You know you have dysentery and not diarrhea when you have to use the toilet frequently in the course of the day and your feces has mucus or blood in it. Dysentery can be mild and at other times, it can be severe too.
So besides frequent stools, you might likely experience other symptoms like:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Painful passage of stools
This disease is highly contagious and you can easily pass it on to others if you do not take proper precautions. You most likely got it in the first place due to:
- Not practicing good hand hygiene
- Drinking contaminated water
- Brushing your teeth with contaminated water
- Eating fruits and vegetables without washing them or properly washing them
- Eating foods that have been contaminated
In most cases, dysentery is not always serious and usually clears up on its own without treatment within a few days, typically about three to seven days. It is however very important that you take plenty fluids to make up for the lost fluids.
It might also be necessary for you to take oral rehydration solution (ORS) to prevent dehydration. If you have body pain or fever, over-the-counter pain reliving drugs may help you feel better. Do not use any anti-diarrhea medication as it can make you feel worse.
If after a few days, your symptoms do not improve or you feel worse, you should see your doctor right away. To prevent passing on the disease to others, some of the things you should do include:
- Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water each time you visit the toilet
- Not cooking for others until your symptoms are gone
- Remaining indoors as much as possible until your symptoms are gone