Peritonitis is inflammation of the peritoneum. Peritoneum is a thin protective layer of the abdominal wall and most abdominal organs. Know the symptoms, causes, treatment, etc.
What is Peritonitis?
Peritonitis is an infection or inflammation of the peritoneum. Peritoneum is a thin layer of tissue that is textured like silk to coat the inner abdominal wall. This peritoneum also functions as a protector from the organs in the stomach.
Generally caused by stomach injury, bacterial infection, or fungal infection. Treatment for this disease is usually with the use of intravenous antibiotics or surgery in more broken conditions. If left unchecked, this disease can be life threatening.
Symptoms of Peritonitis
Symptoms vary in each person depending on the underlying causes and other medical conditions. Here are some of the most common symptoms of peritonitis:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fast thirsty
- Low urine output
- No appetite
- Difficulty defecating
- Difficult to fart
- Intense abdominal pain
- Stomach pain when moving or being touched
If you do peritoneal dialysis, the result is a cloudy dialysis fluid with white spots. More severe symptoms may occur depending on the level of inflammation in the peritoneum.
Also Read: 10 Health Conditions That Cause Lower Stomach Pain
When to see a doctor?
If you do not immediately see a doctor, peritonitis will be dangerous for your body. Contact your doctor immediately if you feel the following symptoms:
- Stomach feels soft
- Feeling that stomach pain is getting worse
- Pee a little
- Can not defecate
The doctor will check your dialysis fluid. Dialysis fluid is a mixture of minerals and sugar dissolved in water and then flowed into your stomach using a catheter. The results of this dialysis fluid will be an indicator of whether you have peritoneal inflammation.
Causes of Peritonitis
The most common causes are bacterial infections or fungal infections. Inflammation of the peritoneum may also occur due to complications from a medical condition that you already have, such as:
- Complications of gastrointestinal surgery.
- Paracentesis, a side effect of the procedure to draw fluid from the stomach or the use of food tubes.
- Colonoscopy or endoscopy complications.
- Complications of a stomach injury.
- Appendix complications.
- Complications of liver cirrhosis.
- Complications of pelvic inflammation.
- Complications of other intestinal diseases.
- Complications of Crohn’s disease.
- Infection in the gallbladder, intestine, or bloodstream.
- Side effects of surgery such as treatment for kidney failure.
Other causes of peritonitis include:
- Side effects of peritoneal dialysis use a catheter to remove waste from the blood because of impaired kidney function.
- There is a ruptured appendix, as in the case of peptic ulcers and hollow intestines. This condition can occur due to bacteria.
- Pancreatitis, inflammation of the pancreas which can then infect the peritoneum.
- Diverticulitis, an infection of the small tract in the digestive tract.
This disease can also develop due to a buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity, so bacteria can more easily enter. Other underlying medical conditions such as complications of liver disease can also trigger inflammation in the stomach protective tissue.
Peritonitis Risk Factors
If you have suffered from peritonitis before, then the risk of experiencing it is higher than those who have never suffered inflammation of this peritoneum. Other medical history such as cirrhosis also increases the risk of this disease.
The doctor will carry out a physical examination and medical history. The doctor will examine your stomach too, if you experience certain symptoms, further tests are needed.
The following is a diagnosis of peritonitis:
- Blood Test: Complete blood count (CBC) is needed to measure the number of white blood cells. This examination can be used as an indicator if there is inflammation or infection.
- Fluid Analysis: Your doctor will take a fluid sample from your stomach to help identify bacterial infections.
- CT Scan and X-Ray: Examination to find out the condition of your peritoneum in more detail.
Other additional tests may be needed, such as with dialysis fluid. If the result of cloudy dialysis fluid, then it shows symptoms of this disease.
Also Read: 13 Symptoms of Colon Cancer to Watch Out for!
Types of Peritonitis
- Spontaneous Bacterial Peritonitis (SBP): Spontaneous peritonitis due to a fluid infection in the peritoneal cavity or perforation (rupture) in the stomach.
- Secondary Peritonitis: Inflammation of the peritoneum due to certain infections that have spread from the digestive tract.
After making a diagnosis, the doctor will give an explanation of what type you are suffering from. Your doctor will also give the best treatment and treatment advice for you.
Treatment of Peritonitis
How to treat peritonitis is to know the cause in advance. Conditions that are based on bacterial infections, usually treated with antibiotics or painkillers. If you experience a type of secondary peritonitis or result from another underlying medical condition, then you must be hospitalized.
The following treatments are the most recommended:
- Antibiotics: Intravenous (IV) antibiotics or injection fluids are used to prevent infection from spreading. The dose and duration of this antibiotic are used according to age, disease severity, and other medical conditions.
- Surgery: Surgical surgery is also needed in conditions of more severe inflammation of the peritoneum. Surgery is performed to remove the infected tissue from spreading. Usually, surgery is performed under conditions due to appendicitis.
- Other Medical Treatment: Other treatments with pain medications, intravenous fluids (IV), blood transfusions, and additional oxygen in some cases.
If the infection continues, the doctor may suggest other procedures. Care must be taken immediately before triggering serious complications.
Also Read: 8 Symptoms of an Appendix that Is Easy to Recognize (No. 4 Often Occurs)
Complications of Peritonitis
If not treated immediately, the condition will worsen and cause:
- Bloodstream infections (bacteremia).
- Infection throughout your body (sepsis).
- Hepatorenal syndrome, progressive kidney failure.
- Bowel dies.
- Septic shock.
- Bowel obstruction.
- Hepatic encephalopathy, a condition when the liver cannot release toxic substances and the brain cannot function optimally due to toxic exposure from the blood.
Prevention of Peritonitis
Generally, peritoneal inflammation occurs due to side effects of peritoneal dialysis. Peritoneal dialysis is the process of removing waste and toxic substances from the body using a catheter. If you are receiving peritoneal dialysis, note the following tips for preventing peritonitis:
- Wash hands thoroughly before touching and using a catheter.
- Clean the skin with antiseptic.
- Use a surgical mask during the peritoneal dialysis procedure.
Consult a doctor if you have a medical condition related to fluid accumulation in the stomach. Talk to your doctor about the best treatment for peritoneal dialysis catheters so they do not trigger other complications.