• Acute gastroenteritis is a sudden condition that causes irritation and inflammation of the stomac[pic]h and intestines or the gastrointestinal tract.
• Viral infection is the most common cause of gastroenteritis but bacteria, parasites, and food-borne illness (such as shellfish) can also cause acute gastroenteritis.
• Fifty to seventy percent of cases of gastroenteritis in adults are caused by the noroviruses while rotavirus is the leading cause of infection in children. Staphylococcus aureus can form a toxin that cause food poisoning while the resident Escherichia coli can also cause significant problems.
• Many people who experience symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea, which develop from these types of infections or irritations believe they have food poisoning, and they indeed have a food-borne illness.
• The severity of gastroenteritis depends on the immune system’s ability to resist and fight the infection. Electrolytes, especially sodium and potassium may be lost if the client continue to vomit and experience diarrhea.
• Most people recover easily from a short course of vomiting and diarrhea by drinking lots of fluids and resuming a typical diet. But for some, especially the young and the old, loss of body fluids with gastroenteritis can cause dehydration, which is a life-threatening condition unless it is treated and fluids are replaced.
The mechanisms potentially responsible for viral diarrhea include lysis of enterocytes, interference with the brush border function that leads to malabsorption of electrolytes, stimulation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), and carbohydrate malabsorption. For bacterial gastroenteritis, the pathophysiology involves the elaboration of toxin by enterotoxigenic pathogens and the invasion and inflammation of mucosa by invasive pathogens. Parasitic organisms invade epithelial cells and cause villus atrophy and eventual... [continues]
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