Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that affects the large intestine, causing abdominal pain, bloating and changes in bowel movements. The exact cause of IBS is not well understood; research suggests that many factors, including diet, stress, and previous gastrointestinal infections, may trigger it.

One type of IBS that has gained attention in recent years is postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome (PI-IBS), which occurs after a person has had a gastrointestinal infection, such as bacterial dysentery. Bacterial dysentery is an intestinal infection caused by bacteria such as Shigella, Salmonella, or Escherichia coli. The bacteria can spread through contaminated food and water and cause severe gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever.

Sometimes, a person may develop PI-IBS after recovering from a bacterial dysentery infection. This condition is thought to occur because the infection has disrupted the delicate balance of bacteria in the gut, leading to long-term changes in gut function and symptoms of IBS.

The symptoms of PI-IBS following waterborne bacterial dysentery can be similar to those of IBS, including abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. However, the symptoms may be more severe and persistent in people with PI-IBS and may last for months (or years) after the initial infection.

To diagnose PI-IBS, a healthcare provider will typically conduct a physical exam, review the person’s medical history, and perform laboratory tests to rule out other potential causes of the symptoms. Sometimes, a healthcare provider may also perform a colonoscopy or endoscopy to examine the inside of the intestine and look for abnormalities.

Treatment for PI-IBS following waterborne bacterial dysentery may include changes to the person’s diet, such as increasing fiber and reducing triggers for IBS symptoms, such as certain foods or stress. Medications, such as antispasmodics, laxatives, or antidiarrheals, may also be prescribed to manage specific symptoms. In some cases, psychological therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, may also be recommended to help manage stress and improve symptoms of IBS.

PI-IBS following waterborne bacterial dysentery is a type of IBS that occurs after a person has had a gastrointestinal infection, such as bacterial dysentery. The symptoms of PI-IBS can be similar to those of IBS but may be more severe and persistent. Treatment for PI-IBS may include changes to the person’s diet, medications, and psychological therapy and should be tailored to the individual’s specific needs and symptoms. If you are experiencing symptoms of PI-IBS, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.