D.fragilis is considered by many to be nonpathogenic and is often ignored. Such appears unjustified in view of cases reported in the literature and cases reviewed. Specific therapy seems warranted.
The Neglected Ameba: Dientamoeba fragilis. Kean et al. Am. J. Dig. Dis. Vol 11. No. 9. 1966)

In 1937, Hakansson collected a group of 12 patients with D.fragilis in the stool. For each an adequate history was taken; 6 indicated recurrent gastroeintestinal distress in the form of mild cramps, borborygmus*, mushy stools, or rectal irritation.
The Neglected Ameba: Dientamoeba fragilis. Kean et al. Am. J. Dig. Dis. Vol 11. No. 9. 1966)
*rumbling sound caused by gas.

Burrows recorded a D.fragilis infection in himself (Amer. J. Trop. Med. 1956). He correlated the occurrence nearly every two weeks of soft stools, abdominal fullness, gas, and discomfort with periods when D.fragilis was most abundant in the stools.
The Neglected Ameba: Dientamoeba fragilis. Kean et al. Am. J. Dig. Dis. Vol 11. No. 9. 1966)

Observations of symptomatic recovery of patients after treatment of D.fragilis infection would indicate a pathogenic role for this parasite in children. We conclude that symptoms should be treated.
Dientamobic infections.
Spencer et al
Am. J. Dis. Child. Vol 133. April 1979


The potential pathogenicity of D.fragilis is supported by the finding that cases with only D.fragilis detected in stool specimens were just as likely to be symptomatic as cases with D.fragilis and other protozoans or helminths. In both groups, dirrhoea or loose stools were the most common symptom.
Descriptive feature of D.fragilis infections. Grendon et al.
Journal of Trop. Med. & Hygiene 1995,, 98, 309-315

Failure to diagnose is the major potential legal pitfall. This is particularly true in the rare occurrence that failure to thrive ensues.
Dientamoeba fragilis.
D.R. Mack, MD. E-medicine. 2003

Most recent literature accepts that D. fragilis is an important enteric pathogen with an estimated incidence of symptomatic infection of between 4 and 91%. Symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea.
Peek et al, 2004,
American Society for Microbiology

A report on intestinal disorders accompanied by large numbers of Dientamoeba fragilis.

 


D.fragilis — Bad Medicine.

"Dientamoeba fragilis - a protozoal infection which may cause severe bowel distress. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2003 Jan;9(1):65-8 Norberg A, Nord CE, Evengard B.

"Over the past ten years I have accumulated a list of ailments as long as your arm. 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". Sydney man diagnosed with D.fragilis and Blasto. August 2006.


1937:

In 1937 researchers collected a group of 12 patients with D.fragilis in the stool. For each an adequate history was taken; 6 indicated recurrent gastroeintestinal distress in the form of mild cramps, borborygmus, mushy stools, or rectal irritation. The Neglected Ameba: Dientamoeba fragilis. Kean et al. Am. J. Dig. Dis. Vol 11. No. 9. 1966

1966:

In view of cases reported in the literature and cases reviewed, specific therapy seems warranted. The Neglected Ameba: Dientamoeba fragilis. Kean et al. Am. J. Dig. Dis. Vol 11. No. 9. 1966

1979:

Observations of symptomatic recovery of patients after treatment of D.fragilis infection would indicate a pathogenic role for this parasite in children. We conclude that symptoms should be treated. Dientamoebic infections. Spencer et al. Am. J. Dis. Child. Vol 133. April 1979

2003:

Dientamoeba fragilis — a protozoal infection which may cause severe bowel distress. Norberg A, Nord CE, Evengard B. Clin Microbiol Infect. Jan;9(1):65-8. 2003

2005:

D. fragilis has emerged from obscurity recently because it is now recognized as a common cause of chronic diarrhoea and is treatable with drugs. Dientamoebiasis: clinical importance and recent advances. Stark DJ et al. Trends Parasitol. 2005 Dec 24

 

"The doctors in Amsterdam (AMC) still could not tell me wether DF was pathogenic or not. I know DF made me feel terrible - while the doctor told me it was just stress." Dutch man successfully treated for D.fragilis after finding BadBugs in 2004. Read of more happy endings here.

"As your website cautioned, I was told that the D.frag. would not cause the symptoms that I was describing, like weakness and fatigue along with the GI stuff. I was asked if I was familiar with irritable bowel . I said "yes" and was asked why I didn't think this is what I had. I answered "Because I have lab work stating that I have D.frag and the CDC literature states this can make you sick ." She said "Well, maybe something else is making you sick". I said "Maybe, but this seems to be a good place to start.".
(USA. 2003).

 

"My stomach has always been normal, with normal bowel movements until I was 18. I took a gap year and travelled from Australia to Costa-Rica and my stomach was fine until I got to the Cook Islands. And ever since then i have suffered from stomach upsets ranging from mild to severe. I saw a doctor as soon as I was back and have since handed in numerous stool samples, no parasites were ever found. I have cut out dairy, starch etc all to test if i had an allergy. I was told I probably had IBS (which apparently is very common in women). Last Summer I went back to the doctor complaining that my symptons were not normal and that it must be more than a coincidence that this all started whilst i was abroad in a dirty hostel in the Cook Islands. He sent my stools into a tropical specialist who has just written back to me (6 months later....) to report that I have a presence of Dientamoeba Fragilis - he then adds that it is usually regarded as a non-pathogenic protozoa and that he doesn't suggest I get treated for it." UK student with D.fragilis. (Jan 07)

 

"Some weeks ago I sent the stool samples of  my two children and myself to a specialist lab. I'm having some discomfort, feeling very tired and also depressed. Additionally I suffer from stomach ache, bloating and gas and bad taste problems daily (mostly during the night). And my children also....... to my surprise the Smokymountain lab test found out that I have Dientamoeba fragilis and Blastocystis hominis and that my oldest son, who is 11, has Blastocystis hominis too. Now we are testing my husband also.

Our ostheopathic physician wants to treat us with Wormwood, he is of the opinion that these parasites don't belong into our bodies and that we should treat them since they are probably the cause of the discomfort and fatigue. His opinion is completely opposite to the one of my kid's pediatrician who believes that "these things are a kind of yeast and you should not worry about them".
USA, October 2006

 

"(My doctor) essentially dismissed my (D.fragilis) diagnosis, not believing that this parasite could not be responsible for my symptoms. I mentioned the many other experiences posted on your website and her response was: "They can put anything up on the web. I wouldn't believe what they say. How come I haven't read about this in the medical literature?" (USA. 2003)

 

"I am amazed at how little the doctors know or understand the issues. Some want to drug her on anti-depressants, other force feed her. We are completely confused. And yes, even as of last night a doctor was hinting that maybe these parasites weren’t the source of her problems....that it’s an eating disorder." Received from the parents of 12 year old girl with D.fragilis and B.hominis. (September 2006. USA).

 

"I am amazed at how tough it is to get help" Woman seeking help for her D.fragilis infection. UK. (2004)

 

"I took the D.fragilis results to my new local GP who looked bemused and just said "So no problem there then", ie standard medical response and one which you are well familiar with! To my disappointment when I went to a private doctor I got the same reaction.". D.fragilis sufferer, UK (2005)

 

"The infectious disease Doc that diagnosed Df was not even going to treat me.  She almost diagnosed me as delusional.  After persistence and a request for an additional referral, she called her mentors at Albert Einstein, a prestigious hospital in New York City who advised her to treat me as I was "symptomatic".  She definitely was non accommodating and bordered on plain old rude!" (USA. 2004)

 

'It's just a little parasite". Comment made by a GP who is sceptical that D.fragilis causes symptoms. (USA. 2003)

 

"I went to the first specialist in 1992 and he didn't bother to test for (Dientamoeba fragilis), told me that the good news was that I didn't have cancer or Crohn's disease and that I would just have to learn to live with the symptoms of IBS which were (in his opinion) largely stress related!". The Dientamoeba fragilis infection was diagnosed 8 years after onset of chronic digestive symptoms. USA. (2005)

 

"I arranged a private stool test as I believe I am infected with a parasite..despite being fobbed off by 2 doctors.  I can't remmeber what it's like to feel well!  I have what I think are signs of parasite infection - teeth grinding, nausea and morning diarrhoea. And now it has been confirmd by the test - Dientamoeba fragilis.  I dread going to my doctor as I know he thinks I'm a hypochondriac and will most likely say it's nothing to worry about...anyway, I'll give it a try. " C. UK. Dec. 2005

 

"When I reminded (the psychiatrist) that the parasitologist had isolated three parasites in me (the giardia, DF, and Entamoeba histo.) he said 'lots of people have parasites and manage to function, work, and socialize'. Truly spoken like a person who probably never felt the symptoms of a parasite!". A teenager who was referred for psychiatric treatment after Flagyl and tetracycline failed to relieve her symptoms. (1999 USA)

 

A happier ending for Mary-Anne who for six months had suffered "headaches, lightheadedness, stomach problems and fatigue". D.fragilis was diagnosed and Flagyl prescribed. Typically her symptoms reduced for only a few weeks. Her next stool test was still positive for D.fragilis. Her GP wasn't convinced that the parasite was the problem and decided against any more treatments until a colonoscopy and other tests had ruled out inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn's disease.

In the meantime Mary-Anne began searching the internet for information about D.fragilis and came across Badbugs:

"After reading your website I am positive that the root of my problem is the parasite so I have an an appt this Thursday. I plan on showing (my doctor) your documentation in hopes that I can get the right prescription to get rid of them so I can get back to feeling 100%. It seems to be very frustrating to get proper treatment of this problem as I see others have mentioned on your website." Mary-Anne's doctor became convinced of the need for specialised testing and prescribed Iodoquinol and Doxycycline (dosage here) meds after which Mary-Anne made a full recovery. Her gastroenterologist and general practitioner were so impresssed with the information from this site that they allowed her to submit three fixed samples - instead of the usual one - to make sure the treatment a success.

"...I am so happy to report that the 3 follow up stool samples I submitted all came back negative for any parasites...obviously the treatment worked! The gastro doctor says she doesn't need to see me again now that I'm feeling better...she was very impressed and will be keeping the info you provided to help others! Again, thank you so much for all of your information..I don't know what I would've done or where I would've been without it. You obviously know more than a lot of doctors out there and have taken a lot of time and effort to share your knowledge and understanding by creating your wonderful website. I am sure that there are many people out there that are grateful to you for helping regain their health and quality of life back (including me). My wish for you is that all of the caring and support that you have provided to others comes back to you tenfold!" (July 2005. Canada)

 

Not everyone is as lucky as Mary-Anne. Instead of being treated, a Dutch man diagnosed with Dientamoeba fragilis after years of chronic health problems was advised by his doctor to consult a hypnotherapist:

Dear Jackie, It has been a few months since i last wrote you. In the meanwhile I have had all kind of investigations in the hospital. The Dientamoeba fragilis is still there and according to the dokter my symptoms (tired, IBS, red eyes in the evening etc.) cannot be from the abovementioned. He thinks (if he is able to do that ) that I have pushed myself over the limit and now I am a chronic tired patient....I DONT BUY IT. He (a medical docter) send me to a hypnotherapist, to learn to mark my borders so that I dont get so tired.......(I get so tired from docters). I feel like a fool, because I can't get anyone who does take my symptoms seriously. I am at the end of my possibilities. June 2005. Holland.

 

"(My doctor) essentially dismissed my (D.fragilis) diagnosis, not believing that this parasite could not be responsible for my symptoms. I mentioned the many other experiences posted on your website and her response was: "They can put anything up on the web. I wouldn't believe what they say. How come I haven't read about this in the medical literature?" (USA. 2003)

 

"I had my son checked for parasites last year.  Surprise, surprise - the results came back as positive for Dientamoeba fragilis. The good thing is that the lab actually looks for these bugs now.   The doctor of course said do not worry about (the infection), but the reason we had him checked is because he had sore stomach all the time."
Canada (December 2005)

 

"I went to two infectious disease specialists today. One of them didn't know this parasite at all and didn't believe it could cause symptoms. The second infectious disease doctor didn't know about the parasite either. Two other gastroenterologists told me I needed a psychiatrist because I was obsessed with parasites" received from woman seeking help for her D. fragilis infection. (USA 2004))

 

"My specialist went on to suggest air swallowing and sugar intolerance as a reason for my symptoms - but my perspective has been until I have excluded the parasite, why should I pursue other investigations?"
Long term D.fragilis sufferer from Western Australia. (2002)

 

"The doctors in Amsterdam (AMC) still could not tell me wether DF was pathogenic or not. I know DF made me feel terrible - while the doctor told me it was just stress."
Dutch man successfully treated for D.fragilis. (2004).

 

"I consulted my doctor in the spring of last year. I showed him the parasitology test results from some years back, from the Great Smokies Lab. It showed B. Hominis and D. Fragilis in large amounts. His response was to stick with the orthodox view, being that they are not harmful. So listening to my list of symptoms, concluded there was very likely a stomach ulcer. I was referred to a gastroenterologist. He agreed with the stomach ulcer analysis and I had to undergo an upper endoscopy in hospital. However, there was no ulcer." Received from a UK man who now lives in the US and struggling to cope with his symptoms. (USA. 2002)

 

After eight years of intense lower left abdominal cramping and burning pain, N. from the US, was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, despite testing positive to B.hominis — twice. He was given Flagyl in case of undiagnosed Giardia, but it failed to relieve his symptoms.

Two years and a number of doctors later, N. finally stumbled on to one who was more knowledgeable and open-minded, and who took Blasto. seriously. The new doctor did something which should be standard medical practice but isn't: He arranged for a specialist lab to test three fixed samples to see if his patient still had Blasto. It was positive for both Blasto. and D.fragilis:

"I got the 'IBS' line a lot because I have suffered anxiety and panic attacks for some 22 years now. I never bought the diagnosis. Intuitively, it didn't seem right. My symptoms progressed to bloating, gas, constipation, dizziness, fuzzy headedness, and lethargy. My tolerance to alcohol went from good to non existent, sweets of any kind.. a big NO NO. I have pondered everything from Thyroid and or Adrenal fatigue to Candida and allergies most tests have shown nothing out of the ordinary...except parasites of course. I can't tell you the impact this has had on my life...whatever it is. I know the parasites are a problem...they're as good a place to start as anywhere. Maybe parasites will be the answer. Your site has been one of those rare islands of hope in a sea of misinformation and dead ends.". March 2005. USA.

More cases of bad medicine here