A study done by researchers in Norway shows a link between Giardia infection & development of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Researchers gave 817 patients who were exposed to Giardia lamblia mail-in questionnaires which asked them to explain any current symptoms they were experiencing. These patients infection was the result of a waterborne outbreak of Giardia which occured three years prior. They compared these patients answers with those from a control group containing 1128 people.

The results of the study showed that those within Giardia lamblia patient group had a 3.4 times higher likelihood of developing Irritable Bowel Syndrome along with a 4 times higher chance of developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome compared to the control group. The study was lacking in some data such as a lack of information about previous IBS, CFS or related health problems. The lack of this data does reduce the usefulness of this study somewhat.

I personally became ill with Irritable Bowel Syndrome after swimming in a river & I’ve wondered if perhaps some sort of waterborne illness like Giardia was the cause of my future digestive problems.

Giardia is a parasitic¬† infection which is usually obtained via contaminated food, water or soil. The parsite lives within the intestine of the host animal. Symptoms usually include chronic diarrhea, cramping & excessive gas. Weight loss &¬† dehydration can occur. The body can often rid itself of Giardia infection over a few weeks time, but in some cases antibiotics like Metronidazole may be used to treat the infection, although recent studies suggesting a link to Crohn’s Disease from excessive antibiotic use might put patients between a rock & hard place.

Source:  Irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue 3 years after acute giardiasis: historic cohort study