Diarrhea can be a result of bacterial or virus infections, an allergic reaction to food, intestinal dysfunctions or bowel disorders. Parasites are also one of the leading factors in the causes of diarrhea. An individual may carry as many as 100 types of parasite worms in their body. Parasites are often found in the foods that we eat, drinking water and even in the air. Anybody at any age can become infected with an intestinal parasite. Most often, someone who has become infected with a parasite is weak or under nourished. When a person comes in contact with an unsanitary environment, or touches items or foods that are infected with parasites, it can lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as diarrhea. Common prevention includes hand washing before and after having a bowel movement, cooking food until it is well done, and washing all fruits and vegetables before consumption.
Giardia lamblia is a parasite that causes a digestive sickness called Giardiasis. Once somebody is infected with the Giardia lamblia parasite, it lives inside the intestines and is passed in bowel movements. This parasite can be accidentally swallowed by touching surfaces such as changing tables, bathroom counters and bathroom fixtures.They also can be swallowed by ingesting pubic pool water, hot tubs, lakes, rivers and ponds. Symptoms of someone who may be carrying the Giardia lamblia parasite are diarrhea, gas or flatulence, upset stomach and cramps.
Amebiasis is the result when Entamoeba histolytica (or E. histolytica) enter the body, and can be present when there are poor sanitary conditions. E. histolytica can enter the body by that person touching anything that has been in contact with the infected stool or swallowing water and food that has E. histolytica. Symptoms of Amebiasis include loose stools, stomach cramping and stomach pain.
Cryptosporidiosis is a disease that results from the body being infected with Cryptosporidium. This parasite is most often transmitted by water. It is one of the most popular waterborne diseases that can be caused within the United States, and is usually spread through recreational water such as public pool facilities. Sometimes no symptoms may exist with Cryptosporidiosis. When there are symptoms, they include watery diarrhea, stomach cramps or pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, weight loss or dehydration.
Helminths, a.k.a. Intestinal Worms
Intestinal worms are found most frequently in areas with bad hygiene or poor sewage disposal. The worms' eggs are found in the human stools of those who are infected. Once outside the body, the worms develop into cysts or larvae that then can be passed onto those who walk barefoot in the soil; or the larvae enter through the skin while swimming in contaminated water. Symptoms of intestinal worms include bloating, diarrhea and malnutrition.
Humans can become infected with Strongyloides stercoralis by contact with contaminated soil that contains its larvae. It transmits through the skin, and enters through the intestines, where the eggs hatch. While some symptoms may go unnoticed, some individuals will experience diarrhea, abdominal pain and nausea when their condition has become severe. Doctors will use stool samples to diagnose the condition.