Unfortunately for many parasite sufferers it is erroneously believed that many intestinal parasitic infections are transient and of no clinical significance. Add to this problem the fact that most pathology laboratories testing for parasites use out dated testing methods that are unable to accurately determine the presence of many parasites, with an estimated success rate of diagnosing only 30% of positive cases, and you have a massively under-diagnosed condition.
Blastocystis hominis and Dientamoeba fragilis are commonly detected parasitic infections in Australia. Previously these two infections were considered non-pathogenic and insignificant as some carriers have no symptoms, however in recent years expert opinions have changed. Many specialists in Parasitic Diseases now acknowledges that these infections can cause symptoms in some patients such as irritable bowel and fatigue. If symptoms are present and persistent then it should be considered pathogenic and should be treated. Unfortunately this information has not passed down to many doctors.
Entamoeba Histolytica is another parasite which not only causes dysentery but also been recently associated with Crohn’s Disease.
Symptoms of Parasite Infections
- Current illness began with diarrhoea/food poisoning
- Gut symptoms started suddenly rather than gradually
- Abdominal bloating
- Abdominal discomfort/pain
- Multiple food sensitivities
- Frequent constipation
- Loose/unformed stools
- Foul smelling stools
- Excessive flatulence
- Frequent nausea
- Itchy anal/rectal area
- Visible mucus or pus in stools
- Frequent or intermittent diarrhoea
- Difficulty gaining weight
- Teeth grinding while sleeping (bruxism)
- Hives, psoriasis, eczema, skin ulcers or skin rash
If any of these symptoms are present and persist then testing and treatment should be sought.
Parasitic infections can be a major contributing factor in a number of medical conditions such as:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) / Fibromyalgia.
- Malabsorption syndromes.
- Crohn’s Disease
Anyone whom suffers from these conditions should have reliable parasite testing done.
As mentioned above standard microscopic visualization techniques misdiagnose many parasitic infections. Most laboratories in Australia use this technique and are not reliable having a high rate of false negatives.
We recommend PCR testing which detects the presence of parasite and bacterial DNA, making it a much more accurate than a standard Micro, Culture and Sensitivity (MC&S). PCR is based on molecular screening of individual parasites rather than detection of parasites based on examination of stool under a microscope. These tests may be arranged by us during a consultation.
Treatment should involve a low carbohydrate diet to minimize what the parasites feeds upon. In addition to this diet specific antibiotic combinations are required for the more resistant parasites such as Blastocystis hominis, Dientamoeba fragilis and Entamoeba Histolytica which tend not to respond to most natural therapies. We have protocols for each specific parasite.
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