Unfortunately, none of us are immune from the occurrence of infectious diseases. Sometimes without knowing it, we become the target of parasitic microorganisms. One of the most common infectious diseases is giardiasis. Giardia can develop in both children and adults. Let's get acquainted with the symptoms of this disease, the causes of its occurrence and ways of diagnosing the presence of infectious agents in the liver and gastrointestinal tract.
What is giardiasis?
Giardiasis - an infectious disease that develops as a result of ingress into the human body of the simplest parasites - Giardia. In the initial stages, the parasites infect the small intestine and liver. From a medical point of view, Giardia can develop in two phases: cysts and vegetative. The peculiarity of these two phases is the shape of lamblia. In the cyst, they have the shape of an oval, and in the vegetative stage they form a half pear with a sucker.
How does lamblia parasite penetrate the human body?
Parasites can enter the body in various ways. As a rule, they multiply in the intestine, and then infect the liver. Lamblia can also be carried by four-legged pets: cats and dogs. Parasites live in open reservoirs, especially in polluted, as well as in ordinary water from the tap. To giardiasis began to actively develop in an adult organism, only 10 cysts are enough.
As practice shows, giardiasis can be infected in the following ways:
- household contact;
Parasites can enter the human body through drinking unpurified water. For example, in ordinary water may contain Giardia falling into the water supply from open reservoirs. Pathogens may accumulate on clothing, household items, toys, furniture, dishes, etc. Food may also act as a source of reproduction of pathogens, therefore all vegetables, berries and fruits must be thoroughly washed or heat treated.
The main symptoms of giardiasis
Giardiasis is manifested differently in children and adults. Symptoms also depend on the stage in which the disease occurs. There are two types of giardiasis: chronic and acute.
Signs of lesions in the acute stage of development
Often, the disease in the acute stage is manifested in children or adults with a weakened immune system. The main sign of lamblia in the body is diarrhea, which is accompanied by fever. These symptoms indicate damage to the small intestine. Along with this, in the development of giardiasis in the acute stage, such symptoms may appear:
- feverish state;
- rash on the skin (in its structure similar to rubella);
- acute paroxysmal pain in the intestinal area;
If you identify at least one symptom, you should certainly contact the attending specialist. Conducting a timely course of treatment will allow a person to get rid of the disease within one week. If the symptoms do not react in time, then giardiasis can flow into a chronic or subacute form. Giardiasis in the acute stage of development manifests itself periodically or in waves. Symptoms of this infectious disease appear even after a slight weakening of the immune system, for example, after a cold, as a result of an allergy or nervous breakdown.
Characteristic symptoms of chronic giardiasis
If Giardia continues to multiply in the small intestine, the disease becomes chronic and the liver is affected. In this case, the symptoms become pronounced:
- first of all there is a violation of the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract and, as a result, a chair;
- an adult can manifest diarrhea, which is replaced by constipation;
- often a person experiences acute pain in the abdomen;
- if in an adult the liver is affected by lamblia, then it can feel a sharp pain in the right hypochondrium, which is associated with nausea, vomiting and a bitter taste in the mouth;
- headache of various types, malaise, emotional irritability may appear.
During the course of giardiasis in chronic form in an adult, appetite decreases and dizziness appears. Another symptom of the disease is yellow patches on the tongue. The skin becomes pale, especially on the nose. In adults, peeling of the skin on the palms and soles may be observed, and cracks appear in the corners of the lips. Hair may also fall out and the temperature may rise.
In medical practice, even the neglected form of giardiasis can be cured. There were no deaths from this disease.
Features of the course of the disease in children
Most often, giardiasis can occur in children of preschool age. The symptomatology can absolutely not correspond to an infectious disease. Primary manifestations in the form of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can be confused with ordinary food poisoning.
How to diagnose and treat giardiasis?
If you experience any symptoms, you should definitely consult a doctor. The attending specialist will take a sample of comparative samples of faeces, which will later be subjected to laboratory research. As a result of this study, a specialist can identify or disprove the presence of parasitic microorganisms in the small intestine.
It is not necessary to treat giardiasis on your own. Treatment must appoint a specialist. Along with pharmacological methods of treatment, you can take the means of traditional medicine. For example, giardiasis is well cured as a result of taking raw pumpkin seeds, decoction of wild rowan or dandelion roots.
How to prevent infection?
To prevent the appearance of parasitic microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract, a number of measures need to be carried out:
- maintain personal hygiene;
- eat only boiled or filtered water;
- periodically undergo examination for the presence of Giardia in the body;
- isolate patients with giardiasis from the team and reorganize.
As you can see, almost no one is immune from getting lamblia into the body. To prevent the disease, you need to observe hygiene, drink purified water and eat foods that have undergone heat treatment. In the case of manifestation of the initial symptoms immediately need to consult a doctor.