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How long until full recovery after Giardia?

I got Giardia about 9 weeks ago.  I believe the parasites are gone because I no longer have the foul, greasy stools I had initially.  However, I still have nearly constant pain in my guts somewhere.  I also have some return of loose stool every few weeks.  It isn't full diarrhea but close!  

I have been avoiding lactose for a while now and that seemed to help some for a couple weeks.  Now I'm also avoiding gluten.  Hopefully I can get out of pain and normalize my bowels.  I seem to swing back and forth between too firm and too loose.  

Does anyone have any experience with returning totally to normal after Giardia?

P.S.  Don't wash your dishes on a canoe trip in the river...
1 Responses
973741 tn?1342342773
You need to get retested to see if the parasite is gone.  It likely is not.  good luck
4 Comments
They never tested me in the first place.  They just guessed.  Which my symptoms did match very well.  The thing that makes me think I don't still have them is the fact that I am not having the yellow, greasy, distinct smelling stools that I was early on.  It would make me feel better to actually submit a 3 day series of stool samples for testing.  Even though apparently they frequently don't show up.  So it wouldn't be a sure thing either way apparently.  I know many people have IBS like symptoms after contracting Giardia.  I know several people who have had Giardia but they had it many years ago and cannot remember exactly how recovery went.  That does give me hope!  I sure can't imagine forgetting any of this now.  
I'd go ahead and do the fecal test if it were me.  *I* had giardia along with my husband and at the time 1 year old son.  Nightmare.  Imagine changing diapers for my son with a parasite!  We got it at a farm party along with about 70 other people who all also ate that dang fruit salad washed in tainted water.  My husband and son had the fecal testing done.  I didn't.  I also did not take medicine for it and my husband and son did.  I had a baby at the time too and was nursing and medicine wasn't an option for me.  I got better in about 6 months.  I actually lost close to 20 pounds.  Best post baby diet around!  ha ha.  My son had changing symptoms.  That you still are having some issues with loose stools, it makes me wonder.  The other possibility is that you now have ulcerative colitis with your digestive tract being irritated after it had been dealing with the parasite.  Did you take medicine for the parasite by the way?
I did.  I took a 5 day course of Cipro first because I had diarrhea 2 days after returning from the trip (along with 5 of my friends).  I was feeling much better from that but 4 days after that started I had a weekend of intense gut cramps (none of my friends had this-all were totally well after 1 week-about 15 of us went on a canoe trip). I ended up having a constant pain in the lower left quadrant of my abdomen so the doc thought I had diverticulitis.  I had a CT scan which shows I didn't even have Diverticula.  He had already prescribed Metro for diverticulitus so once I read that it is effective on Giardia I took it anyways.  The pain cleared up after a few days.  However, it comes back temporarily in different locations as things move through my bowels.  I took a 10 day course of Flagyl (Metronidazole) 500mg 3 times daily.  I think that it stronger than they typically prescribe for Giardia.  
Flagyl will cause your gut to feel awful for some time and with side effects of the drug.  I would do a PCR stool test which is much more accurate than your typical stool test because it uses DNA to detect parasite.  
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