Parasite, Blastocystosis

Blastocystis is a common microscopic parasitic organism found throughout the world. Infection with Blastocystis hominis is called blastocystosis (BLASS-toe-SIS-toe-sis.). Watery or loose stools, diarrhea, abdominal pain, anal itching, weight loss, and excess gas have all been reported in persons with Blastocystis infection. However, many people have no symptoms at all.

For many years, scientists believed one species of Blastocystis infected humans, while different species of Blastocystis infected other animals. So they called Blastocystis from humans Blastocystis hominis and gave different species names to Blastocystis from other animals, for example Blastocystis ratti from rats. Various genetic analysis showed Blastocystis hominis as a unique entity does not really exist. There is no single species of Blastocystis that infects humans. In fact, 9 distinct species of Blastocystis (as defined by genetic differences) can infect humans, including those previously called Blastocystis ratti. Because of this, in 2007 scientists proposed discontinuing the use of the term Blastocystis hominis. Their proposal is to refer to Blastocystis from humans and animals as Blastocystis nn, where nn is a number from 1 to 9 assigned to each species group, according to the genetic identify of the Blastocystis organism, rather than the host that was infected by it. A tenth group was reported in China in 2007.

Blastocystis is a protozoan microorganism which may or may not cause disease in people. In a study published in 1988, 11 people with this organism in their stools who had diarrhea type symptoms were studied. In each of them another explanation for their symptoms was found and there was no relationship between the patient’s symptoms, treatment for Blastocystis, and the clearing of the organism from the stool samples. Those authors reviewed other reports and concluded there was no convincing proof that this organism caused disease in humans. Whether this is true in individuals who have some type of immunodeficiency is less clear.

Some patients with this organism in their stools who have symptoms improve with no treatment at all. Conventional doctors may recommend Flagyl, although resistance has been encountered. Symptoms may be caused by infection with other parasitic organisms, bacteria, or viruses. Often, Blastocystis is found along with other such organisms that are more likely to be the cause of symptoms.

Many people have Blastocystis without ever having symptoms, and Blastocystis can remain in the intestines for weeks, months, or years. How Blastocystis is transmitted is unknown, although the number of people infected seems to increase in areas where sanitation and personal hygiene is inadequate. The oral-fecal route is suspected, and it has been called ‘the hippie disease’, because it is more likely to occur in crowded and unsanitary conditions.

Some doctors believe that Blastocystis on its own, in the average healthy person, may produce no symptoms at all. However, in a person with weakened digestion or weakened immune response, Blastocystis can produce a host of symptoms which appear to come and go and are very unpredictable. This is the key thing about blastocystis hominis: anyone who has gastro-intestinal, allergic, skin or immune problems which seem to come and go, on and off, without making much sense, should suspect that he may have blastocystis hominis. The reason for this is blastocystis hominis attacks the body and creates trouble when you’re under stress or weakened. The moment your body picks up a little, it may not be able to affect you.

Blastocystis is difficult to eradicate. It hides in the intestinal mucus, sticks and hold on very hard to your intestinal membranes, making elimination very difficult. Several approaches are necessary in order to eliminate Blastocystis. These treatments can be used in combination, but may need to be rotated, as one agent taken for a prolonged period may cause resistance to develop. Try introducing a new agent at least every week. In this way, the Blastocystis will be less likely tot build up an immunity to any of the selected items.

 


Conditions that suggest Parasite, Blastocystosis

Personal Background  

Absence of blastocystis




Recommendations for Parasite, Blastocystosis

Botanical  

Oregano Oil

One study investigated the use of oregano oil in the treatment of GI parasites in 14 adult patients. After 6 weeks of treatment, there was a complete disappearance of Entamoeba hartmanni in 4 cases and Blastocystis hominis in 8 cases. Gastrointestinal symptoms improved in 7 of the 11 patients infected with B. hominis. [Phytotherapy Research. 2000; 14: pp.213-214]



 

Black Walnut

Hulda Clark’s well-known anti-parasitic formula of wormwood, black walnut and cloves may be helpful in reducing Blastocystis.



Diet  

Grain-free / Low Starch Diet

Blastocystis is a very peculiar organism in that it especially likes grains. Many people with Blastocystis may have grain allergies or difficulties tolerating grains.



Digestion  

Colon Cleansing

Bowel cleansing may be necessary in order to eliminate Blastocystis. The reason for this is the old mucus or old fecal matter lining the intestinal tract must be broken down and eliminated to physically wash out the Blastocystis. Other treatments are then able to make full contact with the Blastocystis, which may be stuck to the intestinal lining. Colonics or enemas containing agents to kill the organism can help.



Lab Tests/Rule-Outs  

Digestive Enzymes / (Trial)

Fat-digesting enzymes may be helpful in treating Blastocystis. When studied under the microscope, Blastocystis seems to have a fatty reservoir. Fat-splitting or fat-digesting enzymes are helpful to dissolve some of the Blastocystis and weaken it, thereby allowing other remedies to be more effective.



Mineral  

Colloidal Silver

It has been claimed that colloidal silver has helped eradicate this infection.



Key

Very strongly or absolutely counter-indicative
May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended

Glossary

Diarrhea

Excessive discharge of contents of bowel.

Protozoan

(Plural: Protozoa) Any one of a large group of one-celled (unicellular) animals, including amoebas. They are microorganisms that differ from bacteria in that they are larger and possess a nucleus surrounded by a membrane. Several species of protozoa can be transmitted through water and cause disease in humans, including Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, Entamoeba and Isospora. One distinguishing characteristic of protozoa is that when released from the human body through feces they are present in an encysted (dormant) form. These cysts have a protective layer that surrounds them and keeps chemicals from penetrating them. Therefore, chlorine disinfection does not kill the protozoan cysts.

Bacteria

Microscopic germs. Some bacteria are "harmful" and can cause disease, while other "friendly" bacteria protect the body from harmful invading organisms.

Virus

Any of a vast group of minute structures composed of a protein coat and a core of DNA and/or RNA that reproduces in the cells of the infected host. Capable of infecting all animals and plants, causing devastating disease in immunocompromised individuals. Viruses are not affected by antibiotics, and are completely dependent upon the cells of the infected host for the ability to reproduce.

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