How could we improve it?

This article contains false or inaccurate information.

Please tell us what was incorrect.

Please note that you do not need to fill this detail if it's inconvenient for you. Click Send My Opinion below to continue reading our site.
This article doesn't provide enough info.

Please tell us what was missing.

Please note that you do not need to fill this detail if it's inconvenient for you. Click Send My Opinion below to continue reading our site.
Hmm... I have a question.

We’re unable to offer personal health advice, diagnosis, or treatment, but we welcome your feedback! Just type it in the box below.

If you're facing a medical emergency, call your local emergency services immediately, or visit the nearest emergency room or urgent care center.


Or copy link


Acute Gastroenteritis With Moderate Dehydration: Should I Be Worried?

Acute Gastroenteritis With Moderate Dehydration: Should I Be Worried?

Few cases of acute gastroenteritis with moderate dehydration would require medical intervention. Still, it helps to know about this condition so you can deal with it properly.

What is Gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis is the swelling and inflammation of the lining that covers the inside of the stomach. It can lead to serious pain, which usually lasts for short periods.

Symptoms of Gastroenteritis

The symptoms of acute gastroenteritis with moderate dehydration include watery diarrhea combined with vomiting. You might also get stomach pains, cramps, moderate to high fever, headache, and sometimes nausea.

There are other symptoms that you might experience because of the moderate dehydration and the vomiting that comes with the condition. For example, dehydration can cause dry skin and dryness of the mouth. One can also end up feeling really thirsty and lightheaded at the same time.

Gastroenteritis and Children

While acute gastroenteritis with moderate dehydration is not very concerning when it happens to adults, it can be worrying when it affects children. Children can get dehydrated rather quickly so it’s important for you to look for signs.

If a child is very thirsty, has very dry skin, or is complaining of a parched mouth then that means the child could be suffering from dehydration. It would be a good idea to take them to the doctor if you think that they are dehydrated. If a child is suffering from gastroenteritis, you should keep her away from school or daycare until all the symptoms are gone.

Medications that are used for controlling diarrhea and those used for vomiting are generally not given to very young children.

Gastroenteritis in Children: A Caregiver’s Guide for Parents

Causes of Gastroenteritis

Acute gastroenteritis with moderate dehydration happens when the lining in your stomach becomes weak or damaged. There are several things that can damage the stomach lining:

  • Some types of medication can cause damage to the lining and those include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids.
  • Bacterial infections can also affect the stomach lining.
  • Too much alcohol consumption has also been proven to affect the lining of the stomach.

The medications mentioned before are by far the most cause of damage to the stomach lining. Bacteria that cause peptic ulcers can damage the stomach lining. Other causes of gastroenteritis that are far less common include:

  • Viral infection
  • Stress
  • Bile reflux
  • Kidney failure
  • Cocaine use

There are other causes that have not been included here.

Risk of acute gastroenteritis with moderate dehydration

There are several factors that can increase the chances of you developing gastroenteritis. The taking of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and other medications can damage the lining of the stomach. Drinking too much alcohol can also increase the risk factor.

Having a major surgery can also increase the risk of developing this condition. The failure of different organs in the body like the lungs, liver, or kidneys can also increase the chances of developing gastroenteritis.

Diagnosing Gastroenteritis

As with other conditions, your doctor is in the best position to assess, diagnose, and prescribe treatment. To help in the diagnosis, doctors may request the following tests to be done:

  1. Complete Blood Count (CBC). This test is used as part of checking your overall health.
  2. Tests to check for the presence of H. pylori in the body.
  3. A fecal test to check for the presence of blood in your stool. Blood in your stool may indicate damage to the lining of your stomach.
  4. An endoscopy will allow the doctor to look at the actual lining of your stomach.
  5. Biopsy. This test removes a piece of the stomach tissue for analysis.
  6. An X-ray can also be helpful to look at the structure of your digestive system.

Other tests aside from the aforementioned may be requested in diagnosing gastroenteritis.


In some cases, acute gastroenteritis with moderate dehydration does not require medical treatment, it may go away without any treatment. The best way to deal with the condition is to control what you eat and drink lots of fluids.

Sticking to a bland diet can help make recovery faster. You should also stick to foods that are low in acid, fats, and low in fiber. Chicken breasts and lean meat are recommended. If you experience vomiting, you may consume chicken broth.

For some people, gastroenteritis will require treatment. The treatment and the recovery period will depend on the cause of gastroenteritis. For example, gastroenteritis caused by H. pylori infections may require several rounds of antibiotics which can take several weeks.

Other common treatments include:

  • The taking of antacids will help to neutralize the stomach acid.
  • Proton pump inhibitors can help reduce the production of stomach acids.
  • H2 antagonists reduce the amount of stomach acids.

The only time that antibiotics should be used for treating gastroenteritis is when you have a bacterial infection.

Moderate dehydration brought about by acute gastroenteritis is not life-threatening, and the taking of fluids can easily reverse its effects. However, if gastroenteritis causes severe dehydration, then that may require immediate medical attention.

Key Takeaways

Acute gastroenteritis with moderate dehydration is not life-threatening, but it is best to consult a doctor when you experience its symptoms. That is especially true when the one suffering from it is a child.

Learn more about Gastroenteritis here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Dehydration: Symptoms and causes, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/symptoms-causes/syc-20354086, Accessed January 10, 2020

Gastroenteritis, https://medlineplus.gov/gastroenteritis.html, Accessed January 10, 2020

Colds and Coughs in Adults: Managing Viral Infections, https://intermountainhealthcare.org/ckr-ext/Dcmnt?ncid=522811857, Accessed January 10, 2020

Management of Bile Reflux, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3745208/, Accessed January 10, 2020

Kidney failure, https://www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-disease/kidney-failure/, Accessed January 10, 2020


Picture of the authorbadge
Written by Ruby Anne Hornillos Updated Jun 08
Medically reviewed by Elfred Landas, M.D.