When I was in California, I met someone who was infested with parasites. It was absolutely not a coincidence that the universe brought me straight to him. He had been sick for five years and had been driving to see a naturopath for vitamin IVs and a number of different herbs. When I met him, he seemed frail and thin and I could feel how painful it was for him to be out for too long. He spoke candidly about the infestation and how allopathic medicine how called him crazy since all of his stool studies and blood tests had ended up negative. Without those scientific tests, the world I had onced worked in, aka conventional medicine, would never believe a patient. Sadly, these patients and countless others, are relegated to the electronic medical record files of mentally ill or even worse, “difficult patient.”
Let me tell you-shit got real when…lets call him, Luke….broke out his phone and started showing me pics. “That one came from a walled-off abscess on my left arm. I had to lance it.”
This a pic of parasites that came from an abscess on his back and one on his left arm
He had videos of them wiggling. He complained of never being able to sleep (most parasites are nocturnal and keep most patients restless during those hours). He felt constantly fatigued, with very little appetite. He had gone vegan years before and cut out all sugar, but it had not been enough.
Top pic: from the scalp
Bottom pic: from the bowels
I inquired about how Luke had contracted this vicious bug. It seems that he was very well traveled and had been in South America quite a bit. His best guess was that he was suffering from some sort of disseminated roundworm. Since then, he had suffered fairly significantly. He had also collected the following diagnoses after his infestation: fibromyalgia, eczema, and insomnia. Funny how those named “diseases” are just a collection of symptoms. Do we really know what causes pain, rashes and sleeping problems? I felt as though Luke had hit a wall in his treatment plan.
This is how I just knew that the universe has a plan with every person it connects. Parasites, candida, Lyme….any bugs that like to stay hidden in the body….just happen to be one of my specialties. I have studied them for years. The universe has given me no shortage of patients with this issue. I even have my own gut and parasite cleanse. So I cannot believe that meeting Luke was by chance.
Although our meeting was brief, I have stayed in contact with Luke. He has sent me videos of parasites wiggling, ones that pushed through the skin from his scalp, his left arm, his back, and ones expelled from the bowels. Although I don’t think its normal for parasites to come out of the skin except in rather extreme cases such as this, it can 0bviously happen. I can only hope I’ve helped him, but since my suggestions he has been having more Herxheimer, or detox reactions.
Herxheimer reactions occur when parasites die off during treatments. These pathogens like candida, Lyme, Epstein Barr or other parasites can release toxic by-products like acetylaldehyde that crosses the blood-brain barrier and can cause difficulty concentrating or brain fog. It can make some patients feel almost drunk. Once the body recognizes the pathogens that had previously been hiding from the body in a biofilm, it sometimes will give you a fever to burn it out, nausea or diarrhea to rid yourself of it. Of course these symptoms don’t always happen and usually affect those that have negative bacterial colonies or are sick with infestations. These symptoms can be pretty miserable, but the solution is to make sure youre having plenty of bowel movements. This moves the released endotoxins out of the body, as well as any dying pathogens. Interstitial cystitis, or irriation and chronic infection of the bladder, is common in those with parasites. After Luke ramped up his treatment plan based on my suggestions, he began to experience severe pain like that of passing a kidney stone. He expelled more parasites than ever. Only time will tell if he is out of the woods or if he needs to add more layers to the current treatment plan.
Before going straight into that treatment plan, lets discuss how one might know if they have unwanted guests in the first place.
Parasites are sneaky and smart. They hide within the body in a sticky biofilm that protects them from the body’s normal defenses. Its like our immune system can’t see them. They often move “in-step” with other pathogens in a symbiotic relationship. In a study conducted in 2016 at Case Western Reserve, researchers showed that fecal samples from patients with Crohn’s disease had significantly higher levels of Escherichia Coli, Seratia marcescens, and Candida tropicalis, two bacteria and a fungus, respectively. This study also showed that all three of these pathogens moved in step, producing a biofilm that not only hides from the immune system but produces the inflammation leading to Crohn’s disease. This study is not stating that these pathogens alone are the sole cause of Crohn’s disease as there are many environmental and genetic factors at play. However, it is quite likely that these pathogens are playing a big role in the pathogenesis of the disease.
So symptoms can vary widely from person to person. Most people will know something is wrong, but be unsure about where to turn about the disconcerning symptoms.
Here are some of the more common symptoms:
- Grinding the teeth at night. Parasites, candida and Lyme are often more active at night and therefore cause undue stress on the body during hours needed to rest. The body often responds by gnashing of the teeth. This is also how they take hold of your immune system-by disturbing your sleep!
- Uncontrollable sugar cravings. Sugar and processed carbs are many of these pathogens substrate of choice to eat. This often lets them replicate and populate in the gut.
- Severe constipation. Parasites and some pathogenic bacterial species release endotoxins as they die that can “stop up the pipes.” They also have hooks that can latch on to the bowels to prevent release.
- Severe diarrhea. Often the body will recognize the presence of an unwanted guest and will give the patient diarrhea (which can lead to malabsorption) to rid itself of the bugs.
- Bloating after meals. I have heard this complaint many times from patients who ended up testing positive for candida. The byproducts that these parasites produce can cause distention in the abdomen and other digestive issues.
- Chronic yeast infections-this is a clue to what is happening to our bodies internally. Chronic infections indicate an altered pH and an inability to fully eradicate candida.
- Chronic toenail fungus-Again this is a clue that our bodies are not able to fully eradicate yeast on its own
- Anal itching-not to pleasant to talk about, but we still have to talk about since its a legit symptom. Pinworms are often the culprit here and are nocturnal as well, so symptoms are worse at night.
- Thrush-thrush again indicates a poorly functioning immune system and is a clue to what is going on internally in our bodies. Since yeast is on our tongue, it makes sense that it could tract down the esophagus and into the digestive system.
- Difficulty losing weight-let me say that some people who have parasites also may have difficulty gaining weight since their food is “stolen” by the parasites. But many times, I see patients who cannot lose weight due to having the wrong bacterial colonies living in their guts. One study even showed that people who had a higher proportion of the bacteria, Firmicutes in their guts were prone to obesity.
So what did I tell Luke to do? Well, his diet was already extremely clean so I gave him some more advanced tips. But first, lets start with the basics.
HOW DO I TREAT AN UNWANTED INVASION?
Avoid any white flour based products, simple carbohydrates, store bought fruit juices, dairy, white sugar, pasta, or breads. Eliminate canola oil, gluten and any chemical fillers. My rule is if you cannot reach into your fridge or cabinet to cook with it, then don’t eat it. The foods listed to avoid are some of candida, parasites and pathogenic bacteria/viruses favorite foods, especially sugar. When you give in to the cravings, you help to fuel the replication of unwanted pathogens. Eat loads of leafy greens, veggies, apple cider vinegar, lentils, legumes, minimal quinoa and brown rice. Fruit is ok too but try to avoid high sugar fruits like melons.
Incorporate more pumpkin seeds, pomegranates, beets, burdock root, raw garlic, oregano, and carrots into your diet. Pumpkin seeds are known for their potent parasite killers. Also try to include more fiber which helps facilitiate bowel movements.
Get off any acid blockers which change the pH of your stomach. If you have GERD or acid reflux, your body is warning you to CHANGE YOUR DIET because the wrong bacteria are alive and well in your gut. Once the pH is more alkaline due to the acid blocking medication, then your natural digestive enzymes are not triggered. Therefore, your body cannot efficiently break down, absorb and assimilate your food. Missing nutrients does not bode well with health, friends.
With that being said, often times, temporary digestive enzymes can be used with meals until the gut is healthy again or if you are going to engage in a meal that you know your body will have a hard time with. Look for a brand without fillers that contains a wide range of enzymes like bromelain (from pineapple), papain (from papaya), proteolase, amylase, lipase, betaine (thats a no no if you have an active ulcer) and pepsin.
Probiotics are also HUGE right now and for good reason. I liken them to dumping billions of solidiers into the war in your gut. The more good guys you have, the better you feel. So far, I havent created a probiotic, but when I do, I’ll make sure its the most quality one out there. For the time being, right now, I’m really impressed with VSL and Visbiome with contain anywhere from 200-450 BILLION good bacteria. Wowza.
3. Herbs and Vitamins:
Vitamin C and Zinc are in my Immunity Master (see my store for products) for good reason! Both are potent pathogen fighters and can be taken in larger doses during an acute infection.
Many of the herbs used to treat intestinal parasites have toxic side effects or interfere with other medications. Use them only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. Your health care provider should treat you with the most gentle herb that is effective for the type of parasite you have. A few of the herbs that your provider might consider include:
Berberine or Barberry-one of my most favorite herbs
Oregon Grape Root
Black Walnut Hull
Coconut Oil/MCT Oil
Many of these are in my Microbiome Master! Again, it all serves a purpose. If you want great gut health, you first must ensure that you have the proper bacteria there to fight off pathogens and protect your immunity.
So what are the extra tips I told Luke? Remember he was already taking herbs and getting vitamin IVs…..
One of them is terpentine. Turpentine comes from trees and is a resin or pine wood and its purpose is to protect trees from parasites. It works by placing a few drops on a sugar cube, which serves as the bait for the unwanted guests. You won’t find much medical literature on this one, but you will find anecdotal stories and blogs. I do hold weight in patients and what they say. This was also a well known remedy in the 1800’s. When Luke began taking terpentine, he began to expel many more parasites from his skin, scalp, kidneys and bowels.
Another extra I gave Luke was major autohemotherapy, or IV ozone. Ozone has gotten a bad rap in the USA, but internationally, it is well known to be a potent viral, parasite, and bacterial killer. When I trained in Gerson therapy module one in 2015, I’ll never forget what a surgeon from Dubai told me. He stated that he had used ozone in the ICU for years without negative consequence and had witnessed its benefits. He spoke of all the international ozone conventions and boards. When I asked how come no one in healthcare used it in the USA, he looked directly at me and said sternly, “because its against their medical mafia.” I have never forgotten that and never will. Since then, I have trained in ozonotherapy and administered it in clinics in California. I have watched it work extremely well against pathogens like Lyme.
The last tip was my Microbiome Master. The pics seen throughout this blog are from clients who used my cleanse and from Luke after he expelled parasites from his skin after incorporating more of these tips into his regimen.
Remember that not only can parasites cause many of the symptoms we’ve discussed, but bacteria and viruses can too! So many patients are suffering from lowered immunity from low grade, but persistent infections that can insidiously take over their systems, including Epstein Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, streptococcus and staphylococcus.
Remember to always check in and discuss your potential treatment plan with a trusted healthcare professional who understands YOU.
As always, learn to become your own best doctor.
Dr. Jess (MD)
Dr. Jess (Dr. Jessica Peatross) is a western trained medical doctor who began her journey into healing in 2009.
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