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Today in Health & Wellness
HEALTH CONDITIONS

Dysentery

Overview
Symptoms
Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
Home Remedies
Doctors to Consult
Overview
Dysentery is an infectious disease characterized by inflammation of the intestines, mainly the colon that can lead to severe diarrhea with visible blood or mucus in the stool. There are two major classifications of dysentery: bacillary and amoebic, caused respectively by bacteria and by amoebas. It is transmitted through the ingestion of food or water that has been contaminated by feces of an infected person or animal.
Symptoms
  • Watery loose stools which contain blood, mucus or pus
  • Abdominal pain
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Feeling of incomplete emptying
  • Flatulence
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
Risk Factors
  • Poor hygiene and sanitation
  • Direct contact with an infected person or animal
  • Fecal-oral contact
  • Eating undercooked food
  • Consumption of untreated water
  • Use of public swimming pools
  • Travel to countries where infection is common
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
  • Antibiotics effective in the treatment of bacillary dysentery are ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole.
  • The most common treatment for amoebic dysentery is metronidazole together with diloxanide furoate or idoquinol.
  • Oral electrolytes or hydrating solutions to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes during diarrhea.
Treatment and Management
  • Practice proper sanitation and good hygiene. Always wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet and before handling, eating or cooking food.
  • Only consume food from reliable sources.
  • Cook food thoroughly.
  • Drink only purified water.
Home Remedies
  • Apply hot compress for abdominal cramps to ease pain.
  • Complete bed rest is helpful as movements can aggravate the condition.
  • Drink plenty of water and take oral rehydrating solution to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes during diarrhea.
  • Consume probiotic-filled food such as yogurt to improve colon health.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages, carbonated and caffeinated drinks as these may worsen the symptoms of diarrhea.
  • Avoid eating dairy products, spicy, greasy and fried foods to prevent bowel irritation.
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