The large intestine is also called colon. At one end it is attached to the small intestine and the distal end is connected to the anus. The main function of large intestine is to remove water from the intestinal content and storage of the stool and its evacuation at controlled intervals.
Colon infection is caused when harmful bacteria resides in the colon. Normally, human immune system kills the harmful bacteria but there are some strains of bacteria that grow uninterruptedly even with strong immune system. When such bacteria overgrow in the large intestine, they can cause lot of complication. Clostridium difficile is normal resident of colon, but due to good bacteria present in the colon the balance is maintained.
However, prolonged use of antibiotics kills the good bacteria. This imbalance of good bacteria and harmful bacteria in the colon triggers the multiplication of C-diffi.
In diverticulitis disease of the colon, there are several pouches which swell. These pouches are easily infected and lead to many complications.
Symptoms Of Colon Infection
Most of the time colon infection symptoms are similar even if the causative organism is different.
- Diarrhea: frequent lose and watery stools is characteristic symptom of colon infection. A person may pass as many as 10 to 15 liquid stools in a day. Due to the inflammation of the lining of the large intestine, often there is presence of blood in stool. The stool may appear, red with mucus and water. There may be presence of pus in the stool together with mucus on many occasions.
- Constipation: in some cases, constipation alternates with diarrhea.
- Dehydration: due to severe loss of body fluid, there is depletion of water and other salts in the body. The body becomes dehydrated and the skin loses its elasticity and the tongue becomes dry. There is immense thirst with rapid pulse and decreased urine output. Headache and muscle cramps are other concomitant symptoms.
- Abdominal distension and pain: there may be cramping pain in the lower abdomen on the specific side with colon infection. Usually it is on the left side in the lower abdomen. Together with pain there may be associated distension of the abdomen as a result of increased gas.
- Vomiting and nausea may be present.
- Fever is common with an acute colon infection. Sometime fever is associated with chills.
Home Remedies For Colon Infection
When an elderly individual suffers from colon infection it is important to consider hospitalization as the immune system and digestive system in old people is weak. Besides, the chances of dehydration are high. In order to compensate the fluid loss and to monitor the intake and output of the body fluids, hospitalization may be needed.
- The best colon infection diet consists of steamed vegetables, buttermilk and yogurt, fruits such as banana, pomegranates, coconut water, mashed rice and rice water. Avoid spicy and fried food, milk, meat, white flour, and other heavy foods that are difficult to digest.
- If the cause of colon infection is due to extended use of antibiotics for some disease, person should take probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria that help to keep balance of the bacterial flora in the intestine. It keeps the growth of C. diff under control. One of the natural probiotic sources is yogurt. Eating yogurt helps in restoring the bacterial flora in the colon.
- Maintain good hygiene; wash your hands with disinfectant soap whenever you use the restroom.
If the symptoms are severe, the physician may also prescribe antibiotics to control the inflammation and pain.