Giardiasis is an infection of the small intestine caused by the parasite Giardia lamblia, and may have come into the body from ingesting contaminated food or water, or directly through touching and from the hand to the mouth. As a disorder, it is a very common condition in the tropical countries and the developing world; however, giardiasis has made some recent strides into the developed countries, spreading easily amongst people in institutions, especially among children in preschool. The giardia organism has infected and is multiplying in many seemingly clean rivers, thus this organism is being spread and transmitted by grazing animals into all areas and throughout the United States. Some of the symptoms that are associated with the disease include the appearance of a violent diarrhea and the production of a foul smelling gas when breaking wind, there can be nausea and a lot of abdominal discomfort. Weight is normally lost rapidly by kids with giardiasis in general the appetite drops; they may also appear tired and miserable. A lot of smelly and loose stools are produced.
Supplements and herbs
The body may be aided in recovering by using an infusion made from the golden seal herb, this infusion can be prepared by pouring a cup of boiling water onto two teaspoons of the dried root, the herb must be allowed to infuse well into the water by leaving it in for about a quarter of an hour and this infusion can then be drunk thrice a day for effective results.
All the homeopathic remedies that have been suggested below can be taken in single doses every 10 minutes, to a total of 6 doses, this can be repeated if the symptoms persist or if necessary. Arsenicum album can be used at a dosage level of 6c if the symptoms include the presence of a profuse diarrhea accompanied by a burning and colicky sensation in the stomach, if there is restlessness, and anxiety, and if the patient feels cold. For symptoms like vomiting with the presence of diarrhea, and a lot of profuse cold sweats, the Veratrum album can be used at a dosage level of 6c, per dose. If there is the appearance of an intense urge to pass motion with no stools forthcoming, and if this happens especially after the taking of stimulants like coffee, alcohol, and spices, Nux vomica can be used at a dosage level of 6c.
Additional things you may do
Good sanitary practices can help avoid the onset of giardiasis; simple steps such as cleaning the hands and fingers well with soap and water before touching foodstuffs or before meals are a very effective way to counteract the possibility of giardiasis. Other sanitary steps can also be taken. While washing and drying oneself, a simple option is to use a single dedicated towel as a personal toilet item without sharing it with anyone else. The other option may be to utilize disposable towels made of paper, hands can also be dried using a hot air blower; minimizing the chances of contact and contamination from external sources. Special care must be taken in the consumption of food and drink if one is in a tropical country, food should always be well cooked and water must preferably be bottled or if piped it should be boiled. All water from river sources and intended for consumption must be boiled. A healthy population of intestinal bacteria can bolster the immune system of children and their ability to resist infections such as giardiasis. Supplements of these bacteria can be used in dosages of a quarter of a teaspoon of Lactobacillus acidophilus thrice daily, combined with a quarter of a teaspoon of Bifidobacteria powder, mixed in a glass of water for children under 77 pounds. Mix a teaspoon of salt in a pint of boiled water, and 2 scant teaspoons of sugar to prevent dehydration especially in children and the aged. Until the symptoms abate, a pint of the mixture can be consumed every hour. The stomach is also eased and settled by consuming some grated apple that has been exposed to air and allowed to turn brown.
Giardiasis diminishes the patientís ability to digest as well as absorb lactose. Therefore, people with giardiasis ought to keep away from consuming dairy products, as this may cause diarrhea. When individuals suffering from giardiasis have diarrhea, their condition worsens and, hence, it is advisable that such people should stop using dairy products.
When you are suffering from giardiasis you should try and keep away from consuming foods rich in fat content. Consuming foods having high levels of fat will encourage bile acid production in the body. It is worth mentioning that bile acid is a source of sustenance for giardia trophozoites. In addition, diets high in fat content may also cause other problems, including nausea, diarrhea, and steatorrhea (presence of too much fat in feces).
Consume plenty of wheat germ, as it is effective in neutralizing giardiasis. Wheat germs contain high levels of lectin and attach to NAG residue. In effect, it is prudent to use the juice or extract of wheat germ every day.
In addition, people with giardiasis should drink plenty of fluids, including sports drinks, flat soda (like ginger ale or 7-Up without caffeine), fruit juices, soups, broth or Pedialyte meant for children. The patients should take fluids frequently and all through the day. However, it is important to stay away from any drink that contains caffeine.
In case you are not comfortable taking fluids, you may suck ice chips with a view to avoid dehydration.
Approximately 12 hours after contacting the infection by the parasite, the patient may be given an advanced diet, including tasteless foods like rice, cereals, noodles, crackers, potatoes, in addition to boiled vegetables. It is essential to stay away from spicy, fried and fatty foods.
The patient can return to normal diet when the stool has formed. Nevertheless, people with giardiasis should avoid drinking milk for many weeks even after their condition has been cured.
How to prevent giardiasis
In order to avoid having giardiasis it is important for all people visiting developing countries as well as hikers in the rough country to regard every source of water as contaminated. For instance, while traveling to places considered as extremely hazardous areas (including Latin America, Africa and southern regions of Asia) you may find the absence of appropriate medical facilities. Therefore, before you travel to these areas, consult your physician regarding the prescription drugs that you need to carry with you. More than 50 per cent incidences of diarrhea in travelers are attributed to bacteria and it needs to be cured using a quinolone antibiotic. In case the diarrhea is not cured even after using quinolone antibiotic, you should know that it may possibly have been caused by any parasite like Giardia and it is possible to cure the condition using metronidazole. On the other hand, if you are suffering from diarrhea that is not accompanied by blood in stool or fever, you can treat the condition using Pepto-Bismol or Imodium. Alternately, check with a physician and follow his/ her instruction, provided you are also taking the antibiotic.
Before drinking water, ensure that you filter, boil or treat it using halogenated solutions or tablets (treating water with something like chlorine to purify it).
In addition, do not take any food that has been rinsed in polluted water or which cannot be peeled or cooked. People traveling to foreign nations ought to be particularly cautious and keep away from drinking water in those countries, counting ice cubes present in drinks. You should ensure that you only drink water that is sold packaged in bottles. Also keep away from vegetables and fruits, which may possibly have been cleaned using polluted water. Make it a point to only eat fruits and vegetables which you can peel.
It may be noted that several incidences of giardia are reported every month in the United States, especially during the summer. The main reason behind this could be young children using the public swimming area, for instance, pools, lakes and water parks.
It is also important to keep away from hazardous sexual activities.
Every time you use the bathroom and always prior to eating, ensure that you wash your hands thoroughly using warm water and soap.
Also ensure that you wash your hands every time you have changed the diaper of a baby. In case you are engaged as a daycare worker, you should especially ensure that you need to wash your hands every time you have changed the diaper of each child.