Giardiasis is a diarrheal disease caused by the microscopic parasite Giardia. People contract the parasite through feces (human or animal) contaminated water and food.
According to an article published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, the authors write that although most individuals with a Giardia infection are asymptomatic, this pathogen is increasingly recognized as a cause of pathologies beyond the classical manifestations, including a significantly increased risk of both irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and chronic fatigue (CF), even 6 years after the infection.
In the article they cite their analysis of the incidence of IBS without diarrhea in the departments of Colombia during 2013 where departments with higher giardiasis incidence had higher reported IBS.
They say that physicians need to be aware of the potential sequelae of Giardia infection, to alert their patients of the possible importance of reporting a previous Giardia exposure when presenting for treatment if CF or IBS symptoms develop.
Much more research is required concerning the long term sequelae of giardiasis, the authors add.