Amoebic Dysentery

Amoebic dysentery is an intestinal illness caused by a parasite.

  • Causes

    Amoebic dysentery is caused by a parasite called
    Entamoeba histolytica. You may develop amoebic dysentery if you:

    • Put something in your mouth that has touched the stool of a person infected with
      E. histolytica

    • Swallow water or food that has been contaminated with
      E. histolytica

    • Touch cysts (eggs) from
      E. histolytica—contaminated surfaces and bring them to your mouth
    Digestive Pathway
    Digestive pathway
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  • Definition

    Amoebic dysentery is an intestinal illness
    caused by a parasite.

  • Diagnosis

    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.

    Your doctor will need tests of your bodily fluids and waste products. This can be done with:

    • Blood tests
    • Stool samples

    Images may need to be taken of your bodily structures, especially your liver. This can be done with:

    • Ultrasound
    • CT scan

  • Prevention

    To help reduce your chances of getting amoebic dysentery, take the following steps when traveling to a country that has poor sanitary conditions:

    • Drink only bottled water or water that has been boiled for at least one minute
    • Do not eat fresh fruit or vegetables that you do not peel yourself
    • Do not eat or drink unpasteurized milk, cheese, or dairy products
    • Do not eat or drink anything sold by street vendors
    • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Use hand sanitizers if soap and water are not available.
    • People carrying the parasite may need to be treated to avoid spreading it to others.

  • Risk Factors

    Factors that increase your risk of getting amoebic dysentery include:

    • Living in or traveling to developing countries, places that have poor sanitary conditions, tropical, or subtropical areas
    • Living in institutions with poor sanitary conditions
    • Having anal sexual intercourse
    • Household contact with infected person

  • Symptoms

    Most people with the parasite do not have symptoms. Symptoms may include:

    • Loose
      stools or constipation
    • Bloody stools
    • Constant feeling you need to move your bowels
    • Nausea
    • Weight loss
    • Stomach pain
    • Fever
    • Pain on your right, upper side (if you have the parasite in your liver)

  • Treatment

    Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:

    Several antibiotics are available to treat amoebic dysentery or liver infection. Probiotics may also be helpful to reduce the symptoms.