Gastroenteritis


Overview

Gastroenteritis, also known as infectious diarrhoea and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract - the stomach and small intestine. It is commonly known as Stomach flu, typically spread by an infected person or through contaminated food or water.

Symptoms

  1. Watery, usually non-bloody diarrhoea - bloody diarrhoea usually means you have a different, more severe infection.
  2. Nausea, vomiting or both.
  3. Abdominal cramps and pain.
  4. Whole body: fatigue, fever, dehydration(complication of diarrhoea and vomiting), light-headedness, or loss of appetite.

In Ayurveda, Gastroenteritis can be correlated with Visucika.

According to Ayurveda, there are three biological elements/doshas are present in our body; vata, pitta and kapha which should be in balance. Due to above said causes doshas get vitiated impairing the digestive fire. Visucika is a condition in which vitiated agni causes over accumulation of ama leading to expulsion of doshas through both upper(mouth) and lower passage(anus).

Causes

  1. Eating food in indigestion or when the previous meal isn't digested.
  2. Incompatible food like having milk and fruits together.
  3. Eating in stress.
  4. Taking food at irregular times.
  5. People with weak immunity and not following food and personal hygiene like sharing utensils of infected people, improper hand washing after visiting the toilet, etc.

Treatment

  1. Giving relief from abdominal pain /cramps, watery diarrhoea and maintaining the normal bowel.
  2. Treating inflammation of the stomach and small intestine and prevention of complications.
  3. Improving overall digestive health and peristalsis so that recurrence can be prevented.
  4. Regular intake of supplements to cure Gastroenteritis in the form of herbs and herbo-mineral preparations.

The first line of treatment should always be avoiding the causative factors. If the problem persists then consider the following treatment protocol.

  • Digestive issues such as abdominal pain and loss of appetite happen due to unhealthy diet, lifestyle. It should be treated with  PravalaPanchamrutha, Lashunadi vati, Shunthi
  • Diarrhoea, abdominal pain and vomiting - Inflammation causes the colon to contract and empty frequently, resulting in diarrhoea, needing to empty the bowel frequently along with abdominal pain. Inflamed and irritated intestinal walls also trigger vomiting reflexes. Manage the condition with Kutaja, Bilva, Kamadudha and Laghusootshekhar ras which reduces the hyper-motility of the intestinal tract and it heals inflammation to prevent further diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • For fever and fatigue - Inflammation and infection might result in increase in temperature and fatigue. Guduchi and Godanti should be given to treat fever and reduce body heat(Pitta).

(The above mentioned Ayurvedic drugs are Herbs and Herbo-mineral preparations)

Herbs

Bilva, Shunthi, Kutaja,  Pravalapanchamrutha, Lashunadi vati, Yashtimadhu, Haritaki, Guduchi , Godanti, Kamadudha, Laghusootshekhar ras

When to see a doctor?

If you're an adult, call your doctor if:

  • You have a fever above 104 F (40 C)
  • You notice blood in your bowel movements
  • You're dehydrated — signs of dehydration include excessive thirst, dry mouth, deep yellow urine or little or no urine, and severe weakness, dizziness or lightheadedness
  • You're vomiting blood
  • You've been vomiting for more than two days
  • You're not able to keep liquids down for 24 hours.

For children.

  • Seems dehydrated — watch for signs of dehydration in sick infants and children by comparing how much they drink and urinate with how much is normal for them.
  • Has bloody diarrhoea
  • Is in a lot of discomfort or pain
  • Seems lethargic or very irritable
  • Has a fever of 102 F (38.9 C) or higher

Call your baby's doctor right away if your baby:

  • Is unusually sleepy, drowsy or unresponsive
  • Has a dry mouth or cries without tears
  • Has a sunken soft spot (fontanel)on the top of his or her head
  • Has bloody stools or severe diarrhea
  • Hasn't had a wet diaper in six hours
  • Has vomiting that lasts more than several hours

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