What are the symptoms of dysentery?
Dysentery causes 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 dysentery
The most common symptoms of dysentery are related to disturbances of the digestive system and include:
Other symptoms of dysentery
As the dysentery infection progresses, other symptoms, including symptoms of dehydration, may develop. Other possible symptoms include:
- 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 dysentery 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
What is dysentery?
Dysentery broadly refers to gastrointestinal disorders characterized by inflammation of the intestines, chiefly the colon. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines dysentery as any episode of diarrhea in which blood is present in loose, watery stools.... Read more about dysentery introduction
What causes dysentery?
The bacteria Shigella and E coli and the amoeba Entamoeba histolytica are the most common causes of dysentery. These organisms are present in the stool (feces) of infected people and animals. The Entamoeba histolytica may uneventfully reside in the colon, but if it attacks the colon wall, it can cause dysentery. People with weakened immune systems are also more likely to develop amebic dysentery.... Read more about dysentery causes