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Inflammation of the peritoneum due to infection by bacteria or fungi. Causes include liver disease, perforation of the gastrointestinal tract or biliary tract, and peritoneal dialysis. Patients usually present with abdominal pain and tenderness, fever, chills, and nausea and vomiting. It is an emergency medical condition that requires prompt medical attention and treatment

Symptoms of Peritonitis

The following features are indicative of Peritonitis:
  • abdominal pain or tenderness
  • bloating
  • feeling of fullness in abdomen
  • fever
  • nausea and vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhea
  • low urine output
  • thirst
  • inability to pass stool or gas
  • fatigue
  • cloudy dialysis fluid
  • white flecks, strands or clumps in the dialysis fluid
  • weight loss
  • swelling
  • bowel obstruction
  • blood clotting abnormalities
  • anemia
  • fever
  • pain
  • trouble swallowing
  • swelling of the neck or face
It is possible that Peritonitis shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Peritonitis

The following are the most common causes of Peritonitis:
  • medical procedures like peritoneal dialysis
  • ruptured appendix
  • stomach ulcer
  • perforated colon
  • pancreatitis
  • diverticulitis
  • trauma

Risk Factors for Peritonitis

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Peritonitis:
  • peritoneal dialysis
  • family history

Prevention of Peritonitis

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Peritonitis. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • wash hands thoroughly
  • clean skin with antiseptic
  • wear surgical mask
  • do not sleep with pets

Occurrence of Peritonitis

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Peritonitis cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Rare between 10K - 50K cases

Common Age Group

Peritonitis can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Peritonitis can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Peritonitis

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Peritonitis:
  • Blood tests: To determine bacteria in body
  • Imaging tests: To check for holes or other perforations in gastrointestinal tract
  • Peritoneal fluid analysis: To check the count of white blood cells

Doctor for Diagnosis of Peritonitis

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Peritonitis:
  • General surgeon

Complications of Peritonitis if untreated

Yes, Peritonitis causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Peritonitis is left untreated:
  • bloodstream infection
  • sepsis
  • shock
  • organ failure

Procedures for Treatment of Peritonitis

The following procedures are used to treat Peritonitis:
  • Surgery: To remove infected tissue

Self-care for Peritonitis

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Peritonitis:
  • Wash hands thoroughly: Helps reducing peritonitis associated with peritoneal dialysis
  • Clean skin with antiseptic: Helps reducing infections
  • Wear surgical mask: Helps reducing peritonitis associated with peritoneal dialysis
  • Do not sleep with pets: Helps treating infections

Time for Treatment of Peritonitis

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Peritonitis to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Disease cannot be treated but only maintained or effects reduced

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Peritonitis.

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