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Protozoa
Blastocystis hominis
Disease
Blastocystis
Symptoms
Signs and symptoms that might be associated with blastocystosis include:
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Bloating
  • Excessive gas (flatulence)
  • Anal itching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
Treatment

Potential medications for treating blastocystis infection include the antibiotic metronidazole (Flagyl), the combination medication sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim (Bactrim, Septra, others), and the antiprotozoal medications iodoquinol (Yodoxin) or nitazoxanide (Alinia). However, keep in mind that response to medication for blastocystis infection varies greatly from person to person. And, because the symptoms you're having might be unrelated to blastocystis, it's also possible that any improvement may be due to the medication's effect on another organism.

Preventive measures

Avoid food from street vendors.

  • Avoid unpasteurized milk and dairy products, including ice cream.
  • Avoid raw or undercooked meat, fish and shellfish.
  • Steer clear of moist food at room temperature, such as sauces and buffet offerings.
  • Eat foods that are well cooked and served hot.
  • Munch on dry foods — like breads — and foods high in sugar, such as jellies and syrups.
Stick to fruits and vegetables that you can peel yourself, such as bananas, oranges and avocados. Stay away from salads and unpeelable fruits, such as grapes and berries.
  • void unsterilized water — from tap, well or stream. If you need to consume local water, boil it for at least three minutes and then let it cool to room temperature.
  • Avoid ice cubes or fruit juices made with tap water.
  • Beware of sliced fruit that may have been washed in contaminated water.
  • Don't swim in water that may be contaminated.
  • Keep your mouth closed while showering.
  • Feel free to drink canned or bottled drinks in their original containers — including water, carbonated beverages, beer or wine — as long as you break the seals on the containers yourself. Wipe off any can or bottle before drinking or pouring.
  • Use bottled water to brush your teeth.
  • Use bottled or boiled water to mix baby formula.
  • Make sure hot beverages, such as coffee or tea, are steaming hot.
 
 
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