Bowel Infections: Causes and Treatments

Viruses, bacteria and other underlying health disorders are all causes of bowel infections. Changes in your daily bowel movement is one of the easiest ways to recognize it. Recognizing the symptoms quickly is important to not only determine the cause, but also administer proper treatment for recovery. Simple home remedies can relieve the symptoms.

Symptoms of Bowel Infections

Symptoms for both viral and bacterial infections are often similar to one another. It is important to have a healthcare professional check your symptoms in order to determine which kind of infection you have.

1. Intestinal pain

It is very rare that an infection will not cause stomach pain. The pain is usually felt in the lower abdominal area or in the intestines directly. Pain levels range from mild to incredibly severe and can cause uncomfortable spasms. This pain may ease when the one affected  passes stool.

2. Constipation or diarrhea

Either one of these is common. Some people may not be able to have a bowel movement at all while others will get the feeling that they are not able to completely empty themselves of all waste. In the case of diarrhea, sufferers will need to use the toilet over and over again in short periods of time.

3. Stool change

The overall appearance of your stool can change. You may notice that stools are coming out quite small or are a bit watery. Sometimes there may even be the appearance of mucus in your stool.

4. Bloating

Bowel infections can cause a buildup of gas in the body, especially when one is constipated as a result of the infection. This buildup can cause painful and uncomfortable bloating. You will be able to feel the tightness and swelling in your stomach when it occurs.

5. Rectal bleeding

Rectal bleeding has been known to happen in certain case of infections. Inflammation in your bowels can cause the walls of your lower abdominal organs to bleed. Feelings of weakness, uneasiness and illness are common for someone suffering from rectal bleeding. You may also notice blood in your stool. Keep an eye out for this as rectal bleeding can be very serious if there is a lot of blood or the condition is persistent.

6. Nausea and vomiting

These symptoms are not quite as common as stomach pain or bloating, but they do happen. If you can’t release your bowels or you have to release them too much, you can become dehydrated which will cause nausea. Vomiting can be a result of not being able to rid your body of waste the natural way. If your bowels become too backed up they cannot pass anything new through them. Instead, your digestive track will be reversed to get rid of the excess.

7. Other symptoms

Other symptoms of include fever and chills, loss of appetite, abdominal cramping, headaches, extreme thirst and even weight loss if the condition is persistent. Most of the time a person may only experience 1-3 of these symptoms, but it can be more. Make sure to monitor symptoms for their severity.

Remedies for Bowel Infections

1. Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes, such as getting good nutrition, are the best ways to prevent nasty stomach or digestive problems.

  • For your body’s digestive system to continue running smoothly, you need a good amount of fiber in your diet from foods like whole grains, beans, green vegetables and fresh fruits.
  • Fiber supplements can help those who need an even bigger fiber boost and can be found in both powder and tablet form.
  • Drink plenty of fluids each day to stay hydrated and keep all bowel movements soft and on a regular schedule.
  • Avoid processed foods, which are full of toxins that stress your digestive tract.
  • Consistent and frequent exercise also helps to keep the digestive system in good working order.
  • Maintain an active lifestyle and reduce stress levels for the benefit of your overall health.

2. Rest

In order to allow your body to heal naturally, you will want to get plenty of rest. It takes a lot of energy to fight infection. If you are running yourself ragged or even engaging in a few hours of hard physical exertion, you may be hindering your body from healing. How quickly you recuperate depends heavily on how much rest you allow yourself.

3. Antibiotics

Infections that have been caused by bacteria may require antibiotics in order to be cleared properly. Bacterial infections can sometimes take a while to heal on their own and some cases may not heal very well without the use of antibiotics.

4. Laxatives

If an infection is causing constipation, then a round of laxatives may be the best remedy. Laxatives will soften stool and help stimulate the body to make bowel movements. Laxatives are typically only used for short periods of time as they can cause excessive bowel movements, which can lead to dehydration.

5. Treating underlying health conditions

If bowel infections are occurring repeatedly and often, it could be a sign of an underlying, chronic condition. Persistent symptoms of infection can mean you might be suffering from diseases like diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. There may also be more serious illnesses like Crohn’s Disease and colon cancer. Ask your doctor to perform a blood sample analysis or a colonoscopy to figure out the underlying causes. Proper treatment cannot be administered until the true condition is diagnosed.

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