Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach and small intestine. The most common signs are vomiting and diarrhea. Occasionally there is blood in the stool or vomit. The condition can be caused by infection, food allergy, eating garbage or foreign materials, intestinal parasites, changes of diet, and even emotional upsets.
Because the exact cause is often difficult to determine, the condition is usually treated symptomatically the first time. If there are recurrences, a more extensive search for the cause is advised.
Important Points in Treatment
1. Laboratory tests and radiographs (x-rays) are usually necessary to diagnose the condition and monitor the effectiveness of treatment. Hospitalization is often necessary in severe cases or when dehydration is present.