Dysentery: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Home Remedies
Dysentery is a type of inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. It 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.
What is Dysentery?
Dysentery is an intestinal infection that causes severe diarrhea with blood, and in some cases mucus may be found. This usually lasts for 3-7 days before improving on its own or treated by doctor’s prescription medication. The symptoms of dysentery are painful and annoying, but can be treated with medication.
The infection is usually spread as a result what you do or don’t put into your body – for example if someone has it their hands after not washing them properly before touching anything else in the world (including other people). It’s also possible to get this illness by coming into contact food items which have been contaminated due either fresh stool matter from an infected person; dirty dishes used during preparation.
Dysentery is usually caused by various protozoan parasites, but can also be due to viral or bacterial pathogens. Dysentery was once common in the United States during the summer months among children under 10 years old, when they were in contact with fecal contaminated water from swimming pools. Dysenteries are often transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food or drink though it may also result from skin contact with human feces.
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 an infection of intestine which causes severe diarrhea with mucus and blood in the stool.
Types of Dysentery:
Dysentery is a severe intestinal infection that affects the intestines. Dysentery occurs when fecal matter becomes stuck in your intestines due to either microbial or parasitic bacteria. The presence of large amounts of bacteria can lead to extreme diarrheal symptoms which may be accompanied by other common infectious diseases like fever, vomiting and weight loss. Dysentery is very common in regions where water sanitation is bad leading to poor hygiene conditions; however, dysentery outbreaks have also occurred well after natural disasters like earthquakes, floods and landslides. On the basis of the causative organism, It is of two types:
1. Amoebic Dysentery:
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 spreads in 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
2. Bacillary dysentery:
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 means 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 through the wind.
- Swimming in contaminated water.
- Physical contact with person to person.
Dysentery was once common in the United States during the summer months among children under 10 years old, when they were in contact with fecal contaminated water from swimming pools. Dysenteries are often transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food or drink though it may also result from skin contact with human feces.
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:
Dysentery outbreaks can usually be prevented by practicing good hygiene and sanitation conditions. Dysentery can usually be cured through antibiotics or re-hydration therapy. Dysentery can be fatal if not treated properly so it is important to practice good hygiene conditions as early as possible.
Early treatment of dysentery improves outcomes, especially children who should be immediately brought to a doctor for evaluation. Dysenteries are usually treated with antibiotics but other treatments may include rehydration therapy, antispasmodics, zinc supplementation, fluid replacement via intravenous fluids if necessary , analgesics for pain relief , blood transfusion in severe cases.
The use of antibiotic medications has been shown to reduce the severity of symptoms as well as the duration of the illness. Dysentery is often treated with antibiotics of the third-generation cephalosporin family of antibiotics, which includes cefotaxime, ceftriaxone, and ceftizoxime. Not all patients require treatment though because dysenteries are usually self-limiting conditions that resolve on their own within about a week.
- Antibiotic and anti-amoebic drug: The disease responds well for antibiotic and amoebicidal (anti-amoebic agents) drugs. In couple of days one can notice improvement in the condition. 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 then oral intake of fluid is sufficient. In case of vomiting, intravenous fluid is recommended.
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: Take 50-100 ml of fresh buttermilk with 2-3 pinch of black salt. It 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.
- Myrobalan: Roasted myrobalan kills worms and removes them with feces.
Dysentery is a serious gastrointestinal condition that can cause severe diarrhea and even death if left untreated. It is important to be aware of the symptoms of dysentery and to seek medical attention if you suspect you are infected. Treatment for dysentery typically involves antibiotics and rehydration therapy, but there are also some home remedies that may help ease your symptoms. Thank you for reading our blog post on dysentery. We hope this information has been helpful.
Above article is only for knowledge purpose. Please contact your healthcare provider before using any of above medicine or method. For any query or personal consultation according to your health condition please contact your doctor.