Amebiasis, aka amebic dysentery, is an intestinal infection caused by Entamoeba histolytica amoeba parasite. It is a contagious health condition, commonly spread via infected fecal matter contaminated food and water.
Amebiasis is found worldwide, but hanging out in tropical areas with poor sanitation means your chances are greater for contracting this parasite infection. And because this amoeba can live in its cyst form outside the body for extended periods, a mode of dissemination is human waste fertilizer.
Some other health and situational conditions that raise your risk for amebic dysentery are:
- anal intercourse
- institutional living
- suppressed immune system ~ corticosteroids
- compromised immune system ~ cancer, AIDS
- bloody stools
- intestinal gas
- loss of appetite
- severe dehydration
- stomach pain, cramping
- unintentional weight loss
These symptoms typically last a couple weeks, but flare ups are likely if amebiasis is left untreated.
One possible complication of amebiasis is amebic liver abscess, which is pus collection in your liver caused by the parasite. It’s transport to your liver is by way of the bloodstream.
One telltale symptom indicating you might have liver involved amebiasis is stabbing upper right abdominal pain. Additional symptoms caused by amebic liver abscess include:
Without treatment, amebic liver abscess may rupture and spread into your abdominal cavity, lungs or lung lining, sac around heart and brain. And an abscess rupture could cause death. Sometimes, abscesses are drained to relieve severe abdominal pain.