Parasites, the stomach and digestive problems.

 

I thought I would talk about internal parasites a little today. I have had quite a number of patients presenting in clinic over the past few months having been diagnosed with parasites after getting a stool sample conducted.

 

Two of the most common parasites found are Blastocystis hominis and Dientamoeba Fragilis. Blastocystis hominis is usually contracted by ingesting contaminated food or water. It may be found in healthy people who aren’t having digestive symptoms, and it’s also sometimes found in the stools of people who have diarrhea, abdominal pain or other gastrointestinal problems.

Signs and symptoms possibly associated with Blastocystis hominis may include:

  • Watery diarrhea,
  • Nausea,
  • Abdominal pain,
  • Bloating,
  • Excessive gas,
  • Loss of appetite and
  • Fatigue.

It is not certain on how Dientamoeba fragilis (D. fragilis) is spread, it may be spread through contamination of hands, objects or food with infected faeces. Alternatively, D. fragilis may be spread by threadworms (pinworms). D. fragilis might be protected by threadworm eggs. People who are infected with D. fragilis may not have any symptoms, but when they do occur, they may include: abdominal pain, diarrhoea, excess gas, poor appetite, fatigue, nausea, weight loss, vomiting and tiredness. These are very similar to the symptoms of Blastocystis hominis.

When I see a patient in clinic who has a positive stool test to either of these parasites, I will concentrate on supporting the digestive and immune system through the use of acupuncture.

Acupuncture protocols used in Chinese Medicine help strengthen the digestive system and improve intestinal motility to help move the parasite.  Our job is to make the parasite as uncomfortable and unwelcome as possible. In Chinese medicine, the digestive system consists of two organs, the stomach and the spleen. The stomach and spleen are also known as the “earth” element in Chinese five element theory. I believe that having a well-functioning digestive system or earth element enables the human body to operate at its best and helps strengthen the immune system and ward off disease including parasitic infection.

In conjunction with acupuncture Chinese herbal patent formulas are used to upset the parasite aiming to kill it and move it along the digestive tract. The Chinese have used herbs since ancient times in regard to parasitic infections. I tend to use a trio of herbal patent capsules to target these two particular parasites and suggest dietary guidelines to help support the treatment.

I am passionate about digestion, so if you are experiencing any discomfort or have concerns about your digestive health acupuncture may be something well worth considering.

Scott is available for consultation at Mornington Chinese Medicine from Tuesday to Friday.

To book please call 5973 6886.

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