The two types of peritonitis, (literally, the inflammation of the thin membrane covering the organs inside of the abdominal wall and lining it, known as the peritoneum), are known as primary and secondary peritonitis. While both can be very serious, secondary peritonitis is more common and is caused an infection coming into the peritoneum via the biliary or gastrointestinal tract.
The less common form, known as primary peritonitis, is caused by infection from the blood and lymph nodes which spreads to the peritoneum. Since both types of peritonitis are quite dangerous and potentially life threatening if not quickly diagnosed and treated, please be extremely alert and responsible to get immediate medical attention if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
The signs and symptoms of peritonitis include:
Loss of appetite
Swelling and tenderness in the abdomen with pain ranging from dull aches to severe, sharp pain
Nausea and vomiting
Reduced or limited urine output
Inability to pass gas or stool
Liver disease is a major factor in causing primary peritonitis, as the build up of fluid in the abdomen can create an environment conducive to the growth of bacteria.
Among the many causes of secondary peritonitis are tears or holes in the biliary or gastrointestinal tract which allow enzymes, bile and or bacteria to seep into the peritoneum. These holes or tears can be a result of a number of different conditions, including: pancreatitis, a ruptured appendix, stomach ulcer, Crohn's disease, or diverticulitis. Another possible cause is peritoneal dialysis. During this process, blood vessels in the peritoneum are used to filter waste from your blood if the kidneys are ill-equipped to perform this function.
This condition may be treated with surgery and/or medication. For more on this topic please consult your physician or follow the link below: