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Giardiasis- Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Definition
Giardiasis is an intestinal illness that affects the digestive tract, is caused by a microscopic flagellated protozoan parasite called Giardia lamblia( also called as Giardia duodenalis and Giardia intestinalis) that affects the gastrointestinal tract.It is a fairly general cause of diarrheal illness, belching, gas and cramps. Although these symptoms are very unpleasant, the illness isn't generally dangerous.The parasite is connected itself to the lining of the tiny intestines in humans, where it weaken the body's absorption of carbohydrates & fats from digested meals. Once an animal or person has been contaminated with Giardia intestinalis , the parasite exists in the intestine and is moved in the stool. It can able to live outside the body and in the environment for longer times because the parasite is protected by an outer shell.
Giardia infection has become recognized as one of the most commonly occur waterborne disease . Infection occurs by the ingestion of cysts, an inactive form of Giardia lamblia, in infected water, food, or by the hands or fomites.
Causes
Giardiasis is easy to detect by drink contaminated water . Many animals have Giardia in their feces and may move this parasite into rivers, streams and springs in rural areas where water supplies become contaminated with raw sewage. Giardia can be transmitted by inadvertent putting something into your mouth that has contaminated with feces of a person or animal infected with Giardia ,swallowing amateur water in swimming pools, hot tubs, jacuzzis, fountains, lakes, rivers, springs, ponds, or streams that can be infected with sewage or feces from humans or animals,using uncooked food contaminated with Giardia .
Giardia infection is occur due to the parasite called Giardia lamblia. It appears in two types.

  • Trophozoite:It is appears in active form .



  • Cyst: It is exist in an inactive form.


Cysts are responsible for causing the signs and symptoms of giardiasis.It can live for longer periods outside the body and can exist several months in cold water. Infection appears by the ingestion of cysts in polluted water, food, or by the fecal oral way. In the body stomach acid triggers the cyst & the cyst releases trophozoites (single cyst produces 2 trophozoites). Trophozoites remaining in the cavity of a tubular proximal tiny bowel where they can easily attached to the mucosa by a ventral sucking disk .

Symptoms
The symptoms of giardiasis may appear from 3 to 25 days after contamination but generally occurs within 10 days. Giardiasis can cause a variety of symptoms such as abdominal cramps, excess amounts of intestinal gas,an enlarged belly from the gas , appetite loss , upset nausea and vomiting ,headache ,flatulence , bloated  sensation , greasy stools that tend to float .These disorder may cause weight loss and dehydration.
People exposed to giardia may feel mild or complicated diarrhea, or in some cases no symptoms at all. Mild fever is rarely present.
Giardiasis impacts the body's ability to absorb fats from the food, so the diarrhea have unabsorbed fats. It means that the diarrhea floats, is shiny, and smells very bad. Some times people will have chronic diarrhea up to several weeks or months, with continual weight loss.
Treatments
Giardiasis is generally cured with a medicine called Flagyl an antibiotics. It's usually taken three times a day for 5 to 10 days. Side effects may include a nausea.It is recommended not to drink any kind of alcohol ,if Flagyl is using. This medicine is not prescribed in the early stages of pregnancy,because some of the drugs used to cure the infection can be dangerous to the fetus.
Albenzazole, metronidazole or furizolidone are generally recommended as a antibiotic to treat giardiasis.But side by side some prevention should be taken such as carefully wash hands thoroughly after toilet visits,carefully dispose of sewage wastes so they don't contaminate surface water or groundwater,avoid consuming untreated water from springs, streams or lakes.
A child with diarrhea from giardiasis may lose excess fluid in the stool and become dehydrated. It is recommended to drinks plenty of fluids - but no caffeinated beverages, they dehydrated the body faster.
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