Often manifestations of gastroenteritis are similar to those of many diseases, including dysentery, salmonellosis and cholera. To correctly establish the diagnosis, it is necessary, first of all, to study the clinical picture of the ailment. When suspicion of viral gastroenteritis, especially in children, it is important to determine the disease as soon as possible, because it determines the proper treatment.
To establish a preliminary diagnosis of gastroenteritis, the complaints of the patient or his environment are first heard, the manifestations of the disease are analyzed.
To exclude suspicion of food poisoning, it is found out what food and drinks the patient used, what food places he visited, whether there were similar symptoms of illness in those who were with him and whether he went to places with an unfavorable epidemiological situation shortly before the disease.
At the initial examination the doctor performs palpation of the abdomen, if possible, examines the contents of vomit and stool.
For clinical symptoms alone, it is not always possible to diagnose the type of disease.
Diagnosis of gastroenteritis
To confirm a preliminary diagnosis, it is necessary to conduct laboratory tests, including:
- general tests of urine and blood;
- bacteriological stool studies;
- analysis of vomiting contents for E. coli;
- ultrasound of the digestive tract;
- hepatic assays.
If you suspect a chronic stage of gastroenteritis, you should additionally perform a biochemical blood test. In addition, to establish an accurate diagnosis, studies on fermentopathy, fibrogastroduodenoscopy and duodenal sounding may be necessary.
Because of the complexity and cost of some laboratory tests, in mild cases, the disease is usually limited to performing general blood and urine tests, which makes it possible to determine its severity. With gastroenteritis, there is an increase in the number of leukocytes in the blood and an increase in ESR.Urine examination can reveal leukocytes and, in rare cases, erythrocytes. With significant dehydration, the content of electrolytes in the blood is determined to restore the water-salt ratio.
The patient's stool is analyzed for helminth eggs and lamblia cysts. Bacteriological examination must be performed three times. Only after all three analyzes for gastroenteritis have shown a negative result, in most cases treatment can be considered complete.
Based on the results of the examinations, an accurate diagnosis is established - gastroenteritis and a treatment regimen is selected. Improper diagnosis can lead to complications of the disease and an increase in the recovery period.