Lower intestinal infection occurs due to any pathogen that affects the gastrointestinal tract in the body. Pathogens are tiny organisms that include virus, bacteria or parasite. Depending on the cause the infection in the intestines can vary from mild to severe. Some intestinal infections can result in lethal outcome if not adequately treated on time.
Causes for Lower Intestinal Infection
Intestinal infections are commonly caused by large number of microorganisms. Following bacteria are the usual cause of intestinal infections in people: Escherihia coli, Shigela spp, Staphylococcus, Salmonella spp, Vibrio spp, Campylobacter spp, Clostridium spp, Bacillus spp and Listeria spp. Viruses that usually lead to lower intestinal infection include: Rotaviruses, Hepatitis A virus, Adenovirus, Toroviruses, Coronavirus, Picornavirus and Herpes virus. A parasitic infection within the intestines includes worms such as: Flatworms, Roundworms, Tapeworms, and Hookworms.
People are commonly infected with these bacteria and viruses through ingestion of contaminated food and water. This is most commonly undercooked meat, unpasteurized milk and dairy products, and foods that are allowed to sit at room temperature for longer period of time. People can also be infected by swimming or drinking contaminated water. Disease that most frequently leads to lower intestinal infection is gastroenteritis or stomach flu that usually results from viruses such as adenovirus and parovirus or bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and Escherihia coli. Lower intestinal infection can also result from diseases like gastritis, food poisoning, food borne disease and typhoid fever. Each of these conditions occurs because of contaminated food or water intake.
Symptoms of lower Intestinal Infection
Symptoms that are commonly associated with lower intestinal infection include nausea and vomiting. Abdominal cramps, pain, loss of appetite and diarrhea are also caused by intestinal infections. Fever, headache, jaundice and weakness are also the symptoms. Apart from that infected person commonly experiences sleep disorders, skin rash, dizziness and teeth grinding. Intestinal infections are typically followed by weight loss. In severe cases of intestinal infection muscle spasms, joint pain, swelling of some parts of the body and mental problems can be experienced by affected person.
Treatment for Lower Intestinal Infection
Diagnosis is made with the help of blood and urine tests. Initial treatment includes medications for diarrhea and vomiting. If intestinal infection is caused by bacteria the treatment involves antibiotics. There are also medications for viral and parasitic infection. Bed rest is generally recommended while hospitalization may be needed in severe cases. After recovering, it is advised to eat freshly cooked food and drink clean drinking water to prevent reoccurring of the intestinal infection.