Amoebic dysentery is an intestinal illness associated with stomach pain, bloody stools, and fever. This condition can be treated.
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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
Factors that increase your risk of getting amoebic dysentery include:
- Living in or traveling to developing countries, places that have poor sanitary conditions, or tropical or subtropical areas
- Living in institutions
- Having anal-sexual intercourse
- Household contact
If you experience any of these symptoms do not assume it is due to amoebic dysentery. These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions.
- Loose stools
- Bloody stools
- Weight loss
- Stomach pain
- Pain on your right, upper side
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Your doctor may need tests of your bodily fluids and waste products. This can be done with:
- Blood tests
- Stool samples
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
Several antibiotics are available to treat amoebic dysentery. Probiotics may also be helpful.
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
Last reviewed November 2012 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.