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General Practice 2023

Pseudomembranous colitis: what é, symptoms and treatment

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Pseudomembranous colitis: what é, symptoms and treatment
Pseudomembranous colitis: what é, symptoms and treatment

Pseudomembranous colitis is an inflammation of the final portion of the intestine, the colon and rectum, and is often associated with the use of moderate to broad spectrum antibiotics, such as Amoxicillin and Azithromycin, and the proliferation of Clostridium difficile bacteria., which releases toxins and leads to symptoms such as diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain.

Pseudomembranous colitis is more common in patients with a weakened immune system and, therefore, can arise in the elderly, children, patients with autoimmune diseases or who are undergoing chemotherapy. This condition has a cure, and it is usually indicated to change or discontinue the antibiotic and use probiotics to balance the intestinal microbiota.

Main symptoms

Pseudomembranous colitis symptoms are related to Clostridium difficile proliferation and toxin production and release, leading to the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea with a very liquid consistency;
  • Intense abdominal cramps;
  • Nausea;
  • Fever above 38ÂșC;
  • Stool with pus or mucus.

The diagnosis of pseudomembranous colitis is made by a gastroenterologist by evaluating the signs and symptoms presented by the person and performing some tests, such as colonoscopy, stool examination or biopsy of material collected from the intestinal wall.

How the treatment is done

Treatment for pseudomembranous colitis should be guided by a gastroenterologist and is usually done only with stopping the antibiotic that caused the problem.However, in cases where the colitis does not go away after finishing the antibiotic, the doctor may recommend the use of another antibiotic, such as Metronidazole or Vancomycin, as they are specific to eliminate the bacteria that is developing in the intestine.

In more severe cases, where no previous treatment has helped relieve the symptoms of pseudomembranous colitis, your doctor may recommend treatment with surgery to remove a small portion of the affected intestine or try a stool transplant to balance the gut microbiota. See how the feces transplant is done.

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