Dysentery is a type of gastroenteritis that results in diarrhea with blood.
Mechanism — Dysentery results from viral, bacterial, or parasitic infestations. These pathogens typically reach the large intestine after entering orally, through ingestion of contaminated food or water, oral contact with contaminated objects or hands, and so on.
>Types — There are two types of dysentery.
1. Amoebic dysentery – caused by amoebiasis, an infection by the amoeba E.histolytica
2. Bacillary dysentery – Dysentery caused by shigellosis, an infection by bacteria of the genus Shigella,
- Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli may also cause a dysentery syndrome
Signs & Symptoms — The most common form of dysentery is bacillary dysentery. Symptoms normally present themselves after one to three days and are usually no longer present after a week.
- Frequent watery and foul-smelling diarrhea, contains mucus and blood,
- Abdominal pain,
- Rectal pain
- Temporary lactose intolerance can occur.
- In some occasion severe abdominal pain, fever, shock, and delirium can occur.
- Vomiting, rapid weight-loss, and generalized muscle aches sometimes also accompany dysentery.
- On rare occasions, the amoebic parasite will invade the body through the bloodstream and spread beyond the intestines. In such cases, it may more seriously infect other organs such as the brain, lungs, and the liver.
Diagnosis — diagnosis may be made by
- Taking a history and doing. Physical examination – The mouth, skin, and lips may appear dry due to dehydration. Lower abdominal tenderness may also be present.
- Stool and blood tests – Cultures of stool samples are examined to identify the organism causing dysentery. Blood tests can be used to measure abnormalities in the levels of essential minerals and salts
Treatment – It includes
- oral rehydration therapy (ORS)
- Hospital admission may be required for intravenous fluid replacement. In ideal situations, no antimicrobial therapy should be administered until microbiological microscopy and culture studies have established the specific infection involved.
- Antibiotic to treat any associated bacterial infection.
- Amoebic dysentery is often treated with two antimicrobial drugs such as metronidazole and paromomycin or iodoquinol.
Homoeopathic treatment –As there are so many medicines available in homoeopathy for dysentery, for proper selection of medicine according to patient’s complain one must consult homoeopathic physician.
- Arsenicum album — Stools that are acrid and tend to burn the anus, in small quantity, offensive, dark yellow or green colored, may contain blood with prostration following diarrhea. Eating spoiled or tainted food or eating too much ripe fruit, Cold drink causes diarrhea and dysentery. Restless, they are also very anxious and tend to feel fearful about being alone. Symptoms worst at and after midnight, and they are very thirsty but for sips only of fluids at a time. They are extremely chilly, and feel feverish, warm drinks provide some relief. They tend to break out in a cold sweat, and feel better when covered.
- Podophyllum — usually experience gurgling in the abdomen with a very sudden urge to have a stool. The stools are profuse and offensive smelling, and are usually expelled with great force and little pain, followed by great exhaustion after each stool. Diarrhea is aggravated by eating, drinking, and moving around and may alternate with a headache. There may be empty retching; they have a great thirst for cold fluids. Podophyllum is also very useful in case of summer diarrhea / dysentery.
- Mercurius –– is very effective in treating people with dysentery. who have the “never completely done” feeling. Typically, they experience much retching during release of the stool, and the stool may have some blood in it. This retching tends to exhaust them. They are sensitive to extremes of temperature and may at one time feel chilly and at another time feel feverish. Symptoms are worse at night. They sweat profusely, have offensive breath, usually salivate onto the pillow, and tend to be quite slow and weak both physically and mentally. There is a strong thirst for cold fluids.
- Veratrum album — is indicated when people have dysentery and vomiting and are very chilly and weak. There is profuse diarrhea with not much prostration following as like in Arsenic. Despite being chilly, they tend to crave ice cold drinks. They may also have bloated abdomens and experience stomach cramps.
- Chamomilla – is indicated primarily in infants and children, especially when they are extremely irritable, quarrelsome, fitful, and inconsolable. Typically, they ask for something and then reject it once it is offered. Only rocking and being carried provide temporary relief of their discomfort. They are aggravated by heat, worse in the evening until midnight, and better from cold drinks. Diarrhea due to teething problem. Stool is offensive, green, and slimy, like chopped grass, and it smells like rotten eggs.
- Sulphur — There is a sudden, involuntary expulsion of stool, including when patient thinks, he is passing gas. The stool is thin, watery, offensive, acrid, and smells of rotten eggs. It tends to be painlessly expelled. There may be morning diarrhea as soon as person wakes in morning, has to rush for passing stool due to sudden urge. Cold sweat on the face and feet are common, and these people are very thirsty for cold drinks and have little appetite. Emotionally, they are irritable and weepy with indifference to their appearance and to their bodily odors.