Giardiasis (pronounced "jee-ar-DYE-uh-sus"), or giardia, is an infection of the intestines caused by the parasite Giardia lamblia. You may become infected with giardia if you eat food or drink water that is tainted with human or animal waste. You can also get giardia by coming into close contact with an infected person. The illness is most often a problem in developing countries where tap water is not safe; but you can get giardiasis in developed countries, too. In the U.S. and Canada, you can get giardia by drinking untreated water from wells, streams, rivers, and lakes. This is true even in mountain lakes and streams, where the water may seem pure. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage about how giardiasis is contracted, what it looks like, how to treat it, and much more.
Symptoms of Diarrhea
WebMD explains the symptoms of diarrhea and when they might be serious enough to call the doctor.
Antigen Tests for Giardiasis
A stool sample or fluid from the upper part of the intestines (duodenal fluid) is tested in the lab for the presence of proteins (antigens) from Giardia lamblia. This test is often done at the same time as stool analysis. ...
Medical History and Physical Exam for Giardiasis
A standard physical exam is usually performed when giardiasis is suspected. Some doctors include a rectal exam, including a preliminary stool sample. But for stool analysis, the person usually needs to collect a stool sample. The stool sample can often be taken at home and then returned to the doctor for evaluation.The medical history will include questions about recent possible exposure, ...
String Test for Giardiasis
For this test, you swallow a gelatin capsule attached to a long string. The end of the string remains outside the mouth and is taped to your cheek. The capsule dissolves in the stomach and the string passes into the upper part of the small intestine (duodenum).The string is left in place for 4 to 6 hours or overnight. Then it is withdrawn and the end is examined under the microscope for parasites
Preventing Dehydration When You Have Diarrhea or Vomiting
A prolonged bout of diarrhea or vomiting can cause the body to lose more fluid than it can take in, resulting in dangerous dehydration.
What Causes Diarrhea?
The average adult has diarrhea four times a year, often caused by food, medication, stress, or, sometimes, an underlying medical problem.
Travelers' Diarrhea: What You Need to Know
WebMD asks CDC expert Phyllis Kozarsky about travelers’ diarrhea and its causes, symptoms, prevention and treatment.
Diarrhea: Triggers and Treatments
What is starting your chronic diarrhea? How can you treat it? We’ve got the answers you’re looking for.