March 18, 2010

All You Need to Know About Chagas Disease

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Chagas disease is an infectious condition that is commonly transmitted through the feces of the reduviid bug. This insect is common to the southern and central parts of America as well as further down south in Mexico. It is commonly classified as an infectious disease, which, though not easy to manage, is not always fatal, but it could be if the disease is allowed to reach the chronic stage. An early diagnosis is not very easy, since the symptoms are almost impossible to spot. For the first three months or so of having contracted the disease, there will be no symptoms. Unless you have a medical check up scheduled for this period, chances are that you may never know you have it – your life will continue as normal. After about this time, you may see a swelling at the point of entry of the infection. This could also be accompanied with other signs and symptoms which may or may not include fever, rashes, headaches, body aches, fatigue, nausea or swollen glands. These signs can often be mistaken for other problems such as the common cold, flu, allergies and so on. In some cases from here the disease progresses to its worst phase.


The dangerous thing about these symptoms, which occur in what is known as the acute phase of the illness, is that they can just go away by themselves and you may be able to function normally again. You may never be bothered by this problem again if the infection has died out. But you need to be aware that this condition can lie dormant in your body for decades. If it does manifest itself after a decade or more, then you may be classified as a chronic case. This would mean that you may be a case of serious Chagas disease. At this point, symptoms may include at best an irregular heartbeat and serious problems of the digestive tract, and at worst, sudden heart failure. As for treatment and cure, you should be aware that there is absolutely no cure you can try on your own. You would need a proper medical diagnosis as well as a proper course of medication to be followed. Treatment is focused on killing the parasite as well as managing the signs and symptoms of the disease. It may include management of a heart condition as well as treating complications related to the digestive tract.