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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Adult and Senior Health Dysentery

Dysentery

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Acute watery diarrhea is an extremely common problem, called Gastroenteritis, which can be fatal due to severe dehydration. This applies to both adults and children, especially in the very young and the old or in those who have poor immunity such as individuals with HIV infection or patients who are using certain medications that suppress the immune system.

Reasons

Dysentery is typically the result of unsanitary water containing micro-organisms which damage the intestinal lining.


There are two major types of dysentery due to micro-organisms: amoebic dysentery, and bacillary dysentery.

 

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms include frequent passage of feces/stool and, associated vomiting.


Variations depending on parasites can be frequent urge with high or low volume of stool, with or without some associated mucus and even blood.

 

Diagnosis

Stool examination for ova and cyst.

 

Treatment

  • Initial management of dysentery is to maintain fluid intake using oral rehydration therapy
  • If this cannot be adequately maintained, either through nausea and vomiting or the profuseness of the diarrhea, then hospital admission may be required for intravenous fluid replacement
  • Ideally no antimicrobial therapy is started until microbiological microscopy and culture studies have established the specific infection involved