What are the symptoms of bacterial digestive infections?

Bacterial digestive infections cause irritation and inflammation of the intestines that may result in a number of symptoms. The symptoms can vary in intensity among individuals.

Common symptoms of bacterial digestive infections

The most common symptoms of bacterial digestive infections are related to disturbances of the digestive system and include:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea that may be bloody
  • Flatulence
  • Nausea with or without vomiting

Other symptoms of bacterial digestive infections

As a bacterial digestive infection progresses, symptoms of dehydration and other symptoms may develop including:

  • Decreased urine output
  • Dry skin and mucous membranes (such as dry mouth)
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Fever and chills
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle weakness (loss of strength)
  • Weight loss

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

On rare occasions, dehydration resulting from bacterial digestive infections may be so severe that a life-threatening situation can develop. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of the following symptoms:

  • Change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness
  • Change in mental status or sudden behavior change, such as confusion, delirium, lethargy, hallucinations and delusions
  • High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Severe dizziness
INTRODUCTION

What are bacterial digestive infections?

Bacterial digestive infections are diseases that affect the digestive organs as a result of ingesting of infectious bacterial organisms. Infectious bacteria scientifically known as Escherichia coli (E coli), Salmonella, and Shigella are among the most common causes of bacterial digestive infections. Each of these infections causes Read more about bacterial digestive infectionsintroduction

CAUSES

What causes bacterial digestive infections?

Bacterial digestive infections are most commonly caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli (E coli), Salmonella, and Shigella. Campylobacter is another type of bacteria that can cause infection of the gastrointestinal tract. The bacteria are present in the stool (feces) of infected people and animals. When water sources are contaminated with feces containing the pathogen, drinking from these wate... Read more about bacterial digestive infectionscauses

TREATMENTS

How are bacterial digestive infections treated?

Treatment for bacterial digestive infections begins with seeking medical care from your health care provider. To determine if you have a bacterial digestive infection, your health care provider may ask you to provide stool samples for laboratory tests.

Antibiotic therapy is the mainstay of treatment for bacterial digestive infections and is highly effective. It is important that y... Read more about bacterial digestive infectionstreatments

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Jul 24, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Digestive System


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