Saturday, March 17, 2018 by Jhoanna Robinson
Dientamoeba fragilis is a trichomonad parasite which can thrive in the human large intestine. Its life cycle has no cyst stage; thus, infection in humans happens during the trophozoite stage or the feeding stage of a protozoan parasite.
The parasite actively thrives in fresh feces, is extremely sensitive to an aerobic environment (an environment that contains oxygen), and perishes when put in distilled, saline, or tap water. It has been identified in untreated sewage.
The prevalence rate of D. fragilis in the United States is at around two to five percent; however, much higher prevalence rates have been recorded in some populations, such as in those living in crowded conditions (communal living, such as in mental institutions or among military personnel), in those with poor hygiene, and in those who are frequently traveling to developing countries, at 19 to 69 percent.
Children are also more prone to acquiring the infection brought about by the parasite. It is transmitted via the fecal-oral routes.
During the first one to two weeks of the disease, symptoms of the infected include diarrhea and abdominal pain. Other symptoms of the disease include anorexia, bloating, fatigue, fever, gas, malaise, nausea and vomiting, poor weight gain, and even weight loss.
Dientamoebiasis is bad for the digestive system. Even though the parasite is not known to be invasive, and is not likely to cause cellular damage, it may induce an inflammatory response in the colonic mucosa.
Its symptoms are often confused with the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), inflammatory bowel disease, carcinoid syndrome, and pancreatitis.
Dientamoebiasis is bad for the integumentary system. It is known to cause skin rashes and itching.
Dientamoebiasis is bad for the excretory system. It can cause biliary tract infection.
Some herbs have the potential of treating dientamoebiasis such as berberine, a compound that is extracted from barberry, according to a report that was published in the Iranian Journal of Parasitology in 2014; papaya seeds, according to a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2007; and pumpkin seeds, according to a report published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences in 2010.
Some dietary techniques that can help you in treating dientamoebiasis include avoiding coffee, alcohol, refined grains, and refined sugar; incorporating garlic in your meals; increasing your consumption of sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, and other foods high in beta-carotene; increasing the amount of beneficial bacteria in your gut by consuming probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt; and eating foods that are rich in vitamin B complex and vitamin C.
To determine if you have dientamoebiasis, your physician will order a stool test. The infection can be treated by using antibiotics such as doxycycline, metronidazole, iodoquinol, secnidazole, and paromomycin. After the treatment, your doctor will likely order another fecal testing to ensure that you no longer have the parasite in your body.
To prevent from getting contaminated with the parasite, you should wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet, changing a diaper, or before preparing or eating food. Protect young children from infection by teaching them the value of washing hands every now and then.
Dientamoebiasis is bad for the digestive, integumentary, and excretory systems.
Children are more prone to acquiring the infection brought about by Dientamoeba fragilis.
To determine if you have dientamoebiasis, your physician will order a stool test.
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