Bacterial intestinal infection is the most common infection prevalent all over the world as compared to other infectious diseases. This is because; most of the gastrointestinal diseases are spread through contaminated food and water. Not all the bacteria are harmful. There are many good bacteria such as lactobacilli present in intestine.
It is only the pathogenic bacteria that produce toxins are responsible for bacterial infection in the intestine. The toxin of these intestinal bacteria causes inflammation of the stomach and intestine. A person having weak immune system is vulnerable to bacterial infection of the intestine.
What Causes Bacterial Infection In Intestines?
Let us know the causes of bacterial infection in the intestine:
The range of bacteria is large and so is the variety of the intestinal diseases that they cause. Some common bacteria responsible for various intestinal infections include: salmonella, shigella, staphyloccous, E. coli, Yersinia, campylobacter jejuni etc. In most cases, the bacteria enter our stomach through the contaminated food and water that we consume.
Lack of hygiene among food handlers, poor sanitation facilities that risks drinking water supply getting contaminated are the primary source of intestinal bacterial diseases. Eating undercooked food, raw food, or food that has been not stored at the required temperature is liable to get infected with the bacteria. If you drink unpasteurized milk and dairy products, the chances of intestinal infection is very high.
Symptoms Of Intestinal Bacterial Infection
Since there are different bacteria responsible for different intestinal diseases, some of the general symptoms of intestinal bacterial disease include:
- Abdominal pain and cramps: it is often present with all the intestinal bacterial infections such as dysentery, typhoid, bacterial diarrhea, and many other diseases.
- Nausea and vomiting: inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract causes nausea and vomiting.
- Fever: in most intestinal bacterial infections, fever is the concomitant symptom. Fever with chills is often present in the beginning of the infection.
- Frequent loose stools: the stools may be both watery and offensive. It may also contain blood and mucus. There is increased frequency of stools.
- Signs of dehydration such as dry tongue, wrinkled skin, abnormal thirst, fatigue and pain in leg muscles, headache may also be presenting symptom of bacterial infection of the intestine.
- Loss of appetite: many times the sight and smell of food may also produce nausea. There is total loss of appetite.
- Abdominal distension: the bacterial toxins act upon the intestinal mucosa and causes distension of the abdomen with present of gases.
Home Remedies For Infection In Intestine
Primarily it is important to know the type of intestinal bacterial disease. Whether the disease is typhoid, or shigella dysentery, or is it food poisoning etc. If you suspect a bacterial intestinal infection, it is important to consult your doctor.
Bacterial intestinal infection is a debilitating condition and the patient in most cases is dehydrated. Dehydration can be controlled with oral rehydration therapy at home. Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water, a person can increase the fluid intake if the diarrhea is severe. Replenish the lost body salts by drinking ORS (oral rehydration solution). You can prepare it at home by mixing lemon juice, salt and sugar in a glass of boiled water and drink it as often as you can.
Eat liquid or semi solid diet when you are suffering from an intestinal bacterial infection. Food recommended by doctors during the acute stage of the infection include; bananas, fresh fruit juices prepared at home, rice, yogurt, baked potatoes, toast, pretzels and soups.
Avoid foods that are difficult to digest for few days, when you are suffering from intestinal infection. Stay away from refined and spicy food. Avoid junk food and other processed foods.
Drink ginger tea or peppermint tea. It helps to fight the infection and reduce the inflammation in the intestine.
Besides all the above home care measures you have to take the prescribed antibacterial medication recommended by the physician.