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What is Dysentery?

Feb 01, 2021

What is Dysentery?

Do you feel the constant urge to pass stool, have an excruciating headache, and suffer stomach cramps that won't go away? You could be suffering from dysentery, an intestinal infection caused by bacteria that requires immediate attention. 

What is Dysentery? 

Dysentery is a contagious intestinal infection caused by shigella bacteria. It is characterized by stomach cramps, diarrhoea, bloody stool, fever and vomiting. Anyone who comes into contact with the fecal matter of an infected person can instantly acquire the infection. 

What Are the Causes and Symptoms of Dysentery 

Dysentery is a result of poor personal hygiene practices. The infection-causing bacteria cannot easily penetrate the body of a person who regularly washes their hands and observes food safety. However, if you consume contaminated food or water, or come into contact with an infected person, then your chances of getting it are high. The symptoms usually appear between one to three days after exposure to pathogens, and these may include any or all of the following:

  • Watery stool with blood or mucous
  • Fever and chills
  • Headache
  • Dehydration
  • Abdominal pain after passing stool
  • Bloating
  • Flatulence
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting

Types of Dysentery

There are two types of dysentery, namely bacillary dysentery and amoebic dysentery. The first is the most common type of dysentery that causes fever, vomiting and dehydration, which may cause death in the worst of conditions.   

Amoebic dysentery is caused by the parasite entamoeba histolytica and is more common in tropical places. This type of dysentery is more difficult to treat, if not more deadly than the bacillary type, as the amoeba can evolve into a chronic form of dysentery which could cause ulcers in the large bowel and liver infections.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Dysentery

Dysentery not only causes pain and discomfort, but it may also lead to death if it is not addressed immediately. With that said, it is crucial to see a general practitioner if you're getting weak and losing fluids in your body due to diarrhoea.

Your doctor will conduct different kinds of tests to determine the root cause of your diarrhoea, including blood test, stool analysis and colonoscopy. Depending on the results of your laboratory examination, they may prescribe antibiotic drugs, amoebicidal drugs for amoebic dysentery, or administer intravenous fluids if you are too weak and dehydrated.

Natural Treatments for Dysentery

The side effects of pharmaceutical drugs or hospital procedures may be reduced with some natural home remedies, which are painless, noninvasive and devoid of any adverse effects. If you're a big fan of natural medicine and want to use it to treat dysentery, you may consider the following treatment approaches:

Other natural healing modalities may also be used alongside primary dysentery treatments to speed up your recovery. You may discuss this with your physician or get in touch with a natural health practitioner on Natural Therapy Pages.

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FAQs About Dysentery

How does dysentery kill?

Dysentery can cause the body to lose blood and fluids. If this continues for a long time, it may lead to dehydration and, eventually, death.

Is water bad for dysentery?

No, in fact, water prevents dehydration, which is the endpoint of dysentery if it's not treated immediately. Dysentery causes severe diarrhoea, making the body lose a lot of fluids. The symptoms of mild dysentery disappear after a few days, but the worst kind may lead to death.

How long does dysentery last?

The symptoms of mild dysentery disappear between three to seven days. During this period, you must drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. If you don't see any improvement in two days, it would be best to seek help from your primary health practitioner.

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