E. Coli Symptoms - Everything To Know About The Bacteria E. Coli



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How to Kill E. Coli in Your Body

Three Parts:

E. coli, orEscherichia coli, is a bacteria that is present mostly in the digestive system. The bacteria is actually anormalflora of the intestines; it is harmless and beneficial in most cases; however, some strains may cause serious bacterial infections, leading to diarrhea and possible kidney failure. Although there are no specific medications to "cure" the illness, there are measures you can take to avoid dehydration and to relieve your symptoms.

Steps

KillingE. Coli

  1. Recognize the symptoms.E. colipredominantly affects the gastrointestinal tracts in adults. It causes either watery diarrhea or, in more severe cases, bloody diarrhea that can lead to other complications such as kidney failure.E. coliinfections occur most frequently while traveling to areas of the world with poorer hygiene than we have here in North America. It is transmitted via fecal contamination of food, water, etc.Symptoms of anE. coliinfection include:
    • Abdominal pain
    • Nausea and/or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Fever
    • Abdominal cramps
  2. Do not take anit-diarrheals and antibiotics.It is important to understand thatE. coliinfections are not able to be "cured" (and the bacteria cannot be "killed") with typical medical drugs such as antibiotics or even antidiarrheals. Rather, the treatment offered by medical professionals is "supportive," meaning it consists of rest, fluids, and medications for symptom management such as pain and/or nausea.
    • This is counter-intuitive for many people, who often expect medical drugs as a "cure" for illnesses such as anE. coliinfection.
    • Antidiarrheal medications are not helpful because they delay the passage of the infection and a worsening of symptoms. Your best bet, counter-intuitive as it may seem, is to allow the diarrhea to continue to get rid of the infection as soon as possible.
    • Antibiotics are also not recommended — they have been shown to worsen the illness, because when the bacteria are killed they release more toxins, resulting in greater damage.
  3. Kill the bacteria naturally with your immune system.Because antibiotics are not advised inE. coliinfections, it will be up to your immune system to kill off the infection. Fortunately, your immune system is very capable of doing this, given adequate time and proper support. Rest, follow your doctor's instructions, and allow your immune system to do its job!
    • Talk to your doctor about the supportive measures you can take to get through the infection. It will be important to stay hydrated as you will be losing lots of fluids while you are sick.

Treating anE. ColiInfection

  1. Rest.It may sound simple, but rest is key to recovering as quickly as possible from anE. coliinfection. Since there is not much that traditional medical treatments can do, rest becomes very important to allow your body the energy to best fight off the infection using its own natural defences.
    • Take time off work or school. Not only is it important to stay home and rest for your own recovery, it is also important as a means to avoid contaminating others in the workplace or school. You should remain isolated socially becauseE. Coliinfections are very contagious and you do not want to be responsible for infecting your entire office or class with this unpleasant bacteria.
    • Be sure to wash your hands frequently, and to avoid others as much as possible for the duration of your illness (which should get better within a week or so).
    • E. coliis transmitted through fecal matter, so wash your hands extra thoroughly after using the restroom.
  2. Stay hydrated.E. coliinfections tend to cause lots of diarrhea. As a result, is important to rehydrate yourself with water and fluids containing carbohydrates and electrolytes to compensate for the fluids lost in the diarrhea.
    • Dehydration is more serious in extremes of age. If the individual withE. coliis an infant or a senior citizen, consider taking him to his doctor for treatment.
  3. Try using oral rehydration salts.Oral rehydration salts (ORS) is a powder containing salts and electrolytes that are needed in the body. It is more effective than plain water when it comes to rehydration. The powder is mixed in a litre of water and then the solution should be drunk of the next 24 hours. The powder can be obtained online and in pharmacies and most grocery stores.
  4. Go to the hospital for cases of severe dehydration.You will be given intravenous fluids to replace the electrolytes and ions that have been lost during diarrhea and vomiting. An indication of when to go to hospital is when you can no longer tolerate fluids by mouth because of nausea, or when you are having diarrhea more than four times a day. If in doubt, it is best to see a medical professional to assess whether IV fluids can help to speed your recovery.
    • Electrolytes are substances that are found in the body and help to maintain the normal functioning of the body.
    • You may be required to get a blood transfusion in cases of severe bloody diarrhea (which some strains ofE. colican cause). Your blood will be checked to determine hemoglobin levels. This helps to know the amount of blood that has been lost so that the blood can be transfused back.
  5. Take pain and anti-nauseant medications as needed.To help with symptom relief, you can take pain medication such as Acetaminophen (Tylenol) for abdominal pain. This is available over-the-counter at your local drugstore or pharmacy. Follow the dosing directions on the bottle. You can also try anti-nauseant medications such as Dimenhydrinate (Gravol) to help combat nausea.
  6. Modify your diet.As your condition improves, start with a low fibre diet at first. This will help the digestive tract restore its normal function more quickly. If you have too much fibre, your stool will bulk up and pass through your digestive tract too quickly — a process that is already likely happening with your condition. You can add more fibre back into your diet after the diarrhea has subsided and when you are feeling better.
    • Also avoid alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol can alter your liver metabolism and it is harmful to the lining of your stomach. Caffeine worsens diarrhea by increasing dehydration.

Taking Preventive Measures

  1. Maintain hygienic measures while preparing food.This includes preparation and cooking of the food. The foods that are usually eaten raw (such as fruits and vegetables) should be thoroughly cleaned before eating to prevent ingestion of contaminated food.
    • Drinking water should be boiled if need be and should be kept in a clean place for cooling. The water that is being used for cooking needs to be clean to avoid contamination.
  2. Take caution in swimming pools.Swimming pools should be treated with chlorine and the pool water should be changed regularly. This is to avoid contamination and to ensure that it is safe for swimming.
    • Fecal contamination in pools does happen more often than most think. In a recent study by the CDC, 58% of public swimming pools tested positive for fecal contamination.This doesn't mean there isE. colipresent necessarily, but it does provide the environment for it to be transmitted.
    • If you are swimming, avoid swallowing pool water as much as possible. Also, shower after leaving the pool to greatly diminish any chances of infection.
  3. Wash your hands regularly.It is important to keep your hands clean at all times.E. coliis contagious and can be spread from one person to another through fecal contamination. Poor hygiene in the restroom can lead to the bacteria's spread.
    • Wash your hands with warm soap and water. Scrub for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Cook your food well.Ensure that your food is cooked well before consumption. If it's undercooked, don't eat it — especially beef. Cooking food thoroughly ensures that any microbe that might be present in the food are not ingested.
    • A food thermometer should be used to ensure that the food being consumed is safe. Beef is only done when it has reached an internal temperature of 160° F (71.1°C).

Community Q&A

Search
  • Question
    Is there a link between the E. coli bug and suffering from hemorrhoids?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Only in the sense that suffering from E. coli could cause diarrhea and frequent bowel movements, which can also be associated with straining on the toilet. Straining increases intra-abdominal pressure, which in the long run can result in hemorrhoids.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    I will always have E. Coli and can't go visit family, what can I do?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Seek professional medical help. Trying to solve this yourself won't do any good.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    If I have tried to treat E. coli with antibiotic drugs before and it couldn't cure it, and now I am using the prescribed method from the article, will it get rid of it?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It varies from person to person, but if this doesn't work, consider seeing a doctor.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    Is it true that people have E. Coli in their bladders at all times?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Not in the bladder; different strains of E. Coli naturally live throughout the intestines of humans and some animals. The E. Coli helps to break down and digest food. However, when a foreign strain of E. Coli is introduced into the human body through poorly washed vegetables, under-cooked meat, or otherwise, it can be harmful.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    Does E. coli affect the skin/nails?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    No, E. coli doesn't affect those parts of the body.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    Can antibiotics ever help?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, but you should consult with your doctor before taking them.
    Thanks!
Unanswered Questions
  • I have a family member who is anemic and has had bloody liquid diarrhea for months. What should this person do?
  • How do I get rid of E. coli in my sinuses?
  • If I have E. coli in my body, what diet should I use?
  • Can an antibiotic called Xifaxan help IBS?
  • Is there any possible connection between coliform contaminated well water and arterial pulmonary hypertension?
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Date: 06.12.2018, 15:06 / Views: 33545