Causes and symptoms of enterocolitis
What is enterocolitis?
Enterocolitis is one of the most common diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, in which both the small intestine (enteritis) and the large intestine (colitis) become inflamed. Enterocolitis can occur due to a wide range of intestinal infections (dysentery, salmonellosis, shigellosis), malnutrition, consumption of spicy and fatty foods, alcohol, prolonged use of antibiotics, food allergies, etc.
Depending on the course of the disease, enterocolitis is acute and chronic. Chronic enterocolitis can be a consequence of inadequately treated acute enterocolitis or other intestinal infection. During an exacerbation of the disease, a person feels pain in the abdomen, stool disorders, bloating, flatulence are manifested.
The causes of enterocolitis
The causes of enterocolitis most often include past acute intestinal infections (salmonellosis, dysentery, typhoid fever, viral diarrhea), helminthiasis (worms), diseases caused by malnutrition (malnutrition or overeating), food allergic reactions (due to taking antibiotics or other drugs) … Also, enterocolitis can develop due to congenital or acquired diseases of the stomach (gastritis), liver, pancreas (pancreatitis), problems with immunity and metabolism, dysbiosis and vitamin deficiency.
The disease develops when an infection damages cells in the tissues of the digestive tract, leading to their subsequent depletion.
When the normal intestinal microflora is disturbed, chronic enterocolitis occurs, making the intestinal mucosa even more accessible to various microbes, therefore enterocolitis is always accompanied by dysbiosis.
Symptoms of enterocolitis
The symptoms of enterocolitis appear in waves: from exacerbation to remission. With an exacerbation of the disease, a person feels abdominal pain, nausea, weakness, his stool is disturbed, his tongue becomes coated.
Pain can manifest itself in different ways: when the small intestine is affected, they are dull, pulling in nature; severe acute pain is characteristic of the localization of the disease in the colon. Most often, pain is felt in the navel area, but it can also be widespread.
With enterocolitis, pain mainly appears after eating (after 2 hours), with sudden movements and intense exertion, before defecation. Alternation of diarrhea and constipation, frequent urge to use the toilet (up to 7 times a day) are also possible.
If the small intestine is affected, the pains are mostly dull and pulling, if the large intestine, the pain is much more intense.
Feces with enterocolitis come out in small quantities, often liquid, with mucus and food impurities. Sometimes, with excessively hard feces, a little scarlet blood may remain on their surface. This happens when cracks form in the anus.
Also, symptoms of enterocolitis are rumbling, bloating, and excessive gas formation. In children, chronic enterocolitis can lead to weight loss, anemia, growth retardation, metabolic disorders.
You can diagnose enterocolitis by analyzing feces, blood, and X-ray examination of the intestines.
Treatment and prevention of enterocolitis
The main task of the treatment of enterocolitis is to restore intestinal functions and prevent the further development of exacerbations. It is important to establish proper nutrition, consume vitamins, use herbal medicine and physiotherapy.
The patient should drink a sufficient amount of liquid (not less than the volume of food consumed per day), exclude milk, spicy, salty, smoked foods and alcohol from the diet. It is useful to eat rice, mashed porridge, boiled fish, steamed dishes, bran bread, dairy products, etc.
Pain in the abdomen is relieved by applying a heating pad to the abdomen, as well as with the help of painkillers (no-shpa). Medicines should be taken solely as directed by a doctor, since improperly selected drugs can only aggravate the course of the disease.
In case of enterocolitis, it is recommended to put microclysters with medicinal plants. An infusion of oak bark, St. John's wort and bird cherry will help with diarrhea, sea buckthorn oil - for constipation, chamomile broth - for bloating.
For the prevention of enterocolitis (as well as other bowel diseases), it is recommended to follow a balanced diet, treat intestinal infections without delay, and do not abuse medications, especially antibiotics.
If acute enterocolitis is treated promptly and with high quality, it will not leave consequences and complications, but a neglected disease can cause chronic enterocolitis, which can cause metabolic, digestive and motor disorders.
Article author: Mochalov Pavel Alexandrovich | d. m. n. therapist
Education: Moscow Medical Institute. IM Sechenov, specialty - "General Medicine" in 1991, in 1993 "Occupational Diseases", in 1996 "Therapy".