Summer fun leads to upset stomachs

By Lori Lyle - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Memorial Day fun in the water may be the reason for some messed up tummies in Kentuckiana. In our weekly check of 'What's Going Around' in Kentuckiana parasitic diarrhea is among the reported illnesses.

Dr. Christina Breit at Dupont Internal Medicine, Jewish Physician Group, is treating cases of Giardia-parasite.  The parasite is acquired she says, "when drinking [or swallowing] water from a creek or stream."

Well water can contain the parasite too. It causes diarrhea that needs to be treated with an antibiotic. Patients should drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated.

Dr. Breit is also treating upper respiratory infections. The symptoms are head congestion, sinus pressure and headaches. Dr. Breit recommends over the counter antihistamines or Sudafed for patients without high blood pressure. If the patient isn't better in three days, then the advise is to consult a doctor for a possible antibiotic.

Dr. Kathryn Schat with UofL Geriatric Medicine is treating URI's as well.  Located at Central Station, she says it's hard to tell the difference between that illness and seasonal allergies which she's treating a lot too.

Dr. Schat offers this advise to sufferers when trying to determine what it is, A summer cold she says "should last a week or two, then back to normal but allergic rhinits can continue for weeks even months."

Both are treated with antihistamines and if it's allergies, a nasal steroid spray and allergy eye drops can help. Also, Dr. Schat says to limit exposure to the outside by closing windows.

Dr. Daniel Arnold in Shively is treating much the same at his practice, Southend Medical Clinic.  He adds to this weeks list, Acute Sinusitis. The symptoms include nasal congestion, headaches and sore throat. He's treating patients with antibiotics and decongestants.

For parents with small children, be on the lookout for a croup-ee cough. Dr. Judy Theriot at UofL, Children and Youth Project says the cough sounds like a bark and gets worse at night.  It comes with a runny nose and fever. And since it's viral, antibiotics won't help.

Dr. Theriot warns the cough "can be very scary in babies and young children due to swelling in the upper airway" so breathing can become a struggle.

There are a couple of at-home tricks to ease the swelling says Theriot, like standing in front of an open freezer door and breathing in the cool air and running a shower to fill a small bathroom with steam.

If nothing helps and the struggle doesn't ease, a trip to the ER may be necessary.

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