Bacterial gastroenteritis: Causes, treatment, prevention and Tests!

Bacterial gastroenteritis: Causes, treatment, prevention and Tests!

Bacterial gastroenteritis is a type of gastrointestinal infection due to bacteria. It is an acute form of gastroenteritis that can cause diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal cramps. Common bacterial causes of gastroenteritis include Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli (E. coli), and Yersinia. These organisms can be transmitted through contaminated food or water, direct contact with an infected person, or animal contact.

Well, in this article we will help you to know more about it so that there will be clarity considering the condition and you can get treatment accordingly as well. Let’s have a look!

What is Bacterial gastroenteritis?

Bacterial gastroenteritis is an infection or inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract due to bacteria. It can affect the entire gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine.

This is usually due to one of several species of bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, or Shigella. Less commonly, the infection may be due to parasites. In some cases, the cause of the infection can be difficult to pinpoint, though it is usually cleared up with antibiotic therapy.

If you suspect bacterial gastroenteritis, it’s important to see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. The treatment depends on the cause, but generally, antibiotics are prescribed to kill the bacteria. In some cases, antidiarrheal medication can be in use to control the symptoms. In more severe cases, hospitalization and IV antibiotics may be necessary.

Also Read:

What is the fastest way to cure viral gastroenteritis?

What are the symptoms of Bacterial gastroenteritis?

Symptoms typically appear within hours after consuming contaminated food or water and can range from mild to severe. The following are the most common symptoms of bacterial gastroenteritis:

1. Nausea:

This is an intense feeling of wanting to vomit and can be accompanied by indigestion.

2. Vomiting:

This is the act of forcefully expelling stomach contents from the mouth, which can be frequent and severe in cases of bacterial gastroenteritis.

3. Abdominal Pain:

Pain in the abdomen is often felt in cases of bacterial gastroenteritis and may be localized or diffuse in nature.

4. Diarrhea:

Diarrhea is frequent, watery stool and may occur several times each day in cases of bacterial gastroenteritis.

5. Fever:

Fever is a common sign of bacterial infection, and can range from mild to high in cases of bacterial gastroenteritis.

6. Dehydration:

Dehydration can be moderate to severe in cases of bacterial gastroenteritis and can be due to a combination of vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.

If any of these symptoms are experienced after consumption of potentially contaminated food or water, medical attention should be sought.

What are the causes of Bacterial gastroenteritis?

Bacterial gastroenteritis is an infection of the gastrointestinal tract are due to bacteria. It is a common digestive complaint with symptoms including nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. The condition is usually self-limiting and resolves in a few days, however, severe cases can lead to dehydration and other complications.

Also, Read:

How can I speed up gastroenteritis recovery?

The most common causes of bacterial gastroenteritis are:

1. Salmonella:

This is a common cause of foodborne illness, which usually takes place due to eating contaminated food, such as undercooked meat, eggs, or dairy products.

2. Campylobacter:

This bacterium is also a common foodborne organism, usually contracted by consuming contaminated animal products, such as raw poultry or unpasteurized milk.

3. Escherichia coli (E. coli):

A common source of infection is consuming undercooked ground beef or contaminated vegetables.

4. Yersinia enterocolitica:

This bacterium is commonly found in pork and is contracted by consuming uncooked pig meat.

5. Shigella:

This is a type of bacteria found in fecal matter and is contracted by consuming contaminated food or water.

6. Vibrio vulnificus:

This bacterium is found in warm, salty, or brackish water and is contracted by eating contaminated seafood or drinking contaminated saltwater.

Most cases of bacterial gastroenteritis can be managed with rest, oral rehydration, and over-the-counter medications to relieve symptoms. However, severe cases may require antibiotics or intravenous fluids. It is important to seek medical attention if symptoms become severe or prolonged.

What are the diagnosing techniques for Bacterial gastroenteritis?

In order to diagnose bacterial gastroenteritis, the doctor may begin with:

1. Physical Exam:

Physical examination and review of the patient’s medical history. They will likely also order a stool sample to test for the presence of infectious bacteria. If the stool sample is positive, the doctor may conduct further tests to identify the type of bacteria causing the infection. Additionally, the doctor may take abdominal x-rays to look for any indication of infection and order a blood test to measure electrolyte levels.

2. Endoscopy:

If the diagnosis is still unclear, the doctor may perform an endoscopy to look at the inside of the patient’s digestive tract. This procedure involves a flexible tube with a tiny camera at the end being inserted into the patient’s mouth and passed down into the stomach and intestines. With this procedure, the doctor can assess the state of the patient’s digestive system and collect additional samples for testing.

3. Lab tests:

In some cases, bacterial gastroenteritis can be difficult to diagnose. If the doctor suspects it is the cause of the illness, they may begin treatment before receiving the results of any lab tests. If the patient’s symptoms do not improve with treatment, the doctor may perform additional tests to rule out other causes of the illness.

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What are the treatment options for Bacterial gastroenteritis?

The treatment options are:

1. Antibiotics:

Antibiotics are the most common treatment for bacterial gastroenteritis. These medications kill the bacteria causing the infection and help to reduce symptoms. Different types of antibiotics may be in use, depending on the type of bacteria responsible for the infection. The physician may also recommend probiotics or prebiotics to help restore the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut following antibiotic therapy.

2. Oral rehydration therapy:

Oral rehydration therapy is another option for treating bacterial gastroenteritis. During this therapy, the patient is given fluids containing a special balance of electrolytes, salt, and sugar designed to replace those lost during the illness, as well as help promote healing. This therapy is most commonly in use for individuals who are at risk for dehydration due to diarrhea due to the infection.

3. Supportive care:

The third treatment option for bacterial gastroenteritis is supportive care. This includes ensuring the patient is getting adequate nutrition and rest and monitoring vitals such as heart rate, temperature, and respiration. Additionally, the physician may recommend bed rest and avoidance of certain foods, such as dairy and other high-fat contents, until the patient is feeling better.

Depending on the type and severity of the infection, the physician will recommend which treatments are most appropriate for the patient.

How to prevent Bacterial gastroenteritis?

Prevention of gastroenteritis one can do in the following ways:

1. Practice safe food handling:

Make sure that you wash your hands before and after handling food, and keep raw and cooked foods separated.

2. Drink safe water:

If the water is not properly filtered or boiled, it may contain bacteria that could cause gastroenteritis.

3. Avoid unpasteurized milk or juice:

Stick to pasteurized products or drinks that have been made with boiled or filtered water.

Also Read:

How do you get rid of viral Gastroenteritis?

4. Make sure that food is adequately cooked:

Bacteria can survive even when food is cooked, so make sure that it’s cooked to the proper temperature.

5. Dispose of your leftovers properly:

Bacteria can easily contaminate leftover food, so make sure that you refrigerate or freeze them promptly. When reheating food, make sure that it is heated all the way through.

Visit Dr. Shankar Dhaka for treatment!

Dr. Shankar Dhaka is a renowned gastroenterologist in Jaipur, India. He has been providing exceptional medical care to patients for years. He specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, including disorders related to the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and biliary system. Dr. Dhaka also treats disorders of the esophagus, stomach, intestines, and rectum.

He is an expert who provides the best consultations and treatments for his patients. He is renowned for his gentle and compassionate approach to patient care. Also, he ensures that each patient receives the best treatment possible, based on the individual’s needs. With a thorough understanding and knowledge of the most current medical treatments, Dr. Dhaka is able to provide the best possible care available.


Q.1 How do you prevent the spread of gastroenteritis?

The best way to prevent the spread of gastroenteritis is to practice good hand hygiene, thoroughly cook food, avoid drinking or eating bad water or food, and avoid close contact with people who are showing symptoms.

Q.2 What are the symptoms of gastroenteritis?

Symptoms of gastroenteritis include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and cramps.

Q.3 What is the best antibiotic for gastroenteritis?

The best antibiotic for gastroenteritis depends on the cause, which can vary widely. Your doctor should identify the cause of your gastroenteritis and prescribe the appropriate antibiotic.

Q.4 How long can gastroenteritis last?

Gastroenteritis can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Q.5 Can you catch gastroenteritis from another person?

Yes, gastroenteritis one can get by coming into close contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids through coughing and sneezing, or even through food or water contaminated with the virus.

Q.6 Is gastritis serious?

Yes, gastritis can be serious if left untreated. It can result in ulcers, bleeding, and stomach cancer.