Differences between Diarrhea and Dysentery – Diarrhea vs Dysentery


Table of Contents

What is diarrhea?

The bathroom, experiencing the urge to bowel, peeing regardless of what you refer to it as stool is a normal element of your daily life. But, there are times when this process of eliminating waste from your body alters. If you experience fluid or loose stool, this is known as diarrhea. This is a fairly common occurrence that usually goes away without treatment.

Diarrhea can be caused by various reasons and typically disappears on its own within one to three days. If you experience diarrhea, you might have to rush to the bathroom as fast as you can and this can be more frequent than usual. You might also feel uncomfortable, experience lower abdominal cramps and may feel nauseated.


However, the majority of instances of diarrhea are self-limiting (happening for a set period of time and maintaining a steady degree of severity) however, occasionally diarrhea could result in serious complications. Diarrhea can lead to the condition of dehydration (when your body sheds large quantities of water) as well as an imbalance in electrolytes (loss of potassium, sodium and magnesium, which are essential to essential bodily processes) and kidney insufficiency (not enough fluid or blood flow is delivered to kidneys). If you suffer from diarrhea, you’ll lose electrolytes and water together with stool. It is essential to consume plenty of fluids to replenish what’s gone. Dehydration can be serious when it doesn’t get better (get better) it gets worse and is not treated appropriately.

What is dysentery?

Dysentery is an infection of the intestine that can cause severe diarrhea and blood. In certain instances, mucus can be detected in stool. It usually lasts three to seven days.


Other signs may be:

  • Abdominal cramps or pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • an increase in fever to 100.4degF (38degC) or more
  • Dehydration can be life-threatening if not treated

Dysentery usually occurs due to unhygienic habits. For instance, if a person suffers from dysentery fails to clean your hands immediately after going to the bathroom everything they touch could be at risk.


The disease can also be spread by contact with food or drinking water that has been contamination by the fecal matter. Hand washing with care and sanitation can reduce the risk of contracting dysentery from spreading.

Differences between Diarrhea and Dysentery –  Diarrhea vs Dysentery

1.DefinitionDiarrhea is a disease wherein the body experiences watery bowel movements.Dysentery is a disease caused due to infection in the intestines.
2.CausesAlcohol abuse, laxative abuse, radiation therapy, etc. are some of the causes of diarrhea.Intake of contaminated food & water, poor hand washing, swimming in contaminated lakes, etc. are some of the causes of dysentery.
3.DurationDiarrhea can last up to two weeks.Dysentery can last for 7-10 days.
4.PrevalenceDiarrhea is a common disease.Dysentery is a rare disease.
5.TreatabilityDiarrhea is self-treatable.Dysentery is a fatal disease and might require medical treatment.
6.Prevention MeasuresKeeping the cooking areas clean is a prominent way to overcome diarrhea.Drinking plenty of fluids is a common way to overcome dysentery.
7.SymptomsNausea, cramps, fever, dehydration, etc. are symptoms of diarrhea.Abdominal pain, malaise, weight loss, flatulence, etc. are symptoms of dysentery.
8.Affected Body PartDiarrhea affects the bowel.Dysentery affects the colon.
9.Targeted Area in the BodyThe intestinal lumen is targeted in diarrhea.The upper epithelial cells and colon ulceration are targeted in dysentery.
10.Mechanism of InfectionNo cell death occurs in diarrhea. The infection in the body is mainly caused by the release of toxins.Cell death is caused due to pathogens in dysentery.
11.Infection CauseDiarrhea occurs due to a viral infection.Dysentery is caused due to bacterial infection.
12.Presence of FeverFever rarely occurs in diarrhea.Fever is common in dysentery.
13.Severity of SymptomsApart from dehydration, no fatal symptoms are seen in diarrhea.Dysentery can lead to various complications.
14.Severe Symptoms– Weight loss
– Dark urine
– Rapid heart rate
– Headache
– Dry skin
– Irritability
– Delirium
– Convulsions
– Coma
– Nausea
– Weakness
15.Impact on Nutritional AreasThe nutritional area of the body is not harmed by diarrhea.Dysentery has harmful effects on nutritional areas.
16.Fatality RateDiarrhea is not a fatal disease. However, deaths are mainly caused due to dehydration.Dysentery accounts for 25% of deaths due to bloody diarrhea.
17.Treatment Options at HomeDiarrhea can be treated at home with remedies like drinking Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS).Dysentery can also be treated at home with remedies like amoebicidal drugs and drinking ORS.
18.Treatment Options in Severe CasesIn worst cases, diarrhea can be cured by oral rehydration solutions.In worst cases, dysentery can be cured by intravenous antibiotics.
19.Potential FatalityIf diarrhea is not treated, the immune system works against the infection. The individual can be treated within 2-3 days of infection.Dysentery could be fatal if not treated.
20.Overcoming Measures– Liquid diet<br>- Avoiding high-risk food<br>- Drinking clean water<br>- Rehydration solution– Intravenous fluid


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