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Acute gastroenteritis: symptoms and treatment in adults

Acute gastroenteritis is a pathological process that develops in the stomach and small intestine. The disease is characterized by the presence of inflammatory lesions on the mucous membranes of the digestive system infectious and noninfectious origin. Gastroenteritis is provoked by viruses, bacteria, toxic compounds progresses rapidly and can cause severe complications. After the appearance of the first symptoms of intestinal pathology should consult a gastroenterologist for thorough diagnosis and medical treatment.

Characteristic features of the disease

Acute gastroenteritis refers to common disease, most often diagnosed in the warm seasons. More than 200 years ago was the cause of epidemics among the population of pathogenic microorganisms. Failure to observe the rules of personal hygiene, lack of doctors and lack of information led to the rapid spread of the disease. Later it became clear that the causes of acute gastroenteritis can also be causative agents of allergic reactions, alcoholic beverages, poisons of plant and animal origin.

Acute gastroenteritis of infectious aetiology is to disseminate the second place in the world among respiratory pathologies after SARS and influenza. In countries with a significant population density and a shortage of medical staff is a high mortality from loss of body fluids.

The classification of acute gastroenteritis are the causes of development of inflammatory process of the mucous membranes. Experts identify the following types of pathology:

  • bacterial;
  • virus;
  • toxic;
  • alimentary;
  • allergic;
  • medicinal.

In recent years rapidly increased the number of diagnosed cases of the disease of allergic origin. Gastroenterologists attribute this to changes in diet. The modern pace of life does not allow you to devote a lot of time to prepare balanced meals, popular fast food and processed foods. To increase the shelf life and flavor manufacturers add sausage and rolls of different chemical compounds. Any of them becomes provoking acute or chronic gastroenteritis.

"The disease of dirty hands" is the name of gastroenteritis that is caused by bacteria, viruses and toxins. So the transfer of infectious agents pathological process. This method of infection is particularly relevant in the family or close team. The source of the acute gastroenteritis is the person that produce the inflammation-causing agents in the environment by coughing, sneezing, blowing nose. Viruses and bacteria transmitted via the handshake, when using personal care items of an infected person.

Gastroenteritis of infectious origin

Once inside the gastrointestinal tract, the pathogen absement mucous membranes. Is formed by a number of infectious foci, krupneyshaya in the absence of drug therapy. Viruses and bacteria thrive, releasing in the course of their life toxic compounds that poison the body. Acute infectious gastroenteritis develops under the action of such agents:

  • Salmonella;
  • staphylococci;
  • streptococci;
  • Shigella;
  • rotaviruses;
  • norovirus;
  • simple.

Multiply in the lumen of the stomach and small intestine, pathogenic micro-organisms contribute to excessive production of fluid and mineral salts. In this condition a person develops nausea, vomiting, impaired peristalsis. Toxic substances secreted by viruses and bacteria, enter the bloodstream and spread to all cells and tissues. Extensive symptoms of intoxication: fever and fatigue.

The most common infectious pathogen is rotavirus. It becomes the cause of the epidemic of intestinal infections in the summer. After penetration of rotaviruses into the body, in addition to the General symptoms of acute gastroenteritis in humans developed signs of respiratory disease.

To pathology precipitating factors include:

  • consumption of food, contamination by microorganisms;
  • failure to observe the rules of personal hygiene;
  • transmission from an infected person;
  • poor quality of drinking water.

Viral gastroenteritis in adults can occur after antibiotic therapy. Antimicrobials destroy not only pathogenic bacteria, but also useful microflora of intestines. This leads to violation of digestion of some biological active substances and microelements. On the background of deficiency of vitamins reduces the human immune system, which is a favorable environment for the propagation of rotaviruses.

Poisoning is often the cause of acute inflammation of the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract. Use for cooking poor quality food leads to activation of conditionally pathogenic microflora in the digestive tract. Poisoning of the body and the formation of infectious foci occurs in such cases:

  • improper food storagepower;
  • a preference for spicy, fatty foods;
  • single-component diet.

Exotoxins to provoke the multiplication of viruses and bacteria, resulting in the blood stream are received entero - and cytotoxins capable of damaging epithelial cells, but to cause symptoms of General poisoning.

After penetration inside the stomach of Salmonella or other pathogenic viruses and microbes the mucous membrane begins to break down just a few hours after eating contamination of products.

Many exotoxins have a high resistance to the action of high temperatures. They do not die even after prolonged heat treatment. To prevent bacterial acute gastroenteritis should monitor the storage, throw away the packaging since expired.

Noninfectious acute gastroenteritis

Almost all people prone to allergic reactions laid still in utero. At a certain stage of the formation of embryos fails during the maturation of the immune system. After the appearance of a child into the world there's a chance that during the first months, the body will acquire the ability to respond correctly to incoming digestive tract food.

Violation of the rules of breastfeeding, inappropriate introduction of complementary feeding may lead to formation of abnormal reactions to certain foods. Allergic agents are always causing the development of acute gastroenteritis.

Intolerance to certain foods is not necessarily manifested in childhood. Under the influence of certain factors (chronic diseases, unfavourable environment, emotional stress) allergies can develop after 40-45 years. To provoke sensitisation reactions products include:

  • whole milk;
  • cereals;
  • eggs;
  • seafood;
  • beans.

Noninfectious gastroenteritis allergic origin may be inherited. If one of the parents has been diagnosed pathology, with a probability of 50% the child will soon manifest disease.

Toxic acute gastroenteritis occurs after accidental or intentional ingestion of toxic compounds. After getting into the gastrointestinal tract substances absorbed through its mucosa. While damaged and the deeper layers of the stomach wall.

If a person is poisoned with caustic alkalis or acids, may be compromised the integrity of the digestive system. Also to non-infectious agents include:

  • arsenic, cyanides;
  • mercury, chlorine, fluorine;
  • the seeds of the cherry, apricot, peach;
  • mushrooms – fly agaric, pale toadstool, Armillaria false;
  • some species of fish.

Once in the bloodstream, toxic compounds associated with red blood cells, reducing their functional activity for the delivery of molecular oxygen to the organs. In tissues and brain cells there is an acute shortage of oxygen in the bloodstream is detected by its significant concentration. In addition to the symptoms of inflammation in the intestine, the person developing the violations of all vital systems.

To non-communicable pathologies, drug acute gastroenteritis. Typically, it is diagnosed in people who are self medicating or suffering from chronic diseases. Inflammation of the mucous membranes of the stomach and intestines provokes long reception:

  • acetylsalicylic acid;
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs;
  • iodine-containing medicines;
  • anticancer drugs.

All of the above drugs have the ability to accumulate in tissues and damage the epithelial cells of the mucosa. They are gradually replaced with fibrous connective tissue. On the inner wall of the stomach are formed by folds and outgrowths.

Form of acute gastroenteritis

The incubation period of acute gastroenteritis depends on the type of infectious agent and the body's resistance to viruses, bacteria, allergic agents. The clinical picture of the disease can develop within days after penetration of pathogenic microorganisms or toxins of plant and animal origin. The symptoms of gastroenteritis allergic and toxic etiologies occur after the hour, and signs of an infectious disease may occur some days later.

The risk of inflammation of the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines is a long latent incubation period. This prevents the treatment drugs in the early stages of the disease. Also, there is a risk of severe consequences of chronic gastroenteritis, gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer.

To the therapy was effective, gastroenterologists distinguish such forms of the disease:

  • Easy. Gastroenteritis at this stage there is a violation of all organs of the digestive system. The symptoms are not of a pronounced character after treatment disappear after 2-3 days. Hospitalization of the victim is not necessary, it is shown bed rest and light diet.
  • Average. Inflammation of this form is manifested by signs of Generalintoxication. In cells and tissue there is a fluid deficit, disturbed fluid and electrolyte balance.
  • Heavy. At this stage of the pathological process requires urgent hospitalization of the patient for carrying out detoxication therapy, reduce the severity of symptoms of poisoning, prevention of further spread of the inflammatory process.

In the absence of medical care endangers a person's life. A particular danger toxic acute gastroenteritis. It triggers not only inflammation of the mucous membranes, but also by their ulceration, a violation of integrity.


The symptoms of gastroenteritis in adults vary depending on the form of pathology, predisposing factors, the immune status of the person. For mild or moderate stage of inflammation of the mucous membrane in humans, there are such signs:

  • violation of peristalsis of the bowel – diarrhea (often with admixtures of fresh blood), much less likely to develop constipation;
  • disorder of the digestive system: nausea, vomiting, flatulence, heartburn, sour belching, bloating;
  • sharp painful cramps in the epigastric region, extending to the sides and abdomen;
  • lack of appetite, sudden weight loss;
  • weakness, fatigue, drowsiness;
  • headaches localized in the occipital region;
  • change the color of stool to green or yellowish, it found blood, mucous substances;
  • a slight decrease in blood pressure.

With the spread of intestinal infection in the body increases the severity of symptoms of acute gastroenteritis. They did not subside even for a short time, their attacks are becoming more frequent.

With vomiting and diarrhea and the body tries to get rid of toxic compounds and poisons. With them goes the necessary for all vital systems liquid. Field trying to eat the signs of inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract are enhanced.

If the victim was given medical help, the disease takes a severe, life-threatening human form. It is manifested by the following symptoms:

  • sudden changes in temperature, fever, chills, cold sweat;
  • tremor of the upper and lower extremities;
  • pallor, cyanosis nasolabial folds;
  • dry mucous membranes;
  • violation of coordination of movements, inability to stand upright;
  • emotional lability, fainting;
  • a sharp decline in blood pressure and heart rate.

To prevent the development of complications is possible only at the initial stage of acute gastroenteritis. It is indicative for the diagnosis of such external signs:

  • loss of skin elasticity and firmness;
  • dryness of the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth and throat.

This condition indicates the onset of dehydration, the removal from it of useful biologically active substances and mineral compounds. The presence of symptoms of mild stage of gastroenteritis is the signal for immediate treatment in the nearest medical institution.

A gastroenterologist is the term syndrome of intestinal dyspepsia. Patients with inflammation of the mucous membranes of the stomach and intestines complain of pressure, mild swelling and bloating. After eating appears rumbling and transfusion in epigastric region due to the violation of the breakdown of food to digestible substance.

Diagnosis of acute gastroenteritis

At the initial stage of diagnosis of acute gastroenteritis, the doctor listens to the description of symptoms by the patient, produces an external inspection, studies diseases in history, palpated the abdomen. For a complete examination of the victim, are required to submit blood and urine samples for biochemical and laboratory tests. What can you suggest their results:

  • detection in urine high concentration of mineral compounds indicates significant dehydration;
  • low blood levels of red blood cells, platelets, and hemoglobin allows to suspect the low resistance of the person to viral and bacterial infections.

To determine the type of infectious agent and confirm the original diagnosis is made by seeding the biological sample in the culture medium. This analysis helps to establish the sensitivity of pathogens to antimicrobial agents. Using a thin endoscope with a camera the doctor examines the stomach and small intestine. This method of diagnostics allows to assess the condition of the mucous membranes, to determine the location and size of the inflammatory focus.

Treatment of acute gastroenteritis

Treatment of acute gastroenteritis begins with the elimination of dehydration infusion of parenteral or oral. This method of therapy also promotes the removal of pathogens. To eliminate the viruses and bacteria used antimicrobial agents of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Duration of reception depends on the type of pathogen and the duration of its stay in the gastrointestinal tract.

Quick recovery is facilitated by the reception of such drugsgastroenteritis:

  • antiemetic;
  • chelators and adsorbents;
  • enzymatic preparations;
  • prebiotics and probiotics;
  • antispasmodics and painkillers;
  • antacids;
  • antipyretic.

Malabsorption of biologically active substances in the intestine leads to their deficiency in the tissues. To make up for imbalance patients are recommended to take complex of vitamins and minerals. To increase the body's resistance to viral and bacterial infections, gastroenterologists prescribed a course of reception of Immunostimulants and immunomodulators.

It is useless to treat an acute form of gastroenteritis without compliance with sparing diet. The victim should be excluded for several months from their diet of fatty and fried foods, alcoholic beverages, coffee and tea. You should prefer lean meats and fish, vegetables, thick soups.

To never know what is gastroenteritis, you need the right approach to the choice of foods, their heat treatment and storage. Should never eat unidentified mushrooms, you must follow the doctor recommended dosage when taking pharmaceutical drugs. Excellent prevention of the disease will be the observance of measures of personal hygiene, hardening, and long walks in the fresh air.