Irritable bowel common after bacterial dysentery
Bacterial dysentery increases the risk of developing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Bacterial dysentery increases the risk of developing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is characterised by abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea, and constipation.
Researchers from the McMaster University Medical Center, Canada, conducted a study with more than 2000 residents of a small rural town, who had been exposed to contaminated municipal water some two years earlier. This led to an outbreak of the potentially deadly strain of E. coli
known as O157:H7, which is typically contracted through contaminated food or water and can cause bloody diarrhoea, vomiting and cramps. Exposure to the contaminated town water also led to an outbreak of gastroenteritis caused by Campylobacter jejuni
, a major cause of traveller's diarrhoea.
It was found that, about 700 subjects did not develop gastroenteritis at the time of the outbreak and were designated as controls. Of this control group, 10 percent developed IBS, as compared to the 28 percent of subjects with self-reported gastritis and 36 percent of those with clinically suspected gastroenteritis.
The relative risk of developing IBS was 5 fold higher in residents who had experienced bacterial gastroenteritis from contamination. Women, younger generation, people who had weight loss and prolonged diarrhoea had a higher risk for developing post-infectious IBS.
The findings suggest that if patients at a risk of post-infectious IBS can be identified at the time of enteric infection, then health professionals can target them for early treatment and better outcomes.
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