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Common Symptoms Of Enteric Diseases
Enteric diseases are those that typically affect the intestines and the digestive tract. They are diseases that are spread through contaminated food and water. Several parasites, viruses and bacteria are known to cause enteric diseases.
The common diseases that fall in this category are cholera, typhoid, dysentery and gastro-intestinal infections. Here are some of the common symptoms of enteric diseases that affect people.
Common Symptoms Of Enteric Diseases
Severe Abdominal Cramps
Any enteric disease typically starts with severe abdominal cramps. The cramps may start a few hours before the actual onset of the symptoms. The patient feels pain and acute abdominal discomfort that is not normal.
Following the abdominal cramps is loose, watery stools that are frequent in nature. The person may defecate several times and this could lead to severe dehydration and loss of electrolytes in the body.
One of the most debilitating and characteristic symptoms of enteric diseases is vomiting. Vomiting usually starts immediately after consumption of severely contaminated food. The vomiting may become so intense, that hospitalization may be required. Vomiting also leads to water loss from the body.
Stools Containing Blood
Severe stomach infections can also lead to the passage of bloody stools or stools filled with mucous or pus. This is a sure shot indication that infection is present.
In severe cases of stomach infection like cholera and typhoid, the person may experience very high fever along with nausea and vomiting. The fever may go very high and may have to be reduced or brought down with anti-fever medication.
Loss of Appetite
The debilitating cramps, vomiting, nausea and diarrhoea can lead to a significant loss on appetite. The person does not feel like eating anything. However, this is not a good sign and the person should eat well in order to prevent fatigue and dehydration.
Fatigue and Lethargy
Extreme weakness sets in a few days after the onset of the symptoms. The person may feel acutely lethargic and may not feel like getting up or doing anything. The weakness lasts for a few days and begins to dissipate as the person becomes stronger.
Enteric diseases can prove to be fatal if not brought under control in time. Excessive vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration and loss of electrolytes in the body. This can lead to death if the person is not rehydrated quickly.
Some enteric diseases like cholera, typhoid and jaundice are prolonged and can lead to significant weight loss. Weight gain is restored once the person starts to recover.
The treatment modality for most enteric diseases is the same. Antibiotics and anti-viral medications may be prescribed in order to treat the symptoms. Certain diseases like jaundice run their own course and can be managed with diet modification.
The main thing to do is to give the person plenty of fluids in the form of oral rehydration therapy. This is water, which is high on electrolytes and salts that help to compensate for the loss of salts from the body. The patient should keep sipping on fluids throughout the day to prevent dehydration and fatigue.
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