Are you suffering from acute pain while passing stools? Are you also having fever and weakness? Watch out for these are the classic signs of Dysentery. Know what is Dysentery and what causes it as also its diagnosis, treatment and remedies.
Dysentery is a condition that affects the intestines and causes abdominal pain and bloody stools apart from other symptoms. The term actually refers to an intestinal infection resulting from microbial attacks.
Dysentery pronunciation is given as “Dys-en-ter-ee”.
Dysentery was earlier known as “Bloody Flux” or “Flux”.
There are two main types of Dysentery disease.
This condition results from infection by the amoeba Entamobea Histolytica. It is actually a subtype of Amoebiasis caused by the same protozoan. It is a common problem in most developing countries and gives rise to problems like liver infection, amoebic abscesses and blood in stools. Amoebic Dysentery is regarded as one of the most prevalent parasitic disorders.
Bacillary Dysentry is caused by mainly three kinds of Dysentery bacteria – Shigellosis, Campylobacteriosis and Salmonellosis. It is a Shigellosis infection of the intestinal tract that is mostly known as Bacillary Dysentry. Human beings are normally affected by four different kinds of Shigella which gives rise to Dysentry apart from other problems like fever, abdominal cramps, extreme fluid loss and Diarrhea.
Symptoms Of Dysentery
Some of the main Dysentery signs and symptoms are
Pain in the lower abdominal region is the most common of the Dysentery symptoms. The pain is usually intense often associated with cramping. This is accompanied with inflammation of the lower intestinal tract.
Patients of Dysentery pass stool mixed with blood. Such stool is known as Melana or bloody stool. Bloody stool is often feared as a sign of Gastrointestinal Bleeding.
Dysentery patients also have Diarrhea or looseness of the bowels.
People with Dysentery are also seen to suffer from high body temperatures. Dysentery and fever is quite common in sufferers, particularly in children.
Dysentery victims cannot drink milk or lactose products during the period of suffering from the disease. Dysentery lactose intolerance can last for several years in some cases.
Other problems include passage of mucus in stools, poor appetite, weakness, weight loss and restlessness. In worse cases, patients may suffer from acute Dysentery symptoms like weight loss, severe Diarrhea, vomiting blood and delirium.
Causes of Dysentery
Dysentery is generally caused by protozoan, parasitic or bacterial infection of the lower intestinal tract. In developing nations, Bacillary Dysentery usually arises from infection caused by bacillus of genus Shigella.
Amoebic Dysentry generally arises from infection caused by amoeba of group Entamobea Histolytica.
Dysentery can also result from viral infection or chemical irritant.
Diagnosis of Dysentery is generally carried out by means of analysis of stool sample. Stool analysis helps determine the presence of bacteria in the feces. An ultrasound test may also be performed to check if the patient is suffering from other problems like ulcer.
In some cases, blood tests are also carried out to detect any abnormality in the level of essential salts and minerals in the body.
Treatment for Dysentery
Dysentery cure is mainly done with the aid of antibiotics. Antibiotic Dysentery medicines remove offending bacteria from the body and restore normalcy to the physical system. In case of Amoebic Dysentery, amoebas and cysts can be cleaned with antibiotics.
In case of Amoebic Dysentery, abscesses may arise on bodily organs like brain and liver. Special drugs may be used as a remedy for reducing pain in such patients. In Dysentery patients suffering from Dehydration supplying oral salts to the patients along with clean water can cure the problem. Metronidazole is the most preferred drug for Amoebic Dysentery treatment.
Mild cases of Bacillary Dysentery are usually self-limiting and require no antibiotic medications. Severe Dysentery bacillary disease caused by Salmonella, Campylobacter or Shigella is generally treated by Macrolide or Ciprofloxacin antibiotics.
How Can Dysentery Be Prevented?
In most developing countries, Dysentery is the result of food and water contamination. Dysentery prevention is possible by practicing various hygienic measures like
Purifying Drinking Water
Drinking contaminated water is a major cause of Dysentery. Unclean water can result in a bacterial infection of the intestines leading to inflammation and acute pain. If you are traveling to a foreign country, it is safe for you to take bottled water along to reduce the danger of Dysentery.
Proper Handling and Cooking of Food
Cooking and handling food properly can help you avert a lot of germs including and prevent microbial infection and Dysentery.
Proper Washing of Hands
Washing hands properly before having meal can be one of the best hygienic practices for you. Cleaning hands with soap water prior to meals can prevent transmission of bacteria and other germs from hand to mouth and intestines.
Proper Disposal of Feces
Incorrect disposal of human stools can contaminate the environment and spread this disease.
Correct Sexual Practices
People practicing oral-anal sex can also be at risk of contracting bacterial infection and may develop this condition.
Dysentery Natural Remedies
Dysentery remedy is not only possible through medications but also natural methods. Some of the major natural Dysentery remedies are
Drinking Clean Water
It is necessary to boil water for a few minutes before drinking. Extreme heat can kill bacteria in water and reduce further risks in Dysentery patients.
Lemon juice has been found to be an effective remedy for ordinary dysentery cases. Peel and slice three lemons, add those to about 250 ml water and boil the water for a few minutes. The solution should be administered thrice to Dysentery sufferers on a daily basis.
It is advisable to restrict Dysentery patients to an only buttermilk diet till the disease is properly cured. Buttermilk fights offending bacteria and helps in growth of non-harmful microbes in the intestines.
Dysentery natural treatment can also be carried out with the aid of Pomegranate Rind, Castor Oil, Ishabgul, Ribbed Gourd Seeds and Musk Melon. Bael Fruit and hot compresses are also used as Dysentery natural cures.
Dysentery Recovery Diet
In case of acute Dysentery, patients should be administered only water or buttermilk and orange juice in the initial stages. Small amounts of castor oil may be given in the form of emulsion. It removes offensive matter quickly and acts as a lubricant over the ulcerous surfaces. This should be carried out for the first 3-4 days.
Following this, sufferers should be restricted for a week to a light diet consisting of buttermilk, rice, fresh ripe fruits, curd and fresh ripe fruits like orange, bael, pomegranate, skimmed milk and banana.
Once the acute symptoms subside, patients can take up a well balanced diet.
Upon waking up, Dysentery sufferers can have a glass of lukewarm water mixed with 1 tsp honey and a freshly squeezed lime. Breakfast can comprise of only a glass of buttermilk and fresh fruits.
Patients can have freshly steamed vegetables, buttermilk, rice and whole wheat tortilla for lunch. Mid-afternoon snack can be only coconut and a glass of coconut juice.
Dinner can consist of vegetable soup and a large bowl of fresh green vegetable.
Dysentery foods should not involve sugar, beverages like tea, coffee or alcohol, white flour products and fried or refined foods.
Dysentery Recovery Period
With proper treatment and care, in most cases of Bacterial and Amoebic Dysentery relief comes in a little more than a week. The symptoms subside within 10-12 days. Complete recovery takes 2 to 4 weeks after the treatment initiates.
Dysentery Risk Factors
Dysentery untreated can give rise to severe complications like vomiting of blood and extreme dehydration. Low immunity in sufferers can lead to further Dysentery complications. In worse cases, it may result in death of patients.
Can Dysentery Kill You?
For sufferers of Dysentery fatal complications are not uncommon. As aforementioned, both types of Dysentery can be lethal for patients. Unless treated timely and effectually, the condition can result in the death of a patient. The death rate can be up to 15% in Dysentery sufferers. According to WHO (World Health Organization), 700,000 people with Shigellosis die each year. Amoebiasis is the cause of 50,000 deaths on an annual basis.
Dysentery Long Term Effects
Dysentery may result in fatigue and weakness for a considerable period. Patients experience extreme weakness for a prolonged time, especially they are of old age, have poor nutrition or suffer from other diseases.
Amoebic Dysentery patients suffer from lactose intolerance for a few weeks though it can last for a lifetime in some cases.
Dysentery is a curable disease and can respond very well to timely treatment. If you suspect yourself to have Dysentery or have someone in your family showing symptoms of this condition, it is advisable that you get immediate medical assistance. Timely treatment will help you prevent a lot of complications and recover in a few days.