What Is Giardiasis?
Giardiasis, also known as beaver fever, is a zoonotic parasitic disease which is caused by the protozoan Giarda Lamblia.
It is an intestinal infection which may cause cramps and diarrhea. One of the most common causes of water borne diseases, Giardiasis can be transmitted via infected food and person to person contact.
The infection usually clears up on its own in a few weeks. However, intestinal problems may persist and therefore may require treatment.
Treatment involves intake of certain drugs, however, not all drugs work against the parasite as they become resistant to it. The best defense is therefore prevention and avoidance of infected food and people.
A number of complications may arise as a result of Giardiasis. They include:
- Failure to thrive.
- Lactose intolerance.
Causes Of Giardiasis:
Giardiasis is caused by a parasite which is found in animal and human feces. Moreover, they are also found in contaminated food, water and soil.
Consumption of these parasite or close contact with someone already infected tends to cause Giardiasis.
Sine heat kills these parasites; developing Giardiasis from contaminated food is unlikely. However, handling food with poor hygiene or rinsing it in contaminated water may lead to the food in becoming a source of transmission.
Certain people are at a higher risk of developing Giardiasis. They include:
- Children, since they are more likely to come into contact with feces
- People without access to safe drinking water.
- People who have anal sex, especially without condoms
Symptoms Of Giardiasis:
Possible symptoms may include:
- diarrhea or greasy stools
- loss of appetite
- abdominal cramps
- weight loss
- excessive gas
- abdominal pain
Diagnosis Of Giardiasis:
Giardiasis can be diagnosed via:
- Medical history
- Physical exam
- Taking stool samples for testing
- Enteroscopy, to examine digestive tract and taking a tissue sample
Treatment Of Giardiasis:
For those who do not exhibit any symptoms, no such treatment is required.
In case of exhibition of symptoms, the following medications are available:
- Metronidazole (Flagyl).
- Tinidazole (Tindamax).
- Nitazoxanide (Alinia).
Best defense against Giardiasis is prevention. The following steps may be taken:
- Washing hands regularly
- Avoidance of contaminated water and food
- Practicing safer sex via use of condoms.
By : Natural Health News