Dysentery is an intestinal infection that causes diarrhea with blood and mucus. It is classified into two types: bacillary dysentery and amoebic dysentery. Constant urge to pass stool (tenesmus) is a common presenting symptom of dysentery. You might also experience mild to severe abdominal cramps. Other symptoms of dysentery include diarrhea with mucus and blood, nausea, vomiting, and weakness.

Dysentery symptoms can last from a few days to weeks. It can affect any person of any age, but children are more commonly affected. Dysentery usually spreads from drinking or eating contaminated water or food. You can also get infected by coming in contact with an infected person. 

Dysentery is often treated using antibiotic medications to target the underlying bacterial infection. Rehydration is essential to replace fluids lost through diarrhea. In severe cases, hospitalization is required for intravenous fluids and supportive care. Homeopathy is effective in treating both acute and chronic dysentery. These medicines treat dysentery by helping your body fight the infection. 

Role of homeopathy in dysentery

Homeopathy helps manage bacterial dysentery by addressing the underlying cause and giving relief from dysentery symptoms. These medications act by boosting your immune function and healing your digestive system.

Top five homeopathic medicines for dysentery

Cinchona officinalis – China (Chin.)

Common name: Peruvian bark

China is a homeopathic medicine that helps in dysentery with marked physical weakness. It is indicated in people passing yellow, frothy stool with excessive flatulence while passing stool. The stool often contains undigested food. 

China yields good results in dysentery with gastric abdominal cramps. These cramps are relieved by bending double. Bloated abdomen and belching with a bitter taste in the mouth are other symptoms indicating this remedy.

Mercurius solubilis (Merc.)

Common name: Quicksilver

Merc. sol. is indicated for dysentery with blood in stools. The stools are frequent and loose  with extreme tenesmus.

Merc. sol. offers great help in cases of dysentery with excessive burning and intense pain in the abdomen. There is a constant urge to evacuate the bowels. However, passing stool several times does not give any relief. 

Arsenic album (Ars. alb.)

Common name: Arsenious acid

Ars. alb. is a useful homeopathic medicine for dysentery when there is constant nausea with greenish-yellow vomiting. It helps in dysentery with extreme weight loss and sudden exhaustion. This exhaustion is due to profuse, watery stools mixed with mucus and undigested food. The stools are often foul-smelling and worsen after eating and at midnight. 

Cramping, cutting, tearing, or burning pains in the abdomen are marked in this remedy. There is a loss of appetite along with dysentery.

Aloe socotrina (Aloe.)

Common name: Socotrine aloes

Aloe socotrina is effective in dysentery with an urgency to pass stool. The urgency to pass stool is more in the morning, and after eating or drinking. 

This remedy is indicated for complaints of constant bearing down sensation in the rectum. Aloe works well in dysentery with intense burning in the anus and rectum. There is a sense of uncertainty in the rectum while passing flatus. The person is not sure if he may pass gas or stools. This remedy gives good results in people with lumpy, watery, and jelly-like stools. Often, jelly-like mucus with stool is passed without any effort. 

Phosphorus (Phos.)

Common name: Phosphorus

Phosphorus is prescribed for dysentery with bloody stools and weakness. There is extreme exhaustion due to dysentery. Stools are often copious, gushing, and watery. Phosphorus helps in frequent stools with painless rectal bleeding. The bleeding is copious and bright red.

Watery, yellowish stools that have an offensive odor call for this remedy. There can be cramping pain in the rectum on passing stool.

Causes of dysentery

Bacteria

Bacterial infections like Shigella, Salmonella, and Escherichia coli can lead to dysentery.

Parasites

Protozoa like Entamoeba histolytica is a common parasite that causes dysentery.

These microbes enter your digestive system through contaminated food or water. Some common modes of transmission include:

Bad hygiene

Poor sanitation and hygiene practices are common causes of dysentery. It can happen when food is prepared by someone who doesn’t wash their hands or has poor hygiene.

Fecal transmission 

Infective bacteria or parasites can be transmitted when the stools of an infected person are transmitted to another person through food or water. It can happen when drinking water gets contaminated with microbes.

Symptoms of dysentery

Diarrhea

Frequent, watery stools accompanied by abdominal cramps are characteristic symptoms of dysentery.

Stools with blood or mucus

The presence of blood or mucus in your stools is another symptom of dysentery. It indicates inflammation in your intestines.

Abdominal pain

Intense pain and discomfort in your abdominal region is felt in dysentery. This often contributes to the overall distress.

Fever

Increased body temperature is your body’s common response to the infection. Fever during dysentery indicates your body’s attempt to fight off the invading pathogens.

Dehydration

Prolonged diarrhea can leave you dehydrated due to fluid loss. The symptoms of dehydration you might feel include thirst, dry mouth, and decreased urination.

Tenesmus

A persistent urge to evacuate the bowels, even when the rectum is empty, is a characteristic symptom of dysentery.

Nausea and vomiting

You might experience nausea and vomiting during dysentery. It indicates fluid and electrolyte imbalance due to infection.

Fatigue

Weakness and fatigue are often felt with dysentery. This is often felt due to the physical toll of the infection on your body.

Treatment for dysentery

Antibiotics medications 

Antibiotics are prescribed for bacterial infections like Shigella or Salmonella.

Antiparasitic medications

In cases of dysentery caused by parasites like Entamoeba histolytica, antiparasitic medications are used.

Fluid replacement

Managing dehydration is a very important aspect of dysentery treatment. In mild cases, oral rehydration solutions (ORS) are suggested. In severe cases of dysentery, intravenous (IV) fluids are given to replace electrolyte and fluid loss.

Anti-diarrheal medications

In some cases of dysentery, anti-diarrheal medications are used to relieve symptoms.

Pain relievers

Over-the-counter pain relievers can help you reduce abdominal cramps.

Fever medications

Over-the-counter and prescription antipyretic medications are suggested for fever associated with dysentery.

Hospitalization

In severe cases of dysentery or those with complications might need hospitalization.

Diet and lifestyle modifications for dysentery 

Hydration

Adequate fluid intake is essential to replace the fluid loss from dysentery. To stay hydrated, drink sufficient fluids like clear liquids,  water, fruit juices (diluted), and oral rehydration solutions (ORS).

Easy-to-digest foods

Consume bland and easily digestible foods like bananas, plain rice, applesauce, and toast (BRAT diet). These foods are gentle on your digestive system, help ease your digestion, and firm up your stools.

Probiotics

Include probiotic foods like yogurt into your diet. Probiotics help the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut and help recover the infected gut.

Avoid irritants

Eliminate spicy, greasy, or heavily seasoned foods that can irritate your digestive system. These can worsen symptoms and hinder the healing process.

Small, frequent meals

Instead of large meals, opt for smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. This can ease the digestive load and help with gut healing.

Rest 

Allow your body enough time to rest and recover. Avoid strenuous physical activities during recovery.

Sleep

Ensure you get adequate sleep to support the immune system.

Hand hygiene

Practice good hand hygiene to prevent the transmission of the infection. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the restroom or before handling food.

Avoid dairy products

Temporarily reduce or stop the intake of dairy products. These can be harder to digest during dysentery. 

Steamed or boiled vegetables

Include easily digestible, well-cooked vegetables in your diet. Steaming or boiling helps retain nutrients and keep them gentler in your digestive system.

Conclusion

Dysentery can cause exhaustion due to fluid loss. A holistic approach including medication, restoring fluid balance, and dietary adjustments are needed to treat dysentery. Homeopathic medicines prescribed based on totality can provide symptomatic relief and heal your digestive system.

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