Giardia: Eat Shit and Die…

If you’ve traveled to another country or gone anywhere in the outdoors, you’ve probably heard of giardia. Supposedly Civilizations settlers brought this crap over from Europe or somewhere, since giardia seems to foster best in densely populated areas of domestic cows. Thanks to these assholes (the settlers, not the cows) this flagellated protozoan parasite known as Giardia lamblia, (AKA “the runs,” “the shits,” and my favorite; “Beaver Fever“), lives in almost every water source in the United States. It generally spreads by tricking someone into eating the poop of another infected creature… which leads me to think that giardia sounds like Mother Nature telling civilization to, and not in the figurative sense, “eat shit and die.”

The Shittiness of Giardia
Beaver Fever has several ways of getting inside your guts–just the perfect spot it needs to throw a poo-poo party. The quickest and easiest way to get this party started involves you drinking water with giardia contaminated poop, such as water with contaminated beavers; hence, Beaver Fever. Second on our list we have eating things that have shit rubbed all over them. Mmmmm, tasty! Thirdly we have… possibly the worst thing imaginable… plain old shit-eating. EeeeeeeW! I feel my stomach turning over just thinking about giardia!

Grossed out yet? Thank Civilization.

Preventing Giardia
Anywho. I think we can all agree that none of us want giardia (mostly because of the embarrassment of getting labeled “shit eater” by our friends). So how can we avoid it? Step one seems fairly obvious; stop eating shit! Step two; avoid drinking water that appears contaminated. Personally, I just assume it has giardia in it these days if it does not come from a tap, or a natural spring… and even then… Step three, boil boil boil the shit out of that water! If you do drink water from a creek or wherever, boil or purify it with some other means. I find this important with or without giardia. So many chemicals and other water borne parasites exist these days (all thanks to civilization).

“How do I know if I’ve got it?” Let’s just say you’ll know. Several weeks after “accidentally” eating contaminated feces, you’ll begin to experience stomach pains, nausea, loud obnoxious farts, and have lots and lots and lots of diarrhea. However, many people, I call them freaks, do not have symptoms when they get giardia.

Curing Giardia
“I’ve got giardia, what do I do?” Shh. Don’t say it out loud! Go to the doctor to make sure. If this happens post-apocalyptically, you can do a few things. Drink tons more water (and a lot less shit). Giardia causes diarrhea, which will make you dehydrated, so keep those fluids coming, and make sure you purify it… and do it right this time! And please, for all of us, wash your hands. Oh, I almost forgot. Avoid anal play during sex. 😉 To get rid of giardia, doctors can prescribe several drugs. If you want to get all primitive (and you live in the NW) you can make a tea from Oregon Grape root bark. You’ll need quite a bit. Drink it for a long time after your symptoms have gone away, just to make sure it won’t come back.

Current Questions:

1. What other herbs can heal Giardia?

2. Why do some people not have symptoms?

3. Will we ever drink water from creeks without having to worry about giardia and other such civilized nonsense?

*I wrote this article in e-prime. Please inform me if you find a verb “to be” or any Aristolian bullshit.*

Book Sources
Rabies, Lyme Disease, Hanta Virus and Other Animal-Bourne Diseases in the United States and Canada
Web Sources

26 Comments on “Giardia: Eat Shit and Die…”

  1. this is a fucking masterpiece, scout. you had me at the title, but you brought me home with each new paragraph. hell, i think you even made me breakfast in the morning before kicking me out the front door.

    not only is it fucking hilarious, it’s really informative. i just read elpel’s take on giardia not too long ago in Participating in Nature and it had me worried. boiling is definitely the top priority for killing these single-cell fuckers.

    i also remember reading in In the Wake some really good (if more complex) methods for purifying water.

    the thing that worries me is chemical pollution. you can’t just boil that out. and if you’re on the go chasing game and forageables across the landscape, do you have to take a solar still with you in order to drink safely?

  2. Funny stuff.

    Rix, how about collecting morning and evening dew (not in a field of shit). I wonder how long it would take to sop up a pint with a t-shirt. I should try that.

  3. A direct question for you to answer : Aristolian, what does…pardon me, nearly forgot where I had surfed… what the feraking fuck does that mean? I kinna find it in the book with the words.

    Oh, and no ‘Be-Be’s baby! Excellence!

  4. Hey Scout,

    There’s a plant called “wormwood.” Apparently this plant offers a natural cure for Giardia, intestinal worms, and the like. I’ve seen in listed in several reputable sources. check it out if you haven’t already. peace

  5. This shit business sucks! I got giardia from some dirty fuckers I met a month ago. They kept talking about going to Mexico and partying on weelends. Thanks asshole, you’re propably one of those freaks who don’t show any symptoms and obviously don’t wash your hands after wiping. I’m gonna throw you onto oncoming traffic next time I see you fuckface!

    I’m living in hell! I have been having severe pains for 4 weeks, lost 20 pounds so far which puts me at 135 for a 5’10” guy. Move over Kate Moss, there’s a new kid in town. I don’t have the runs, actually haven’t laid a log in 5 days. My bowels seem to hold the shit back for a few days and release all at once. Record that as a new symptom in the books.
    I read up on the net about certain parasited feeding off carbs and sugars in your gut, so I switched to straight protein and I felt better immediately, but it went south about 3 days later, but it’s still better than when I was on toast and rice diet. The carbs seemed to blow me up me even more and cause me to throw up more. My GI doc thinks it’s bullshit and I can eat everything, but I know what worked for my body.

    Even on vicodin I still toss and turn at nights from the pains. Those electric hot pads kinda work in taking the pain away though; thanks doc.
    Allright, I’ve rambled enough. Don’t get giardia folks, stay safe and healthy!

  6. SEVEN years ago I went to Ecuador and was careful not to drink the water (or even brush my teeth with it!). One day, we had the great idea of going rafting – oops, swallowed a HUGE gulp of water. After that I had TERRIBLE diarrhea (in a hacienda that turned off the water at night nonetheless). Well, my stomach has never been the same since. I went to doctor after doctor and I was eventually prescribed Paxil….yes, PAXIL! They said I just had IBS and a nervous stomach. Here we are seven years later and one hell of a ride getting on and then OFF paxil…but I finally had a stool test done (don’t know why they didn’t do this in the first place) and lo and behold, I have Giardia (and have had it for SEVEN freakin years!). So, as far as remedies, wormwood, black walnut, and cloves. Plus a good antioxidant to flush them all out when they die. Just started this today…we’ll see how it goes.

  7. thank you. very nice and relavent title. Also, thank you for keeping things to a simple, yet informitive tone. Very practical

  8. Just came across this site – want to add my two cents in case anyone has the same experience I’ve had with Giardia. When you have it, you are desparate for information. I hope my experience will help anyone from ever getting it, but if you do, here are some notes –

    It started as a mild epigastric pain – upper area under rib cage opposite my heart and then progressed to nauseating burps and lots of gas and (for me) intermittent diarrhea. Explosive diarrhea is the word…From there, I was the sickest I’ve been in my life..

    Nausea, gas, inability to eat, unrelenting fatigue. I lost 22 pounds. I couldn’t walk – this stuff put me down for almost a month! It was hell. The telltale sign that indicated this was was Girdia was the YELLOW FLOATING STOOL. Sorry to be graphic, but if you have this, you can’t get any real info on what the actual symptoms are and therefore can’t be treated appropriately, even if you have stool samples.

    After 5 days of thinking I was sick from ‘food poisoning”, I ended up in the ER – tons of tests, etc. The test for stool was negative for Giardia but I knew this was it – ( I used to be a nurse and the symptoms were a match). The doctor referred me to a GI specialist for follow-up. Those samples were also negative. Here’s the deal: You can have multiple samples taken and there is a greater than 90% chance it will be negative for Giardia until several months pass and the intestine has played host to the cysts for a while.

    When I went to the ER, they subscribed Levaquin, an antibiotic, to treat a broad range of potential bacteria incl salmonella. When I went to the GI doc, I was given Flagyl, (metrodanizole) for 10 days. That did not work, so I was given another 10 days of Flagyl. After all of this, I was still sick. After reading on the web about Tindamax (recently approved for use in the U.S.A.), I called my friend, an ER doctor and asked for the Tindamax. In 24 hours, was feeling much better.

    I was sick and in bed for 28 days from this crap. The symptoms continued for a month after. They can continue for years after. I have also been in touch with people who have long term problems with it from improper diagnosis’ such as the woman above with a 7 year issue.

    Here is what I uncovered through my research:

    1.) The Emergency Room M.D.’s need at least 3 samples to test and they have you in the ER for about 4 hours or less. There is not enough time for the right tests to make a definitive diagnosis which is why they prescribe a broad spectrum antibiotic to treat a broad potential set of problems.

    2.) There is a SPECIFIC TEST for the antigen for Giardia. Ask for an Elisa/Immunoassay for Giardia in the ER and at the GP and at the GI office. You may have to submit to multiple tests over several days. An Ova and Parasite test for stool will not cut it – you will not have correct results from this test if it is Giardia.

    3.) The source contamination for many is through contaminated water and/or food from improper handwashing. In our area, we have been told that the CDC has been trying to track incidences of occurence but the reports from hospital ER’s is inconclusive due to the test results often being negative. What we have found in lots of late night research is that suspicions surround an “endemic population” working in restaurants (foreign born workers)who have long standing and undetected giardia. If they fail to perform proper food prep, you are at risk. The research also indicates the food location sources we receive most of our cruciferous fruits and vegetables from – ie: Mexico, etc. are often imported from farms where substandard farming practices are still in play and night soils are sometimes in use. Therefore, the theory holds that water absorbed by these foods contaminates them. After retracing my food consumption 3-6 days prior to the symptoms, the most likely culprit was lettuce! Improperly washed and/or handled! Since some people never report findings or they recover, the CDC has a hard time tracking this problem, but they have enough reporting to believe there is an issue in the U.S. with it – all tied to restaurant practices in food prep.

    4.) Since this illness, I have read numerous studies about how to clean my own foods – 1 gal of apple cider or white vinegar with 2 caps of hydrogen peroxide kills just about everything according to a widely circulated technical white paper. Immerse your fruit/vegetables in water for 15 minutes that is clean or has been boiled (then cooled) for a FULL 60 seconds.

    5.) If you are out hiking, BOIL YOUR WATER. Most Filters are useless to kill the cysts. Water sources in central systems (city water) have demonstrated levels that can cause large scale contamination. Studies have shown that CHLORINATION DOES NOT FULLY KILL THE CYSTS. Boil where possible if possible if you suspect any water could be an issue.

    6.) You can get this from your cat/dog. WASH your hands, wash their bedding and wash them regularly. Do not let them “kiss” your face – or risk this stuff. Dogs tend to have mild symptoms which can easily be mistaken for mild GI distress.

    7.) The cysts are resistant to certain herbs (mentioned above) and certain other things which help prevent their continued attachment to you, their host. I started by cleaning some vegetables (as above) and then using a heavy vinegar based salad dressing since some research shows evidence of the cysts releasing from when doused with vinegar via food passing through the small intestine.

    8.) If you’ve got it, back away from carbs and milk/cheese.. It tends to make a majority of infected persons lactose intolerant for a long while. The gas (GAS, GAS, GAS, GAS) created by Giardia is funny to joke about until you actually have Giardia then you will be crying.

    9.) Intergrative Medicine Practioners are more in tune with amoeba, parasites and other bugs – if you can be followed up by them, better than a GI doc who will keep drugs flowing but not help much with the residual effects.

  9. hay I was diagnosed with giardia in the spring and took the metronidyzal stuuf it didnt work. wormwood and black walnut, cloves tyme goldenseel tinctures didnt work. gse, garlic, blackberry root. burnt toast. all this hasnt seem to do anything, or not kicked it all the way. I’m not sure what to do. mabey fast. its all preety danting, when it comes to how hard it is to get rid of tiny little bugers that can hide. any tips?

  10. Thanks for the site and comments. I have submitted the sample to dr, and am waiting for results, but very sure I, and prob family have G.
    We are on tank water, and recently found a decomposing bird (disgusting) in the roof gutter. Have had all mentioned symptoms.
    Has anyone heard about the effectiveness of OLIVE LEAF in treating this?

  11. Tindamax is the effective one time 2g oral solution. You can circumvent the incompetencies of some MD’s through online websites like

    Thank god for the internet and that we can decide for ourselves what we put in our bodies rather than dealing with inconclusive tests.

  12. I have had symptoms for over 8 months and was diagnosed with diverticulytus (mis-spelled). I continued having symptoms and am confused on were I got it. My family has it…we are having the pets tested but I am very clean and demand that the pets are washed. I do not know if we caught it from our own water supply but they stated that they treat the water with chlorine…what I am understanding is this does not kill it. I have requested that the sewage company put a back flow value on my septic line because they flush the lines and crap and “stuff” come fly out of my toliet. We go to these hot springs that I also have suspecion if that is contaminated…I can’t even work and am so fatigued by it it is worse than when I had pneumonia. I have been given the typical Metronidazole but feel like I need to avoid certain foods as all of you have suggested. I crave sugar…losing weight is the only good part but I feel like I am literallywasting away. I have avery physical job and I can’t take time off…will this last for months or years? I want to do a cleans but because of my health I don’t think I should. Is there a cleans that works on Giardia?

  13. entertaining… very entertaining…
    now we know what to do…we’ll try and stop eating shit!!!

  14. Hi Peter and others,

    There’s a fascinating therapy being used in Australia and some parts of the U.S. for IBS, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, clostridium infections and the like (maybe even giardia). Contrary to the title of this post — “eat shit and die” — this therapy might be described as “eat shit and live!”

    What is it called? Fecal Bacteriotherapy. Check out the link:

    I myself actually tried the therapy for a bug (blastocystis hominis) I thought was giving me problems. Nothing much happened for me, oddly enough — neither good nor bad — despite literally ingesting someone else’s shit. Read my comments — “rk900” — in the above link for more on that (scroll waaaayyy down).

    So, in case you haven’t guessed, I’m of the school thought that the terrain (the immunity of the body) is what truly matters, not the enironment (the bacteria, parasites, whatever). In that sense, a healthy person would never get food poisoning, giardia, or any such thing!

  15. I’ve had Giardia for the last 2 years. Tried all the anti-biotics, Flagyl, Tindamax, Inodiquol, symptoms(rash, diarreah, fever, fatigue) started to go away but came back as soon as I finished the anitbiotic.

    My next step is Ozone/hydrogen peroxide therapy.

    Will keep you posted.

  16. I had giardia I had it since August I had disgusting gas, explosive diarria, I was so tired I could hardly function, I also looked like I was 9 months pregnant. I just finished Metronidazole for ten days, I was so very tired still but bloating seemed better, now a week later I have been getting migraines, I am bloated again and gas is back! I sent in a stool sample last week, is it possible its not gone? Help!

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  18. I have read so much on Giardia as desperate to get rid of it, if you eat the right foods you lose more weight which in turn makes you weaker, as you lose weight with these critters anyway which does become a concern.
    You must get high vitamin capsules and enzmyes to keep weight in check.
    They say wormwood, (Green) black walnut also clove capsules which kill the eggs take all three together you can add pure apple juice, this is a parasite cleanse. Things they dislike, anything sour citric. Coconut oil or fresh coconut, Fennel seeds, sage, thyme, ginger and pompkin seeds. Fresh garlic cloves, eat whole, do not crush or cut, put straight in the mouth to get the allicin. Metronidazole tests revealed it gave cancer and tumours to rats and mice, Tinidzaole has not been tested but has much the same ingredients. Look into this yourself as the side effects can be worse than the giardia. Many say the giardia just returns again, so I would suggest taking the safe herbs over a long period. You can only try these things. Mexician people chew a raw avacados for parasites. If anyone knows a cure that definately works, I would love to know it! What a terrible parasite to get and have, you would think that the scientists would get a cure as so many people are getting them. Good luck!

  19. Forgot to mention: Take prebiotics & probiotics

    From what I can gather you need to get your immune system built up because the people effected more by giardia are people with a low immune system they reak havoc. Many people with a good immune system probably have no bother or fight them off. So you need to get your immune system as good as you can get it. Parasite cleanse either before or after treatment. Then keep taking safe natural herbs, they say ground clove capsules kills the eggs so that sounds a good one to take on a low dosage say 1 capsule 500mg a day after treatment eat fresh coconut as well and gratted carrots. Drink herb teas Fennel is a good one! You must drink plenty of bottle water throughout the day! Don’t give up as it can get you that way, I am trying all these things myself, I have read up hours and hours on giardia almost like going round in a circle nothing conclusive, you are left trying to figure our what to take for the best and will it work! They hate vinegar, that weakens their grip so they say, that made me think maybe they hate hot curries as well! I have put all this info together after hours of reading up articles, so I hope this might help you as I said this is a terrible thing to have and rid yourself of it seems.

  20. I’ve had giardia since labor day. i’m in the second week of my third prescription to get rid of it. the giardia was bad but the metro stuff makes me feel slightly nauseous unless i’m eating all the time. this is a 21 day prescription that i was supposed to take with something scarey used to treat malaria. i decided to forego the malaria meds and instead did a 7 day dose of medicinal oregano oil and oregamax. not sure if it will work. if not, next try will be an herbalist because it’s wearing me down to be sick to my stomach every single day. i wish i had gone to a natural remedy sooner. who knows how long it will take my body to heal from the meds. if you just got this, try natural first rather than last.

  21. 25yr old female sydney aust
    3 weeks ago I returned home from a trip o/s- I was in Europe and during my trip I noticed that some of my runs had a strong sulfur smell to it….didn’t think anything of it and them on the way home I went through Hong Kong- stupidly had a prawn won tong soup and hopped on the plane. the last 3 hrs to Sydney I woke with STABBING PAINS/GAS FOLLOWED BY 2,3,4,5,6….8…TRIPS TO THE BATHROOM I had the runs. I quickly took as much lomotil as I thought possible as I had no option I was on a flight with 300 ppl. I managed to stop it before landing and had to tell customs who took my details etc….went home and for 3 days was fine (probably because I clogged myself up). I went to the doctor for my prescriptions and while I was there I told her about my experience and she gave me ZITHROMAX (to treat bacteria). So I took that and that night I had severe cramping- the kind where you just want to scream out loud really horrible and diarrhea after eating. I took the second dose the next day and the same thing. I went back to the doctor a few days later still having the symptoms – CRAMPING, WIND, SULFUR SMELLING POO, FOUL SMELLING POO, FLOATING FATTY POO,EXPLOSIVE DIAREEAH, YOU NAME IT! She did blood work which excluded chrons/celiac and no gluten intolerance- she was reluctant to give me flagyl as I have had so many antibiotics she didn’t think it was necessary. I also did many stool samples over a few days- 9 stool samples in total all came back negative (keep in mind I did that after the zithromax) so I was devastated as I had no answer but still having severe cramping etc! one day it was so bad I went to the toilet 19 times (I was recording everything) so I went back to the doctors but this time saw someone else who specialized in gasto upsets. she said for sure I have GIARDIA!!!

    as giardia is only picked up in 30% of stool samples

    so she have me a strong hit of flagyl (4 tabs at once single dose)(which took away the cramps but not the diarrhea/mushy stools) on Monday and she said if I wasn’t feeling better by Wednesday take NOROXIN for 3 days twice a day.

    here’s where it gets interesting….I was taking the noroxin and on the thursday I woke up with acute chest pain (they think it was reflux from all the acid and upsets in my body) which I went straight to the nurse and the doc and they seemed confused..(TURNS OUT U CAN GET HEART ATTACK LIKE SYMPTOMS FROM GIARDIA)….after begging them to put me on a drip they agreed- I had spent 2 weeks with acute diarrhea and was completely washed out- emotionally exhausted and just over it.
    They gave me the drip and pethadine for the chest pain- I was high as a kite- all the pain went away and they sent me home told me I have turned a corner and will make a full recovery. That was on Thursday. Friday, sat. sun I was feeling ok- no cramping or gas but still loose stools- not explosive diarrhea but Friday was def mushy/diarrhea. Saturday I had semi formed stools and Sunday had mushy semi formed stools.

    then- Sunday night- I had had my plain chicken and rice (for 2 weeks had a bland diet of rice, cracker, soup and bread, mashed potatoes etc) was sitting on the couch when suddenly had severe cramping and then run- as fast as I could to the toilet- 3 bouts of diarrhea like liquid (one of the signs of giardia is fatty floating diarrhea) and I though $$$$$$! ITS BACK- HAD A SEVERE PANIC ATTACK AS I WAS DUE TO START MY JOB IN 2 DAYS! My mum calmed me down and the next morning I was again at the doctors at 730 am who gave me a week’s course of flagyl. I will keep you updated on how that goes- work was really understanding and gave me a week off to recover- considering this is week 3 of giardia I am praying this works but have googled experiences of giardia that last up to 6 weeks sometimes longer with it permanently damaging you. My gastroentologist has said if im not better in 2 weeks I need to have a colonoscopy and rule out any other problems which I hope I wont have to go down that path as thats not pleasant…. so I will let you know what happens on the weeks course of flagyl- first day of taking it again im pretty wipped out it’s a strong drug- still cramping and diarrhea.

    Im really down and exhausted- this giardia has knocked all the confidence I had out of me, like many others here I am desperate and sometimes would rather not live than have this. if you have any of the above symptoms giardia please tell me your experience and what worked and didn’t work for you-

    id also like to know whats happened since your last posts????

  22. Hey people

    19 m Austria here, so glad i found that page 🙂 actually i’m not sure about what i have but the symptoms seem to be very very similar to what you have described :S i didn’t do any trip to “dangerous” countries in the last months, but i guess that probably i could have been infected by any not accurately washed salad or whatever…anyway it all started 3 or 4 weeks ago with acute diarrhea which i couldn’t stop with the Imodium pills the doctor gave me. They even made it worse and caused even more gas production and i felt so gross! I had to open up the windows of my room every time when…you know 😀 the smell is the worst thing in my case i guess. The first week was horrible, i was so afraid of dehydration, i tried all possible remedies, like coke and salty things, all kinds of teas, rice….i just felt as i if i couldn’t eat anything anymore and i guess i lost some weight…i swear that somehow i could understand anorexic persons in that situation. i couldn’t drink anymore milk, i immediately felt it running into my belly :O Diarrhea got better by now, i also did the blood and feces exams with negative results, but it just seems so to be giardia to me. maybe i was lucky because it’s not that extreme anymore (i kind of hope that it’s away since in the last days everything was fine in the bathroom, the smell doesn’t smell as disgusting anymore either) but it’s not the first time it seems to improve…it goes and returns soon after…i’ve become a little bit paranoic and the sulfuric smell seems to be just everywhere, i’m scared every time i go to the bathroom! Anyway i can recommend you those coal pills wich are natural and make the diarrhea and gas better (but they color the stool black, so don’t be scared) they absorb liquids and gas and stuff and they seem to be just healthier than imodium or other chemical bullshit, i haven’t noticed any collateral effect or so 😀 even though today it’s better, i think it might return, so i’m trying some things i read here like the garlic thing *eeew*, the fennel tea…and i even toke two spoons of vinegar since someone mentioned that giardia “beings” xD really dislike acid things…i’d try whatever, really!
    Thanks for making this site, and let’s keep updated,
    have a good:)

  23. Hi i picked up giardia in india, have had it slightly in the past and got rid of it with lycopodium 30 and Carbo veg 30(homeopathic remedies)
    This time my immune system was down and have had a lot more trouble.
    Also took podophylum 30 this time,(another homeopathic remedy) haven’t had any pain, and my stools have firmed up, energy almost back, but stools still float and yellow, so know it’s not gone.Also so skinny and weight not returning. I was told in India to try Bael Fruit an ayervedic preparation made by Himalaya, also told Kutajbilva but haven’t tried that.I am taking oregano oil(disgusting) also Grapefruit seed extract(even more disgusting) both are anti parasitic, you need to keep taking it for a long time, thought I was better stopped and it came back.Trying to lay of cheese, any fatty foods and sugar and wheat,difficult though cos I need to put weight on. My sympathy to all other sufferers hope this info helps!

  24. Maybe you should come back and post on your old tribe, Preemptive Postapocalyism. It is still alive and well. Drop in and visit with the regulars. We have a pretty good group, lotta EOW skills there.