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Cryptosporidiosis is a contagious intestinal infection. One-celled cryptosporidium parasites cause it. The infection starts when you ingest the parasite. They live in the intestines of humans and animals. More cells are produced which are shed through the stool. You may also know both the infection and parasite as Crypto. It is one of the most common causes of waterborne diseases. The doctor will take a sample of your stool. The organism is very small and hard to look through a microscope. In some cases, your doctor may take a sample from your intestines. The cryptosporidiosis infection can occur in both adults and children. Anyone who contacts contaminated feces can get the disease. There are ways to treat the infection despite being difficult to detect. Here are some of the most common symptoms and treatments of cryptosporidium.

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Watery diarrhea

Cryptosporidium infection causes watery diarrhea. It goes away in one or two weeks. But, it can be life-threatening without appropriate treatment. The extent of watery diarrhea depends from person to person. Those with lower immunity it can be severe. The symptoms can be fatal to them. The infection can be avoided with proper good hygiene. It’s ideal to wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet and changing diapers. Most people with a strong immune system that recovers without a treatment. Diarrhea can be controlled by drinking a lot of fluids. This prevents dehydration.

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Dehydration

The body needs to be adequately hydrated to function properly. People with cryptosporidium infection lose plenty of water. Water is lost through diarrhea and vomiting. This results in dehydration. Young children and pregnant women suffer a lot from dehydration. This condition can be life-threatening. You will need to consult your doctor when you have dehydration. The doctor will provide you fluid replacement therapy. Diarrhea and vomiting need to be stopped to prevent dehydration. You will need to increase fluid intake to fight dehydration effects. You may be hospitalized if dehydration persists. Intravenous fluids will be administered in such cases.

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Lack of appetite

Lack of appetite is another common symptom of Cryptosporidium infection. The long-term symptoms can lead loss of appetite. This can be worse for children, pregnant women, and those with chronic diseases like HIV. If less food is eaten, it can cause other serious complications. It can lead to malnutrition in children which is a severe condition. It is important to wash all foods that are eaten raw thoroughly. Eating unwashed fruits and vegetables can expose you to the parasite. The doctor can prescribe you drugs that will reduce the symptoms. Once the symptoms have been dealt with, the appetite comes back.

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Malaise

If you have Cryptosporidium infection, you will feel weak. It is a result of watery diarrhea and other symptoms. It often comes with fatigue. Some people feel it suddenly. Other individuals take long to get this symptom. When it comes slowly, it will persist until the infection is treated. There are several medications to treat this symptom. The drugs include the antihistamines. The most significant thing is to get rid of the cause. The doctor will prescribe the drugs to treat the infection. You will also need to get hydrated with water.

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Weight loss

There are long-term symptoms like diarrhea, loss of appetite, and vomiting. This can lead to weight loss. It is dangerous to those with weakened immune systems. Malnutrition can occur to some people. This is a result of poor absorption of nutrients. Your intestinal tract cannot appropriately absorb the nutrients. Drinking purified water is significant. If you have a weak immune system, it is ideal to drink this water. Ensure that you use a recommended water filter. But, you may need a separate filter for bacteria and viruses. The doctor can prescribe the appropriate medicine to combat the symptoms. This will help you regain weight when the symptoms are gone.

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Stomach cramps or pain

Some people experience stomach cramps. The babies are especially vulnerable. Diagnosing the real cause of the symptoms can be difficult. It can cause malaise in people with cryptosporidium infection. There are some who experience extreme symptoms. This infection is avoidable. You can limit swimming activities. Swimming in lakes, streams, and public swimming pools can be dangerous. These places are most likely to have the cryptosporidium parasites. If you know that your immune system is weak, avoid these swimming areas. There are medications which can stop the stomach cramps or pain. The painkillers are usually recommended for this symptom.

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Fever

Fever is another common symptom of Cryptosporidium infection. The long-term effects of diarrhea and vomiting will cause fever. Most people have slight discomfort. This can be worse for children and those with a low immune system. Young children with a temperature of 38.0 C or more should see a doctor. Unfortunately, they can be ill without showing other symptoms apart from fever.

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Nausea

Nausea is a common symptom of Cryptosporidium infection. Some individuals experience nausea. This is a feeling that the stomach wants to empty itself. Most people also experience discomfort due to this symptom. You can lose appetite for food. This can lead to weight loss due to avoidance of food. The infection requires being treated quickly to prevent this symptom. Non-serious nausea is treated with over-the-counter medicine. The extreme cases may need medical treatment. If nausea continues after a day, consult your doctor. You may be prescribed appropriate medicine to fight the infection.

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Vomiting

There are situations where nausea can lead to vomiting. Vomiting is the actual emptying of the stomach. It is a powerful act which happens involuntarily, and vomiting can lead to dehydration. It can sometimes be painful in the throat when you vomit. Vomiting worsens the dehydration. So, drink lots of fluids to prevent nausea and vomiting. If you are still vomiting after 24 hours seek medical help. It is ideal to control vomiting to avoid severe side effects. There are over-the-counter medications for less severe vomiting.

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Constipation

Dehydration can lead to constipation in both adults and the children. It can be difficult for young children. The body needs lots of water to prevent constipation. Unfortunately, when you have Cryptosporidium infection, you lose water.  There are several ways in which constipation can be treated. The doctor can prescribe some drugs to combat the infection. The young children can be put on the fluid replacement therapy. This can be either oral or intravenous replacement of fluids.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.