Differences

Differences between Diarrhea and Dysentery – Diarrhea vs Dysentery

The bathroom, experiencing the urge to bowel, peeing regardless of what you refer to it as stool is a normal element of...

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This article writter by MN Editors on January 19, 2022

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Differences between Diarrhea and Dysentery - Diarrhea vs Dysentery
Differences between Diarrhea and Dysentery - Diarrhea vs Dysentery

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

CharacterDiarrheaDysentery
DefinitionDiarrhea is a symptom that is characterized by the regular passing of watery or loose stool (atleast 3 times per day).Dysentery can be described as an inflammation of the intestines that occurs in the colon, particularly which can cause severe diarrhea , with mucus or blood in the feces.
Stool typeThe stool is clear, without blood or mucus.Mucoid stool which may be associated with blood.
AffectsSmall bowel.It affects the colon.
Cells that are targetedDiarrheal infections target only the lower epithelial and intestinal lumen cells.Dysentery does not just target upper epithelial cells , but colon ulceration is also a result.
Cell deathThere is no death of cells in diarrhea. The infection can only be caused by releases of toxic substances caused by an agent infecting the body.If someone is diagnosed with dysentery, the epithelial cells get attacked and destroyed by the disease agent or disease the agent that causes it.
Type of Infectious Agent InvolvedDiarrrhea is usually transmitted via viral.Dysentery can be described as mostly bacteria-based.
Causative agentsNorovirus, Rotavirus, Sapovirus, Escherichia coli (E.coli), Giardia lamblia etc.Shigella, specifically S. flexneri as well as S. dysenteriae type 1, Campylobacter jejuni, in particular in infants, and less often, Salmonella, Enteroinvasive Escherichia is closely associated with Shigella and can cause severe dysentery. Entamoeba histolytica causes the condition in children as well as adults, however, it is rare in children under 5 years old.
Suggestive ofIt could be a condition by itself, or it could be a symptom in other conditions.Dysentery is a condition by itself.
Major Causes* A virus* Alcohol abuse* Food allergies to specific foods.* Diabetes* Irritable diseases• Consuming food items that perturb the digestive system* Infection caused by bacteria or other microorganisms* Use of laxatives* Medications* Thyroid that is overactive (hyperthyroidism)* Therapy with radiation* Running* Certain cancers* Surgery for the digestive system* Trouble in absorbing certain nutrients, also known as “malabsorption”* Bacterial infection* Infections caused by viruses* Parasitic worms* Protozoa
SymptomsFluidy movements, weakness in abdominal muscles, dehydration and cramps (may or might not).Motion accompanied by blood and mucous abdominal discomfort and weakness, cramping, vomiting and loss of water.
Cramps and PainThe symptoms could or could not be caused by pain or cramps.The patient typically complains about discomfort and cramps in the lower abdomen area.
FeverThe incidence of fever is lower in diarrhea.The most common form of fever is dysentery.
EffectsThe consequences of diarrhea aren’t too dangerous, aside from the risk of dehydration.Dysentery can trigger a variety of problems if it is it is not treated.
Severe Symptoms* Weight loss* Fever* Nausea* Extreme pain throughout the abdomen, or the rectum* Diarrhoea following a return from a foreign land* Dark urine* Less than normal amounts of urine, or less wet diapers than normal in the child* Heart rate rapid* Headaches* Dry skin* Irritability* Confusion* Feeling weak* Nausea* Weightloss* Delirium* Convulsions* Coma
Effect on Nutritional StatusLess harmfulThe negative effect of nutrition than acute watery diarrhea.
Morbidity/ MortalityThere is no significant morbidity or mortality that is related to diarrhea by itself. However, many deaths are caused by excessive dehydration.Dysentery is a major cause of mortality and morbidity that is associated with diarrhea. Around 15% of all diarrhea-related episodes in children less than 5 years of age are dysenteric but they are responsible for up to 25 percent of all deaths due to diarrhea.
TreatmentHome RemediesThe Over the Counter medicineOral Rehydration Solution (ORS)AntibioticsHome Remedies if mildOver the Counter medicine for mildOral Rehydration Solution (ORS)AntibioticsAmoebicidal drugs
Antibiotic TreatmentDiarrhea is not a need for antibiotics. Solutions for oral rehydration and intravenous fluid therapy can be utilized.Dysentery usually requires antibiotic treatment. Intravenous antibiotics can be required for severely ill children.
Effectiveness of TreatmentThe antimicrobials used to treat diarrhea, do not eliminate the toxins left behind.Treatment for dysentery can eliminate the pathogen that causes the infection. It can also reduce the inflammation.
If there is no treatmentIf untreated, the patient recuperates in 2 or 3 days as the body’s immune system works against the infection.This could be potentially fatal.
Steps to takeRehydration strategies that are safe, taking liquid diets, staying clear of high risk foods, non-pasteurized milk but most important, drink pure and clean water.Antibiotics are prescribed in conjunction with intravenous fluids, the proper care and rest are necessary.

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