What is Peritonitis?
An inflammation of the peritoneum is known as Peritonitis. Peritoneum is essentially a thin layer of tissue which covers the inside of your abdomen and most of the other organs as well. The inflammation usually happens due to a bacterial or fungal infection. This can also be caused due to an abdominal injury, a treatment device like a feeding tube or dialysis catheter or some other underlying medical condition.
There are two main types of Peritonitis that experts essentially know of are:
- Primary spontaneous peritonitis
- Secondary peritonitis
There are quite a few Peritonitis symptoms that individuals must know about. It must be noted that the symptoms of this condition depend upon the underlying cause of the infection of it. We have listed some of the most common symptoms across the two different types below for your reference and knowledge:
- Experiencing Diarrhoea
- A Tenderness in the abdomen
- Feeling of Nausea and vomiting
- A severe pain in the abdomen which gets worse with any kind of touch or motion
- A Distention or bloating in the abdomen
- Experiencing Constipation or being unable to pass gas
- Having high Fever and chills
- Minimal urine output
- Constant feeling of Fatigue
- Feeling Excessive thirst all the time
- A Loss of appetite
Who is at Risk?
There are various Peritonitis risk factors as it can happen to anyone due to multiple reasons. Because of this it becomes difficult to point out who is at a risk for it and who is not. However, experts have been able to identify certain possible risk factors related to this. We have mentioned them below for your reference and understanding of the same:
- An individual who has a liver disease known as cirrhosis
- Someone who has faced a kidney failure
- Someone who has suffered from some injury primarily from getting hit in the stomach or nearby.
There are many factors that lead to Peritonitis causes which have been identified by health experts. These differ depending on the type that you have been affected by. We have discussed below for your understanding some of these common causes in details:
- A ruptured index
- Any kind of abdominal wound or injury
- A perforated colon
- A stomach ulcer
- Cirrhosis of the liver or any other type of disease of the liver
- Inflammation of the pancreas of pancreatitis
- Infection of the intestines, gallbladder or the bloodstream
- Crohn’s disease
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Invasive medical procedures like surgery and others.
How is Peritonitis diagnosed?
For Peritonitis diagnosis, a Peritonitis doctor will need to perform a certain number of Peritonitis tests as there is no one test to understand what is causing this to happen. As mentioned, the doctor may then have to conduct multiple tests to get to the root cause of the problem but please ensure you get medical attention at the earliest:
- The doctor will first ask you about your medical history and then go on to conduct a physical exam by pressing or touching your abdomen to see if it causes the patient any discomfort
- A complete blood test will be done to measure the white blood cells in the body
- CT Scans and X-rays also help.
How is Peritonitis treated?
There are different methods for Peritonitis treatment. The treatment can only begin once the underlying cause of the inflammation has been identified. We have mentioned in brief the process of treatment:
- The doctor may need to conduct surgery in case of an inflamed appendix or abscess
- Antibiotics to help fight infection and pain
- Dialysis is done in case of kidney
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How can Peritonitis be prevented?
Prevention of Peritonitis can be done by keeping some simple measures in mind. These can be done easily in consultation with your doctor. Some of these have been mentioned below for your understanding and consideration:
- In case if you are undergoing any kind of dialysis then ensure that before you touch the catheter wash your hands and fingernails properly
- Ensure that the skin around the catheter is clean at all times and is infection free
- Understand from your doctor how you need to store your medical supplies and how to care for them.