Information for Patients
Bacteria are living things that have only one cell. Under a microscope, they look like balls, rods, or spirals. They are so small that a line of 1,000 could fit across a pencil eraser. Most bacteria won't hurt you - less than 1 percent of the different types make people sick. Many are helpful. Some bacteria help to digest food, destroy disease-causing cells, and give the body needed vitamins. Bacteria are also used in making healthy foods like yogurt and cheese.
But infectious bacteria can make you ill. They reproduce quickly in your body. Many give off chemicals called toxins, which can damage tissue and make you sick. Examples of bacteria that cause infections include Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, and E. coli.
Antibiotics are the usual treatment. When you take antibiotics, follow the directions carefully. Each time you take antibiotics, you increase the chances that bacteria in your body will learn to resist them causing antibiotic resistance. Later, you could get or spread an infection that those antibiotics cannot cure.
Your peritoneum is the tissue that lines your abdominal wall and covers most of the organs in your abdomen. A liquid, peritoneal fluid, lubricates the surface of this tissue.
Disorders of the peritoneum are not common. They include
- Peritonitis - an inflammation of the peritoneum
- Complications from peritoneal dialysis
Your doctor may use imaging tests or lab tests to analyze the peritoneal fluid to diagnose the problem. Treatment of peritoneal disorders depends on the cause.