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Intestinal infection in adults: symptoms, signs and treatment

Almost everyone at least once in life faced by an intestinal infection. Many people confuse this disease with food poisoning, but unlike him, the infection triggered the pathogenic microorganisms that cause inflammation in the digestive tract and is a serious and dangerous disease, which requires a detailed examination and qualified treatment. In this article, we examined the symptoms and treatment of intestinal infections in adults, methods of diagnosis, first aid and prevention of these diseases.

Intestinal infection – what is it

Acute intestinal infection is a term that encompasses a group of diseases transmitted by the fecal-oral route pathogens. Pathogens are bacteria and viruses.

The pathogens can be food or transmitted from person to person. Microorganisms getting into the body, via digestive tract, and begin to release dangerous toxins and actively proliferate. They can penetrate the intestinal wall, and cause in them inflammatory process. Such diseases are always accompanied by severe intoxication and intestinal symptoms.

In the absence of proper and timely medical treatment of acute intestinal infections can cause significant deterioration of the patient and pose a threat to his life. It is believed that the most sensitive to these diseases are children. But in adults, these infectious diseases can occur in the acute form, causing dehydration and malfunction of the whole organism.

In the case of ordinary food poisoning, the disease is provoked not by bacteria, and the toxins formed in damaged and poor quality products. Such States do not require bacterial therapy and long-term treatment. Intoxicated person is not contagious and dangerous for others.

The types of intestinal infections, ways of transmission

What diseases are intestinal infections and how they can be transmitted? This question, at first glance, simple, but a confusing infection with poisoning, can not give an exact answer and time to recognize a life-threatening condition.

To intestinal infections include a large number of different diseases. Some of them occur in an acute form, and are a danger to the patient, and some pass safely and quickly.

The main route of transmission of enteric infections – fecal-oral. People can become infected from an infected person or from recently had the disease. Sometimes in the aftermath of the disease, people remain carriers of the bacteria and are dangerous to others.

Outbreak of intestinal infection may develop in humans who consume food cooked with a contagious person. Bacteria through unwashed after a restroom hand get into the food.

Every kind of intestinal infection has its own characteristics in the transmission and distribution among the population. Pathogens can be spread not only from person to person. Some products are natural reservoirs for them.

Below are the main types of intestinal infections and their transmission to man.


Dysentery, or disease of dirty hands, is an infectious disease that spread throughout the planet. In most cases it develops in the hot season. Caused by bacteria of the Shigella. You can become infected from a sick person, as well as by drinking contaminated water, unwashed vegetables or fruits.

Outbreaks of dysentery are frequent in the summer. People while swimming in the waters can swallow the contaminated water. The mentality of our people allows him to relieve himself during the voyage, thereby exposing other swimmers at risk.


This intestinal infection is very insidious. Often Salmonella pathogens multiply in food products, while preserving its organoleptic qualities. Of Contracting salmonellosis can by eating eggs, dairy and meat products, sausage products. In this used food can be fresh and quality, not to have the wrong smell or taste.

Most people infected with Salmonella it by eating chicken or duck eggs from infected birds. The eggs do not differ from normal, suspected infection without laboratory testing impossible.

Bacteria, called Salmonella is inside the egg, not the shell. Somehow, among the population there is a perception that if the egg wash, you can protect yourself from salmonellosis. Eggs, of course, you should wash, but it will not protect you from this intestinal bacterial infection.


This intestinal disease is one of the most dangerous. A person can for a few hours to die from loss of large amounts of water and the strongest intoxication.

Fortunately, nowadays it doesn't happen often, her episodes are rare. Cholera most often occurs in the summer.

One can fall ill by drinking contaminated water or swimming in the ponds. A sick person may infect others during the preparation of the food with dirty hands. Cholera vibrios can be transferredflies.


This is a viral intestinal disease is popularly called "stomach flu", as it manifests not only the symptoms of the digestive system, but the catarrhal symptoms characteristic of SARS.

Rotavirus is a seasonal disease, and its flash most often develop in the autumn-winter period.

You can become infected from a sick person.

This infection is transmitted by the fecal-oral route.


Outbreaks of enterovirus are very common. This pathogen is able to spread from person to person.

Also , it can accumulate in land, food products. The virus is capable of long time to stay active while on the subjects of personal hygiene.

People who recover from enterovirus infection for a long period of time is dangerous to others and may remain a carrier of the infection for a certain period.

The clinical picture of intestinal infections

Signs of intestinal infection are not apparent immediately after infection. As a rule, between contact with infection and the first symptoms there is an incubation period. This is the time required pathogenic microbes to penetrate the intestinal wall, multiplication and production of toxins.

The duration of the incubation period for each individual pathogen. For example, when Salmonella it can last from 6 hours to 3 days, and in the case of cholera 1-5 days.

Below are the main symptoms that manifest gastrointestinal infections:

  • Hyperthermia – increase in body temperature. It can reach 38-39 degrees. It is associated with severe intoxication and acute inflammatory process, developing in the walls of the intestine.
  • Nausea and vomiting. First, the patient may vomit remnants of food, then vomit consist of gastric juice, bile and fluids, accepted inside.
  • Pain in the abdomen. It can be sharp or dull, localized in different parts of the abdomen. For typical tenesmus of dysentery – acute pain during defecation.
  • Diarrhea. The appearance and consistency of feces depends on the type of pathogen. Thus, when the cholera stool is watery, resembling rice water. For salmonellosis characteristic of green liquid foul-smelling stools. With dysentery stools it is possible to see streaks of blood and mucus.
  • General weakness and malaise – are caused by intoxication and the loss of large amounts of fluid.
  • Flatulence, flatulence, bloating. These processes may be accompanied by severe intestinal colic.
  • In the case of rotavirus patient appear catarrhal symptoms: nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, cough.

Intestinal infection may develop dehydration. Vomiting and diarrhea body loses a large amount of fluid and essential minerals. The patient quickens the pulse, decreases blood pressure, quickens breathing, pale skin. Amid such a state may develop convulsions, heart rhythm disorders, of consciousness.

First aid in case of intestinal infections

Assistance with the development of intestinal infections needs to be in the first few minutes of the onset of symptoms. To determine the development of this disease can quickly rising temperature and abundant in the stool, worsening of the human condition. With the development of the first clinical signs of the disease, you need to call an ambulance.

Remember that self-treatment of intestinal infection in adults at home is very dangerous, it can lead to serious consequences. Only a doctor after a detailed examination of the patient can assign the correct etiological treatment.

While waiting for the arrival of the medics begin to assist the poisoned person first aid. It is possible to slightly alleviate the patient's condition, reduce the severity of intoxication syndrome.

Below are the basic steps that you will be able to help the sick to the arrival of the brigade SMP.

Gastric lavage

Why flush it out, you may ask, if intestinal poisoning occurs after a certain incubation period, the hazardous food has already left the stomach cavity? Actually, this procedure will help to withdraw some of the toxins and products of vital activity of microorganisms, greatly facilitate the patient's state of health. Also keep in mind that similar symptoms can occur on first, acute poisoning, in which catharsis is the main emergency life-saving procedure.

To have my stomach pumped you'll need plain water at room temperature. Gulp need to drink 2-3 glasses of water and induce vomiting attack by pressing a finger on the root of the tongue.

According to the latest protocols of first aid, the use of a solution of potassium permanganate to wash the stomach, doctors are not welcome. The effectiveness of this method is no greater than the use of normal water. Improperly prepared irrigation solution on the basis of potassium permanganate can cause acute poisoning and burns of the mucous membranes of the esophagus and stomach.


It helps to remove the toxins formed in the intestine under the influence of pathogenic bacteria. Is based onsimple boiled water. It you'll need bowl Esmarha, baby cream or vaseline. For klishirovannyh only need to use water at room temperature. Hot and cold fluid is contraindicated.


Any sorbents, for example, sorbex, atoxil, smectite or activated charcoal intestinal infection can be taken at the stage of rendering first aid. These drugs help to neutralize and remove toxins from the intestines and reduce the level of intoxication syndrome.

Before taking this medication you need to carefully read the instructions, check the expiration date of the medicine. Should follow the recommended dosage, don't exceed it.

Drink plenty of liquids

The liquid must be ingested in large quantities. This can be as simple or mineral water, weak black or green tea. Drink it continuously, slowly. For example, five SIPS every 10 minutes.

The remaining assistance will be provided to the paramedics and hospital. The main drugs against intestinal infection will be assigned after a detailed examination of the patient and diagnosis.


If you suspect the presence of intestinal infection hospitalitynet patients in infectious Department. The doctor examines the patient, gathers a medical history, asks about his products he's used over the past few days, the field of catering, where he lived. In order to ascertain the correct etiologic cure intestinal infections, it is necessary to make an accurate diagnosis, identify the pathogenand to assess the condition of internal organs and the whole organism.

Listed below are the main methods of laboratory and instrumental examination at suspicion on presence of intestinal infections:

  • General complete blood count allows to distinguish between bacterial and viral infection.
  • Biochemical blood analysis is aimed at identifying violations of the internal organs and electrolyte malfunction in the body.
  • Bacteriological examination of feces is performed to identify the causative agent. It can be used to determine the kind of intestinal infection. It is necessary for the etiological treatment.
  • Electrocardiogram is required for timely detection of arrhythmias, which can occur due to fluid and electrolyte shift.
  • Urinalysis is needed to assess the condition of the kidneys, which are very sensitive to various intoxications and infections.
  • Ultrasound examination of internal organs is conducted to identify possible disorders in the pancreas, liver, gall bladder and kidneys.

The list of examinations may be extended or reduced by the attending physician depending on the clinical picture and the patient's condition, results analyses.

Please note that diagnosis and diagnosis is carried out in parallel with the necessary assistance to the patient, the fight against intoxication and dehydration.

Treatment intestinal infection

How to treat an intestinal infection in adults at home? The answer to this question is very simple – no way. Do not risk your health self-medicate. Many fear isolation ward and think that there they can catch another sore. In fact, in the hospital, all patients are isolated in separate boxes, or separated by types of disease. The risk there is something to pick up very small. But the ability to complications of self-medication is very high.

So what to do? You need to agree to hospitalization, proposed by the ambulance crew. The doctor in the hospital will pick up the necessary drugs for the treatment of infections, will hold the adjustment of water and electrolyte balance. To quickly cure this disease, you must strictly adhere to all his recommendations and to adhere to appointments.

Below are the main components in the treatment of intestinal infections:

  • Rehydration therapy aims to combat dehydration and intoxication. First, the patient is administered intravenous drip necessary solutions, as due to the constant vomiting to drink water he can't. Then, after the stabilization, is appointed plentiful drink. You can drink plain water or special solutions, for example, regidron.
  • Antibiotics – the main tablet from the intestinal infection of bacterial etiology. Determined by the doctor after the detection of the pathogen. They are selected individually.
  • Diet. For the first few days you can eat only congee or boiled oatmeal porridge mucous consistency.
  • Sorbents are assigned to remove toxins from the intestinal lumen. They should take separately from other medicines.
  • Enzymes. They are used to improve digestion and discharge the pancreas.
  • Antacids are appointed with heartburn and abdominal pain. These symptoms often manifest chronic gastritis, which can be exacerbated on the background of the disease.
  • After completing the course of antibiotics are prescribed drugs that restore the intestinal microflora.

The patient is discharged after passing repeated tests of the feces. If they are not identified microorganisms, a person is considered not dangerous and not able to provoke the infected people around him.

Also in parallel with the prescribed treatment can be usedsome folk remedies from intestinal infections. The most safe and useful is chamomile tea. It is considered a natural antiseptic, helps to remove inflammation from the intestinal wall. Can also be used a decoction of flax seed. They treat the exacerbation of a gastritis. You can take it when you feel discomfort in the stomach, frequent heartburn.

Prevention of intestinal infections

How can you protect yourself and loved ones from this terrible infectious disease? Unfortunately, there is no vaccine and vaccination against intestinal infections, or 100% of existing methods of prevention. From the development of this disease no one is immune. But thanks to the simple recommendations we can reduce the risk of development to minimum.

Below, we have gathered for you the tips that will help in the prevention of enteric infection:

  1. Observe good personal hygiene, always wash your hands before eating, even before a small snack.
  2. Meat products and eggs keep in the refrigerator, separate from ready meals.
  3. Buy products only to licensed markets or in stores. Avoid disaster markets.
  4. Do not eat cream cakes in the hot season. At this time, the risk of infection there is increased significantly.
  5. Do not buy street food. Very often when cooking not to observe the principles of hygiene and violated all sanitary norms.

Intestinal infections are dangerous diseases you can get them from a sick person. When the first symptoms of the disease should seek medical help. Self-medication is a dangerous and reckless act that could lead to serious consequences. No need to search online than to treat this disease, you should immediately contact a qualified technician. All preparations appointed by the doctor after examination of the patient. They are targeted to fight infection, reduce intoxication and dehydration, restoration of the digestive system.