Giardia in adults: symptoms and treatment.
Causes of Giardiasis
_ Symptoms of giardiasis in adults
_Methods for the diagnosis of giardiasis
_Treatment of giardiasis in adults
_Prevention of Giardiasis
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Giardiasis is a disease characterized by the presence in the body of the simplest parasites – giardia, which inhabit the digestive tract, sticking to the walls of the intestine. When Giardia enters the colon, the conditions of which are unfavorable for it, they take the form of cysts secreted with feces. Despite the fact that cysts lose their habitat, they remain active and can become a source of infection. It is known that Giardia cysts remain viable for up to two months if the ambient temperature is not more than fifty and not less than zero degrees Celsius.
Causes of Giardiasis
Giardia cysts enter the body in various ways. Most people do not even think that some completely mundane actions can pose a potential threat to health. The cause of giardiasis can be the following situations:
The use of certain foods (vegetables, fruits, berries) without prior thorough sanitization. Despite the fact that pathogen cysts are very resistant to the external environment, even a simple wash in clean running water can significantly reduce the risk of infection.
Giardia cysts are often carried by insects, such as flies. Therefore, protection from insects in the summer is not only a matter of comfort, but also human health.
The causative agent may be in natural waters. Bathing areas are always supervised by epidemiological services who regularly take water samples. All other places may well be a source of rapid infection.
Considering the fact that not all people observe the rules of personal hygiene thoroughly, for example, they wash their hands after visiting the restroom, infection can occur when they come into contact with any public objects: door handles, handrails, even toys in child care facilities.
Gardeners and gardeners can become infected with giardiasis: soil fertilized with manure may well contain lamblia cysts.
The source of infection can be animals – wild, livestock and even pets.
Once in the body, lamblia is attached to the mucosa of the small intestine with a special disk. Given the rapid multiplication of the parasite and its high survival rate under any external conditions, we can say that it is almost impossible to avoid infection by oral contact with cysts.
Symptoms of giardiasis in adults
Populating the small intestine, Giardia naturally causes irritation of the mucosa. This can be manifested by pain in the abdomen, bloating, flatulence, rumbling. Pain usually has a dull character and a high frequency of seizures. The sensation area can extend to the area around the navel and above to the hypochondrium.
Almost always there are problems with the stool: constipation or diarrhea appear. The feces are yellow; mucus can be seen in them. This is due to dysbiosis and functional impairment of the intestines, which can not work normally, being populated by parasites.
Violation of intestinal activity can be fraught with a sharp loss of body weight: fats will cease to be absorbed through the intestine, and will be excreted in an unchanged form through the rectum. This will cause a calorie deficit and, as a result, weight loss. Feces in this case becomes whitish due to the excess content of fats in it. Sometimes there is a violation of the bile outflow with the corresponding symptoms: nausea, bitterness in the mouth, bad breath, biliary colic.
Digestive disorders often cause an activation of the immune system. Slowing down the process of elimination of food masses of the intestines leads to the appearance of intoxication. The amount of antibodies in the immune system increases, and allergic symptoms such as dermatitis occur. Excessive immune activity is fraught with an increased risk of cross-allergic reactions to any irritant: infected people often develop urticaria, conjunctivitis, pruritus, and other pathologies.
Giardiasis usually provokes a range of non-specific symptoms of general malaise, such as:
_ Feeling of tiredness, drowsiness, increased fatigue with minimal exertion;
_ Irritability, nervousness, tendency to depression;
_ Loss of appetite;
_ Sleep disturbance.
It becomes obvious that it is not difficult to independently suspect giardiasis, but it is impossible to diagnose without the intervention of specialists.
Methods for the diagnosis of giardiasis
Modern medicine offers several methods of examination in cases of suspected infection of the intestines with parasites.
Coprological examination is a fence of feces and search in it using a microscope for cysts of lamblia. If infection has occurred, then cysts, in most cases, are detected immediately. However, it also happens that a specific portion of feces in an infected person may not have traces of giardia, therefore it is advisable to conduct several samplings of the material (4-5) with an interval of one week.
Duodenal endoscopy allows you to get a more adequate picture of the patient’s intestines. To confirm the diagnosis, a small amount of contents is taken from the cavity of the small intestine with a special probe and examined under a microscope. Experts say that the most effective method of duodenal examination is to take the contents of the duodenum by a vacuum method using a three-channel probe.
Serological tests for the presence of specific antibodies in the blood serum are an excellent method for the diagnosis of giardiasis. GSA 65 antibodies can be detected in a sample two weeks after infection. To date, the serological method of research is one of the most effective in the diagnosis of parasitic diseases. In addition, it is much easier for patients to tolerate than a duodenal examination.
Treatment of giardiasis in adults
Therapy of giardiasis traditionally takes place in three stages. Despite the apparent complexity of the process, it is well tolerated by patients and almost always gives the expected result. If the patient is diagnosed with concomitant chronic diseases, you must certainly let the attending physician know about them so that he takes into account the individual characteristics of the patient when prescribing drugs. Tinidazole.
A specific drug, like a treatment regimen, should be prescribed by the attending physician, based on the severity of the symptoms and the condition of the patient. Along with the appointment of antiprotozoal agents, treatment with antihistamines and enzyme preparations should continue. Sometimes the course of therapy must be repeated after 1-2 weeks, for the rehabilitation of the next cycle of development of lamblia cysts, if any. During this break, it is recommended to continue taking sorbents.
The final stage of therapy is aimed at restoring the body after a course of taking drugs and returning to a normal diet.
It is recommended to monitor hygiene, eliminating the risk of reinfection. Add to the diet foods that prevent the reproduction of parasites: vegetable smoothies, birch sap.
A good effect is the intake of vitamins, which increase the vitality of the body and allow the immune system to establish protective functions. The third period is the time to restore the intestinal microflora.
Prevention of Giardiasis
The best way to protect yourself from infection with giardiasis is to follow the rules of personal hygiene. It is necessary to wash hands with soap after visiting restrooms, contact with potentially dangerous objects, and also each time before eating. In situations where it is not possible to wash your hands with clean running water, you need to have cleaning wet wipes or a special disinfecting gel with you.
You should not eat in unfamiliar places that do not inspire confidence – street cafes, kiosks, pavilions. Also, do not eat fruits that have been harvested from a tree or a bed without first washing them with water.
It is worth remembering that infection occurs after lamblia cysts enter the oral cavity, so you need to get rid of the habit of biting your nails.
Given the methods of infection, you can most likely protect yourself by avoiding swimming in unfamiliar reservoirs and protecting yourself from insects. If symptoms occur, you should immediately visit a therapist or infectious disease specialist to exclude or confirm the diagnosis, and, if necessary, immediately begin treatment.
Children often suffer from giardiasis, so parents need to not only instill the basics of personal hygiene in the child, but also show the child in time to the pediatrician if they notice symptoms such as a change in stool, abdominal pain, asthenia, and others.
Features of the course of giardiasis during pregnancy
Pregnant women are most susceptible to the effects of aggressive external factors due to the restructuring of the immune system. The complexity of the diagnosis lies in the fact that the symptoms of giardiasis (stool disorders, nausea, weakness and gas formation) can be identified as manifestations of toxicosis of pregnant women, which is why treatment will not be started in a timely manner.
Giardiasis has a negative effect not only on the mother, but also on the fetus: a decrease in blood red blood cells is fraught with the occurrence of hypoxia, and digestive disorders – with a lack of nutrients, without which the fetus cannot develop in a timely manner. The body of the expectant mother is poisoned by toxins, which cannot but harm the child.
If there is a suspicion of infection, it is necessary to immediately donate blood (a clinical blood test and serology for antibodies) and fecal analysis.
The treatment regimen for pregnant women differs little from the usual one: nutrition adjustment, taking antiparasitic, sorbents and antihistamines. It is worth remembering that many drugs are contraindicated for women expecting a baby, therefore, only a qualified infectious disease specialist can prescribe medications after consulting with an obstetrician-gynecologist.
After the treatment, it is necessary to regularly take tests for giardiasis in order to eliminate the risk of relapse of the disease, and be sure of the health of the expectant mother and the safety of the fetus.