Dysentery: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment


Dysentery is a terrible disease that can cause serious complications if left untreated. Thankfully, dysentery symptoms are easy to identify, and dysentery treatment options are available. This article will discuss dysentery causes, symptoms, and treatments in detail, so you know how to deal with dysentery when it strikes.

Let’s get started.

What is Dysentery?

Dysentery is a contagious disease that spreads through contaminated food and water. The condition occurs when dysentery bacteria attack the intestines causing inflammation, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and fever.  Dysentery is divided into two categories: Shigellosis or bacillary dysentery and amoebiasis or amœbic dysentery. 

A doctor can diagnose dysentery through stool samples which show blood in the feces. However, if dysentery is left untreated, it may lead to death within one week due to dehydration caused by chronic diarrhea. Visit on AskApollo to know more about dysentery diagnosis and the price of the treatment.

Symptoms of Dysentery

The symptoms of each form of dysentery are subtly different.

Dysentery symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea accompanied by stomach cramps
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea with blood or mucous

Symptoms of amoebic dysentery are uncommon. If you become ill, you’ll notice symptoms 2-4 weeks after becoming infected like fever, nausea, weight loss, diarrhea, and belly cramps.

Amoebic dysentery can occasionally progress to more serious complications, such as a liver abscess, an accumulation of pus in the liver. The signs include swollen liver, fever, weight loss, pain in the upper right area of the abdomen and liver enlargement, etc.

Causes of Dysentery

The Dysentery causes include the following:

  1. Physical contact

It can be caught by physical contact with someone who has dysentery. This means that if you touch something an infected person has touched or do anything else that puts your hand near their poop (including changing nappies), then infection is very likely to happen.

  1. Contaminated Water and food

Dysentery is caused by contaminated water or food. Contaminated drinking water can cause dysentery and food that has been in contact with dirty hands or unsanitary cooking equipment.

  1. Swimming in polluted water

Dysentery is an infection of the intestines that occurs when harmful germs such as bacteria, parasites, or viruses enter your body. These germs get into your digestive system and cause dysentery symptoms. Dysenteric dysentery will lead to severe dehydration due to diarrhea and abdominal pain caused by cramps in muscles on either side of the colon.

  1. Inadequate Hygiene

Dysentery is caused by dysentery bacteria that are spread through the fecal-oral route. This means these germs get into your mouth when you eat or drink something that’s been contaminated with dysentery feces, and then they pass from your intestinal tract to other parts of the body.

Treatment Of Dysentery

  • Bacillary dysentery treatment

In dysentery, the main goal of treatment is to reduce dysenteric symptoms. The use of drugs that act on the intestine can help with this.

  • Amoebic dysentery treatment

The amoebic dysentery treatment is based on the use of drugs that act directly on the parasite. The most recommended and used anti-parasitic drug to treat parasitic dysentery is metronidazole.

The Bottom Line

Dysentery is an extremely common ailment that affects the digestive systems of humans and is characterized by severe diarrhea, often with blood, mucus, or pus in it. The severity can range from mild to life-threatening, but most cases are treatable if they’re caught early enough. It would be best to get your checkup done as soon as you notice any of these symptoms.