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How does peritonitis affect the body?

At first, peritonitis causes abdominal swelling and pain. As the infection associated with peritonitis spreads, sepsis, a kind of body-wide infection, may result. This can lead to a condition called septic shock, in which the body's organs gradually shut down. Someone with peritonitis can also experience bacteremia, which is an infection that spreads throughout the person's bloodstream. These system-wide infections are life-threatening. For these reasons, it is important to treat peritonitis promptly.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.