Escherichia coli, a microbe you need to pay attention on!

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Summer is one of the most beautiful seasons of the year! Exits for food, as well as dives in the sea and swimming pools are multiplied, but along come many germs we are exposed to. Problems such as urinary tract infection, diarrhea and food poisonings are much more common now than any other time of year! Most of the times Escherichia coli microbe is responsible for their appearance!

Escherichia coli: what it is

Escherichia coli is a bacterium that naturally exists in our gut. Most of E.coli species are not harmful, but some can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever or vomiting (1)!

Many of us associate Escherichia coli with food poisoning, but depending on the bacterial strain, pneumonia and urinary tract infections can be caused. Indeed, a 75-95% of the urinary tract infections are due to Escherichia coli! Diseases such as urinary tract infection, prostatitis and pyelonephritis are most likely to be due to this!

Some E. coli strains produce Shiga toxin (STEC), which causes damage to the intestine. Especially the strain C157: H7 can cause severe cramps, vomiting and diarrhea with bleeding.

Escherichia coli: Causes

Contaminated water

Development of this microbe from water that is not clean is very common, whether it is drinkable or is in a pool or lake we are visiting. So watch out while swimming because the innocent amount of water you may swallow by accident it may not be so innocent after all!

Although tap water passes many controls, it can sometimes create a problem that can lead to well-known gastroenteritis. Especially when we are on vacation, it is difficult to control the water we are served, the ice cubes in our drink and how the vegetables in our salads are washed!

Infected food

Many times we can be infected with Escherichia coli bacteria from foods that are not well cooked such as uncooked meat, non-pasteurized milk or cheese.

Personal hygiene

There are few times when we are infected by the bacterium because we do not pay the necessary attention to our hygiene. Since E. coli naturally exists in our gut and is excreted in the stool, if our hygiene is not right it can be easily transferred to the neighboring organs.

Good hand washing before and after our visit to the toilet is absolutely necessary, otherwise even a handshake can become dangerous if we try to eat something afterwards! The same applies if we are dealing with diaper changes in young children.

Immune system weakening

Many wonder how while this bacterium is naturally in us, it can become so dangerous. According to experts, a weakening of our immune system can make this bacterium pathogenic, and if we do not watch out, dangerous situations such as pyelonephritis (kidney infection) may occur.

For this reason, it is very important to be suspicious if we detect any of the following symptoms.

Escherichia coli: Symptoms

The onset of symptoms varies, as they may appear within the first 24 hours or become noticeable after a week. So you may see:

  • Abdominal pain or severe cramps that often break out suddenly
  • Diarrhea, mild or intense that may coexist with bleeding
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever
  • Dehydration and fatigue
  • Urticaria and burning when urinating

Some people may not show symptoms, but they can carry the germ to others. So if you notice any symptoms visit your doctor, that would recommend the appropriate tests, usually identifying Escherichia coli in the urine.

Escherichia coli: treatment

Depending on the type of Escherichia coli, the treatment may vary. For example, antibiotics may in some cases be a good solution, while others may prove dangerous and worsen the symptoms (2). For this reason, it is important for your doctor to determine the treatment to follow, depending on the results of your examinations.

It is important to relax and drink plenty of fluids to make up for the fluids that you have lost from diarrhea or vomiting, and not to accumulate bacteria in the urinary tract.

Mannose can also help with urinary tract infection, a natural disaccharide that passes through the kidneys and the urinary tract, delivers the Escherichia coli bacteria and expels it from the bladder via urine.

Escherichia coli: Prevention

In order to reduce the likelihood of infection by Escherichia coli, it is advisable to follow the following rules:

  • Cook the various raw meats and poultry well and avoid touching these or utensils touching them with fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, make sure your vegetables are thoroughly washed.
  • Wash your hands well before eating, If you’ve touched an animal, after visiting the toilet or changing baby diapers. Make sure your children are following the same rules.
  • If you often have urinary tract infection, pay particular attention to your personal hygiene and do not delay urination when you have this desire. In prevention of urinary tract infection, Cranberry and probiotics will help you a lot!

 

At Vita4you.gr you will find a great variety of products for prevention and treatment of urinary tract infection.

 

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