Diseases Diseases

How To Diagnose Parasitic And Infectious Diseases

Introduction

To be able to diagnose parasitic and infectious diseases, first the doctor will have to determine exactly what you have and then treat the infection accordingly. There are many different infectious diseases and most of them can make you sick, but can also be cured quickly. Some of them on the other hand can make you very sick and even cause death if left untreated. A parasite is an organism that needs a host organism to live. There are three different kinds of parasites or classes of parasites and they are: protozoa, helminthes, and ectoparasites. Each of these classes of parasites can be further broken down. Parasitic and infectious diseases can cause a tremendous burden in the tropics and in temperate climates. But, parasitic and infectious diseases do happen in the United States, just not in tropical places.

Step 1

There are many different ways that the doctor can figure out what kind of parasitic and infectious diseases you may be inflicted with. The very first thing that you need to clue your doctor in on is where you have been recently and your activities. The more that the doctor knows about your life and where you have been and what you have been doing, the faster and hopefully quicker he can come up with a diagnosis for you. Let him know if you have traveled outside of the United States, if you have been around any animals, especially stray animals. The more that the doctor knows where you have been and what you have been doing can help him try to figure out what you might have wrong with you.

Step 2

After filling in the doctor on where you have and have not been, then he will start to order tests to try and figure out which kind of parasitic and infectious diseases you may have. The first test will be a stool sample. These can be done at home, and the doctor should have given you special containers for the stool samples that contain a special fluid. You will more than likely need to take these samples once a day for about three days and often, they want them at different times of the day. These can help to determine what kind of parasite you may have picked up. If that does not work, he may then order you to undergo other tests.

Step 3

The next test that your doctor may perform if the stool sample test did not determine what kind of parasitic and infectious diseases that you may have, the next test that he will more than likely order will be an endoscopy or colonoscopy.

Step 4

If either of those do not show anything conclusive, then the next test that he will use will be a blood test. A blood test will only work for certain parasitic and infectious diseases, and will not show all parasites. This can make it difficult to determine what type of parasite you may be infected with.

Step 5

If your doctor still cannot determine which type of parasitic and infectious diseases you may be inflicted with, he might have to start the test back over.

Tips

The easiest thing for you to do is work with your doctor to help determine what kind of parasitic and infectious diseases or disease you may have. When telling him about it, do not leave out anything, which may seem remote to you, but could end up being the biggest and possibly the one thing that can help cure you.

Sources and Citations

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/references_resources/diagnosis.html

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/parasiticdiseases.html

http://www.noah-health.org/en/infectious/diseases/parasit/index.html

 

By Sally Vigil, published at 03/27/2012
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