GIARDIA LAMBLIA, Giardiasis (GEE-are-DYE-uh-sis), Giardia intestinalis, Lamblia intestinalis (as it is sometimes referred to in Europe) are all terms that refer to the same Flagellated Protozoan/protozoa, a single celled parasite just a little bigger than most bacteria in size. Some people refer to Giardia as a bacteria and others as a cyst, but it is actually a parasite. It is found in every region throughout the world and has become recognized as one of the most common causes of waterborne illness.
A diarrheal illness of the small intestine caused by infection of the flagellated protozoan GIARDIA LAMBLIA. It is spread via contaminated water and food and by direct person-to-person contact. The parasite is passed in the stool of an infected person or animal. The parasite is protected by an outer shell that allows it to survive outside the body and in the external environment for long periods of time. During the past 2 decades, Giardia has become recognized as one of the most common causes of waterborne disease (drinking and recreational waters) in humans in every region of the United States and many other areas of the world. Organisms that appear identical to those that cause human illness have been isolated from domestic animals (dogs and cats) and wild animals (beavers and bears). A related but morphologically distinct organism infects rodents, although rodents may be infected with human isolates in the laboratory. About 40% of those who are diagnosed with Giardiasis demonstrate disaccharide intolerance during detectable infection and up to 6 months after the infection can no longer be detected. Lactose (i.e., milk sugar) intolerance is most frequently observed. Some individuals (less than 4%) remain symptomatic more than 2 weeks; chronic infections lead to a malabsorption syndrome and severe weight loss. Chronic cases of Giardiasis in immunodeficient and normal individuals are frequently refractile to drug treatment. Flagyl is normally quite effective in terminating infections. In some immune deficient individuals, giardiasis may contribute to a shortening of the life span.
Chances are that the person who does not develop an infection has a stronger immune system and is in better health due to a better diet and life style like drinking MiraculeWater daily.
Ingestion of one or more parasite may cause disease, as contrasted to most bacterial illnesses where hundreds to thousands of organisms must be consumed to produce illness.
1 to 6 weeks, but there are cases of chronic infections lasting months to years. Chronic cases, both those with defined immune deficiencies and those without, are difficult to treat.
Symptoms include diarrhea, loose or watery stool, stomach cramps, and upset stomach. These symptoms may lead to weight loss and dehydration. Some people have no symptoms.
Symptoms generally begin 1-2 weeks after being infected.
Giardiasis occurs throughout the population, although the prevalence is higher in children than adults, possibly because many individuals seem to have a lasting immunity after infection. Chronic symptomatic giardiasis is more common in adults than children. This organism is implicated in 25% of the cases of gastrointestinal disease and may be present asymptomatically. The overall incidence of infection in the United States is estimated at 2% of the population. This disease afflicts many homosexual men, both HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals. This is presumed to be due to sexual transmission but may also be due to weakened immune systems. The disease is common in child day care centers, especially those in which diapering is done.
The disease mechanism is unknown, with some investigators reporting that the organism produces a toxin while others are unable to confirm that this toxin exists. The organism has been demonstrated inside host cells in the duodenum, but most investigators think this is such an infrequent occurrence that it is not responsible for disease symptoms. Mechanical obstruction of the absorptive surface of the intestine has been proposed as a possible pathogenic mechanism, as has a synergistic relationship with some of the intestinal flora.
Giardia lamblia is frequently diagnosed by visualizing the organism, either the trophozoite (active reproducing form) or the cyst (the resting stage that is resistant to adverse environmental conditions) in stained preparations or unstained wet mounts with the aid of a microscope. A commercial fluorescent antibody kit is available to stain the organism. Organisms may be concentrated by sedimentation or flotation; however, these procedures reduce the number of recognizable organisms in the sample. An enzyme linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA) that detects excretory secretory products of the organism is also available. So far, the increased sensitivity of indirect serological detection has not been consistently demonstrated.
If you answer yes to any of the following questions, consider having your well water tested or installing filtration equipment.
If so, runoff from rain or flood water may be draining directly into your well causing contamination. [Shallow wells are often defined as wells less than 300 feet or 100 meters deep.
Well water can become fecally contaminated if animal waste seepage contaminates the ground water. This can occur if your well has cracked casings, is poorly constructed, or is too shallow.
Well water can become fecally contaminated if human waste seepage contaminates the ground water. This can occur if your well has cracked casings, is poorly constructed, or is too shallow.
Tests specifically for Giardia are expensive, difficult, and usually require hundreds of gallons of water to be
pumped through a filter. If you answered yes to the above questions, consider testing your well for fecal coliforms
or E. coli instead of Giardia. Although fecal coliforms or E. coli tests do not specifically test for Giardia,
such testing will show if your well has fecal contamination.
These tests are only useful if your well is not routinely disinfected with chlorine since chlorine kills fecal coliforms and E. coli. If the tests are positive, the water may also be contaminated with Giardia, as well as other harmful bacteria and viruses. Look in your local telephone directory for a laboratory or cooperative extension that offers water testing. If the fecal coliform test comes back positive, indicating that your well is fecally contaminated, contact the sales department of MiraculeWater for evaluation and recommendations for water processing equipment.
By swallowing water contaminated with Giardia. Water in municipal water supplies, swimming pools, hot tubs, Jacuzzis, fountains, lakes, rivers, springs, ponds, or streams that can be contaminated with sewage or feces from humans or animals. Water that is recirculated back into the water supply lines after leaving a municipal treatment plants often contains Giardia.
By putting something in your mouth or accidentally swallowing something that has come in contact with the stool of a person or animal infected with Giardia.
By eating uncooked food contaminated with Giardia. Thoroughly wash with uncontaminated water all vegetables and fruits you plan to eat raw.
By accidentally swallowing Giardia picked up from surfaces (such as toys, bathroom fixtures, changing tables, diaper pails) contaminated with stool from an infected person.
Everyone. Persons at increased risk for giardiasis include child care workers; children who attend day care centers, including diaper-aged children; international travelers; hikers; campers, swimmers; and others who drink or accidentally swallow water from contaminated sources that is untreated (no heat inactivation, filtration, or chemical disinfection). Several community-wide outbreaks of giardiasis have been linked to drinking municipal water or recreational water contaminated with Giardia.
*DISCLAIMER* [FDA Legal requirement notice] These statements were not evaluated by the FDA.This fact sheet is for information only and is not meant to be used for self-diagnosis or as a substitute for consultation with a health care provider. If you have any questions about the disease described above or think that you may have a parasitic infection, consult a health care provider.
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