Giardiasis can show itself in different ways. Some people can be carriers of the parasite and have no symptoms of the disease, but they pass cysts in their stool and pass the disease to others. Others may develop acute or chronic diarrheal illnesses in which the symptoms occur 1-2 weeks after swallowing the cysts.
Acute diarrheal illness
- Diarrhea: Up to 90% of people with giardiasis complain of diarrhea.
Stool is usually described as profuse and watery early in the disease. Later in the disease, stools become greasy, foul smelling, and often floats. Blood, pus, and mucus are usually not present. Symptoms may last for
one to several weeks.
- Weight loss, loss of appetite
- Bloating, abdominal cramping,
passing excessive gas, sulfur-tasting burps
- Occasional nausea,
vomiting, fever, rash, or constipation
Chronic diarrheal illness
- Diarrhea: Stools are often greasy, foul smelling, yellowish, and may alternate between diarrhea and constipation.
- Abdominal pain worsens with eating
- Occasional headaches
- Weight loss
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