Gastroenterocolitis


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Gastroenterocolitis

 

an inflammatory disease affecting the entire gastrointestinal tract at one time. There are acute and chronic forms of gastroenterocolitis. Acute gastroenterocolitis usually develops as a result of food poisoning, influenza accompanied by intestinal bleeding, other infectious diseases (typhus, tuberculosis, sepsis, etc.), allergic factors, and poisoning (strong acids and alkalies, alcohol, heavy metals, medicine poisoning, etc.). An infection can enter the intestine through the mouth or can be carried by the blood. Achylia, avitaminosis, and anemia are predisposing factors. Gastroenterocolitis is accompanied by eructation, heartburn, pain, and heaviness in the epigastrium. Sometimes the disease begins with the vomiting up of food and is followed by diarrhea, swelling, abdominal soreness, borborygmus, and gurgling sounds in the intestine. The patient’s condition depends on the nature of the infection and the resistance of the organism. In severe cases weakness, fatigue, confusion, increased temperature, and cardiovascular disorders are observed. In mild cases acute gastroenterocolitis goes away after five to seven days; in severe cases the disease can persist, often becoming chronic. Treatment of acute gastroenterocolitis consists of the removal of the causes, for example, treatment for food poisoning.

Chronic gastroenterocolitis frequently develops in conjunction with other afflictions of the digestive organs. The disease, as a rule, lasts several years, and relapses occur. Periods of aggravation are caused by breaking the diet, by ingesting bad food, and by infections. The symptoms of the disease depend on whether it affects primarily the stomach or the intestine. In cases where the small intestine is affected, nutritional disorders may occur, and the ability to work may decrease.

Treatment focuses on the elimination of the inflammatory symptoms in the gastrointestinal tract and the fight against infection and intoxication. Diet therapy consists of smaller meals (five to six times per day) and the avoidance of mechanical and chemical irritants (hors d’oeuvres, smoked foods, canned foods, fried dishes, coarse and sinewy meat, and coarse types of vegetables), black bread, and fresh milk. The primary nutritional basis is a protein diet (meat bouillon, ground meat, chicken, turkey, farmer cheese pressed through a sieve, three-day-old yogurt, nonfat cheese, and boiled fish, including pike perch, pike, and cod); included in the diet in limited quantity are porridges made of semolina, rice, or oatmeal and water with a small amount of butter, white rusks or stale white bread, tea with lemon, the juice of black currants, sweetbrier decoction, and fruit compotes (except plums).

Prevention consists of avoiding food poisoning, observing the rules of personal hygiene, and thoroughly treating acute gastroenterocolitis.

REFERENCES

Berlin, L. B. Khronicheskie kolity. Moscow, 1951.
Lorie, I. F. Bolezni kishechnika. Moscow, 1957.
“Bolezni zheludka i kishechnika.” In Mnogotomnoe rukovodstv Q po vnutrennim bolezniam, vol. 4. Moscow, 1965.

I. S. SAVOSHCHENKO

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