Dysentery is a disorder of the intestine that can be fatal if it is not treated. It commonly presents as inflammation of the colon, but it can affect any of the intestine. The common symptoms of dysentery include diarrhea with blood and/or mucus, fever, urge to defecate and abdominal pain. Dysentery can lead to dehydration and can also cause severe damage to the intestinal tissue, and these problems can cause further complications and even death. Let’s take a look at the most common causes of this serious medical condition.
What causes dysentery?
Dysentery can be caused by an infection from a virus, bacteria or protozoa. It can also be caused by a parasitic infection. Some of these harmful microorganisms are capable of reaching the large intestine after they enter the body through the mouth, usually via infected water or food. Each harmful microorganism that causes dysentery has a slightly different affect on the body, but they all cause damage to the intestinal lining which causes the inflammation that is associated with the immune system response.
The treatment for the condition is varied because of the many different types of microorganisms that cause the problem. The first line of defense is to keep the patient hydrated using oral rehydration therapy or intravenous fluid. Testing is then done to determine the cause of the problem and appropriate medication is given to the patient. With proper treatment the symptoms clear in about 10 days and a full recovery occurs in 2-4 weeks.