Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal infection that occurs due to a microscopic parasite. Patients typically become infected after consuming contaminated water or food, and symptoms usually take a week to appear. This infection is most often seen in subtropical or tropical regions, but in the United States, infected produce can cause it. This infection can sometimes be difficult to detect since the symptoms are largely nonspecific. To ensure a definitive diagnosis, the doctor will order a specialized stool test. Once it is confirmed, patients are prescribed an antibiotic combination that includes both sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. Those who are unable to use this combination of medication may be prescribed either nitazoxanide or ciprofloxacin, two other antibiotics. Continue to learn about the symptoms to watch out for with cyclosporiasis.
The hallmark symptom of this infection is diarrhea, which is described as profuse, water, and malodorous. It can be explosive at times. The biggest concern is dehydration since water is lost every time diarrhea occurs. Patients are encouraged to drink fluids consistently until it resolves. If sufficient fluids are not consumed, complications can occur, such as excessive thirst, little to no urination, tiredness, dry skin or mouth, dizziness, dark-colored urine, and weakness. Doctors might also recommend electrolyte replacement since this too can occur with diarrhea. Anti-diarrheal medications may be considered in addition to electrolyte replacement, fluid replacement, and treating the underlying infection.
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