Gastroenteritis: Overview

Gastroenteritis is a very common condition of inflammation or infection of the digestive tract. In common usage, it is often abbreviated to just ďgastroĒ. The most common type is infectious gastroenteritis which can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection of the stomach and intestines. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and related symptoms. Travelerís diarrhea is a form of infectious gastroenteritis. Infections are not the only cause of gastroenteritis, and the differential diagnosis must include various other possible causes: poisoning (e.g. household chemicals, toxins, etc.), drug overdose, supplement overdose, food poisoning, and numerous other causes (potentially any cause of abdominal pain). Treatment of everyday infectious diarrhea is symptomatic and the main concern is often to avoid the complications of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, which can be dangerous to young children, the elderly, or patients with a debilitating illness.

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