Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Parasitic symptoms and treatment, anyone?

Discussion of medical or rescue topics related to climbing and mountaineering.

Parasitic symptoms and treatment, anyone?

Postby thespiffy » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:43 pm

Anyone ever contracted any type of stomach/intestinal parasite?

I feel like I've picked something up, been to the doctor and they told me to wait it out and see if it got any better. His next course of action was (wanting) to stick a camera up there-- personally, I think that's jumping the gun. Maybe I'm just protective off the 'ole balloon knot.

I spend a lot of time in the mountains and don't filter/boil everything I drink. It's hot here, I'd do nothing but sit around and filter all day long.

What were your symptoms?
What tests if any did you have to diagnose yourself?
What treatment(s) did you undergo?
User Avatar

Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:00 pm
Location: United States
Thanked: 2 times in 2 posts

Re: Parasitic symptoms and treatment, anyone?

Postby MoapaPk » Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:03 am

What are YOUR symptoms?

I picked up something on the AT in 1974. I had terrible stomach cramps for about two months. They mainly treated me by treating the symptoms (lomotil).
User Avatar

Posts: 7709
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 7:42 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 773 times in 505 posts

Re: Parasitic symptoms and treatment, anyone?

Postby Mountainjeff » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:14 am

I had Giardiasis a couple of years back. I got over it in about a month, but meds would have been nice. i had pretty bad diarrhea, cramps, and significant weight loss.

Most intestinal parasites are treated with metronidazole or similar drugs, which are no fun to take. I don't know why your doctor would need to do a GI endoscopy. That is usually a last ditch diagnostic effort.
Your doctor should be taking stool samples of some kind if something is actually wrong. You may want to find a new physician if you are convinced something is wrong.
User Avatar

Posts: 124
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:55 pm
Location: Bremerton, Washington, United States
Thanked: 12 times in 8 posts

Re: Parasitic symptoms and treatment, anyone?

Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:49 am

Symptoms include, but are not limited to, constitutional symtpoms such as fever, malaise, weight loss, dizziness & weakness, and more gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdomal cramps, diarrhea, blood in the stool, excessive gas, food intolerance, changes in stool patterns and color, etc.

Your physician can and should order the following stool studies:

Stool culture
Fecal leukocytes
O&P (ova & parasites)
stool wet mount (microscope examination) w/ acid-fast stain, trichrome stain

Sometimes muscle biopsy is required if trichomonas is suspected.
User Avatar
Sierra Ledge Rat

Posts: 1136
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:14 am
Location: Appalachia, United States
Thanked: 248 times in 163 posts

Re: Parasitic symptoms and treatment, anyone?

Postby tigerlilly » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:39 am

jeash. Sorry bub.
User Avatar

Posts: 715
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:09 am
Location: Bethesda, Maryland, United States
Thanked: 52 times in 35 posts

Re: Parasitic symptoms and treatment, anyone?

Postby Brian Jenkins » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:28 pm

Your doctor told you to wait it out?

So, what happened since you posted?

I contracted some sort of intestinal parasite in high school and those were the worst cramps I've ever had. I would lay doubled-over thinking I was dying. Finally went to a doctor who did the ol' scope, they found what it was, was given some medicine (sorry can't remember what) and it cleared up in about 3 days.

I'd weigh the pros and cons of filtering water more than you do now. At least it's not worth it to me to go through that again versus spending some time pumping water.
User Avatar
Brian Jenkins

Posts: 1385
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2001 1:31 pm
Location: Upper Left Corner, United States
Thanked: 4 times in 4 posts

Re: Parasitic symptoms and treatment, anyone?

Postby Clark_Griswold » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:02 pm

I am being treated for a parasite, probably Giardia, but given that I had to ask for the O and P, from yet another incompetent NP I have encountered, we'll see what it ends up being. Side note, Nurse Practitioners are very often incompetent, and given that I am an ER RN with a BSN, I can tell you that if the NP programs are like the BSN programs, you're getting a prescriber that largely came out of a diploma mill. According to what I read, I was also under dosed, with 500 instead of 750 MG of Flagyl, for only 5 days. Maybe the NP was right, but I tend to doubt given my experiences working with a number of them who are new, or old, but seem as lost I did right out of school.

My S/S have been diarrhea and soft stool for several weeks, though that varied to somewhat normal at times. Fatigue, bloating, abdominal cramping and discomfort but not true pain, and severe flatus. So foul, that it was clearing out rooms and smelled like rotting cabbage stored in a hot box in the sun for a week, but kept moist.

My real issue, is that I have not drank from non-tap sources for almost 11 months, and then I used a filter. I have hand washed in streams at times, and I guess I shouldn't. I have read that parasitic infections are rampant and actually in outbreak status in the US, with many being a-symptomatic carriers, and therefore my propensity to eat from buffets at places like Whole Foods, has actually been a bad choice. I don't know where I got this, and never will, and I could theoretically pick it up again 24 hours after being cleared. Needless to say, buffets are out. Sadly, I like them due to an ability to actually get vegetables, fruits, and decent sized (healthy not massive) portions at a price only slightly higher than what a "value meal" at a location such as McDonald's, can offer. Then again, I am speculating as to the source, and may have carried for months or years before developing symptoms.

I went to work and got a script for 750 MG of Flagyl for 5 days, which I will use to supplement the other script and will end up taking 750 MG Q 8 hours, until out.
User Avatar

Posts: 1718
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 1:51 am
Location: Tucson, Arizona, United States
Thanked: 316 times in 242 posts

Re: Parasitic symptoms and treatment, anyone?

Postby Clark_Griswold » Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:18 am

BTW, when a you took Flagyl, if you did, did you get a little odd?
User Avatar

Posts: 1718
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 1:51 am
Location: Tucson, Arizona, United States
Thanked: 316 times in 242 posts

Re: Parasitic symptoms and treatment, anyone?

Postby granite4brains » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:00 pm

I had a parasite for a while. Mild symptoms for over a year, but hard to say just how much was due to the parasite alone. I did lose about 10-15 pounds, though. I forget the type of parasite, but it wasn't giardia, which is the one everyone seems to focus on, but definitely isn't the only kind you can catch. Others like the ones I had aren't necessarily obvious in their symptoms

I'd suggest going to a naturopathic doctor for this kind of thing, they're better at it and will take it more seriously. In addition, they'll more than likely order a comprehensive stool analysis that can detect the type of parasite you have, or rule it out. That's how I found out I had one.
User Avatar

Posts: 471
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 11:53 am
Location: Ridgecrest, CA, United States
Thanked: 12 times in 10 posts

Return to Mountain Medicine & Rescue


  • Related topics
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.