Bowel infection is a common gastrointestinal ailment. It occurs due to microorganisms (virus or bacteria) or various other disorders. Any change in the appearance or frequency of bowel movements clearly indicates bowel trouble. Lack of exercise or poor nutrition can also cause bowel infection. Usually the bowel infection goes off in couple of days but the underlying cause has to be treated to prevent recurrence. Food poisoning also leads to bowel infection. If left untreated bowel infection can lead to irritable bowel syndrome.
Common symptoms include loose stools, unusual looking stool movements, constipation, abdominal pain, abdominal bloating and distention. Rectal bleeding also indicates bowel infection. Patients may experience weakness and fatigue.
Apart from regular bacterial and viral infections, there are many causes for bowel infection. Irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, and ulcerative colitis often cause bowel infections. Some of the serious diseases related to bowel problems are celiac disease, crohn’s disease and colon cancer. Most bowel infections can be treated through regular exercise and proper diet. Rare cases may require professional medical attention.
Our digestive system comprise of both beneficial as well as harmful bacteria. Our digestive system works normally as long as these bacteria remain in balance. However, when these harmful bacteria exceed beneficial bacteria, bowel infection sets in. A qualified physician must diagnose whether the bowel infection is caused by bacteria or virus or is connected to a particular health condition.
Based on the findings, the physician decides on the treatment course. Proper treatment is decided on the basis of underlying cause. Antibiotics are recommended for bacterial bowel infection. A short-term course of laxative may be recommended. Diagnosis is performed based on the past medical history and physical examination. Blood or stool tests may be advised. In complicated cases, colonoscopy or barium enema is recommended for proper diagnosis. Rarely, damaged portions of the bowel are surgically removed.
Changes in lifestyle are the most important step for preventing bowel infection. Good nutrition keeps the digestion running smoothly and provides strength to combat infection. One must consume fiber-enriched foods to cleanse and eliminate toxins out of the body. Whole grains, legumes, green vegetables, beans, and fresh fruits are rich in insoluble fibers. Besides, one must drink plenty of fluid each day to keep bowel movements regular. Regular exercise keeps the digestive system healthy and helps in proper functioning. One must reduce their stress level and get regular sleep to combat bowel problems.