief, you must also ensure getting plenty of rest. Frequent vomiting, illness, and dehydration makes you weak and tired, hence this step is crucial.
  • Include anti-diarrhoea medication as it is helpful in managing the symptoms. Although, you need to make sure to avoid the medications if you have signs like bloody diarrhoea and fever as it can be a sign of some other illness.

Treatment for infants and children

If your child has a stomach infection, the most important aim is replacing salts and lost fluids. Here is what you can do for your child:

  • Make sure that your child is hydrated. You can include an oral rehydration solution and get in touch with your doctor if you have any queries about how you can use it. Also, avoid giving plain water to your child as it becomes hard to absorb and is not helpful in replacing lost electrolytes.

  • You can get your child back to a normal diet once rehydrated. Make sure to include items like vegetables, fruits, yoghurt and toasts.
  • For infants and children, it is important to avoid sugary food items like candy, sodas, etc.
  • Lastly, you must not give your child anti-diarrhoea medications bought from the store, unless your doctor has advised.
  • The very first and important thing is letting your stomach settle. Make sure to stop consuming any kind of solid food for a few hours or a day.
  • You can suck on ice chips and make sure to drink small sips of water frequently. Drinking plenty of liquids is important. You can also include oral rehydration solutions or ORS.
  • Ease back into eating once you feel better or when you feel hungry. You must ensure not eating hard-to digest foods and include easy to digest foods like banana, rice, soup, oats, etc. If nausea returns, make sure to stop eating again.
  • You need to abstain from substances such as highly seasoned foods, alcohol, nicotine, and fatty food items.
  • For fast relief, you must also ensure getting plenty of rest. Frequent vomiting, illness, and dehydration makes you weak and tired, hence this step is crucial.
  • Include anti-diarrhoea medication as it is helpful in managing the symptoms. Although, you need to make sure to avoid the medications if you have signs like bloody diarrhoea and fever as it can be a sign of some other illness.

Stomach infection prevention

Stomach infections usually are highly contagious, but there are some steps you can take to prevent it from spreading. Here is what you can do:

  • Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water frequently
  • Do not use alcohol-based sanitizers for washing hand as a substitute
  • Always make sure to wash fruits and vegetables before cooking
  • Do not cook or prepare food for another person if you are infected
  • Always take steps to disinfect hard surfaces with bleach
  • Wash your clothes and linens separately

Why should you choose Rukmani Birla Hospital, Jaipur for stomach infection treatment?

Rukmani Birla Hospital, Jaipur is among the finest multispecialty hospitals across the city and is known for its exceptional care for patients. We use state-of-the-art medical equipment and offer world-class treatment. Our technology of global standards assists us in offering comprehensive and personalised care to our patients. With the assistance of our highly-skilled and experienced doctors, we ensure offering a smooth experience with us throughout their journey.

So, you shouldn’t delay your visit if you are suffering from conditions like stomach infection symptoms. Here’s why we are the right choice for you:

  • Transparent and affordable pricing structure
  • State-of-the-art technology
  • NABH accreditation
  • Experienced and highly-qualified doctors
  • Patient-centric and personalised care offered

FAQs

How common is stomach infection?

Stomach infection is one of the most common health conditions. According to a study, approximately 20 million people experience stomach-related illnesses every year with an intestinal upset. Viruses are found to be the most common cause of stomach infections.

 

Is stomach infection contagious?

Yes, stomach infections are highly contagious. Hence, it is important to avoid touching a surface that might have germs. You can easily contract the virus through contaminated food and water, so make sure to avoid drinking or eating anything that is contaminated. Try to avoid coming in contact with someone who already has a stomach infection.

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