Dr S. Chidambaranathan B.H.M.S, M.D Homeopathy Doctor Madurai (Treatment avail for all people around the world)
The lifecycle of Entamoeba histolytica involves active trophozoites, inactive cysts and carrier(s). When trophozoites or cysts are swallowed with contaminated foods or drinks, they reach the stomach first. There, trophozoites usually die due to the acidic nature of gastric juices. But cysts are resistant to these acids or any chemical reaction. So, they thrive and reach the large intestine, where they usually live.
- Taking food contaminated with cysts causes more risk than foods contaminated with trophozoites since cysts are resistant to gastric acid juices.
- Being close to the sufferer or to asymptomatic cyst passers carries more risk due to constant infection or re-infection.
- Taking contaminated food or drinks
- Taking vegetables and fruits which have been contaminated by the soil
- Taking non-veg foods (meat and intestines of animals – goat, pig, beef, etc.)
- From pets
- From human carriers directly to others thro’ food contamination, sharing towels, etc.
- Unhygienic conditions and poor sanitation – especially after using the toilet
Most of the cases may not have any symptoms at all and function only as carriers and also function as spreaders, polluting the areas wherever they go. The disease symptoms usually start after a period of 7-15 days of infection which is called the incubation period. The symptoms are in two forms:
2. Absorbing the food from the host or letting out toxic substances in the intestines
- Usually symptoms start with diarrhoea (watery stools) and abdominal pain (mostly in right hypochondrium)
- Poor appetite or fear of food due to abdominal pain and loose stools
- Later, with increased intensity of the infection, fever, nausea and bloody stools i.e. characteristic amoebic dysentery with slimy mucous occurs and complicate the condition
- In due course, the patient loses weight and stamina
- Sometimes allergic reactions can occur throughout the body, due to release of toxic substances or dead parasites inside the intestines
- Complications usually develop after the trophozoites enter the blood stream to infect other organs. They especially invade the liver, which purifies blood
- Anaemia due to blood loss in stools
- Septicaemia due to abscesses in intestines, liver, lung, brain, spleen, etc.
- Perforation of intestines and peritonitis which lead to shock or septicaemia
- Jaundice due to spread in liver (with liver abscess)
- Constant infection leads to appendicitis or stricture of intestines
- Constant foul smelling stools due to infected ulcers caused by amoeba
- Intestinal damage or scarring which restrict normal absorption of nutrients
- Fits or epilepsy due to spread in brain as brain abscess or cysts in brain
- Practice good sanitary conditions
- Make servers or chefs wear gloves while preparing or serving food to avoid food contamination
- Take care of drinking water – either opt for mineral water or water boiled for 20 minutes
- Wash hands before food and after using the toilet
- Cut and keep your nails clean
- Wash vegetables and fruits well in flowing water before intake or cooking
- Avoid sharing towels with infected persons
- Avoid alcohol for preventing intestinal complications while having amoebiasis
Biopsy also can point out E.H cysts or trophozoites.
Culture of the stool also can guide us for diagnosis.
Blood tests may suggest infection which may be indicated as leucocytosis (increased level of white blood cells), also it can indicate whether any damage to the liver has occurred or not.
Ultrasound scan – it should be performed when a liver abscess is suspected