is a serious condition affecting the large intestine. It is characterised by inflammation
and ulceration of the bowel, a colic pain in the region of the abdomen and passing of liquid or
semi-formed stones with mucus and blood.
The pathological condition of dysentery
is caused by two organisms, protozoa
and bacilli. The
former is generally known as amoebic dysentery
and later as bacillary dysentery
. An attack of
is milder in comparison with bacillary dysentery
. But while bacillary dysentery
can respond quickly to treatment, amoebic dysentery
does not leave the patient easily, unless
he is careful.
is prevalent allover the world except in very cold countries. Places where insanity
conditions prevail are particularly affected. The disease strikes both sexes equally. Similarly, no
age is immune, though children are more prone.
Desentery may be acute and chronic. The acute form is characterised by pain in the abdomen,
and dysenteric motions. Yellowish white mucus and sometimes only blood from the
intestinal ulcers passes with stools. The evacuations are preceded by pain and tenesmus. The
patient feels a constant desire to evacuate, although there may be nothing to throw off except a
little mucus and blood There is a feeling of pain in the rectum and along the large intestine. With
the advance of the disease the quantity of mucus and blood increases. Occassionally casts or
shreds of skinline mucous membrane
, from small fragments to 12 inches or so long and an inch
wide , are seen to pass out with motions. Sometimes pus is also thrown out with motions and
often the smell of the stools becomes very foetid. All the digestive processes are upset and
secretions are changed or stopped. The saliva becomes acid instead of being alkaline and the
gastric juice itself may become alkaline. The stomach loses power to digest and absorb food.
The bacilli create toxins and the foetid matters formed also augment further manufacture of
toxins and consequent absorption in blood.
Chronic cases are after-effects of acute attacks. The patient does not recover completely. Stool
remains putrid and may contain blood, while diarrhoea
may alternate, andgeneral health is disturbed. In severe cases, the temperature may rise to 104 - 105 o F. It may
occasionally become subnormal also.
The cause of dysentery
, according to modern medical system, is germ infection
. The germs,
which are supposed to cause dysentery
only develop in colon as a result of putrefaction there of
excessive quantities of animal protein food, fried substance, over-spices foods and hard to
digest fatty substances. The real cause of dysentery
is thus dietary indiscretion and eating of
excessive amounts of flesh food in hot weather or tropical climate unsuited to the digestion of
such foods. Other causes include debility, fatigue
, chill, lowered vitality, intestinal disorders and
overcrowding under insanitary conditions.
The treatment of dysentery
should aim at removing the offending and toxic matter from the
intestines and for alleviating painful symptoms
, stopping the virulence of the bacteria and
promoting healing of the ulcer.
Fasting is the only correct remedy for dysentery
to bring with. The patient should fast as long as
are present. During the period of fasting, only orange juice and water should be
taken. In the alternative, the patient should subsist on buttermilk till the acute symptoms
over. Butter- milk combats offending bacteria and helps establishment of helpful
micro-organisms in the intestines.
The patient may be given small doses of castor oil in the form of emulsion. This acts as a mild
aperient and facilitates quicker removal of offensive matter, minimises the strain during motion
and also acts as a lubricant to the ulcerated surfaces. IN addition to administration
of castor oil,
the mechanical removal of accumulated poisonous matter should be attempted by giving very
low pressure enema, admitting as much water as the patient can tolerate. This can be done
twice or thrice daily. The patient should take complete bed rest as movement induces pain and
aggravates distressing symptoms
. A hot water bag may be applied over the abdomen.
After the acute symptoms
are over, the patient may be allowed rice, curd, fresh ripe fruits,
especially bael, banana and pomegranate and skimmed milk. Solid foods should be introduced
very carefully and gradually according to the pace of recovery. Flesh foods of all kinds should be
avoided in future as far as possible. Other foods which should be avoided are tea, coffee, white
sugar and white flour and products made from them as well as alcohol
in all forms. Foods which
have a detoxifying and cleansing effect upon the intestines on their passage, through, such as
fruits and vegetables, are most essential to a future dietary.
Among specific food remedies, bael fruit is, perhaps , the most efficacious in the treatment of
of both the varieties. Pulp of the fruit mixed with jaggery should be given thrice daily.
To deal with a chronic case of dysentery
, unripe bael fruit is roasted over the fire and the pulp is
mixed with water. Large quantities of the infusion so made should be administered with jaggery.
The pulp of the unripe fruit mixed with an equal quantity of dried ginger can also be given with
The use of pomegranate rind is another effective remedy for dysentery
. About 60 grams of therin
should be boiled in 250 grams of milk. It should be removed from the fire when one third of the
milk has evaporated. It should be administered to the patient in three equal doses at suitable
intervals. It will relieve the disease very soon.
Lemon juice is very effective in dealing with ordinary cases of dysentery
. A few lemons, peels
and sliced, should be added to 250 ml. of water and boiled for a few minutes. The strained
infusion should be administered thrice daily.
Other remedies considered useful in the treatment of dysentery
are the use of small pieces of
onions mixed with curd and equal parts of the tender leaves of the peepal tree, coriander leaves
and sugar chewed slowly.