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Gastroenteritis in children: symptoms, signs and treatment

No matter how hard the parents to protect children from the symptoms of intestinal infections, sooner or later the kids appear nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Not only the lack of sterility becomes a cause of pathology. The symptoms and treatment of gastroenteritis in children are closely interrelated with the peculiarities of child's organism. Once inside the gastrointestinal tract of an adult human, viruses and bacteria killed by the action of hydrochloric acid. In the digestive system of the baby this protective mechanism does not work. Their gastric juice does not possess sufficient activity against pathogenic microorganisms. Statistics relentless – intestinal infection firmly hold the second place by the number of cases of children after SARS.

How is gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis in children is the inflammation of the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines. A small child, the disease can cause serious complications or become chronic, difficult to treat. In the absence of medical intervention the disease process will have a negative impact on the growth and development of the baby. Contamination by viruses, bacteria and protozoa mucous membranes of the organs of digestion dangerous not only to the development of multiple symptoms and long-term treatment of intoxication. Damage to the walls of the gastrointestinal tract leads to disruption of the cleavage products, deficiency of biologically active and nutrients.

Unless children are provided with qualified medical help, then after a short time of the dehydration. This condition can lead to death. Therefore, parents should not give children the chelators and fever – when symptoms should immediately call a doctor and follow his recommendations.

Kids often get sick with gastroenteritis because of their natural curiosity and strong employment. Only a very conscientious and serious beyond his years the child will run home to wash off the tree apricot or Apple. Most at best will wipe the fruit with your hand. In addition to viruses and bacteria on the fruit can be insecticides or fungicides, and inside develop of the putrefactive process. Even at the adult person eating these berries or fruit will impact negatively, and in babies the symptoms of intestinal infection.

Why is often diagnosed acute gastroenteritis in children:

  • The baby finally organize the work of the immune system, so its resistance to viral and bacterial infections is extremely low. This is the cause of frequent recurrence of colds.
  • The high permeability of the walls of large and small vessels, which allows pathogenic microorganisms to penetrate quickly into the bloodstream.
  • Babies in the stomach is produced a small amount of pepsin and hydrochloric acid.

The mucous membrane of the digestive system becomes inflamed under the influence of various provoking factors, but the culprits of acute and chronic gastroenteritis in children is more likely to be viruses and bacteria. Once in the gastrointestinal tract, pathogens begin to proliferate. In the course of their life they secrete products that damage cells and tissues. The blood stream toxic compounds are carried throughout the body. The baby symptoms of poisoning: weakness, hyperthermia, digestive disorders.

Causes of gastroenteritis in children

One of the main reasons for the development of symptoms of acute gastroenteritis in children is rotavirus. Infection can occur when communicating with a native pathogen. Long incubation period makes it difficult to determine what a person is sick – symptoms at the initial stage is practically absent. Rotavirus is transmitted by the exchange of books and toys, with hugs and handshakes. He lingers on the switches, door handles and remote controls.

Use shared with an infected person, towels and the consumption of beverages from one container will certainly lead to infection. If you have a family member diagnosed with gastroenteritis, a viral or bacterial etiology, should minimize his contact with young children.

Rotaviruses, entering the gastrointestinal tract, provoking significant damage to the mucous membranes. Usually, symptoms of this form of gastroenteritis in children develop 2-3 days after infection. If, immediately conducted an adequate therapy, the negative consequences do not occur. To provoke an acute infectious gastroenteritis in children include:

  • the progression of a viral or bacterial infection (influenza, SARS);
  • the death of the beneficial intestinal microflora, or dysbiosis;
  • penetration protozoa (Giardia, amoeba) in the digestive system;
  • intoxication by poisons of animal and plant origin, heavy metals, caustic alkalis and acids, of pharmacological preparations;
  • eating foods that irritate the gastric mucosa, the presence in food of a large number of salt and spices, overeating.

In the absence of treatment in the best case, acute gastroenteritis in adult or in children becomes chronic. Periodicallyoccur relapses, during which the children develop symptoms of poisoning: pain in the epigastric region, vomiting. In the body can form new infectious foci.

Many vitamins and minerals are absorbed in the intestine. But compared to developed dysbiosis impaired absorption of biologically active substances. Children become lethargic, apathetic, you begin to fall behind in school, they have significantly reduced memory.

Causes for development of acute gastroenteritis and acute exacerbations of chronic are:

  • the inability or unwillingness to comply with rules of personal hygiene: wash hands after a walk or going to the bathroom, not to play with stray cats and dogs;
  • insufficient heat treatment of meat, dairy, fish products and eggs;
  • eating stale food;
  • improper care of newborns and infants: a rare diaper changes, and poor quality of care of a skin and mucous membranes.

Sometimes gastroenteritis in young children or adolescent can cause worms. Multiply in the body, parasitic worms secrete toxic compounds that damage the mucous membrane of the gastrointestinal tract.

Children tend to develop allergic reactions, often appear intestinal infection. This is due to the improper functioning of the immune system. Some drugs adversely affect the walls of the stomach and intestines. Experienced doctors are trying to adjust the dosage or change it more often pharmacological agents in the treatment of children with chronic pathologies.

The symptoms of gastroenteritis in children

Bacterial and viral gastroenteritis in children is very hard. Along with vomit and loose stools, the body loses a lot of water. If the newborn has symptoms of dehydration, there will be irreversible consequences. Along with the fluid output of important biologically active substances and mineral salts of sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium.

The temperature increase in children provokes the absorption of toxic substances into the blood stream. The baby is growing intoxication, the symptoms of which include fever and sweating. The amount of wasted body fluid increases significantly.

The first symptoms of acute gastroenteritis in children occur hours or days after infection. All depends on the type of pathogen, age of the child, his susceptibility to viral and bacterial infections. At the initial stage of the disease in children develop these symptoms:

  • disorder of defecation: diarrhea with mucus, sometimes constipation;
  • violation of the gastrointestinal tract: frequent retching, nausea, rumbling stomach, flatulence;
  • pain in umbilicus and epigastrium;
  • hypotension to a small extent;
  • headache;
  • lack of appetite, sudden weight loss;
  • drowsiness, apathy, reduced physical activity;
  • discoloration of feces: there is a greenish tint.

The spread of the inflammatory process in the organs of the digestive system increases the severity and number of symptoms of intoxication. In children often occur retching, fever up to subfebrile figures. If at this stage of gastroenteritis is not treated, it may develop complications. The pathological process begins to affect the work of all vital systems, including cardiovascular (decrease in frequency of contractions of the myocardium):

  • during the day the baby several times rising and falling temperature on the forehead stands a cold sweat;
  • begin to twitch or trembled hands and feet;
  • the skin becomes pale and moist to the touch, and mucous membranes are dry;
  • occurs dizziness, inability to maintain upright position;
  • the kid is emotionally labile, he was constantly sleepy;
  • falling blood pressure.

The clinical picture of acute gastroenteritis accompanied with symptoms of dehydration and an intoxication:

  • the skin loses its elasticity and firmness;
  • become dry the mucous membranes of the nose, throat, eyes.

The situation is complicated by constant retching – the children are not able to make even a small SIP of water, she just does not linger in the body.

The allocation of kidneys of a significant amount of minerals provokes voiding. The urine acquires a dark color and unpleasant smell, becomes too concentrated.

Gastroenteritis is particularly dangerous in infants. They have a short spring, there is no tearing. The newborn loses body fluid not only with feces and vomit, but also through the pores of the skin. The loss of infants, only 10% of water can cause death.


In the formulation of the initial diagnosis gastroenterologists use the term "the syndrome of intestinal dyspepsia". Doctor palpation detects swelling of the digestive system. In young patients inflammation of the mucous membrane of the gastrointestinal tract accompanied by rumbling and transfusion in the epigastric region.

The characteristic features of gastroenteritis is the presence of a large numberpathogens that cause disease. For proper treatment you must know the kind of virus or bacteria, to determine its sensitivity to antimicrobial drugs and antibiotics. To do this, children take on the analysis blood, urine, faeces and vomit.

Technicians produce the sowing of the biological sample in the culture medium, and after a few days count the number of formed colonies and determine species of causative agent of intestinal infection.

Meaningful laboratory tests include blood and urine. What can you learn in deciphering results:

  • the high content in the urine of leucocytes and the products of protein metabolism suggests the development of extensive inflammation and disorders of urination;
  • the decrease in hemoglobin concentration, decrease in the number of red blood cells and platelets indicates low resistance of the child's body to viral and bacterial infections, possible development of hypoxia of cells and tissues.

Also a gastroenterologist appoints the examination of feces for worms, parasites and protozoa. If you suspect the development of chronic pathology is endoscopic diagnostics of a condition of the mucous membranes of the stomach and intestines.


Before to treat acute and chronic gastroenteritis, determine the species of the causative agent. But the duration of the incubation period and laboratory investigations could push back the start of therapy. Intestinal infection is rapidly emerging threat of dehydration in children, so doctors should immediately begin treatment. Used antimicrobial drugs and antibiotics with a broad spectrum of activity against most species of bacteria, viruses and protozoa.

At the same time eliminating the condition of dehydration by using parenteral or oral administration of solutions which contain glucose and mineral compounds. In this way physicians in the treatment restores the water-salt balance and make up for the lost liquid.

To normalize the urinary kids consider taking diuretic drugs. Now, each time emptying of the bladder are derived pathogens and the accumulated products of metabolism. Course treatment of gastroenteritis in children antibiotics can cause the death of beneficial intestinal microflora. For the prevention of dysbiosis are assigned:

  • probiotics containing bifidobacteria and lactobacilli;
  • prebiotics, creating a favorable environment for reproduction in the gut of useful bacteria.

The duration of treatment in children depends on the type of infectious agent and the stage of the inflammatory process. In the treatment of acute and chronic gastroenteritis are:

  • antiemetics to eliminate nausea;
  • chelators and adsorbents to bind toxic compounds;
  • pharmaceuticals containing enzymes to facilitate digestion;
  • antispasmodic drugs if you have pain of any localization;
  • antacids with the appearance of acidic burping and heartburn;
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with increasing temperature;
  • antihistamine medicines for prevention of allergic reactions to used in therapy of medicines.

Even at an early stage of gastroenteritis in children, an acute deficiency of biologically active substances. So kids recommended long-course treatment with vitamins and trace elements. To increase the immunity of children will help Immunostimulants and immunomodulators.


Will not work quickly to cure viral or bacterial gastroenteritis without dieting during antibiotic therapy and in the rehabilitation period. As if parents would like to treat a suffering child with something tasty, should be excluded from the diet of a sick toddler:

  • fatty and fried foods;
  • fast food, smoked food, crackers, chips;
  • sweet drinks;
  • dairy products;
  • cakes from fancy and puff pastry.

On the first day of treatment, gastroenterologists advised to refuse to eat, but if the children have any feeling of hunger, you can give them crackers, white bread and weak tea. What to eat:

  • lean meat and fish;
  • pureed vegetables and fruits without sugar or honey;
  • soups;
  • boiled eggs;
  • omelette prepared on pair.

Home treatment gastroenteritis of various etiology is only in the initial stage of the disease. In all other cases, the treatment of children is carried out in a hospital. To prevent the development of intestinal infections should teach the child personal hygiene, regularly survey kids at the pediatrician, to treat respiratory disease.