What are Gastrointestinal Infections?

Gastrointestinal (GI) infections are actually quite common, and they often affect children. In fact, they affect more than 2,195 children every day, according to the CDC.

So, what exactly are GI infections, and are they serious? Our AFC Urgent Care Knoxville team shares some helpful info below, so keep reading!

What Are GI Infections?

Gastrointestinal infections are infections of the GI tract that are caused by a number of bacteria, viruses and parasites. In most cases, the infection and subsequent symptoms will go away in a few days, though they can last for up to two weeks.

Tell-tale signs of GI infections include abdominal pain followed by diarrhea. Although these are the most common symptoms, they aren’t the only ones, as we’ve listed more common GI infection symptoms below.

Gastrointestinal Infection Symptoms

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle aches
  • Dehydration
  • Headache
  • Mucus or blood in the stool
  • Weight loss

Can GI Infections Be Treated?

Yes, they can be treated. Since most GI infections are caused by parasites or viruses, antibiotics won’t be of any help, so self-care treatments are typically the doctor-recommended avenue for feeling better.

If you believe you have a GI infection or have been diagnosed with one, we’d suggest not eating foods rich in fiber until diarrhea has subsided. In addition to staying hydrated, we’ve listed some ways to effectively deal with GI infections below.

General GI Care Tips

  • Rest and drink plenty of fluids.
  • Follow the BRAT diet—bananas, rice, applesauce and toast—all of which are easy on the stomach and beneficial in their own way. Additionally, avoid things like dairy, grease and spices, as they can aggravate your digestive system.
  • Take over-the-counter medications that neutralize stomach acid or that treat nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Do you need treatment for your GI infection? We can help! Don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care Knoxville team today.