181494 Health Library | Health and Wellness | Wellmont Health System
  • Amoebic Dysentery



    Amoebic dysentery is an intestinal illness associated with stomach pain, bloody stools, and fever. This condition can be treated.


    Amoebic dysentery is caused by a parasite called Entamoeba histolytica . You may develop amoebic dysentery if you:
    • Put something in your mouth that has touched the stool of a person infected with E histolytica
    • Swallow water or food that has been contaminated with E histolytica
    • Touch cysts (eggs) from E histolytica -contaminated surfaces and bring them to your mouth
    Digestive Pathway
    Digestive pathway
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

    Risk Factors

    Factors that increase your risk of getting amoebic dysentery include:
    • Living in or traveling to developing countries, places that have poor sanitary conditions, or tropical or subtropical areas
    • Living in institutions
    • Having anal-sexual intercourse
    • Household contact


    If you experience any of these symptoms do not assume it is due to amoebic dysentery. These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions.
    • Loose stools
    • Bloody stools
    • Nausea
    • Weight loss
    • Stomach pain
    • Fever
    • Pain on your right, upper side


    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
    Your doctor may need tests of your bodily fluids and waste products. This can be done with:
    • Blood tests
    • Stool samples


    Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:


    Several antibiotics are available to treat amoebic dysentery. Probiotics may also be helpful.
    Several antibiotics are available to treat amoebic dysentery. Probiotics may also be helpful.


    To help reduce your chances of getting amoebic dysentery, take the following steps when traveling to a country that has poor sanitary conditions:
    • Drink only bottled water or water that has been boiled for at least one minute
    • Do not eat fresh fruit or vegetables that you do not peel yourself
    • Do not eat or drink unpasteurized milk, cheese, or dairy products
    • Do not eat or drink anything sold by street vendors


    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/

    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases http://www.niaid.nih.gov


    Manitoba HealthCommunicable Disease Control Unit http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/cdc/index.html

    Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca


    Amebiasis (amoebic dysentery). New York State Department of Health website. Available at: http://www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/communicable/amebiasis/fact%5Fsheet.htm . Updated October 2011. Accessed January 7, 2013.

    Amoebic dysentery. DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed . Updated September 18, 2012. Accessed January 7, 2013.

    Parasites–amebiasis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/amebiasis/index.html . Updated November 2, 2010. Accessed January 7, 2013.

    Revision Information

  • Join WellZones today.

    Make a Change For LifeLearn more

    Wellmont LiveWell is creating a new tradition of wellness in the mountains by providing individuals with tools and encouragement to live healthier lifestyles.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease early and prevent heart attacks with HeartSHAPE® - a painless, non-invasive test that takes pictures of your heart to scan for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.

  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.