Dysentery is a type of inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract which is associated with severe diarrhea with or without blood. Primary infection site is colon, but it may involve the other parts of intestine too. The disease spreads through fecal-oral route that’s why it is more common in societies with poor hygiene and sanitization.
Dysentery is originated from Greek word “Dusenteros” where dus indicates for bad and enteros indicates for bowel. So Dysentry meaning is bad bowel. It is infection of intestine which causes severe diarrhea with mucus and blood in the stool.
Types of Dysentery:
On the basis of the causative organism, It is of two types:
As the name suggests, amoebic dysentry caused by amoeba named Entamoeba Histolytica (E.histolytica). It is more severe type. E.Hitolytica combines together and forms Amoebic cyst. These cysts pass through human feces. These cysts can survive outside of the human body for a very long time and in the area of poor sanitization, these cysts contaminate food and water. Inside human body, these cysts also cause ulceration in the intestine which results in internal bleeding. These Amoebic cysts also get absorbed in blood and through blood E.Hitolytica spread other organs of the body. Cyst in the liver causes severe liver abscess, and in brain, these cysts may be fatal.
Symptoms of amoebic dysentery:
Symptoms of amoebic dysentery appear after 2-3 days of eating contaminated food or water.
- Episode of diarrhea, diarrhea mixed with blood and mucus are common
- Abdominal cramp
- Pain in passing feces
- Fever with shivering
It is also known as bacterial dysentery. It is caused by the group of bacteria such as Shigella, Campylobacter, Salmonella etc. The disease due to shigella is also known as shigellosis. It is the most common type of the disease.
Symptoms of bacterial dysentery:
Symptoms of bacterial dysentery come a little bit earlier than amoebic dysentery.
- Diarrhea, commonly without blood or mucus.
- Mild to severe abdominal cramp
- Mild fever
Causes of dysentery:
- The disease spreads through fecal-oral route. That mean cyst of amoeba and bacteria passes through human feces. In societies with poor hygiene, these cyst and bacteria contaminate food and water. Spreading of these cysts happens either due to not washing hand after use of the toilet or through flies. Cysts of amoeba are light in weight and they also spread with the wind.
- Swimming in contaminated water.
- Physical contact with person to person.
Diagnosis is made through clinical examination and pathological test. Your doctor may advise for the blood test and stool analysis. Presence of cysts and bacteria in feces confirms the diagnosis of the disease.
An untreated case of the disease can cause severe health issues.
- Ulceration in intestine
- Liver abscess
- Anemia, because of the deficiency of vitamin B 12.
- Low immunity
- In some cases, secretion of amoeba causes severe allergic reaction.
Treatment of dysentery:
- Antibiotic and anti-amoebic drug– The disease responds well for antibiotic and amoebicidal (anti-amoebic agents) drugs. Improvements can be noticed in couple of days only. But it is always advisable to complete the course. Cysts of amoeba require long-term continuous treatment.
- Anti-spasmodic – Some symptomatic drugs are given for relief in cramp.
- Vitamin supplement
- Plenty of fluid– If there is no nausea and vomiting than oral intake of fluid is sufficient. In case of vomiting, intravenous fluid is recommended.
Ayurveda and dysentery:
The disease is well elaborately described in Indian medical literature. Symptoms of it resemble with grahni and pravahika. Contaminated food and low immunity of person are main causes for the disease. There is aam kapha- pitta. Episode of diarrhea caused by vitiated vaat dosha. Ayurveda can effectively treat it. Along with treating infection in the body, Ayurvedic drugs also boost immunity which prevents recurrence of the disease. Ayurvedic drugs for it are:
- Grahni kapat ras
- Raam baan ras
- Agni sandeepani vati
- Agni kumar ras
- Hingwashtak churn
- Sut shekhar ras
- Bilv churn
- Pidasav, are some effective drugs for treatment.
Home remedy for dysentery:
- Beal– Juice of beal is effective in the disease. It hydrates body and decreases the number of diarrheal episodes.
- Aloe vera– Juice of aloe vera causes covering of intestine and prevents infection from further growth.
- Buttermilk- Buttermilk with black salt is being used anciently for it. 50-100 ml of fresh buttermilk with 2-3 pinch of black nourishes the body and removes infection too.
- Pomegranate leaves or pomegranate fruit bark– Dry powder of these two kills worms, parasites and stop intestine ulcer bleeding.
- Haritaki (Terminalia Chebula)- Roasted haritaki kills worms and removes them with feces.
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