Colon Infections

If you are concerned about the rise in cases of colon infections in the western world, here is some useful information that can help you avoid many instances of this problem. The worldwide rise in these instances may be attributed to the altered diet practices and growing resistance of the micro-organisms involved to the medicines and antibiotics being administered by doctors to treat infected colons.

What Causes Colon Infection?

bacterial infection of the colonNumerous types of bacteria, viruses and other micro-organisms known as protozoa have been associated with intestinal infections. The contagion can either occur due to consumption of food infected with bacteria or due to increased activity of the harmful bacteria within our body. Colon infections are generally characterized by diarrhea or loose stools. This may be accompanied by pain or cramps in the abdomen region, fever and dehydration. Treatment of such infection involves the administration of antibiotics to kill the infective micro-organisms.

Micro-organisms that are Harmful to You

Different types of bacteria affect the large intestines resulting in illness. These bacteria may enter your body either through the food/water (which may be contaminated) you consume or through direct contact with the fecal matter. Some of the common micro-organisms responsible for many of these types of infection have been discussed below. Diarrhea, dehydration and pain or cramps in the abdomen are the common symptoms associated with most of these infections.

Shigella Species

The infection arising due to infection from the micro-organisms that belong to the Shigella species is referred to as shigellosis. This type of infection is most commonly observed in children between the ages of 6 months to 5 years. So take care of what your toddler and young children eat and drink. The Shigella bacteria can lead to damage of the colon if left untreated. Antibiotics are commonly advised along with steps to rehydrate your body with water and other electrolytes (minerals such as sodium, potassium, chloride, and bicarbonate that help to maintain normal functioning of the cells).

Campylobacter Species

The symptoms of the infection with campylobacter species of bacteria is usually noted after about 1-7 days of the initial attack. Along with diarrhea, other symptoms such as headache, generalized tiredness, and fever are also noted. The illness generally subsides with or without treatment in about a week's time. Antibiotic treatment may not be of much benefit in many cases, but may be required in cases where the infection has relapsed/recurred. Fluid and electrolyte replacement are the only treatment required in most cases.

E. Coli Species

E. coli is the common bacteria responsible for traveler's diarrhea, food-borne infections and diarrhea in children of the developing countries. Commonly caused by the consumption of contaminated food and water, the contamination caused by E.coli species is associated with blood tinged diarrhea. Poorly cooked beef and consumption of unpasteurized milk can also lead to this problem in some cases. This type of infection is generally self-limited and the problem resolves within a week's time without any treatment. Antibiotics are advised in some cases.

Vibrio Parahaemolyticus Species

This species is known for intestinal infections that occur following consumption of sea food. These microorganisms are commonly present in salt water fishes and shell fish and can infect you if you don’t cook these fish adequately. The food we eat and the liquids we consume can be harmful to us if they are not processed properly before consumption. So take care of what you eat and drink the body is capable enough to prevent becoming infected by itself to a large extent.

Some Useful Tips for Preventing Colon Infections

What follows are some useful tips that can help you to avoid your intestines becoming infected by any of the above causes.

As with all health aspects, observing basic cleanliness rules, especially where food is concerned can be a major factor in preventing colon problems and poor digestive system health.

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