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Looks like I've acquired Giardia (again) from boating. It's been four years since then and was hoping that would be the last...it's kind of like being on a slim fast diet when you don't want to lose the weight, fun stuff.

Instead of doing the whole doctor, paying for lab tests, nasty meds thing, I'm thinking of trying to tough it out until it goes away. Has anyone out there been successful in doing this?
 

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Take the meds, bro. I've had it, not from paddling, but from food in the 3rd world and it's not worth it. If you can get your doc to prescribe Intetrix, I recommend it. Flagyl works for some folks, but I reacted to it pretty poorly and got even sicker. Intetrix had me feeling better in *hours* and I was fully functional about 36-48 hours into the regimen. Good luck.
 

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I waited 4 or 5 days before going to the Doctor's office and it just got progressively worse. It got to the point were every 20 to 30 minutes I was visiting the restroom. The upside is I lost 10lbs. I took Flagil (sp) and within 12 hours was back to normal.
 
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Get a prescription soon,
I got it from Rock Island (2002) the first time, keep very close to the bathroom for about 1-2 weeks. Took Flagyl and got over it soon after that. One of the side effects can be red urin, so don't be super surprised if you see that, doctor did not mention that when I got the prescription.

2nd time I got it from the headwaters of Fish Creek (2005). Still get the meds, it hurts the 2nd time around too. They gave me something different and it worked well. Apparently once you have gotten the bacteria in your system, there will always be a small amount there. This 2nd time I went from 195lbs down to 175 very quickly. I refer to it as paddling weight, instead of fighting weight.

It's great. You can carry more gear, your boat has more buyancy. Angry hoop sure sucks though. I friend driftwood has gotten so sensitive to his that he won't even paddle X mountain in the spring cause is he gets any splash of water in his mounth, it sets his digestive track off. I hate to take antibiotics but you should definately get help.

NH
 

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That sounds better than the Atkins diet, and probably more healthy!

Is it true you can develop an immunity to giardia, like my dog did (I think) after he had a few cases where he shat all over the house every 10 minutes?
 

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Sounds like the Ocoee here in the SE (TN), Buddy of mine worked for years on the abatment of the toxic chemicals in the Ocoee river. :D

Sounds great, eh? :D

Well the Co. he worked for did such a good job, that E.coli and a highly antibiotic resitant strain of Staph areous has been a major hassle on the river. With the Toxic chems gone, the bugs just multiply. 8)

Hell, give me the Arsenic and old lace. :p
 

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Don't try and tough it out. It's not worth it. I'm not a fan of doctors offices or for paying them, but there comes a point that you have to. And, I believe, Giardia is one of those times. I too had a decent experience with Intetrix. It wasn't quite the "hours" that Caspian experienced, but it did help.
 

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Shouldn't you just get Dr. Jen to write you a script? Hopefully this hasn't kept you out of the water. What are you doing? The snow has been pretty good down here. Sorry about the bug. It sucks.

Kent
 

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Hey Kent, Ya, you think she could, but she doesn't have much access to prescription forms right now. I'll be boating tomorrow for sure though, just taking more breaks to, erh, stretch the legs.. Hope school is well for you.
 

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Dudes, Giardia is not a bacterium. It is a protist. It has a flagella, thus the proprietary name of the most common antibiotic agent used in its treatment, metronidazole: Flagyl. The shitty thing (bad pun) about giardia is that, unlike bacteria, swallowing even one or two organims can produce intestinal infestation. They are hearty little bastards and will divide and conquer, mitotically that is.

You will continue to shit until you take meds. You will not develop a tolerance to the organism. This can be done with your garden variety travellers diarrhea which is most often caused by a rotavirus (which your body will fight off eventually) or by a strain of E. coli foreign to your gut. In the latter case, you will eventually become "colonized" by the bacteria and the shits will cease. This can take a few weeks or months, depending on your flora. Basically, the different strains of bacteria go to war (this means shits for you) and then when they draw up an armistice and can cohabitate you can again experience the joy of making like Bernie Kozar and taking the Browns to the Super Bowl.

Those little giardia bastards swimming around your colon, on the other hand, are not going away. Your dog may be able to live with it (I'm no vet), but you're not a dog. Your dog can eat all kinds of things you can't. My little bitch pulls cat shit out of the litter box. I'm pretty sure that would make me sick.

Additionally, right now you are shedding organisms every time you shit. The transmission method for giardiasis is fecal-oral. "No one is eating my shit" you say? The world is covered in a thin veneer of feces. Beleive it. In fact, I've read that giardiasis is common in the gay community, transmitted I can only guess by tossing the salad. True? Maybe. Funny? Certainly. So don't let your boyfriend chow down for a while, dig?

Go to the doctor.
 

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Wow. That was damn hilarious (and actually quite informative, too). Never thought I would see mitosis, Bernie and A2M in the same post. Impressive. I believe only Bastard can do it. Thanks for that.

COUNT
 

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quick google search resulted in this "In Egypt, local people may recommend a drug called Intetrix, but beware - it is banned in the United States because it has been linked to causing liver problems. Intetrix is a drug that battles amoeba parasites, but drinking vinegar or lemon juice is much safer for your body"

maybe you find some in the back alleys of seattle or just over the border in ca-na-dia. just don't smoke; it'll lose it's efficacy.
 

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Danger - funny you should mention that because I was living in Cairo when I got Intetrix. I had a friend who asked the pharmacist for it there but he wouldn't give it to her unless she tried something else first and that didn't work. (You only need a prescription for narcotics over there) That would certainly lend creedence to the idea that it is powerful and potentially has some downsides as a result.

Peev - it was hours, no BS. I was told that it would work that way, but was surprised to say the least when it did. The runs didn't quit for about 12 hours, but some of the other symptoms started waning inside 2 hours. Inside a couple days, I was feeling almost 100%. Flagyl takes several days to get you feeling up to speed. I loved the Intetrix thing. Living over there you spend enough time with 48-hour bugs, losing it out both ends - sometimes simultaneously - that I was quite willing to take the stronger stuff the times when I got giardia and amoebas.

Someone remind me...why was BSOE passed over for the Iraq Study group?
 

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Just a question on the side. I'm spending a month in Costa kayaking this winter, would it be worth getting one of those meds to take with in case of Giardia? Or do I have to be diagnosed with it first? just thought I would ask.

Josh
 

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When my wife and I went to Hondurus we were pre-prescribed meds for that "just in case" trouble down under.

The same doc who gave us our hepatitis and malaria shots wrote the prescription.

So it is possible, and probably not a bad idea.
 

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Bringing along a fast acting broad spectrum antibiotic agent is an excellent idea. When I went to Haiti in dental school, the tropical med folks gave us Noroxin (norfloxacin). It's a fluoroquinalone, like Cipro, but works very rapidly. I'm not sure about it's anaerobic and flagellate coverage -- that is, how good it is at killing Giardia and other things that live in the absence of oxygen-- but it works great against the majority of bacterial travellers diarrhea. Remember, though, that some explosive shits are caused by viruses. So, just because you have the shits doesn't mean a magic pill is going to cure you.
 

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when i got giardia in wv i was sick for several days before i want to the doc. they prescribed flagyl and i took it for like 10 days to two weeks. the whole time i was on flagyl i was sitting on the toilet with a trash can in front of me. i must have thrown up two or three times each day. it was the worst two weeks of my life. i have never been one to throw up. before then i could only remember about five times in my life where i puked. that includes college drinking binges. once i was off the prescription i started feeling a lot better. then someone told me that the side effects of flagyl are nausea and diarrhea. kind of funny because i was taking the drug for nausea and diarrhea. i just thought that it was the giardia, and it could have been, but i think it was the drugs that were making me sicker. what counts is as soon as i was done with the flagyl i was completely better. if there are other drugs that can make you better in just a few hours, i would reccomend risking liver damage for it. two weeks of throwing up and pooping is hell on your body in a different way.
 

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Were you drinking alcohol while on Flagyl? Metronidazole is also marketed under the proprietary name Antabuse and used in treatment of alcoholism because when it is mixed with alcohol you become violently ill and vomit until both are out of your system. It doesn't work very well on alcoholics, though, because they can very simply just not take the pill.

No slight on the doctors in WV, but it's not out of the question that they forgot to tell you this and you resumed living the life of a boater, which includes consumption of copious amounts of booze. Thus, the spew.

All told, trading a week of intensified illness for indefinate shitting is not a bad bargain in my opinion. And if the FDA has banned a drug in this country it is actually illegal to import it. So if you want the drug previously discussed that someone got in Cairo or wherever, you'll have to go somewhere else. There may be other alternatives to Flagyl available in the US that I'm not up on..GI med isn't my thing. I just know the basics.
 

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Don't feel sorry for Nick Hinds - he forgot to mention that he didn't get sick from kayaking in Fish Creek but drinking from it on purpose. We're thinking of sending him over to Eagle County.
 

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i wasn't drinking any alcohol. the doc did inform me of that, and the bottle also had a warning on it. i felt like i had a perpetual hangover the whole time anyway, and alcohol was pretty repulsive to me.
 
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