The small intestine, also known as small bowel, plays a vital role in human digestion and absorption of nutrients. However, it is also prone to various infectious and inflammatory disorders that can disrupt its normal functioning. This long read discusses major small intestine infections in detail along with symptoms, causative factors and effective treatment options.
Understanding Small Intestine Infections
Our small intestine plays an important role in digesting food and absorbing nutrients. However, it can sometimes get sick due to infections or diseases. This blog talks about common problems that affect the small intestine in a simple way.
What is the small intestine?
The small intestine is a long tube inside our belly connecting the stomach to the large intestine. It has three parts – duodenum, jejunum and ileum. Finger-like projections called villi inside increase its absorbing area. Special juices from the liver and pancreas help break down food into small particles in the duodenum. The jejunum and ileum absorb these into the blood.
What causes short-term infections?
– Germs: Bacteria, viruses or parasites from contaminated food or water can cause diarrhoea, vomiting and belly pain for 1-2 weeks. Drinking lots of oral rehydration solution helps recover fast.
– Salmonella: Eating raw eggs or chicken carrying this bacteria leads to fever, diarrhoea and pain for a week. Antibiotics may be needed in severe cases.
What causes long-term problems?
– Celiac disease: Eating gluten harms the walls of genetically susceptible people. Following a gluten-free diet lifelong is the only treatment.
– Crohn’s disease: It causes ongoing inflammation anywhere in the gut. Medicines and diet control symptoms.
When to see the doctor?
Consult if belly pain, fever or bloody stool continue more than 2 weeks. Losing weight without reason or nutritional deficiencies despite eating properly also need checking. Tests help identify the exact cause for suitable management.
Who can treat complex cases?
Dr. Sayandev DasGupta is a famous laparoscopic surgeon in Kolkata dealing with intestinal procedures skillfully for over 30 years. He manages complicated cases of IBD, intestinal TB, blockages or fistulas very well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the length of the small intestine?
A. The total average length of the small intestine in adults is about 6 meters.
Q. Can infections recur after treatment?
A. Yes, if the underlying cause is not addressed, infections like SIBO may recur requiring long term management.
Q. How is Celiac disease diagnosed?
A. Through blood tests to detect antibodies and biopsy of small intestine showing damage to villi.
In summary, though short-lived germ infections are common, persistent underlying issues should be addressed properly or else symptoms tend to recur. Timely diagnosis and expert guidance are important for treating small intestine problems and preventing complications in the long run.
If you need any expert opinion or treatment for intestinal issues, you can consult Professor Dr. Sayandev Dasgupta at his clinic in Kolkata.