Intestinal parasites and bacteria are a fact of life for everyone, whether or not we like to think about it. Blastocystis hominis is a particularly hardy parasite that can be contracted by means of poor hygiene or contaminated water supply. People can carry this organism without any symptoms. When your system is compromised through illness, or if an imbalance occurs in the intestinal tract, the parasite can cause diarrhea, anal itching, gas and weight loss.
For many years, B. hominis was considered a kind of yeast rather than a parasite and was treated as such. The remedies were unsuccessful. Current treatments include antibiotics and sulfa drugs, but these are largely unsuccessful as well. This parasite cannot be treated by medication alone.
Resistant to Treatment
Blastocystis has adapted to survive very well in the intestinal tract in spite of anything we can think to throw at it, including strong herbs and medication. It has a very thick cell wall and feeds on bacteria, intestinal yeasts and undigested food particles. Its main purpose seems to be survival at any cost, so it adapts and has become resistant. This parasite appears in stool samples even after a course of treatment, and it can sometimes come back stronger than before if the treatment also weakened the patient.
Strengthening Your System
One of the best things you can do to help rid yourself of the symptoms caused by this bug is to strengthen your digestive tract. Begin eating a diet free of refined sugar and flour, with enough good quality protein and plenty of fresh vegetables. Blastocystis is usually found in conjunction with an overgrowth of Candida albicans yeast, which it feeds on. By lowering carbohydrate intake, you starve the yeast, thus removing a good portion of the parasite’s food supply. This helps improve your absorption of nutrients and gives you overall better digestion and lessening of symptoms. While beginning this diet, you should use a bowel cleansing program as well. The herbs and fiber in these cleanses help you to eliminate deposits and yeast that feed the parasites, as well as purging you of many of the parasites themselves. Intestinal cleanses also tone the digestive tract for maximum strength to help you avoid symptoms.
Many herbs are useful for killing off parasites. Blastocystis is often resistant to even these, and it can adapt if you use the same remedy for very long. Using a rotation of herbs at four or five days per herb can give you an edge so you can at least relieve yourself of the digestive upset the parasite causes. Some herbs to try include black walnut (300 milligrams), wormwood (500 milligrams), cloves (300 milligrams), oil of oregano (5 drops), and gentian (100 milligrams). Begin with one herb, taken two or three times per day, for four or five days. Then begin taking the next herb the same way, and so on. Be sure to take a multivitamin and mineral supplement including extra vitamin C, A and zinc for overall wellness.
Many people find that after battling blastocystis for months or years, they still test positive for the parasite. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this parasite is resistant to drugs and other treatments and may never be fully eliminated. You can, however, be mostly symptom-free by following the advice above. Periodically cleanse your bowel, avoid sugary and highly processed foods, and begin using the herb rotation whenever you feel symptoms returning.
Theresa L Johnston is a Southern writer with expertise in alternative medicine, gardening and behavioral and women's health issues. She has been published at http://www.ehow.com, in "The Mostly ARTzine," and has edited several newsletters. She has written procedures manuals, call scripts, and youth group curriculum for her various employers over the last 10 years.