Complications involving the bowel and bladder are often attributed to acute infections that can be easily resolved with antibiotic therapy. For some individuals, however, the complication may be associated with the development of a more complex gastrointestinal complication.
Hemolytic uremic syndrome is a complication of the gastrointestinal tract that can often lead to progressive complications and, ultimately, lead to death. While commonly found in children, hemolytic uremic syndrome does occur in adults as well. In many cases, the development of bloody diarrhea is the first indication the complication is present, often resulting from an infection of E. coli.
Beyond bloody diarrhea, individuals who suffer from this complication also complain of abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting and usually will suffer from high fever. As the infection progresses, development of renal failure sets in and, in some cases, the child or adult may develop a seizure complication. Oddly enough, in some adults, the development of hemolytic uremic syndrome may result in no symptoms at all.
To diagnose the complication associated with Hemolytic uremic syndrome, blood work will reveal the individual is highly anemic, blood will be found in the urine, over abundance of white blood cells is usually found and the stool sample will test positive for E. coli.
While Hemolytic uremic syndrome can be life threatening, many patients spontaneously recover with little treatment. Managing symptoms, including those that lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and the development of abnormal central nervous system complications, is most important. As a general rule, the individual will require hospitalization for up to two weeks. While the end result may lead to a life threatening complication, only 10 percent of all cases progress to this level. In the long term, complication involving permanent kidney damage and cardiovascular disorders, such as hypertension, are quite common.
As with any complication involving the gastrointestinal system, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as the symptoms become complex and result in extreme illness. Because infections that lead to Hemolytic uremic syndrome can be associated with deadly viral or bacterial infections, the diagnosis and treatment plan should be established early in the onset of disease.
With proper management of symptoms, many patients who suffer from Hemolytic uremic syndrome will recover without much medical intervention, although there may be long term health complications. Without proper management of symptoms and infection, the end result may lead to a life threatening complication for both adults and children who are stricken with Hemolytic uremic syndrome.