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Pseudomembranous Colitis Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Pseudomembranous Colitis ?

Few individuals develop pseudomembranous colitis in response to antibiotics. The condition is described by the inflammation of colon, and is also known as antibiotic-associated colitis. Mostly, inflammation that occurs due to the condition results due to the overgrowth of Clostridium difficile, a bacterium. Intense form of the condition can be serious, wherein treatment is very essential.

What Are The Symptoms Of Pseudomembranous Colitis ?

Common indications of pseudomembranous colitis are as follow:

  • Watery diarrhea, and sometimes, it can be bloody.
  • Mucus or pus in the stool.
  • Fever.
  • Abdominal pain and cramps.
  • Dehydration.
  • Nausea.

The aforementioned signs can start to develop within a day or two after the usage of antibiotics, however, for few; symptoms may develop some weeks after the discontinuation of medicine.

When Is The Right Time To Seek Medical Assistance ?

In case you are taking, or have taken antibiotic in the past few days, and have developed the symptoms of pseudomembranous colitis, such as pus or blood in the stool, abdominal pain and constant diarrhea.

What Causes Pseudomembranous Colitis ?

The condition is known to arise when the harmful bacteria, present in your colon tend to release toxins. In addition, these strong toxins irritate your colon. In the normal course of action, the useful bacteria prevailing in the digestive system keep a check on the harmful bacteria. Though, the normal balance between the two can be disturbed by a medicine, including antibiotics.
More specifically, almost any antibiotic can source the condition; however few are commonly linked with the condition. Besides antibiotics, other medications can also trigger pseudomembranous colitis.

Another common trigger is chemotherapy, a cancer treatment that can disturb the balance of bacteria. Moreover, diseases which affect our colon, for example Crohn’s disease can also contribute in the instigation of pseudomembranous colitis.

What Are The Complications Of Pseudomembranous Colitis ?

In case pseudomembranous colitis is not efficiently treated after being diagnosed, it can lead to a number of complications, such as:

  • Toxic megacolon.
  • Hole in the bowel.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Recurrence of pseudomembranous colitis.
  • Extreme low levels of potassium.
  • Dehydration that can result in extreme low blood pressure.

How Is Pseudomembranous Colitis Diagnosis ?

After being detailed with the symptoms and conducting a thorough physical evaluation, the doctor can suggest the following procedures and tests:

  • Stool sample.
  • Blood test.
  • Sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy.
  • Imaging tests:
  • Abdominal X-ray.
  • CT scan.

How Is Pseudomembranous Colitis Treatment ?

Usually, the treatment for the condition starts with discontinuing the use of antibiotic medications that has lead to the development of symptoms. At times, the action is enough to treat pseudomembranous colitis, or at least, relieve its symptoms, for example diarrhea. In case the symptoms continue, the doctor will possibly switch the medicine. Often, oral antibiotics are prescribed for its treatment, though, it can be given through your vein or nasogastric tube as well. Normally, once after the treatment begins, the signs improve after 2-3 days.

By : Natural Health News

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