Gastrointestinal amebiasis is an infection of the large intestine caused by one-celled parasites called (Entamoeba histolytica), popularly known as amoebas. These parasites live in the large intestine and are passed through faeces of the infected people, leading to contamination of water supplies in areas with poor sanitation.
Amoebas also contaminate fruits and vegetables from areas where human faeces are used as fertilizers. Around 10 percent of the world population is infected by entamoeba histolytica, particularly in countries like India, Africa, Mexico, Central and South America.
Infection caused by amoeba can be asymptomatic in the initial months and may later on present the following symptoms.
• Mild pain.
• Gurgling sounds in the lower abdomen.
• Frequent stools.
• High fever.
• Abdominal pain.
• Episodes of diarrhoea.
When the amoeba travels to the liver, one may experience the following symptoms.
• Weight loss.
• Enlarged Liver.
• Pain in the upper right portion of the abdomen.
Call your doctor if you have been experiencing frequent episodes of diarrhoea, especially if it has blood and mucus. Severe abdominal pain in the right upper side and high temperature should also be reported to your doctor on the same day. Even persistent non-bloody mucus diarrhoea needs immediate medical attention and its symptoms such as dehydration and dizziness should be reported as well.
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