Blasto. Medical Mismanagement
"I have gone through over 19 doctors through the past five years for constant problems with abdominal pain (sometimes so severe I was hospitalized and the doctors said nothing was wrong), off-and-on diarrhea and constipation, weakness and joint pain, and overwhelming fatigue (told I have a variety of sleep disorders); I am consistently looked at as a hypochondriac; this has negatively impacted every aspects of my life; physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have tried multiple treatments, medications, etc. never truly feeling like it was getting to the root of the problem. I was told yesterday that I have the blastocystis hominis infection. Once again, despite my in-depth medical history, my doctor told me that it's not worth treating. I'm so glad I didnt ignore it and took the time to look further. I was truly overwhelmed by your site." (December 2007)
"In November 2006, 8 months ago, on a Saturday evening, I drank a little quantity of water (it fitted in the palm of my hand) that was brought back by somebody from an ashram in India. I was told that the water was safe to drink. I started having problems a few hours after that. The Tuesday after, I went to a traveler's clinic to meet a doctor that knows about parasites. 3 samples of my stools were analysed in the 2 weeks that followed. Since nobody called back, I called the doctor and he informed me that:
- they had found the Blastocystis hominis in my stools
- there are no symptoms associated with blasto. That is why he didn't call me back."
(USA. July 07)
L., from Belgium, had been struggling to cope with effects of a Blasto. infection for almost 3 years when he contacted me:
"I was so happy to find your website, and I think really it is my last chance. I am so desesparate and I really need your help. My english is not so good but I read all case of those people who have exactly the same symptoms as me. I had also the same experience with doctors. They found B.hominis last year but they said that normaly it isn't patogens with normal people. It is worst and worst, and sometimes I really think to suicide myself. Please Help me." September 06.
A mother of three contacted me about her 12 year old daughter recently diagnosed with B.hominis.
For over two years both her and her child had experienced alternating bouts of diarrhoea and constipation, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, bloating, cramping, low grade fevers and a weight loss.
The family dr ordered routine blood tests, but no stool testing. "To this day I have never had any stool testing".
A particularly bad attack ended at the emergency ward of a local hospital: "I just thought I was going to die. I was sure they would find something. They only said it was IBS."
When her three children came down with the same symptoms she booked them in with her local GP, but he wasn't "too worried" about the the children's symptoms.
The mother's new boyfriend, who had recently moved in with the family, began having the same symptoms and his weight dropped 15lbs in three weeks.
The mother again consulted the family GP about her daughter's ongoing stomach pain, cramping with alternating constipation and diarrhoea:
"At first he asked me if I've heard of IBS, and I said yes, that is what they are trying to say I have, but IBS is NOT CONTAGIOUS! I went on to tell him we are ALL having these problems!"
The doctor finally caved in to the mother's repeated requests for a stool testing. Consequently the child was diagnosed with Blasto. (USA, August 2006)
For more than a decade a man from Western Australia searched for answers for his "extreme fatigue, bloating; stomach pain; extreme dizziness; constipation; anxiety; depression; severe psoriasis; mental cloudiness; food and chemical sensitivities; weight loss and major carbohydrate and sugar cravings"
After pursuing testing with a specialist lab he discovered he was infected with both B. hominis and D. fragilis.
"I know only too well the feeling of despair and frustration associated with bouncing from health professional to health professional with little success. Your story was chilling at times with the similarities."
(W.A. Australia. September 2006)
M. returned from a trip to Africa feeling very unwell. Two weeks of Flagyl prescribed by a local dr failed to help. Retesting with a specialist lab revealed high levels of Blasto.
An infectious diseases specialist did not believe the Blasto. finding was significant:
"My infection specialist was a joke...I thought i was on candid camera - it was too comical. Unbelievable I waited 3 weeks to get into her and she totally dismissed me. I guess I am on my own."
The only medical advice she received during her appointment was to change her diet.
August 2006 (USA).
An Australian man contacted in November 2005, after testing positive to B.hominis five years earlier. Several treatments with Flagyl had failed to relieve his symptoms:
"Currently I am seeing the third practioner, who is not taking my symptoms, which have increased (over the past) 1.5 years, seriously and obviously, like the others before him, does not know, how to treat these parasites. I am pretty desperate. Although the tests showed again these bugs he is still not convinced that they are the cause of my symptoms and will not treat me with anything else but Flagyl" (Dec 2005)
"I'm sure I don't have to tell you how discouraging life can be when you live with a parasite" wrote N., an American living in Canada.
His symptoms of extreme bloating and gas began after spending three months in the African jungle as a chimpanzee handler.
"I wasn't so cautious, and I could have unknowingly ingested some of there excerement just by playing with them, then not washing my hands before I touched my mouth or whatever. Plus I slept with some of the babies their moms were killed by hunters, then the babies were sold as pets, then confiscated and brought to the center. I acted as a surragate mother.".
A GP ordered a single unfixed stool sample to test for infection. The sample was negative, but a test for H.pylori, the ulcer causing bacteria, was positive he was treated but his symptoms remained unchanged.
N. consulted yet another GP, who phoned the pathology lab for the results of the previous stool test. The lab advised that B.hominis was found in the sample — a fact not disclosed by the previous doctor.
The second doctor wasn't convinced that B.hominis causes health problems and simply advised that "they would go away in time".
After receiving details about the three drug combination shown in a clinical setting as 85% effective against B.hominis from this site N. obtained the meds and made a full recovery. Here is his follow-up email:
"I have a lot to say about my shit doctor who still thought I had Crohns. He said I had it 100% sure, then said no it's cancer or a tumor, then after barium, and colonoscopy he said he didn't think i had anything serious. I left Canada and then contacted him a month ago to ask him for a resume of my tests. He said that not the entire small intestines were seen and Crohns could still be a possibility. He never even considered parasites, he was fixed on crohns and gave me the nightmare of my life. So yea I feel like I have been given my life back thanks to your help." (November 2005)
This person was diagnosed with both Blasto. and Cryptosporidium:
"Well, my gastroenterologist said my ultrasound, colonoscopy & endoscope were all normal and that I'm a normal person with IBS. He told me he's not familiar with the two parasites that I have (even though he has a background in Parasitology) and he referred me to an Infectious Disease doctor (I have not seen one of those yet). My appointment is next week. She did tell me over the phone that this new doctor can treat one of the two parasites I have (I don't know which one) but she's not sure about the second one." (August 2006)
Another health professional also "forgot" to tell his patient was positive for B.hominis:
"Thank you for endeavoring to help people that are suffering as you did. The symptoms you list for B. Hominis almost exactly describe what I have been feeling for over 7 months now. Visits to 6 doctors, multiple blood and stool tests, abdominal CT, X-rays, and a scoped stomach have yielded nothing. I visited a holistic doctor and a comprehensive digestive stool analysis identified B. Hominis, but he didn't even mention it to me until I found your site and asked about it." (August 2006)
For four years a US man suffered a host of digestive symptoms, and vomited almost daily. The doctor refused to believe the recently diagnosed Blasto. was causing his patient's symptoms. Instead of prescribing drugs to treat Blasto., the doctor suggested his health problems had a psychological basis:
"My GI told me that B.hominis could not be the reason for my symptoms and that it is most likely some kind of allergy, and he told me to stop taking dairy products for ten days. I have eliminated all kind of diary from my diet and my symptoms are still present. After a couple of months I went back to my GI and he told me that these symptoms are most likely psychological. After surfing your website I have a strong feeling that B.homins is what causing me these symptoms, any suggestion or help would be highly appreciated". USA. November 2005.
"In 2002 I was referred to the infectious diseases clinic at the Alfred hospital in Melbourne and the consultant told me I had Irritable Bowel, that this parasite did not cause problems. I asked for another referral and went to Professor S. in the Alfred. He believed Blastocystis hominus was a pathogen." (received 2005)
Diet can play a major role during a bowel infection — and finding foods which will not increase symptoms can be a battle in itself. In this case dietary experimentation led to a 12 year old child being misdiagnosed with an eating disorder. That child is now a 20 year old woman and was recently diagnosed with Blasto. Her mother has the same symptoms.
"I've had this for eight years, since I was twelve. I'm twenty now & it has just completely wrecked my life. Every day used to be a struggle until I cut most things from my diet.
Everything that I want to do like travelling I have had to put off.
When I was twelve the doctors diagnosed me with an eating diorder, then said all my symptoms were psychosamatic & sent me home.
Until a couple of years ago I was pretending I was better because I was afraid if I said something everyone would tell me it was all in my head again. A few people have said that, but at least I finally found out what was wrong with me.
Your site has been a cause of depression to look at & until my mum found the success stories I was trying to make myself resigned to the fact that I will have this forever. She also has the infection. She got it a couple of years after I did, but it's not as bad for her though still bad enough." September 06
"I've been diagnosed with B.hominis. i've been treated with flagyl for 7 days but not much difference. It took a long time for me to be diagnosed, and i've been ill for the better part of a year. My doctor described B.Hominis as a "benign parasite" and said it couldn't possibly be causing my symptoms which are: itchy bottom, incredibly poor digestion, excess gas and bloating, decreased physical capacity." Queensland, Australia. October 2005
Depression is often a side effect of coping with the symptoms of a chronic bowel infection. In this case depression was diagnosed as the reason why a 14 year old was unwilling to participate in school activities, and avoid activities he normally excels at. Blasto., diagnosed after a camping trip, was ignored:
"The Dr. thinks my son's symptoms are caused only by depression and that he should drag himself to school no matter how he feels and that everyday will get easier. I have no doubt that my son is 'down' due to the symptoms etc and the effect (Blasto) is having on him. My son lost 12 kilos in 12 months, suffers with chronic diarrhoea and feels unwell. Because of his symptoms he has been unable to continue playing competition basketball, has missed valuable school time and is understandably depressed". May 05
"After a 2 years of throwing up, having a gaseous bowel and stomach I've finally been diagnosed with a Blastocystis hominis infestation. I've been taking Nexium for the past year and it stops the nausea but as soon as I go off it I'm back driving the porcelain bus. Without this drug I throw up about 2 hours after meals. Reading your page of symptoms was like finding the Holy Grail: watery diarrhoea, constipation, abdominal pain, fever, rectal bleeding, vomiting, dehydration, rectal itching and chronic fatigue. I really thought I was the only person on the planet with these problems. It's been a battle getting someone to listen to me, one Gastroenterologist made me think that I was in need of a psychiatrist and he told me that he hated seeing people with nausea because you never know what causes it."Sydney, September 2005
"Last monday (24th of Oct) (my doctor) told me that they had no other solution for me and he thought about a therapy for Chronic fatigue syndrome because they have the opinion that Blasto cannot cause these problems and maybe hypnotherapy should help to find where something blocks my body." Woman from Holland, October 2005
A French Canadian struggling to cope with an untreated B. hominis infection wrote:
"I have been living with several severe symptoms for 12 years now - chronic fatigue, abdominal pain, weight loss, etc. I have seen many specialists but nobody seems to be able to help me. Last year, I did a parasitology test and received the (Blasto) results but nobody wants to treat it. I cried for an hour just reading your web site and all these stories. For the first time in my 12 years I found people that lives with the same kind of problems as I do. Almost incredible to me!" Jan 05
Far from feeling healthy and relaxed after a Thai holiday a UK woman returned with chronic digestive symptoms and fatigue which persisted for six years. A stool tested by an NHS lab (UK government laboratory) was negative. After arranging her own stool testing through a private UK laboratory Blastocystis hominis was diagnosed. Neither her doctor or microbiologist were convinced that B.hominis was responsible for her symptoms:
"The microbiologist has since told my doctor that he finds it hard to believe the blastocystis is causing the symptoms I have described. (He believes ) it is not serious and does not really need treatment. They have now decided to send me back to the gastroenterologist for tests. I have a feeling this is to fob me off and I'll end up exactly where I was 6 years ago being told I've got IBS. It is so frustrating as the metronidazole cleared up all of my symptoms for a month after treatment and I started to gain weight, yet the doctors don't seem to think the parasite is the problem." (September 2005, UK.)
A twenty-seven year old Canadian had a similar experience after returning from a trip to Jamaica feeling "light headed, a low grade fever, terrible stomach cramps, loss of appetite, unable to sleep". He lost twenty pounds within a few weeks. One of three stool samples ordered by his doctor was positive for Blastocystis hominis. After being treated with a combination of Iodoquinol and Flagyl for 28 days stool tests were again positive for B.hominis. He was advised by his doctor that:
"We are no longer going to be treating this condition as Blasto but rather he wanted to look other causes since he thought that Blasto. could not have lasted through this treatment and could not give me symptoms for so long. He has spoken to the Infectious/Tropical Disease department here in Calgary as well as with the Travel Medical Clinic and they agree with his decision They all feel that I must have IBS or Colitis since this has been going for four months now. I am very upset about this but I do not know what else to do. They want me to go for a colonoscopy in the next couple weeks to see what is going on inside of me as well they want me to do even more blood, urine & stool tests. I have given up with the Canadian medical system" (2005)
In October 2002 an Australian diagnosed with Blasto. wrote: "I have today endured appointments with two separate gastro specialists who both told me it is just IBS and I should just "forget about it cause it'll just go away. Well I've put up with this for about 18 months now at it has shown no sign of going away. Dr C. even suggested that I should just eat more carbohydrates after I explained at length how I have tried varied diet adjustments and found that carbs made the symptoms worse. "
"I'm sick of wasting time and money talking to people who seem more interested in hiding their ignorance than helping me. Can you please advise me of a specialist within cooee of the Gold Coast who is familiar with this parasite and won't start ascribing every symptom they don't have an answer for to IBS. Dr C. even said, when I asked how IBS caused the coating on my tongue, that this was just a coincidence. (The doctor advised) I usually prescribe a course of metronidazole and if it doesn't go away, just forget about it" - I'm pretty unimpressed and paid $160 per consult for that little pearl of wisdom."
A US man with B.hominis suffered with diarrhoea of increasing in severity and duration as well as "gas & stomach problems, weakness & weight loss":
"I decided it was time to go to a tropical disease specialist at University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona. They did a stool examination, which showed a negative. I still recall my fruitless discussion with the guy. I had just finished a second (or third) flagyl regimen which, per usual, was a battle to simply get through. The guy told me my stool exam was negative and that 'you can't still have it because you took the flagyl, oh and that will be $230 please'. Looking back on this I realize this guy had NO idea what he was talking about.
Despite being diagnosed with B.hominis and experiencing chronic health problems, an Australian GP believes her patient is "imagining everything". She fared no better with a gastroenterologist:
"So much of the way we are treated by some of the medical profession I believe would be seen as nothing short of psychological abuse."
"(My specialist gastroenterologist) doesn't like labels and believes in patients self managing symptoms". (August 2005)
P. a self-employed family man from the UK, endured cycling symptoms for two years before the gut parasites Blastocystis hominis and Entamoeba histolytica were diagnosed.
He described his symptoms as: "excrutiating abdominal pain, watery diahrea, acidic hick-ups and unable to move or do any thing. I was sweating at night and felt as if I had been beaten up. My stomach was disdended and seemed to be full of hard lumps. I lost a stone overnight! I have had joint and muscle pain especially in my hips and thighs also a pain in the front of my head."
Iniitally the result of a single unfixed stool sample was negative. Apart from being diagnosed with a hiatus hernia other test results, including colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy & a barium meal x-ray, were all negative.
His digestive symptoms started before a trip to Spain, and during his holiday he symptoms worsened and he was hospitalised. Doctors there could not identify the cause.
After returning to the UK, and finding this site, P. insisted that his doctor allow him to send in three stool samples to increase detection of parasites. He was diagnosed with amoebic dysentry (infection with the parasite Entamoeba histolytica ) and Blastocystis hominis.
His doctor referred him to the Hospital for Tropical Medicine in London:
"I have just come back from a very dissapointing meeting with a consultant in the tropical diseases hospital in London. He basically told me that B. hominis doesn't cause symptoms and even if he did treat it it would be with the antibiotics you have outlined on your informative website (which are ineffective against Blasto). So Im stuck! Ive had every test under the sun and parasites are the only thing they have found." UK. 2006
The following was the result of an appointment at the same hospital for consultation about a D.fragilis and B.hominis infection in January 2005:
"I had quite an open chat with Dr X about the whole pathogenically controversial issue of blasto and d fragilis. He said his professor's view is that it's probably not pathogenic. However, he said if people pushed then they would treat with anti-biotics. He admitted that some people do appear to get better after a treatment of antibiotics but said that the School's view is that this is a placebo effect."
This person was also referred to the same hospital as the two people above in October 2004 by his doctor, who had "never come across Blasto. before".
"I have had my cosultation and was told by the professor that Blasto in his opinion in non pathogenic - and he is testing me for diabetis and thyroid problems - he did say however that he will treat my Blasto. if these both prove negative. Just to see what happens."
The diabetes and thyroid test were clear. Flagyl was prescribed. Post treatment he is still Blasto. positive and sick, hence the reason for contacting.
A Canadian with B.hominis:
"My symptoms are: severe abdominal pain, bloating, distension, diarrhea, weight loss of 5 kg's, fatigue, irritability, inability to concentrate, insomnia. Blasto has shown up on the stool tests. A G.I specialist did a round of tests to R/O other diseases such as Crohn's and Celiac ( blood tests, upper barium series, colonoscopy...) and finally diagnosed Irritable Bowel Syndrome since he doesn't believe Blasto is pathogenic." Canada. January 2005
In October 2003, Cheryl, an Australian, wrote from the Central Coast of NSW that she had suffered Blasto. symptoms - diarrhoea, vomiting and nausea - for five years.
After finding out about the need for specialised testing on this site she was diagnosed by a specialist lab with B.hominis.
"I still cannot believe that I had this for the last 5 years & no other specialist picked it up."
Here symptoms were diagnosed as IBS and stress:
"I live on the Central Coast of New South Wales Australia. I have been sick with diahorrea, vomitting, nauses off & on for the last 5 years. I have had all the tests, scans etc done checking out the stomach & bowel. One specialist said it was stress the other said IBS. In February I went to see a doctor/homeopath. He did stool tests (through a private lab) which cost me a fortune, which Medicare do not cover. The test revealed that I do not digest my food & that I had Blastocycstis Hominis. The doc put me onto Flagyl for a week, which gave me severe headaches, but I persevered. He also have me Lactobac ( a very strong lactobacillus & bifidobacterium) & Bepep (Betaine hdryochloride) to digest the food. After 3 weeks, I got very sick again with all the same symptoms. I don't want to go back to this doctor, as I found out that he charged me double for all my consultations & the Lactobac & Bepep. He also has a very bad attitude." (3 March 2003)
Follow up e-mail after contacting this site and receiving details of the triple therapy which has been shown in a clinical setting to cure most infections:
"It has been 3 months ago that I had the medication. My tests show I am clear of the Blasto. I still cannot believe that I had this for the last 5 years & no other specialist picked it up."(received 27 October 2003)
"My whole family came down with diarhea on April 2, 2002 after my son entered a local University day care. Everyone else in my family got better, but me.
Flagyl eliminated all the symptoms for a short time (2 weeks). But when the O&P Tests run by the local lab came back negative, the local doctors ruled out any parasitic cause.
"The diagnosis so far have included Celiac Sprue, IBS, Giardia. They told me it was Celiac when I told them that carbs made it worse. So I switched my diet to rice milk and rice cereal, which made things worse! The doctors have not explained why Flagyl would cure the IBS or Celiac Sprue."
Anyway, I finally got in touch with a Naturopath who ordered a series of tests through Great Smokey Mountains Diagnostic which showed "MANY B.HOMINIS ." February 2004, USA.
Anders from Denmark contacted me in May 2002 after being advised by his dr that B.hominis cannot be cured:
"I have been tested for parasites several times, but it was yesterday that they came up with the diagnoses: Blastocystis hominis. The doctor told me that there was no treatment. I searched the net for a while and found your webpage. So I am looking forward to call her and tell her she is wrong."
I provided Anders with details of specific treatments for B.hominis. On the 19 June 2002 he wrote:
"Dear Jackie! Things are fine here! I have completely recovered. After 3 days of treatment I allready felt much better! I finished the treatment after ten days. I have a little problem with air in my stomach but it seems that this declining as well. So thanks again!"
A follow up email one year later found Anders still symptom free.
It is common for doctors who do not consider B.homins a pathogen to look for other reasons for their patient's symptoms. This next person was diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) based on his symptoms, despite testing positive to B.hominis:
"After a short trip to Hong Kong in June 2002, I returned with the typical symptoms that are related to the Blasto. bug (tiredness, bloating, gas, loss of appetitie etc...). I consulted my GP and a stool test was carried out and was diagnosed with having Blastocystis Hominus. After several courses of Flagyl, Fasigyn and Doxycline 100, I'm beggining to become quite frustrated with this bug, that refuses to go away.
Altough my doctor believes that it is quite rare for Blasto. to have an effect on people , I am sure that this is what is causing my discomfort. I have read the feedback from the site and can relate myself to alot of those cases.
I am very eager to resolve this problem, as I am heading on an overseas holiday very shortly. After a strong determination to have this resolved beforehand, I feel I am back at square one (My GP now believes it is osephegitis reflux. A colonoscopy test, and a course of Nexium was taken to no avail) . (received Nov 2003)
J.L., who contacted in June 2003, had to leave Sweden to find a doctor to treat her Blasto infection:
"I live in Sweden, but since I could not get any help or buy the medicines there, I had to leave for another country where the doctors were more willing to follow your advice. I have simply emigrated, and I have been living abroad for several months. The Swedish doctors believes that blastocystis hominis is a "normal flora"."
J. recontacted in August 2003 to say that she made a complete recovery after her Polish doctors agreed to prescribe a the triple therapy. Because of J's recovery the director of the Polish clinic who treated J. is now interested in the problems of B.hominis drug resistance.
M. contacted in March 2003 because he had tested positive for B.hominis after returning from Cuba:
"I have tested positive for blastocytis hominis and am very sick at the moment. My Dr. says it is not likely to be from this parasite because it is non pathogenic. I have just returned from Cuba where I experienced extreme diahrea and have been getting sicker by the day (returned Feb 16). I am wondering if the problem could be the blasto."
A US mother contacted in March 2003 because her daughter was still positive for B.hominis after 20 days of iodoquniol:
"My daughter was recently diagnosed with D.fragilis and B.hominis, possibly contracted during a weeklong stay in the east Romanian countryside. Her only symptom was fatigue (we originally thought she had mononucleosis, but the high eosinifil count sent us looking for a parasite). She has finished a 20-day course of iodoquinol, and is feeling somewhat better, but lab results show that there is still B.hominis present. Her doctor says that B.hominis is not usually treated, and the CDC web site indicates that they are unsure that it is pathogenic ."
In March 03 R., from the US, wrote:
"the specialist, while confirming presence of Blasto in stools, advises Blasto is present in everyone and is not cause. Is not treating Blasto "
On 13 June 2002 the UK mother of a four year old boy who was found to have large number of B.hominis in his stool, contacted this site for help. Her child had become unwell after a trip to Spain with "on and off with tummy pain, bowel problems and weight-loss". A Spanish doctor suggested her son should be treated for this parasite in the UK.
Back in the UK the result of a single, unfixed sample, was negative. Her son stil had "recurring diarrhoea and tummy pain".
In July 2002 her son's symptoms worsened and he was taken to hospital "as a result of a hugely swollen tummy, diarrhoea, vomiting and pain. They said it was a virus . He is still bad and they have now taken a stool sample. What do I do? It is like hitting a brick wall . I just want to help my son (and husband) get better".
Another unfixed stool sample was again negative. The doctor advised her son did not have Blasto.
Diagnosed with B.hominis and Giardia, P. from the US, contacted in July 2003 after finding this site:
"Thank you so much for your interesting site. At least we know we are not on our own - this is important. I have suffered with irritable bowel for at least 8 years and have in the past been diagnosed with Blastocystis hominis, giardia, but not d fragilis. However, I have the same symptoms as some of your writers have: depression, spastic colon or irritable bowel, itchy anus, cronic fatigue, general lethargy and no or little energy.
L contacted in June 2001 after being diagnosed with high levels of B.hominis and slightly higher than normal levels of yeast:
"My alternative therapist wasn't very happy when I asked if B.hominis was more of a problem than the the yeast...she said Blasto. is so common that it's not worth worrying about"
"I must tell you how much hope your website and others I found gave me. After suffering so long and being told by Dr.'s that B. Hominis is there but does not cause my symptoms . Now I know the cause and can work on the solution. Thank you very much." L. 30 May 02
M. contacted in 2002 after testing positive to B.hominis 6 times in recent years. She described her symptoms as "bloating/flatulence/irritable bowel/nausea/now a back ache from the bloated feeling."
Two high doses of Flagyl failed to either relieve her symptoms or rid her of the parasite. Her doctors do not consider B.h. is connected to her symptoms.
"I ended up getting told by a G.I how he thought I had a depression/anxiety disorder and I should take Prothiaden. His exact words were "Bh is a furfy". I was also told by our top Infectious Disease Doctor here how he thinks it is nothing. Naturally being told what you want to hear sounded good at the time - but I never got better!"
In March 2002 this person related his experience trying to get his B.hominis diagnosed and treated:
"After $7,000 of invasive testing, my GI specialist concluded that I was suffering from IBS and would have to "live with it". I fired him soon after that, and instead took control over my own treatment with the help my GP. In less than 10 days, we had positive, irrefutable evidence of a severe infection with the parasite, Blastocystis hominis".
After treatment with Flagyl and tinidazole the symptoms returned and his stool samples were again positive for Blasto.
In Jan 2002 the mother of two children wrote:
"I just found your site....I can't believe I'm not alone in all this. I'm so angry with my idiot doctors who've been telling me for 8 years that I've got IBS and have to learn to live with it. Allright for them to say with 2 children to bring up. I just been tested thro Great Smokies and it came back positive for Dient. fragillis and another bug - B.hominus. I've had bad diarrhea and bloating for years - too scared to go outside cause scared of "accidents", lost my job, been very sick with a burning feeling on my skin, cant eat much and feeling sick and daily headache. Thankyou for your site. "
A military man became severely unwell whilst posted in Kuwait:
"I have been feeling so sick for the past 9 months. I have taken two stool samples and they both tested positive for Blasto . My first symptoms occured when I was deployed to Kuwait this past November. We were told not to drink the water there, but I used it to brush my teeth. I had to go to the hospital not too long after I got there and I was in extreme pain. I was shaking throwing up and so dehydrated. I had never felt pain like that before, I was hoping to just die. Well, the millitary doc's said I was just dehydrated and that caused my intestine to stop working momentarily and once hydrated I would be fine . Ever since then I have not been the same. I would wake up in the middle of the night walk out my tent and throw up. I did this for a week straight. My bowel movements have never been the same. I have constent water diahreah and every once in a while it's soft and basically like rubber cement. I was living in Las Vegas at the time and when I moved to South Carolina I found a Doc that was willing to work with me. I first took flagyl, (felt better while on, but everything came back when done) then flagyl and bactrin. This combo made me feel really sick while on it and I felt better after. Then it came back three days later. I went to a GI specialist last week and I see him again in a week and a half, but he says he thinks it's IBS. I am not currently in the Air Force, but am looking to get back in, but I can't with this. Please help, I don't know what else to do". (2000)
In November 2001 a woman diagnosed with B. hominis was refused treatment:
"I am currently suffering from what my Dr. thinks is IBS. My symptoms began with a feeling of nausea, fullness, bloating, intermittent diarrhea and constipation. Treatment was refused."
In 2002 a US woman who had travelled and worked in tropical and third world countries for twelve years contacted me about having gastro-intestinal symptoms including diarrhoea, bloating & belching for the past 2 years. Twice she was admitted to the emergency room of her local hospital for administration of IV fluids due to dehyradation:
"One of the most frustrating experiences was indeed getting past my primary care physician! He had a single test for ova & parasites done at a neighborhood lab and when that came back negative, he outright refused to write me a referral to see a doctor at tropical medicine even given my extensive work related travel in the tropics."
She had no further tests and her physician "insisted" she try the drug Ranitidine for a month followed by Pantoprazol - drugs which suppress stomach acid and have the potential to cause bacterial overgrowth leading to gastritis (Gastroenterology. 2002; Pharmacol Toxicol 2001).
The drugs made no difference to her symptoms and a month after being on the second drug, Pantoprazol, she suffered a severe attack of diarrhoea and dehyradation and was taken to hospital. The emergency room doctor advised her to stop taking the drug immediately and after re-hydrating her intravenously she was tested for Shigella, Camphylobacter and Salmonella. The results were negative.
She returned to her primary care physician to tell him that:
"I wouldn't leave his office until he wrote me a referral to see someone at tropical medicine. The parasitology lab found the B.hominis in large numbers in both two of the three samples where it could be seen in a TFT test, that is, the direct preparation, not the ridley concentration ."
She took her positive B.hominis result to an expert in tropical medicine. However, her problems were far from over:
"He wasn't convinced that B.hominis was the source of my gastro-intestinal distress. He nonetheless put me on a one-time high dose of tinidazol (2 mg) given my travel background, and said that would be the last that he would see me. The tinidazol made me very ill for several days thereafter. I went back to the specialist at tropical medicine, and begged him if he could please authorize another TFT test at the parasitology lab. It came back again positive in large quantities for B.hominis. The specialist told me I was swallowing air, and sent me home." (2002)
A diagnosis of B. hominis failed to help this person who made contact in April 2002 about her 11 year old's daughter long standing digestive symptoms:
"I have just received results this AM that my 11 year old daughter has Blastocystis hominis. This was discovered only after insisting for years that something needs to be done about her severe abdominial pains. She has always for as long as I can remember had abdomonial pains, usually noticed after eating, therefore diagnosed with IBS. A year ago I insisted that Xrays be taken to see if there was a twist in her intestines, negative.
Four weeks earlier she started having more severe pains. Our doctor order an ultra-sound with negative results. Finally a stool sample revealed this! I feel like a bad parent for not being more persistant with my doctor. My daughter has been in pain long enough".(2002)
M. had been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome by many doctors over a three year period. After many negative stool test results, specialised stool collection and testing methods revealed B.hominis and D.fragilis:
"When I arrived at work I found this website and have learned a lot. I have seen many doctors over the past 3 years, and had many stool tests. All have diagnosed me with irritable bowel . A new doctor recently ordered 3 stool tests in jar containing some kind of preservative - they came back positive for D.fragilis and B.hominis." February 2001 USA
"After having symptoms for about 5 years now I finally found a doctor that considered the possibility of intestinal parasites. I have since been diagnosed with BH by the Great Smokies Lab. I would appreciate any and all information that you might share with me about an effective way to eradicate this badbug. It feels like I am dying a slow death..." September 2005, USA
A., from Canada, suffered six years of chronic health problems before being diagnosed with B.hominis:
"I very much enjoyed reading your website knowing that after all I am not alone in my suffering. Your story sounds so familiar to what I have gone through but I guess that is a comment you must have heard many times.
In October last year I was finally diagnosed with both Blastocystis hominis (through a stool sample)
My diagnosis was made by doctor number 14 after I had seen some 5-6 GPs, four different gastroenterologists , 1 psychiatrist (who claimed to know all about nausea and recommended Mindful Meditation and Existential Psychotherapy), 2 neurologists and 1 immunologist (who found an elevated CD 4 count but no viruses or bugs in two stool samples).
Over the last six years I have had all the tests that I read about on your site (colonoscopy, two stomach examinations, biopsy of the small intestine, small bowel follow through, MRI of the brain and neck, numerous X-rays, dozens and dozens of stool samples, etc... ).
My nausea was so bad for a period of three months that I was retching three times a day after every meal. In contrast, for most of the year 2000 I was nauseous only in the mornings but each and every day! For short period in between I had been better but never completely well.
Since the diagnosis was made last October I have been on doxycycline for two months (which made me feel worse towards the end), clarithromycin for two months (which did not appear to do much) and now cyprofloxicin for two months.
All along I should have listened to my wife who had been telling me from day one that I suffered from parasites! Sadly enough I put more trust in some 14 fancy doctors who probably dump many difficult cases in the IBS/stress category."(March 2002)
D. contacted in December 01 from the US. Stool tests revealed diagnosed Entamoeba histolytica and she was treated with Flagyl. After treatment she was negative for E.h. but positive for B. hominis. Her GP refused treatment because he believed that B.hominis is harmless:
"... I should also mention that I have two other bugs in addition to E.h . I was told by doctors to disregard these other two bugs (E. nana and Blastocyst Hominis )."
The friend of a woman diagnosed with D.fragilis contacted in February 2002. "Other parasites" had also been detected, one of which was B.hominis:
"(my friend's) doctor said the other parasites were not "proactive" and therefore were not treated with medication.". A. Feb 02
"I was diagnosed with and treated (metronadizole) for DF about a year and a half ago. At the same time I was also diagnosed with blasto, but my doctor told me that it did not cause problems with the GI tract. I have recently (past month) had diarreah again, and tested for blasto. hom. once again." December 2001
A Sydney man wrote of his experience trying to find medical help for his B.hominis infection: "Blasto hominis showed up on my tests, my doctor at the time did not know what this parasite was, so he contacted his friend (a gastroenterologist) at Sydney's RPA hospital. He was of the understanding that blasto hominis would not have caused my symptoms. I was then sent to the specialist, where once again I was told that blasto hominis was in no way related to my condition." Sydney, Australia March 2005
P, from Sydney, Australia, returned from Mexico in 1999, a country considered high risk for contracting parasites. When a single stool sample was negative, her general practitioner diagnosed her digestive symptoms as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
"I'd spent three months in a remote Mexican fishing village with pure water that was only delivered sporadically. It went from dry season to wet season and the tank we used for the shower and the sink was old and slimey. I returned to Australia with cyclical fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, bloating bla, bla and was told it was IBS."
A doctor at the CDD tested six stool samples in fixative and three of the six samples were positive for Blasto. hominis. (August 02)
A young woman, unwell for six years since returning from Thailand, was diagnosed by a specialist laboratory with Blastocystis hominis. "The microbiologist has since told my doctor that he finds it hard to believe the blastocystis is causing the symptoms I have described. (He believes ) it is not serious and does not really need treatment. They have now decided to send me back to the gastroenterologist for tests. I have a feeling this is to fob me off and I'll end up exactly where I was 6 years ago being told I've got IBS. It is so frustrating as the metronidazole cleared up all of my symptoms for a month after treatment and I started to gain weight, yet the doctors don't seem to think the parasite is the problem." September 2005, UK.
The mother of a symptomatic young child contacted in March 2002: "Justin's doctor believes that B.hominis wouldn't cause symptoms in the stomach because: ' Blasto resides in the large intestine, 4 metres from stomach'. He says can only be treated with diet and acidophoulis."
A trip to Indonesia left this woman with symptoms of "bloating, gas (foul), abdominal pain, cramping, loss of bowel control, headaches, possible rectal bleeding". A gastro-intestinal physician diagnosed IBS and advised adding fibre to her diet, combined with two drugs, Donnotol and Bentyl, to control the symptoms.
However, a stool test revealed "significant Blastocystis hominis + ova (cysts)". She was treated with standard antibiotics and retested. The next sample was negative.
"I feel so hopeless. Sometimes extreme pain. I am so frustrated. I AM EXTREMEMLY FATIGUED. I don't believe this is IBS, it seeems so unrelenting no matter how many dietary modifications. I have not had a single day where I have been symptom free. Almost any food aggravates my stomach, except cereal with soy milk."
A gynecologist nurse suggested that "relationship problems probably account for my health problems - is that another way of saying its all in my head?"
JL, the mother of an 11 year old child, wrote:
"I have just received results this AM that my 11 year old daughter has Blastocystis hominis. This was discovered only after insisting for years that something needs to be done about her severe abdominial pains. She has always for as long as I can remember had abdomonial pains, usually noticed after eating, therefore diagnosed with IBS.
A year ago I insisted that Xrays be taken to see if there was a twist in her intestines, negative. Four weeks ago she started having more severe pains. Our doctor order an ultra-sound with negative results. Finally a stool sample revealed this! I feel like a bad parent for not being more persistant with my doctor. My daughter has been in pain long enough. When I arrived at work I found this website and have learned a lot." In April 2002
"I live in Toronto, Canada. My family doctor decided to put me on Flagyl for 10 days. I then consulted with my gastroenterologist in Toronto and he says it is debatable whether this is indeed a pathogen. He is not sure that Flagyl is even necessary but has advised me to finish the prescription." 27 May 2003
"I mentioned to the travel health dr about testing for Blasto. and D.fragilis. He said the test is done in the ova & parasite here their labs, (but he said) Blasto. is the most common parasite - it shows up all the time in hundreds of patients - BUT HE NEVER TREATS IT. I showed him some of your case histories (printed out your entire web site)...he said the reason it is possible some people recover with drugs is timing, they may have gotten better on their own. He believes something else is causing the health problems and it will eventually resolves itself." (USA. April 2005)