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Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Tropical stomach parasite after Brazil visit ?


 bee-free - Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:05 am

Hi,
I sure hope that you can help me....I returned home New Year's Day from an 11 day trip way up the Rio Negro ( Amazon Tributary / Barcelos, Brazil ) and now I can't eat full meals anymore. About five days after getting home, my stomach started to bloat / distend EXTREMELY large after even a modest meal. No particular foods but rather, ANYTHING I eat. A slight watery discharge accompanied my otherwise pretty normal bowel movements ( no real diarrhea ) but that has reduced, now that my food intake is very low....I can manage this if I simply don't eat. I do have stomach muscle cramps in the morning after one of these episodes ( probably from the severe over-stretching ) but my stomach returns to normal size. Another thing is that my eyes water frequently, funny as that seems, but it started at the same time. I know that I drank some questionable water from a Deep Rock dispenser that the hotel staff was filling out back with a hose daily ( thanks a lot guys ! )
My doctor can't figure this one out and I would sure apprectiate any help that you could offer.....although I've lost 12 pounds I didn't really need, I MISS FOOD !
Many Thanks
 John Kenyon, CNA - Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:12 pm

User avatar Hello --

This definitely does sound like a possible parasitical infection and even if you don't test positive for any of the more common parasites from the area in question, it probably wouldn't hurt to start you on one of the antiparasitical drugs such as metronidazole, and if the situation resolves this should serve as pretty sound proof that you were infected. Everything you've said here suggest very strongly amebiasis. You didn't mention if you were tested for parasites in your stool, but even this sometimes has to be done several times, as the parasites may not always pass in sufficient numbers to show up positive on microscopic inspection. Meanwhile the symptoms and history all argue strongly in favor of this, so I'd definitely ask to be treated as though it was already diagnosed. There's no real down side to this approach.

I hope this is helpful to you. Good luck with this and please follow up with us here.

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