Alternative Names: Amebic dysentary is also known as amebiasis. Dysentery is commonly misspelt as dysentary.
Dysentery is a more serious form of diarrhea, where the stools are tinged with blood and mucus. The diarrhea can be quite severe, characterized by colicky pains and frequent visits to the toilet. Stools can be passed as often as fifteen to thirty times per day. The onset is typically sudden, accompanied by a high fever and thirst. The illness causes great fatigue and depletion of strength. Dehydration is a serious side-effect, especially if the person becomes too weak to drink enough liquids. The diarrhea typical of dysentery is caused by an inflammation of the colon due to infection by one of a number of organisms, including bacteria, parasites and viruses. The infection is typically spread by eating contaminated food, or from direct contact with an infected person.
The two most common types of dysentery are those caused by shigella bacteria and by ameba parasites. In the dysentery caused by shigella bacteria, flies transfer the bacteria from infected feces to food in areas where hygiene is poor. Handling food also passes on bacteria to others.
Amebic Dysentary is an intestinal illness caused by a microscopic parasite called Entamoeba histolytica. Anyone can get amebiasis, but it is recognized more often in people arriving from tropical or subtropical areas, individuals in institutions for the developmentally disabled and homosexual males.
Amebiasis is contracted by swallowing the cyst stage of the parasite in contaminated food or water. It can also be spread by person-to-person contact. Infected people are the only sources of the parasite: fecal material from infected people may contaminate water or food which may serve as a vehicle to infect others.
Generally, it is not necessary to exclude an infected person from work or school. Casual contact at work or school is unlikely to transmit the disease. Special precautions may be needed by foodhandlers or children enrolled in day care settings.
The most important precautions are careful handwashing after each toilet visit and proper disposal of sewage. Homosexual males should refrain from intimate contact until effectively treated.
General Recommendations for Dysentery
The first concern in treating dysentery is to compensate for the sometimes life-threatening loss of fluid and electrolytes due to the extreme diarrhea. Warm vegetable broths will replace water and minerals and provide other nutrients. If the kidneys are not inflamed, include parsley. Its etheric oil apiol stimulates the kidneys, promoting the elimination of the toxins causing the disease. Garlic should also be part of the broth, since it helps kill parasites.
In areas where the safety of the water supply is uncertain, drink only bottled water and avoid ice-cubes. Papaya skin and seeds contain a substance that destroys parasites and can be chewed as a preventive measure. When in the tropics, eat only fruit and vegetables that you can peel. Disinfect the skin of the fruit before you peel.
Supplements should help the body rid itself of the bacteria or parasites involved. Garlic and grapefruit seed extract both have strong antiparasitic and antibacterial properties and can be taken over long time periods, if necessary. Garlic capsules (3 capsules three times daily) are a simple and odorless alternative to eating raw garlic. Grapefruit seed extract is also odorless and available in both tablet (3 capsules three times daily) and liquid form.
Lactobacillus acidophilus (3 capsules or 1 tsp daily) and other types of healthy bacteria treat the infection naturally by re-establishing the intestinal flora. These are particularly helpful for treating amebic dysentery, as well as other bacterial forms of diarrhea. All of the above can be taken for prevention as well as for treatment. During the diarrhea, charcoal tablets help bind toxins and slow the diarrhea.
Arsenicum album is often used for diarrhea. The symptoms are quite violent, the pain typically burning in character. The blood- and mucus-filled diarrhea is accompanied by anxiety, weakness and restlessness. The person is chilly, usually thirsty for small sips of water, and the symptoms are worse at night.
Phosphorus is the second choice for similar cases with terrible burning pains and anxiety, bloody stools and great weakness. Phosphorus will help if there is a feeling as though the anus is open, allowing for an involuntary passage of stools. Typically, there is great thirst for very cold water.
Veratrum album should be used in similarly violent cases, where the stools look like rice water and expel quickly. A cold sweat is typical. Vomiting and diarrhea often occur simultaneously. The person is weak, chilly and thirsty for large quantities of water.
Tissue salts will help replace lost minerals due to excessive bowel elimination. Take 4 tablets three times daily under the tongue, or hourly if the pain and diarrhea are acute.