What is bacterial colitis?

Have you ever felt like your stomach is rumbling like the tires of an 18-wheeler truck? Or have you spent more time in the bathroom than on your couch binge watching Netflix? Well, it’s about time that we talk about one of the most common gastrointestinal problems – bacterial colitis.

What Is Bacterial Colitis?

Bacterial colitis, also known as infectious diarrhea or bacterial gastroenteritis, is an inflammation of the large intestine caused due to bacterial infection. The bacteria usually responsible for this condition are Escherichia coli, Salmonella, and Shigella. Yep, sounds like a party!

The disease can be mild with symptoms lasting a few days or severe leading to death if not treated promptly. So let’s go through what could lead up to catching this pesky bacteria.

How Do You Get It?

There are various ways by which bacterial colitis can spread:

  • Contaminated food: We’ve all heard stories about eating undercooked chicken from street stalls giving someone diarrhea so powerful it launched them into outer space.
  • Waterborne transmission: Don’t drink water from sources you don’t trust!
  • Person-to-person contact: Wash your hands every chance you get folks!
  • Unhygienic conditions: Pretty obvious.

What surprised me was that even pets such as dogs and cats can carry these bacteria! Remind me again why they’re called man’s best friend?


Bacteria colonizes on our gut lining causing inflammation which leads up to some unpleasant symptoms such as:

  1. Abdominal pain
  2. Diarrhea (even bloody at times)
  3. Cramps
  4. Fever/sweating/chills
  5. Dehydration

Make sure not to ignore any abdominal pain accompanying frequent bowel movements because treatment at an early stage can help avoid any major complications.

Who’s At Risk?

As they say, prevention is better than cure. This statement applies to bacterial colitis as well – it’s important to know if you fall under the higher risk category:

  • Diabetics
  • Those with a weaker immune system such as AIDS/HIV patients taking chemotherapy or everyone in 2020.
  • Infants and young children
  • The elderly (Pesky colonizers targeting them at an older age)

If you’re part of these groups, remember that it only takes one unfortunate turn for things to go south really quickly.


Now that you’ve made sure to stay clear of contaminated food and water like the plague let’s talk about some tips on how we make sure our gut bacteria friends work hard for us and not against us.

Diet Control

I’m sorry but those chicken wings from KFC aren’t doing your stomach any favors! It’s necessary to manage your diet by staying away from greasy and fatty foods which put extra strain on your gut. Opting instead for healthier alternatives such that provide fiber – possibly something cooked up by someone who can cook!

Importantly Water Intake

Drink purified water exclusively because ain’t nobody got time (or medical bills) for typhoid fever in this economy. Make sure H20 intake per day should be around 3-4 liters unless you want droughts hitting other parts of the world too…

Hand Washing Etiquette

People seriously underestimate the importance of washing hands thoroughly before eating, preparing meals or handling anything that could’ve had contact with the germs mentioned earlier.


It sounds weird but sometimes letting nature take its course isn’t always synonymous with a burn-free behind later on… Treatment options include:

  1. Medications: Doctors usually prescribe antibiotics like Ciprofloxacin, Trimethoprim/Sulfamethoxazole.
  2. IV Fluids: Additionally doctors even suggest intravenous fluids to avoid dehydration and maintain fluid balance.
  3. Intestinal Cleanse: Sometimes a stomach cleanse can be prescribed which involves drinking water salt solution which acts as a flushing agent.

It’s important to inform the doctor if any allergies or other prescriptions are being taken because sometimes medicines have conflicting side effects that aren’t too friendly with their digestive system ahead of time.


In closing, it’s necessary to remember bacterial colitis is no joke when other more immediate consequences such as high medical bills, possible surgeries looming on your horizon, miss out on work/school compensation time etc tops everything off isn’t funny either! So keeping all of these prevention techniques in check will guarantee you remain bacteria-free from here on out – well at least till the next pandemic hits…

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

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