Giardia Lamblia/ duodenalis is an intestinal parasite which infects the bowels and leads to a condition referred to as ‘giardiais’. The organism causing the condition is a microscopic single celled protozon, which leads to a host of symptoms indicative of gastroenteritis.
What Causes Giardiasis And How Does It Spread?
The condition is caused when the parasite (Giardia Lamblia/duodenalis) enters the intestine of humans.
- Transmission of infection via contaminated water is the most frequent cause. This is primarily since standard chlorination technique doesn’t get rid of the parasite. Contamination of drinking water with sewage water is the primary cause.
- The second most common cause is via direct contact with a person already infected with the condition. This form of transmission is more common among young children and tends to spread rapidly within a family.
- Reports suggest that anal sex can also result in giardial infection. Swimming in contaminated water can also lead to this infection.
Symptoms Of Giardiasis
In most cases, no symptoms are present. This is primarily since the parasite is actively handled by the body’s natural immune system. However, in some cases, the condition may be associated with manifestation of symptoms. The symptoms develop within first two weeks of contact. The symptoms can be broadly categorized into acute and chronic symptoms,
- Sudden onset of diarrhea which is characterized by explosive and watery stools.
- The stools don’t contain mucus or blood, but are typically associated with significant amount of abdominal pain and distress.
- Abdominal distension is another common symptom.
- In some cases, vomiting and high grade fever may also be observed.
- Gradual onset over a period of four to six weeks characterized by offensive and fatty stools.
- Weakness and tiredness associated with reduced appetite.
- Abdominal bloating, retrosternal burning and belching are associated symptoms.
- Chronic giardiasis is associated with weight loss and a host of nutritional deficiencies.
Dehydration is common in both the type of symptom categories. Dehydration can range from mild to moderate, depending upon the extent of fluid loss. Reports from third world countries indicate that dehydration due to giardiasis is one of the leading causes of death among children below the age of five years.
Home Remedies For Giardia Infection
Here are some essential simple and natural home remedies that have found to be effective in the treatment of giardiasis,
- Remain hydrated. Drinking adequate amount of water to compensate for fluid loss is critical in management of the condition.
- Mangoes have been known to be effective against giardiasis. Mangoes are loaded with anti- bacterial and anti-microbial agents, which help limit the spread of the disease.
- Ensure strong immunity by increasing intake of foods rich in Vitamin C. Citrus fruits like lemon, lime, strawberries, etc are very beneficial.
- Add two tablespoons of honey to glass of warm water. Add one tablespoon of turmeric and consume thrice a day. Turmeric helps fight the infection, while honey provides energy to strengthen the immunity.
Preventive measures like washing hands regularly after passing stools and avoiding contact with infected individuals are essential in the management of chronic giardiasis.