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A day in the life of a patient suffering from Foodborne Trematodiases

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I am suffering from Foodborne Trematode infection since a few weeks. It is a parasitic infection caused by trematodes. It is also called foodborne Trematodiases. I might have contracted this infection due to eating contaminated food during one of our weekend outings in a nearby restaurant. So, the transmission is determined by eating contaminated food. I am suffering from severe symptoms due to this infection due to which my routine activities have been affected. Let me explain the change this infection has brought about in my day to day life.

Waking up in the morning

Waking up in the morning is just a ritual that I have to follow because I hardly get any sound sleep at night. I experience sudden attacks of severe cramps in my abdomen during the day as well as night because of which I cannot get proper rest. I also get nausea and vomiting at night and sometimes, after getting up. I have not slept well since the day the symptoms of this infection started troubling me.

Starting the day

Weakness is another major complaint that has been bothering me a lot. This infection has affected my liver, gallbladder, and even lungs. I have a lot of difficulty in getting up from my bed due to the weakness. Additionally, I also experience chest pain, and cough. I feel very tired due to the repeated bouts of cough. The cough is so severe that I start getting pain in my ribs. The weakness does not allow me to carry on with my routine activities like usual. I have to do my morning rituals slowly with the help of my family members.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

My diet is restricted to eating high-protein foods and fresh fruits. I avoid eating fatty foods as my digestion has become very weak. It also makes me feel nauseated. I eat my dinner early in the evening. This allows sufficient time for my weakened digestive system to digest the food properly. I am also taking a few vitamin supplements as the diet is not sufficient for me to fight weakness. I have already lost a lot of weight. My appetite has also reduced. So, I have to rely on these supplements to ensure I do not suffer from any deficiency. Unfortunately, the foodborne illnesses are diseases that affect people in a very tough way. 

Going to work and taking medications

Traveling is quite inconvenient and tiring for me. This infection has forced me to take a leave from my work. However, my job responsibilities are such that I cannot delegate my duties to others completely. I try to manage some of my professional commitments by attending meetings through voice, and video calls. However, this has reduced my productivity and also affected my performance to a great extent. I am being treated with antiparasitic drugs. The doctor has also advised me and my family to undergo preventive chemotherapy. It is a population-based approach in which all the people in an area are given medications to prevent the spread of the parasites. This treatment should protect my family members from contracting the infection from me.

Prevention of complications

The doctor told me that the best way to control Foodborne Trematodiases is to reduce the risk of infection and the associated morbidity. He told me to be watchful of the food I eat because this condition spreads due to the consumption of contaminated food. He also asked me to wash the fruits and vegetables before eating and cooking. He stressed on the importance of washing hands before eating food. These preventive measures are actually a common knowledge that we all have learned during school days. I wish I had taken these safety tips seriously. This would have helped me avoid Foodborne Trematodiases. The doctor also advised me to avoid the consumption of seafood as it is a common risk factor for contracting this parasitic infection.

What are the daily limitations and what are the fears?

Foodborne Trematodiases has affected my liver, gall bladder, and lungs. The functions of these organs are already affected because of which I am suffering from nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, cough, and blood in sputum. While I am trying to cope with these symptoms, there is also the fear of developing complications if the infection causes more damage to these organs. The infection can also spread to other organs. If this happens, my symptoms might worsen causing more morbidity.

How does the future look like?

Though Foodborne Trematodiases is now known to cause life-threatening consequences in most patients, there is still a risk of it affecting multiple organs in the body. The higher the number of organs affected, the longer it will take me to recover from the infection. I have lost weeks of my life to this infection. I am not sure how long it will take to recover completely. The doctor told me it might take a month or so for the parasites to be completely eliminated from the body. Even after the parasites are eliminated, the weakness may persist for another 6 months. I have to take care of my diet and follow proper hygienic precautions to ensure a speedy recovery.

What are the risk factors?

I could have easily avoided Foodborne Trematodiases if I had taken proper hygienic precautions. This infection is transmitted through the consumption of contaminated food and water. I would advise all to eat healthy and hygienic food and wash their hands before eating to prevent this infection.

The evolution of Foodborne Trematodiases

I started experiencing the symptoms of Foodborne Trematodiases the next day we had a dinner in a restaurant. It started with severe pain in the abdomen, along with nausea and vomiting. Over the next few days, the infection had spread to my lungs, liver, and gall bladder, which made the symptoms worse. My latest ultrasound scanning reports have revealed inflammation and fibrosis in these organs. This is not a good sign. These physical changes in my organs can only hamper my progress towards a normal life. Because of the liver involvement, I have also developed jaundice and slight swelling in my abdominal region. I hope the disease does not spread to my brain and other organs as it may cause more severe complications like brain tumors, and paralysis.

What are the psychological effects when you have Foodborne Trematodiases?

Foodborne Trematodiases has affected my routine life in a significant way. The financial burden has increased due to the costs of antiparasitic drugs, preventive chemotherapy, and nutritional supplements I have to take. There are also the mounting expenses of diagnostic procedures and doctor visits. On the other hand, my job too is at risk. All of these have put tremendous stress on my mind. There is also the fear of developing complications. I wish I had taken proper precautions to avoid this infection!

Topics: Foodborne Trematodiases

Dr. Jyothi Shenoy

Written by Dr. Jyothi Shenoy

Dr. Jyothi Shenoy is a doctor having a clinical experience of more than 15 years. She has an expertise in treating acute and chronic diseases like obesity, IBS, asthma, arthritis, Autism, ADHD, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, allergies, cancer, infections, and skin diseases. She believes in treating the patients in a holistic manner. She aims at educating the patients about the illness and providing tips related to their lifestyle and diet to ensure a long-term relief from the disease and preventing its recurrence.