AARC Health, Jagriti Vihar, Meerut - 250004
The difference between dysentery and diarrhoea is presence on tenesmus in the former. While the frequency of motions increases in both the disorders, in dysentery the patient needs to apply force to evacuate his bowels. This is called tenesmus. Dysentery is compared with the disease pravahika described in Ayurveda.
Dysentery is caused either by bacilli Shigella dysenteriae (called bacillary dysentery) or by parasite Entamoeba histolytica (called amoebic dysentery). These organisms usually enter the human body through contaminated foods, water and milk. Poor sanitation and uncleanlines usually provide conducive environment for their spread.
The name Pravahika (as dysentery is referred to in Ayurveda) comes from the word ‘pravahan’ which means tenesmus. According to Ayurveda, pravahika is caused by vitiated kapha and vata doshas. Kapha aggravated in stomach is pulled down by the aggravated vata into the intestines. This makes the stools sticky and so the body needs to push hard to evacuate the bowels and eliminate the sticky stools. Depending upon which particular Dosha is vitiated, atisaar has been classified into Vataj, Pittaj, Kaphaj, and Raktaj types in Ayurveda. Vataj pravahika (caused mainly by vitiated Vayu) is marked by painful stikcy motions with foam. Pittaj pravahika (caused mainly by vitiated Pitta) causes motions with burning sensation at anus and thirst. Kaphaj pravahika (caused mainly by vitiated Kapha) shows sticky, oily, whitish motions and lazy feeling. Raktaj pravahika is marked by blood stained stools.