Peritonitis

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Overview of Peritonitis

Peritonitis is characterized by inflammation of peritoneum layer of the abdomen. Peritoneum is the thin layer that covers the abdomen and lines the organs present in the abdomen. Peritonitis can occur due to injury or infection. It is a medical emergency as inflammation due to an infection can spread rapidly and widely to other parts of the body. Peritonitis is a painful situation and requires proper medical attention. Any kind of perforation in the peritoneum layer can lead to peritonitis. This inflammation may occur due to conditions that may directly damage the peritoneum layer or due to secondary reasons that may involve any medical condition that may lead to inflammation of peritoneum.

Causes and Risk Factors of Peritonitis

The primary cause of peritonitis is infection, bacterial or fungal of the peritoneum. Secondary peritonitis may occur due to other medical conditions such as burst of appendix, ulcer in the stomach or intestine, gunshot wound to abdomen or accidental injury of peritoneum and inflammation of pancreas. Chronic digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease may be considered as a risk factor for peritonitis. Scarring of liver or cirrhosis may lead to peritonitis.

Signs and Symptoms of Peritonitis

The common symptoms of peritonitis include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, abdominal pain and tenderness, bloating, diarrhea, fever, increased thirst, decrease urine output, constipation and fatigue.