Blastocystosis
(Blastocystis hominis)

Blastocystosis (Blastocystis hominis): Overview

Blastocystosis is the name given to infection with Blastocystis hominis, a common microscopic parasitic organism found throughout the world.

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Blastocystis hominis 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-like 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 B.  hominis, 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.

Causes and Development

Symptoms may be caused by infection with other parasitic organisms, bacteria, or viruses.  Often, B.  hominis is found along with other such organisms that are more likely to be the cause of symptoms.

How Blastocystis is transmitted is not known, 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.

Signs and Symptoms

Many people have Blastocystis without ever having symptoms.  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 or she may have Blastocystis hominis.  The reason for this is that 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.

Treatment and Prevention

Blastocystis is difficult to eradicate.  It hides in the intestinal mucus, sticks and holds 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.

Conventional doctors may recommend Flagyl, although resistance has been encountered.

Prognosis

Blastocystis can remain in the intestines for weeks, months, or years.  Some patients with this organism in their stools who have symptoms improve with no treatment at all.

Signs, symptoms & indicators of Blastocystosis (Blastocystis hominis):

Symptoms - Abdomen

Symptoms - Bowel Movements

Having loose/having watery stools

Watery or loose stools, diarrhea, abdominal pain, anal itching, weight loss and excess gas have all been reported in persons with blastocystis infection.

Symptoms - Gas-Int - General

Symptoms - Metabolic

Risk factors for Blastocystosis (Blastocystis hominis):

Digestion

Dyspepsia / Poor Digestion

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.

Immunity

Weakened Immune System

In a person with poor digestion or weakened immune response, blastocystis can produce a host of symptoms which appear to come and go and are very unpredictable.

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Blastocystosis (Blastocystis hominis) suggests the following may be present:

Digestion

Dyspepsia / Poor Digestion

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.

Immunity

Weakened Immune System

In a person with poor digestion or weakened immune response, blastocystis can produce a host of symptoms which appear to come and go and are very unpredictable.

Recommendations for Blastocystosis (Blastocystis hominis):

Botanical

Oil of Oregano

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.213-4]

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 Diet

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

Digestion

Digestive Enzymes

Fat-splitting or fat-digesting enzymes are very important in combating blastocystis.  When studied under the microscope, blastocystis seems to have a fatty reservoir.  These enzymes are helpful in dissolving some of the blastocystis and weakening it, thereby allowing the herbal substances to have greater effect.

Drug

Conventional Drug Avoidance

A common standard treatment for blastocystis includes flagyl and other drugs.  However, blastocystis is so hard to eliminate that medical drugs which are highly toxic may have to be taken for long periods of time in order to fully eliminate it.  The length of time that one may need to take the medical drug may actually cause damage to one's liver or kidneys.  Therefore, a slower, natural approach is definitely desirable.

Mineral

Colloidal Silver

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

Physical Medicine

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.

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