But what actually is Gastroenteritis aka “Gastro”? Gastro is a short-term illness triggered by infection and inflammation of the digestive system. The main symptoms include, tummy cramps, diarrhoea, vomiting and feeling generally unwell🤕
Infectious gastroenteritis is usually caused by viruses, bacteria or parasites. Infection happens when the bacteria, virus or parasite is ingested, either by eating or drinking. So it is really important that you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after you go to the toilet, before preparing food and keep your kitchen surfaces clean. If you have been in contact with someone with similar symptoms always be sure to wash your hands to reduce transmission.
If you’ve got gastro, it usually settles by itself after 5-7 days, it’s vital during this time that you keep up your fluids and take oral rehydration therapy from the chemist. You may not feel like eating but when your appetite slowly comes back, start with plain food such as toast.
If you’re not sure whether you have gastro or need further help or advice, pop by and see me in clinic.
Changes to your bowels, such as colour, presence of blood, consistency and appearance can all be indicators of bowel cancer.
Australia has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world, where 1 in 13 will develop the disease in their lifetime. So it’s important to get to know the signs to help early treatment.
Other signs and symptoms include tummy pain, weight loss and feeling tired with no apparent reason.
If you are concerned about these symptoms it is important that you seek medical help. Diagnosis usually includes blood tests and a colonoscopy which is a camera that is inserted through the back passage by a specialist.
Treatment is on an individual basis but could include surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Bowel cancer screening is available for those over 50 and includes sending a stool sample to the laboratory for analysis. By 2020 Australia will have a Bowel Cancer Screening programme for every 2 years for those aged between 50-74.
If you have any further questions or are concerned by any symptoms, come by and see me in clinic.