Gastroenteritis is sometimes referred to as the stomach flu. It is caused by an infection that ends up in the digestive tract, causing vomiting, diarrhea, stomachache, headache, and severe abdominal pain and cramping. In most cases, the cause of gastroenteritis is related to a virus. Bacteria may also cause a flare up. In most cases, if a person lets the condition run its course, it will usually clear up on its own in about ten days without medication. It is possible to treat the symptoms or provide at least a modest amount of relief during the most difficult days. In most cases, the first 24 to 48 hours will pose the most problems and the most severe symptoms.
Gastroenteritis that is caused by a virus will have to run its course. The symptoms can be treated to help relieve the discomfort, however. Anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers can help to minimize the pain and discomfort, but the key is being able to stay hydrated. While water is efficient, it can't replace the electrolytes that are lost when a person is getting sick or experiencing diarrhea. Sports drink will contain a modest amount of electrolytes, but for the maximum amount, it is important to drink Pedialyte or another type of electrolyte solution that is specifically formulated to produce the maximum of electrolytes in each serving.
Maintaining a healthy gut may prevent many different gastrointestinal problems, but it can't always protect against being exposed to a stomach virus or bacteria that results in gastroenteritis. It is important to maintain the right level of digestive enzymes and bacteria in the intestines. When a person gets the stomach flu or food poisoning, it can destroy the delicate balance throughout the digestive tract. When this occurs, it leaves the gut open to possible infection. Eating the right foods and drinking fluids with additional electrolytes can help to restore the balance of flora and fauna in the gut and reduce the possibility of an infection.
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