Ingestion: Causes, diagnosis, Treatment

Abdomen | Gastroenterology | Ingestion (Symptom)

Ingestion: Description

Ingestion refers to the consumption of a substance by a person. Besides nutritional items, other substances which may be ingested include medications, recreational drugs, and substances considered inedible such as foreign bodies or excrement. Ingestion is a common route taken by pathogenic organisms and poisons entering the body.

Some pathogens are transmitted via ingestion, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Most commonly, this takes place via the faecal-oral route. An intermediate step is often involved, such as drinking water contaminated by faeces or food prepared by workers who fail to practice adequate hand-washing, and is more common in regions where untreated sewage is common. Diseases transmitted via the fecal-oral route include hepatitis A, polio, and cholera.

In the case of a battery ingestion harmful conditions may develop. Thus, medical history and X-ray findings become exceedingly important for diagnosis.

The person who has swallowed a disk battery may have one or more symptoms. (i) Vomiting (ii) Retching (gagging) (iii) Abdominal pain (iv) Low-grade fever (v) Irritability (vi) Persistent drooling (vii) Difficulty breathing if the battery is blocking the airway (viii) Rash from nickel metal allergy (ix) Dark or bloody stools

Although mercury-containing cells tend to fragment, no clinical cases of mercury poisoning have been reported. Signs of mercury poisoning are lethargy, excitement, rash in the diaper region, or tremors.

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