Cryptosporidium Infection or Cryptosporidiosis: Treatment, Recovery, Prevention, Coping
There is no specific treatment procedure recommended for cryptosporidium infection or cryptosporidiosis. The recovery time depends on the strength of immune system. In case of a healthy person with good immunity, the recovery takes less than two weeks. However in case of weak immune system, infection can lead to serious complications like malfunction, dehydration, wasting etc... This article explains about the treatment for cryptosporidium infection or cryptosporidiosis, recovery period/healing time, prevention, coping and prognosis/outlook.
Treatment for Cryptosporidium Infection or Cryptosporidiosis
The treatment for cryptosporidium infection or cryptosporidiosis generally focuses on suppressing the symptoms and strengthening the immune system. Following are some of the recommended treatments:
- Anti-Parasitic Drugs for Treating Cryptosporidium Infection or Cryptosporidiosis: Anti-parasitic drugs for treating cryptosporidium infection or cryptosporidiosis involves prescribing medications like nitazoxanide (Alinia) which restricts the metabolism of cryptosporidium parasite and suppress the symptoms of diarrhea. In addition Azithromycin (Zithromax) is prescribed to strengthen the immune system.
- Treating Cryptosporidium Infection or Cryptosporidiosis Using Anti-motility Agents: Treating cryptosporidium infection or cryptosporidiosis using anti-motility agents involves use of Anti-motility drugs like loperamide and its derivatives which helps in slowing down the movement of digested food through intestine to allow better absorption of fluids and nutrients. Thus it helps in getting rid of diarrhea and ensuring normal stools. All types of medications must be taken only after referring to doctor.
- Fluid Replacement Treatment for Cryptosporidium Infection or Cryptosporidiosis: In this mode of treatment for cryptosporidium infection or cryptosporidiosis, the primary aim is to replenish the fluids and electrolytes in the body which can easily get lost during diarrhea. The minerals such as calcium, sodium, etc that is very helpful in balancing fluids in body.
- Another Way to treat Cryptosporidium Infection or Cryptosporidiosis Using Antiretroviral Therapies: For HIV/AIDS patients diagnosed with cryptosporidium infection or cryptosporidiosis, a doctor is most likely to use Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART) that helps in building the immune system of body. If you have HIV/AIDS, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) can reduce the viral load in your body.
Note: Certain segment of people like small children, infants, pregnant women etc... are more at risk of extreme dehydration. In case of infants, loss of fluid can lead to a serious condition. Thus one must ensure increased intake of fluids to keep the symptoms of cryptosporidium infection or cryptosporidiosis at bay. In some cases of dehydration, hospitalization becomes necessary to take control of the situation. Always keep the contact details of your doctor and seek immediate treatment in case of diarrhea before it gets worst.
Recovery Period/Healing Time for Cryptosporidium Infection or Cryptosporidiosis
The recovery depends or healing time relies on lots of factors related to severity and individual’s immunity. Thus your doctor can only tell you exactly about the recovery period or any other related issues.
Prevention of Cryptosporidium Infection or Cryptosporidiosis
Cryptosporidium infection or cryptosporidiosis is contagious in nature. Hence it is necessary to take necessary actions for preventing cryptosporidium infection or cryptosporidiosis to spread. So far no vaccination is available for cryptosporidium infection or cryptosporidiosis.
The different measures for prevention are designed to avoid transmission of cryptosporidium parasite in the environment released with animal and human feces.
People with immune system must take special precautions. Some of them are as follows:
- Practice good hygiene to prevent cryptosporidium infection or cryptosporidiosis. Make sure that you properly disinfect your hands after use of toilets, before and after eating, changing diapers etc... by cleaning with soap and water.
- All vegetables and fruits that are indented to be used raw must be thoroughly washed with clean water. Do not eat fruits if you feel they are infected. Also take special care while travelling in developing countries to avoid raw food.
- Always use clean and pure drinking water especially if your immune system is weak to prevent the chances of cryptosporidium infection or cryptosporidiosis.
- Drinking water must be filtered and boiled to make it free from infection. Boiling is more effective than filtering water. Thus while using filtered water, ensure that it is in accordance with the standards set by national Safety Foundation Standard/American National Standards Institute (NSF/ANSI) standard 53 or 58. Filtration measures must be designed to get rid of bacteria and viruses.
- Avoid swimming in contaminated water of lakes, ponds and rivers as far as possible especially if you have weak immune system.
- Avoid sexual acts involving fecal exposure.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap if you handling newborn farm and domestic animals.
- Avoid swimming if you are having symptoms of diarrhea. People having cryptosporidium infection or cryptosporidiosis must stay away from swimming for atleast two weeks after the complete recovery from the symptoms of infection to avoid parasites from spreading to water bodies.
Coping with Cryptosporidium Infection or Cryptosporidiosis
Managing Your Diet for Proper Coping with Cryptosporidium Infection or Cryptosporidiosis
In case of diet for person suffering with cryptosporidium infection or cryptosporidiosis, fiber must be avoided as a coping method as it makes the diarrhea worst. Some of the food items allowed for coping are:
- Boiled Potatoes with skin peeled out completely.
- Pasta and rice.
- Dry cracker biscuits.
- Food which are baked.
- White bread.
Also spicy food must be avoided as it can cause inflammation or irritation in the digestive in digestive track and worsen the symptoms of diarrhea.
Drinking Plenty of Fluids as a Coping Mechanism for Cryptosporidium Infection or Cryptosporidiosis
Diarrhea causes loss of water from the body and leads to dehydration. Thus it is necessary to drink a lot of fluids as a coping mechanism for cryptosporidium infection or cryptosporidiosis to replenish the fluid lost. Take small sips. However alcoholic drinks must be avoided as they make the situation worse as they cause more loss of fluid.
Another Way to Cope with Cryptosporidium Infection or Cryptosporidiosis is Soothing the Skin Around the Anus
Diarrhea can also result in sore anus, and in extreme cases it may even break down. Here are some of the tips to cope with cryptosporidium infection or cryptosporidiosis:
- Baby wipes are soft and hence use of unscented baby wipes to wipe your anus after using toilet is helpful. Avoid using toilet paper.
- Take a bath in warm water a few times as feasible. It not only relieves from pain but also assist healing.
- Applying specific creams like Vaseline, E45 etc... around your anus as per the recommendation of your doctor can provide a lot of relief.
- Do not wear tight underwear or trousers.
- It is recommended to wear cotton underwear as they allow a lot of aeration. Avoid wearing nylon as it results in lot of sweat can cause rashes.
Resting as a Mechanism to Cope with Cryptosporidium Infection or Cryptosporidiosis
You can easily get exhausted and feel weakness if diarrhea persists for more than two days because of the loss of fluids. Thus it is necessary to give your body some rest. Seek help from your family and friends with routine activities like cleaning, cooking etc... It will help you get proper rest.
Prognosis/Outlook for Cryptosporidium Infection or Cryptosporidiosis
Diarrhea caused by cryptosporidium infection or cryptosporidiosis is not serious in case of healthy individuals and does not require much treatment. But it can be prolonged greater than 1 week or persistent more than 2 weeks.
However in case of individuals with weak immunity, this can result into serious complications including extra-intestinal manifestations and has the tendency to reappear.
People who are having AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) can develop chronic symptoms in case of cryptosporidium infection or cryptosporidiosis with 10% having possibility of fulminant course. Antiretrovital treatment is helpful in such situation.
Children with weak immunity do well as compared to adults in case of cryptosporidium infection or cryptosporidiosis. However the common symptoms like loose stools, abdominal pain, dizzy spells, pain in joints, headache etc... cannot be avoided.