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. 2019; 4(1): 11-14

Evaluation of the effects of zinc supplementation on the symptoms and duration of the disease in acute viral gastroenteritis

Cigdem El; Mehmet Emin Celikkaya.

Introduction: Acute viral
gastroenteritis is the second most common cause of high morbidity and mortality
in childhood. Viral gastroenteritis is the most common cause of severe diarrhea
and associated hospitalizations especially in toddlers. It has been shown that
the administration of 20 mg of zinc daily during acute diarrhea reduces the
duration of watery diarrhea by 25% and it has been reported to have protective
and therapeutic effects in the acute period. The aim of this study is to
retrospectively determine the beneficial effects of oral zinc supplementation
on the severity and duration of complaints of toddlers who were treated in our
clinic with the diagnosis of acute viral gastroenteritis.Methods: Toddlers who were hospitalized
in the Department of Pediatrics for acute viral gastroenteritis between October
2016 and March 2018 were included in the study. The study was retrospective and
the data of the patients were obtained from the patient files. The diagnosis of
acute viral gastroenteritis was made by detecting the adenovirus-rotavirus
antigen in the fresh stool specimens. The patients were divided into two
groups. Group 1: patients who received zinc supplementation in addition to
support treatment. Group 2: patients who received only supportive therapy.Results: The mean number of vomiting was
3.60 / day and watery diarrhea was 5.20 / day in group-1 while number of
vomiting was 6.1 / day and watery diarrhea was 8.9 / day in group-2 in the 36th
hour during treatment. The tolerability of oral feeding at 36 th hour was
49.39% ( 41) in group-1 and 45.07% (32) in group-2. The mean number of vomiting
and watery diarrhea in group-1 cases at 72th hours was 1.2 / day and 4.30 /
day, while in group-2 cases, 3.90 / day and 7.20 / day.

Conclusions: Although the physiopathology of the effects of zinc on gastroenteritis
is not yet fully understood, diarrhea is seen both as a cause and as a result
of zinc deficiency.  The fact that
patients with gastroenteritis benefit from zinc support suggests that zinc
enhances this effect by increasing intestinal immunity.

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