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A 22-year-old male asked:

What happens if you leave giardia untreated?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Hunter Handsfield
Infectious Disease 53 years experience
Get treated: Why would you even think about not being treated? Treatment is very easy (including some single-dose options) and giardiasis is much worse than any possible side effects. Probably your immune system would clear giardia, but not necessarily; some infections may persist indefinitely. Symptoms probably would eventually improve, even if the infection continues, but it might take weeks or months.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Giardia Lamblia: Giardiasis is a waterborne illness caused by Giardia parasite. Sx's – there may be no sx's or diarrhea, oily floating stool, gas, nausea & abdominal cramps. If untreated it can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration & weight loss. Diagnosis- via blood test for antibodies & checking stool samples for parasites. Tx can include metronidazole, tinidazole & nitazoxanide.

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Last updated Jul 11, 2020

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