Six Commonly Missed Diagnoses: Parasites

Posted 06/11/2012

If internet scare tactics from companies selling herbal supplements for parasites weren’t enough, the cable TV show “Monsters Inside Me” with its toe-curling film clips has cinched it. We’re in a new “Alien versus Predator” mode, though you might ask which one is us and which them. Those really large parasites you’ll see wriggling across your flat-screen Sony as you scream “I can’t watch this!” (but do) are all helminths, better known as worms. Worldwide, intestinal worm infestation is pretty common, but mainly in underdeveloped countries where people have a bit more contact with raw sewage than we do here in Chicago (unless you swim in the river).

The helminths are the stars of “Monsters Inside Me” because they’re big enough to see without a microscope. When patients ask me to check them for parasites or report “something wriggling in my toilet,” it’s the helminths they have in mind. Obsessing about parasites, despite your best efforts your mind keeps rewinding to John Hurt’s untimely and utterly galvanizing death-by-parasite in the original “Alien.”

Despite studying parasites of all stripes in medical school and testing thousands of patients for them, I think I’ve seen fewer than a dozen cases of intestinal helminth infestation in my entire career. Most of these were in children who’d picked up a pinworm infection (E. vermicularis), little ones being very democratic about their anal hygiene. Pinworm intestinal infection is generally harmless, its main symptom itching around the anus. Treatment using a worm killer, called a vermifuge, wipes out the pinworms after one or two doses.

A second infection is hookworm, once prevalent in the southern US and caused by a combination of inadequate plumbing and a preference for barefootedness. Probably most of the characters in Erskine Caldwell’s novels like God’s Little Acre and Tobacco Road had hookworm. Through a very circuitous route, the worm enters through skin and ends up in the intestines. Once diagnosed it’s easy to treat. I’ve seen exactly one case of hookworm, in a returning Peace Corps worker who should have known better.

Other less common helminths are roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides) and the scary looking tapeworm (several species), once common when we were sloppy with our meat, poultry, and fish preparation. Jewish grandmothers and great-grandmothers were frequently victims of fish tapeworm (Diphyllobothrium), infected by sampling their uncooked haddock while making gefilte fish. These days it’s our sushi/sashimi addiction that renders us susceptible to fish tapeworm. Given the amount of sushi we eat, though, the actual incidence of tapeworm is extremely rare.

What’s living inside me?
It’s these worms (and that TV show) that cause people to lie awake at night wondering what’s living inside them. Well stop wondering and go back to sleep. I want to emphasize that all of these are (a) rare, (b) easy to diagnose, and (c) fairly easy to treat.

You’ll not see the single-celled protozoa infestation stories much on TV. Characters visible only with a microscope just lack the panache, the stage presence, to terrify. However, it’s infections with these little buggers that we’re discussing today.

Doctors are in full agreement that two specific intestinal protozoa–ameba (E. histolytica) and giardia (G. Lamblia)–are troublemakers. Both are acquired by the unappetizing “fecal-oral” route of transmission, which is exactly what it sounds like (now go wash your hands). Most people don’t recall just where they might have acquired amebiasis or giardiasis, but as a general rule you get it from someone who didn’t wash hands after using the toilet. Campers occasionally get giardiasis from drinking water downstream from a herd of cattle. Both infections are manifested by a sudden onset of diarrhea. In the case of giardia, it can be quite explosive and lead to dehydration. Just about anyone who has sudden diarrhea after travelling that doesn’t respond to the routine antibiotics for traveler’s diarrhea (Cipro, Xifaxan, Flagyl) should be tested for these protozoa.

Less agreement among physicians occurs with three other parasites: Endolimax nana, Dientamoeba fragilis, and Blastocystis hominis. For years, these three were considered harmless. Unfortunately, most lab technicians assigned to poop examination (a part-time job I myself held during medical school) are not well-trained in checking for them. It’s very likely a reasonable percentage of patients written off as irritable bowel syndrome/diarrhea dominant actually have an infection with one of these three. The main clues that their IBS is protozoan in origin are that the diarrhea emerges as a new event in their lives, unrelated to stress, and isn’t triggered by any particular foods. “I got traveler’s diarrhea while in Mexico and despite antibiotics, it never went away,” sends me a clear signal to check for parasites.

An easy fix
The combination of lab techs missing these parasites and physician disbelief that the three are troublemakers qualifies parasites for inclusion on our Commonly Missed Diagnosis list. Most of the really good parasite labs–Genova (formerly Great Smokies), Meta Metrix, Doctor’s Data, Meridian Valley–are virtually never used by physicians affiliated with large US medical centers, these doctors preferring to blindly trust their hospital labs. I remember one patient telling me how she handed her Genova parasite test result (showing heavy counts of dientamoeba and blastocystis) to her Northwestern gastroenterologist. He saw the lab and tossed it back without reading it, saying “This is garbage. Never heard of this lab. Bet you got it from a chiropractor.”  This, of course, can potentially lead to years of unnecessary diarrhea.

Nutritional guru Alan Gaby, MD, once remarked that if a patient has no access to one of the parasitology labs, she should take her specimen to a veterinarian and palm off her poop as belonging to her beloved pet. Veterinarians are much better than conventional physicians at diagnosing parasites.

Once a diagnosis of any of the three parasites is made, treatment is generally straightforward with an anti-parasite med like Flagyl (metronidazole), an antibiotic like the sulfa drug Bactrim, or a combination of these. After treatment for any parasite, whether it’s a helminth (worm) or a protozoan, a follow-up stool collection is mandatory to ensure it’s been completely eradicated.

Sleep well…

Be well,

David Edelberg, MD

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63 comments on “Six Commonly Missed Diagnoses: Parasites
  1. JasonMChicago says:

    Parasites are very, very common here in the US. I personally suffered many years not knowing about these little creatures. I find it ironic that we de-worm our dogs twice a year but never consider this for ourselves. Humans should de-worm too… even in industrialized countries.

  2. Carol says:

    Re: gastroenterologists comment about “garbage.” (See prior article on “Arrogant Doctors.”)

  3. Margo says:

    Actually, veterinarians miss macroparasites a fair amount of times, and not for lack of looking but rather limitation of the test used.

    One typical way to detect macroparasites in pets (such as roundworms, the subject of this story) is to look for ova (eggs) in the pet’s stool sample. But these don’t always turn up, even with multiple samples. Several years ago, when my dog suffered from intermittent diarrhea over several months, I didn’t get an accurate diagnosis from the vet until I found a very much alive and kicking 4-inch roundworm in the dog’s stool, which I bagged and later handed to my vet. “Sterile females or males only” was my vet’s mumbled explanation why the worms weren’t detected previously despite several specimens having been brought in; he added that this “occasionally happens”. Happy ending: once diagnosed, medication quickly solved that problem and the dog was back to normal.

    Wonder if this same test limitation doesn’t occur in people, as well, even when a well-informed physician wil take the time to order tests to look for parasites as done by a reputable lab?

  4. Bee says:

    Which stool test does your office recommend?

    Which of these is best: Genova Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis 2.0 W/Parasitology

    or

    Doctor’s data Comprehensive Stool Analysis w/Parasitology x3

    thanks!

  5. Dr. R says:

    We use Meridian Labs which outsources to Doctor’s Data for their stool analysis.

  6. Sam says:

    I have been going through a terrible ordeal. After years of research and recently a severe cold with a cough that has lingered for months I have concluded I may have an infestation. When I reflect back over the years I really cannot pin point when or how whatever is going on may have started. I am starting to believe I have had it for years and due to the natural aging process I am now experiencing more symptoms than ever. I am having a terrible time trying to convince my family care physician that something is terribly wrong despite a laundry list of symptoms. I do not understand the dismissive demeanor of the physicians over the years. We have all seen or read about illnesses that may occur out of the norm. I find it extremely ironic for professions that studied science as a major and refuse to acknowledge mutations occur and with the ever changing microbial word anything can happen to anyone.

    Here is a list of my symptoms as of today:

    Cough with an odor from my throat or lungs
    Four staph infections in the last two years
    Sore muscles, lungs..sometimes muscle fatigue to the point I can not stand or walk
    Lethargy, insomnia, constipation, severe bloating, gas, diarrhea
    Acne
    Vaginal odor that started a few years ago. Boric Acid inserts eliminate this problem but must be used weekly.
    The odor will return or become more prominent after my cycle or intercourse.
    Watering and irritation of my left eye, eyesight has deteriorated rapidly over the past 4 years
    Athletes foot on both feet and my right hand
    Itchy rectum particularly at night
    Pain in my joints particularly my back
    There is a specific area of my back on the left side under my shoulder blade that feels like a tight muscle that needs to release. It sometimes takes my breath away if I breathe too deeply.
    Hard lumps under my skin in areas all over my body.
    Pain in my tailbone that can be debilitating.
    Poor memory
    Clumsiness
    Pain particularly in my right buttock down into my leg. Pain and or soreness in my forearms like I have spent all day doing exercises on just these muscles.
    Index, middle, and ring finger on my left hand has sharp burning sensation only present on the top of each finger..this one, as well as the forearm pain has subsided greatly with self massage.

    I have found intermittent relief from fatigue and muscle pain using magnesium chelated and d ribose.

    I was diagnosed with IBS in 2008, after years of diet and lifestyle changes was symptom free for a couple of years.

    I find this list ridiculous to say the least. I feel like a crazy person with hypochondria. After all the research I realize these symptoms are listed in tons of diagnosis. Because of this coupled with a lack of physicians in my area to help rule out anything I have been coping with a dark, gloomy, hopeless quality of life.

    I find myself analysing doctor visits I have experienced in recent years. I am left with burning questions and self blame.

    Sorry for the lengthy post, I do feel a little better now that I have made a list and shared it with someone. I would never take this entire list to a doctor for fear of judgement and invalidation.

  7. Silvia says:

    Sam, I’m sorry for how you feel. You explained your systems & concerns very well. I have muscle, joint pain, severe abdominal distention, insomia, & other less bothersome issues. I often find myself wondering if sharing all the info is more confusing or beneficial at dr apt. I’ve had it go both ways. Its especially concerning when visiting a specialist. I found a GP doctor that understand he doesn’t always have the answer but that doesn’t mean syptoms don’t exist. We keep trying new things. Thanks for reminding me to get back on d ribose/ Corvalen. It did help a little with muscle pain. Now I’m on riflaxin to see if my tesinal issue improves. Thank you for helping by sharing your post.

  8. Chandra says:

    I have all the symptoms Sam states plus I cough up mucous when I cough and have to spit it up constantly and this round of symptoms I have severe left side deep in my chest pains it hits hard subsides then returns. This has been going on for 2 days this round. It started over a year ago. I seek medical help and get told it’s in my head they can’t find anything I’m paranoid or it’s a drug addiction problem.I have a girlfriend who has the same or worse symptoms she gets told the same thing by completely different doctors. I am scared and feel all alone in this nightmare. They almost had me convinced I was dillusional, I know this is real but have also been shamed by many even family that I’m overreacting it’s got to be me for some reason or another. I feel if I don’t get help I will end up dying especially as we speak with these severe chest ie heart pains because I have done a lot of researching on the Internet and know they get to the heart and brain which can be fatal if not treated.I have little money to even get Dr. Clark’s cleanse or the diagnose me report. But I will not give up until I am dead. Why doesn’t traditional medicine educate the medical community more on parasites? I do not understand…I need help but no one I have seen will take me serious. Suggestions please anyone…Thank you for reading

  9. Hello, the whole thing is going perfectly here and ofcourse
    every one is sharing facts, that’s genuinely good, keep up writing.

  10. ray says:

    I have shared similar symptoms and have also had wholly inept assistance from mainstream biomedicine. However I have started to use diamatceous earth daily to detox from from parasites bacteria yeast endotoxins with progressive improvement

  11. Alana says:

    For all of you who are suffering… with so many ignorant doctors our there: please educate on yeast overgrowth in the body! Yeast can cause all these symptoms & more! Science is now making the connection between so many illnesses & yeast – even cancer! Do your research. There are even great videos on Youtube. STAY COMPLETELY AWAY FROM SUGAR & SIMPLE CARBS – these feed yeast!

  12. Brenda estep says:

    My boyfriend and I have had experienced several different parasites we both thought we were going crazy seeing things that are unexplainable I know we have them for sure I have had so many urinary tract infections its unreal we tell the doctors all they want to do is drug tests on us recently our health has deteroaited he gary ended up in hospital for bleeding they said he had a parasite from the water he told them I had them to they said there was no way I steel go to emergency room cause my legs and feet swell so bad it can’t hardly walk they said it was an infection but no kind of antibiotic will help please help I can tell you the stages that these go through on each stage of there life cycle I also had something really scarey go into me by desolving into my leg have no idea what it is never found any info on the kind please help our lives my depend on you Brenda Estep 5418109203

  13. Dr E says:

    This sounds like Morgellon’s Disease. See this article
    https://wholehealthchicago.com/2016/11/13/saddest-loneliest-patients-america/
    Since is associated with Lyme Disease, you should be able to find a doctor in your area who is comfortable testing you for lyme and treating both conditions

  14. Heather Schmick says:

    I feel crawling inside my neck. It has been going on for a couple years and everyone thinks it can’t be real. I have yet to go to the Dr because I know they will say its in my head. The crawling moves from one side to the other. Recently I tried squeezing and holding whatever it is and it felt like it moved to my brain. I got really dizzy and had to lay down. I want to skip the primary Dr process and go straight to a specialist to figure out what in the world it could be. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
    Heather Schmick
    Heathermarieschmick@Yahoo.com

  15. cliffmaurer says:

    Hi Heather – if you were going to consider a specialist, a neurologist would be a good place to start. However I would encourage you to get a thorough evaluation with a primary care physician trained in functional medicine. This way, a referral to a specialist would be based on more information. If you’re in the Chicago area, any doctor could help you at WholeHealth, or you could look at ACAM.org to find like-minded physicians in your area who could help.
    -Dr M

  16. Sylvia says:

    All good comments

  17. REB says:

    I have had 3 neg stool tests I see worms and my boyfriend has them. Doctors say I am wrong . Please tell me how to get an ID or Diagnosis. I have Oregon health plan. I will send pictures. I expel them every day.Please help me.

  18. Dr. R says:

    REB. If you pass parasites in your stool as mentioned, collect a sample for analysis. The parasite can then be identified and a treatment protocol recommended.

  19. REB says:

    With all due respect,I am here for a reason. I tried binging a plastic bag in to local Dr. It was hours old. He stepped back as if he was grossed out. He told me take it to lab. It was 11 hours old, they sent it out and 3 days later, neg test. The next 2 Drs. Same thing. 1 neg test. Then another and another. All done improperly, the time I collected and the plastic bag from my home is not protocall. I went to 2 Ers 1 “Lost” my sample 1 said “Go to PCP, nothing I can do” I even paid a doctor on HealthTap and once your tests are negative they dont believe me. The HealthTap Dr. stated”You need to admit you are wrong” But I ask what are they then.? No one knows. I eliminate them every day. I have to use enamas or I get impacted. Please, you say it is relativly simple, but not here. Let me send you pictures. I will pay you with a credit card. Please help me. I cant get help and they are going to kill me.I asked the HealthTap Dr, If I was wrong, no harm, but what if I’m right? Please its been 2 years. Cant I send and pay you? Please? I will send you pictures, worms eggs, bloody stool with mucus, Please at least look? The Health Tap Dr stated he will Prescribe if I have an ID. Please, Im begging you. Please save me.Can you Email an address I can send pis? Please?

  20. Dr E says:

    Hi REB
    You can order this test
    https://www.gdx.net/product/comprehensive-parasitology-test-stool
    from Genova Labs. They have the best parasitologists in the country

  21. REB says:

    Thank you. I used this lab and paid a few hundred. They missed my parasites. Research has told me it took 8 seperate tests for one gal to get diagnosed. I can’t afford to keep getting these tests. I know what I see and would gladly send you pictures and pay you to try. I live in a small townand I am desperate, I can’t tell you how much I need your help. Can I not pay you with a credit card and send you samples? They are easy to get with an enema. I keep getting advice as to how easy it is but 2 years later, I cant get help. No one seems to want to back up claims of how well they successfully help, instead I get,”See your PCP” or use this or that” Will you take a sample from me? I will pay the costs. At least look at pictures by providing an email address I can send pics too and let me know if you have or have not seen these? Please?

  22. Dr E says:

    Hi
    Sorry, but I really can’t help beyond the suggestion I gave you. Genova is the best lab for this and if you get the kit from them, they can determine what parasite you have and also tell you the med that will kill them

  23. lynne A drews says:

    I got a threadworm problem last August 2016 and treat it with mendanazole and again two weeks after!It did not work so ba k toDrs and got advised to take it at twoper day for three days repeat adter two weeks! Have now had several cycles of this to no avail! January 2017 small blood coated worms coming out my nose!Back to Drs and blood tast mucos tests stool tests all negative! Went to hospital and given albe dazole 400 mg Nextmorni g coughed blood up with something in it! For the past weeks I am tired feel like ive got flu constipated memory problems eye problems Today out breath called ambulance all obs normal! paramedic did not believe I have parasites!advised me to go bk to my Dr!!!! who would enhoy worms in throat. ose lu gs…

  24. Dr E says:

    Hi
    You’ve received very potent worm killing meds and these don’t need to be repeated. If you live in an urban area, I would suggest finding a practitioner experienced in either Western or Chinese herbs. These can be taken for long periods of time and eventually to kill anything in your system

  25. Kimberlin Nicks says:

    The true is not enough only prayer. I swallow a spider in 2004 please tell me is a spider a parasite or just a bug.My doctor have done stool testing on me blood work negative.Sent me to infectious disease specialist, I told the doctor what I swallow he said can’t no spider live inside of you and he walked me to the door without any test done on me. My doctor send me to the Mayo clinic the doctor told me the same thing spiders can’t live in you put the Mayo clinic took stool test negative.Here it is 2017. I continue to feel the same thing inside my body. Movement Everytime I eat the spider come out of its web back to his same place for 12 yrs and about 6 small spiders in my brain my lower right leg is know giving out on me and my eye sight is bad. How I know it’s a spider, I was sleeping and I felt it crawling across my face into my mouth it was on my bed pole I jumped up cough for hours looked all around my bed to find out what was that and I notice the spider webs on top corner of my bed poles, threw the years I have done about 15 to 20 cleaning the black walnut herbal dropped was the best it almost kill it. I have already written and planed my good byes. I I’m truly loved by my husband and stepson and family and my church family and friend and for you,thank you for taking out the time for reading the Truth. Know I ask of you to add me in your prayer.

  26. Dr E says:

    Hi Kimberlin
    Ask your doctor to test you for chronic Lyme disease. Sometimes (but certainly not always), chronic Lyme patients describe symptoms similar to yours

  27. Grace Larbey says:

    Hi. I am very familiar with some of the symptoms posted. I have known I have worms in my stools since about 1 year ago. They are now visible through my skin and they are in my blood vessels. I have been treated like a kook and not believed by ER doc and my pcp did believe (hard to deny a sore on my knee with worm visible surrounding it but stool test came back negative so now I am a kook with him. I live in southwest Missouri in a very closed medical community (read:she’s a kook there so must be one here attitude) I am an RN with 25 years experience and I know worms when I see them and put them in stool test collection bottle, lots of them you do not have to try to find them there are lots of them ! I am afraid of death from these if not treated soon. I have reason to think, actually know they are in my lungs and head. Please please direct me to help. Is there anything I can get OTC to at least slow down progression ? Thank you for any reply. Gracie

  28. sarah says:

    thank you for pointing out that blasto is a problem. so many doctors disagree. I’ve been sick for 4 years with this. Finally they did a poop sample and it came positive for blasto in high numbers. unfortunately non of the antibiotics have killed this. Metronitazol was the worst for side effects. Also tried septra and Nitrazoxinade. There are many people just like me who are left in pain unable to kill this parasite. I hope more research is made into finding drugs that work. The Blastocystis foundation recognizes that once this parasite creates a biofilm the antibiotics struggle to penetrate the parasite.

  29. Dr E says:

    Your symptoms are very similar to a condition called Morgellons and recent research attributes this to Lyme Disease. Find a “Lyme Literate Physician” and get tested. The best test for Lyme is from a lab called IgeneX

  30. Kimberlin Nicks says:

    DR.E Thank you so much I will talk to my doctor about the Lyme and to get it tested at a Lab lgeneX.I will be getting back with u after this test is done thank you .

  31. Myya says:

    Im sorry for your ordeal. You will see that Doctors are rarely educated about worms and the place to start is curezone.come under the parasite threads. Good luck. I still need help too.

  32. Myya says:

    The Lab tests do not test for all worms. The labs will send a negative back if the parasite comes up as unknown. The 1000 types there are for humans to get are not all tested for. If the lab does not test for a particular worm than they can not ID it, so they call it food or feces even if it is worms. I just found that out after spending hundreds of dollars at 3 labs. Ropeworms are different and dont show up. They are different class but doctors are divided if they are real. They are but they are hard to detect and are usually mistaken for body mucas. Good luck getting a doctors help. They think you are crazy because the tests are negative and they refuse to help me. I have been to 6. I see worms every day in stool but Doctors don’t look at stool.I have begged for help and get none, they will kill you so dont give up. Curezone has some help.I am still fighting but I need a prescription and docs wont give one so I take horse wormer.

  33. CLZ says:

    I can more than relate..Started 2006 in new home..Life has been hell since..I speak to Doctors..explain I know my body(Had a Catering Business for 8yrs) sick flu like one time.. Born Orlando fl.Lived texas traveled California.Moved to Germany 1984 Italy 1987 Indiana 1990 Move to Illinois 2004 and my health problems and HELL started in mid 2005 summer 2006??? Have lots of pictures and they seem to run in a cycle that changes with day night,,spring fall..And any bug or flower tree . I feel bad for all the other people who wrote and see no end..I WOULDN’T EVEN WISH THIS ON MY HUSBANDS X WIFE!!!!!!!!!

  34. Kim says:

    hi Sarah Look into Lifestyle wellness its call RNA Ultimate Lyme Support System Extra Strength. I just order me a box Please read up on this and let me know what u come up with., I been feeling this for 12 years. I’m stepping out on faith I have no time left.

  35. Margaret Brewer says:

    Well heres one cor ya my daughter had a flea go into her eye her eye swelled up went to er and of course they said something bit her yea we no that to make a long story short sores will pop up and little baby fleas black in color comes out now if a spot itches she squee it and puss come blowing out and it’s thick and leaves a deep hole what kind of hospital would you go to the Dr’s think we are crazy

  36. K says:

    Margaret Brewer Your daughter sounds like she might have a staph infection now from her flea bite??? I am going through a lot of these symptoms on here and I am starting all this research because like all of us on here I have been laughed out and shamed out of the ER as either a tweaker or crazy because of my sores all over. I know something is not right but I also know the Doctors are completely wrong with their diagnosis…

    I live in the Pacific Northwest I am 40 yr old and in the last 6 yrs my quality of life has gone down. My muscles ache and always sore. Balance I do not have. Clumsy I have always been but holy moly there comes a time when that is not even describing it anymore. I trip over everything! My symptoms have me all over the board to the point that when I go see Doctors now I scare them and I get the deer in the head light look. Or I have to tell them what some stuff is. I was in a major car accident and suffered a TBI (traumatic brain injury) causing memory loss which is why I can only say in the last 6 years. I believe though in the last 6 months my health has gone way down hill. I have been to the hospital and the ER in the last 2 months so many times I have had staph 3x in the last 1.5 months. I have been on the antibiotic bactrim way too much. fatigue does not even come close to describing the way I feel on most days.
    Overwhelmed with life definitely! I have been told I have fibromyalgia, bipolar depressant, pcos, gas, ibs, bloaty, sores all my body like staph, odor but not sure why cause I am a clean person, sleep issues, multi uti’s,overall my body always hurts aches stiff and I am curvy but not huge and I love being active but cannot be. I have children and it’s hard being a mom. I think infestation because I noticed this last week my puppies have worms and I was like hey wait a minute this all makes sense … and here I am researching a way. My youngest child has been showing signs of always being hungry and intestinal problems, dairy issues and impactment problems and her and I both get horrible charlie horse cramps in our calves all the time. Dr’s associate this to her as growing pains or low vitamin D she has even been tested for childhood cancer. Yet my head keeps going back to she eats like she has a tape worm. I bring this up to the Dr and they look at me like I am completely crazy.

  37. Amy Hopkins says:

    I had morgellons. I think it is related to Bartonella. It caused a lot of depression, anxiety, brain fog, etc. It also caused physical symptoms. If you cannot find the source of the parasites see a Lyme specialist. Ask the Lyme association in your to make a recomendation. I have been on 6 months of antibiotics and parasitic drugs and I am just now feeling better. I had the worst Herx reactions but kept on and the meds finally worked. If biaxin makes you fatigued it could be because of a bacteria or parasite dying and leaving toxins.

  38. Phil Levos says:

    Dr. E,

    I’ve had some odd symptoms for the past year. Before I left for China I had this ache in my lower abdomen and my doctor said it was stress related. When I came back to the US I still had this lower pain and dark green stools. I currently have shifting discomfort throughout my mid and lower abdomen with gas all day, everyday. I have a BM every day however each stool looks broken off from a previous stool. There is also some liquid substance that swirls around after a BM that my gastroenterologist said was probably just me shedding cells in my intestines.
    X-ray said I was constipated
    Blood tests came back fine
    Stool test came back fine
    Tested negative for celiacs
    What could this be?

    Best,

  39. Grace says:

    I was changing my tortoises water, he likes the bathe in there as well as eat n poop in the same spot…and some of the water splashed into my eye. Long story short, a worm grew inside my eye. I’ve been to all kinda of doctors. I’ve even at a cat scan n mri done…as this thing has spread into my head. I get awful head pain n now have indentation in the back of my head. At this point, I fear the worst is coming. . I’m going to die from this. I can’t get treatment. Someone please help.

  40. George says:

    Any idea what would cause flu like symptoms every 21 days?

  41. Dr. R says:

    George. Could be a number of infections. Probably best to speak with your local PCP.

  42. Nina says:

    Hello Dr Edelburg, does your office offer treatment for BH? I have a stool report from a few years ago showing I have BH but my internist told me its non pathogenic. I insisted on medication and was prescribed Flagyl. This Flafyl treatment made no difference. My symptoms are primarily gas and bloating.

  43. Dr E says:

    Hi Nina
    Yes, we treat a lot of BH using the triple therapy out of Australia.
    You can see any of our natural practitioners, but I’d be writing the prescription (which has to come from overseas)

  44. Cecilia says:

    I have been suffering since 2003, I am a nurse and my career was going just fine. I had to retire early. I had some itching and the most unusual symptoms of small, invisible flies, will come out my skin. others around you are affected in that they seem to play around your. ear and face and your legs. I captured some in my home at one time and the university identified them as fungus gnats. The problem has only intensified over the years and I have no social life. I put antibiotic ointment and prednisone cream, with minimum affect. After a couple of hours they are swarming again. Infectious Dr. didn’t believe me. Is it possible they are reproducing in my body. and causing me ear pain and muscle pain. I have had only one week of relief in 15 years, when a dr. ordered a shot of prednisone and rocephin, and gave me 10 days of avelox for a sinus infection.. Since then no relief, but I think it wasn’t a permanent and appropriate treatment long term I need help, any suggestions will be appreciated.

  45. cliffmaurer says:

    Hi Cecilia –

    This sounds like such an awful struggle. Are you in the Chicago area? If so, I or any of my other physician colleagues would be happy to do a work-up.

    Best wishes to you,
    Dr M

  46. Patient-X says:

    I had a colonoscopy done recently at San Francisco General Hospital, and I clearly saw on the monitor the doctor detach and suck out a worm (leaving a perfectly round red ring on the wall of my cecum where it was attached), a dozen eggs clustered next to it, and a few tube worm segments from my cecum. Nobody in the room said anything and nothing was mentioned on the report. Doctors will actively hide the fact that you have a parasitic infection, and if you ask about it they will laugh at you. Why is that?

  47. Dr E says:

    Hi Patient X
    To be honest, I have never heard of doctors trying to hide a parasite infection. They’re generally pleased to have found ‘something,’ especially when it can be treated. I suggest you simply ask the doctor who performed the procedure for an interpretation of what you saw. In addition, you can request the operative report which usually contains photographs

  48. MM says:

    Patient-X, maybe they prefer to have patients come in for colonoscopy procedures than take antiparasitic medications.

  49. MM says:

    Dr. E, I have seen a number of practitioners recommend the GI-MAP stool test (from Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory) as this test is very comprehensive.

    What are your thoughts about this test?

  50. Dr E says:

    We use something similar with Genova Labs and it looks quite accurate. Best, of course, is to see the parasite under a microscope

  51. Denise sink says:

    My name is Denise and I too have suffered for many years with the same long list of symptoms, and for years have been told I’m in good health. For the past 5 years I didn’t have health ins. So I have neglected my body until now. I have found a great Dr.who from day 1 has ordered the test coinciding with each symptom so far i have OA in my shoulders,hips and hands and recently had a ct scan to determine if the cyst found in my wrist is cancer or not. And I have high blood pressure high cloresteral? Calcium and vitiam D deficit and diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Now this. For the past two days I have felt nausea, bloating,belching and stomach pains, I thought it was from my meds, but I just had the most frightful thing happen. After having a bm I noticed odd chunks in the toilet and after a closer look and pulling out what looked like flesh I realize I have parts of some kind of worms and large ones at that. I am freaked out to see things that have eyes living inside me but I have no idea if I should be freaked out or from what I’ve read just relax it is a common thing.

  52. Gary alec godwin says:

    Iv had roundworn.pin worm for 2 yrs and 6 months ago i got carpet beetle infestation.spught medical help vigarpuslty but instead of help i was sectioned.locked in mental hospital for 28 days and diagnosed as having a dillisional dissorder.2 yrs on im still trying to live and somehow survive the torturous so called life of mine

  53. April Salem says:

    I find it interesting that I saw several infectious disease doctors for what I explained as coughing up “things” . none believed me call me the typical names – quest never found a thing o course they tested feces… I was coughing…. sent slides with dried sputum to a forensics lab… two different ones… they found crypto, mycoplasma and ascaris from my LUNGS. So what we need to be dead before a lab will consider it? I am mad! I do not have a spleen and I have been very sick….

  54. Carol Jones says:

    There is a tiny worm infestation that is extremely contagious, you don’t have to have contact with a person to get it,call it a pin worm if you like it goes everywhere in the body eyes, ears, nose. After 2 1/2 years I finally found an easy cure, I tried everything known to man and it helped greatly, but because it goes everywhere you need something that not only kills it in the gut but the whole body, also since it is an epidemic you need something that you can continue to take that is not harmful so you can continue to take it for the rest of your life. I am 99% better, I want to share it with others, if this works for you please share, animals get this also, once a day I take Colostrum 500 mlg without food with a glass of water, and once a day I take Lactoferrin 250 mlg after food, I would take them at least 8hrs apart, these nutrients are also good for you. I fell on this by accident, and realized I was getting better, not sure exactly how it kills but I did a little research and found out that lactoferrin prevents Iron from being used by parasites, also these 2 things boost your immune system possibly boosting your own defenses. I was taking several things that I have been dropping and I am better than ever after several weeks on these 2 things. Please try if you have my symptoms, it may also work for other kinds of worms. If it works PLEASE pass it on.

  55. Janet Coates says:

    A year ago I became infected with TINY white worms thru facial sores (from non-malignant skin cancer). They have traveled everywhere: in nose, in ears, armpits, any (unfortunate) skin/fat folds, scalp, neck, tongue (eew!), and vagina and anus! I’ve had over 100 medical appointments, including urgent care and ERs. Lab tests come back as ‘unknown debris’. Well of course it’s unknown! Or why send to a lab? They are so thin–a small snip of a hair from a person with fine hair. If you try and grab them (when they’re sticking out, such as when I sweat) with tweezers, they usually pull back in before you get even a little nubbin. The only place I’ve been able to get whole ones are from the vagina, where they are often fully out, but they are so fragile I only been able to get two that are intact. The Dermo says they are just fibers, from toilet paper! But I have phone videos where you see them coming out of the skin! And they have a definite shape, unlike ‘pieces of toilet paper’! And toilet paper doesn’t magically extrude from ones’ skin! I even had one sticking out of an eyebrow when I was actually at an urgent care, and the doc said “YES! I see it!” But no one will commit these unknown ‘sightings’. At my local ER, I showed them the vagia video, the doc went off to confer with her superior, and came back with ‘we have never seen anything like this, and have absolutely no idea how to treat it!’ Then they referred me to an infectious diseases doc, where I had already tried to get into, and was told at that time, ‘no appointment without a referral’. So I get the referral from the ER, and was told, ‘no appointment without a diagnosis’! If anyone knew what it was, I wouldn’t have needed an ID doc. And the ER report said ‘Skin problem’!!!! No one will admit, in writing, the are clueless. I finally found a doctor; an old guy, old school, with a complete well rounded education, and who wasn’t trying to get out of the office in 30 seconds and to the next pa$ien$. Leslie Brandwin. Great guy who obviously was disturbed that he couldn’t help me–apologized three times! He wanted me to go to Hopkins, to a real parasitologist, which wasn’t an option for me, so wrote me a referral for a local doc that he said was the only person in the area (D.C.), who may be able to help me. Which is what I’m going to do. I just don’t understand why, when faced with an unknown, the doc thinks I’m crazy? Why can’t they understand that I just can’t parade my worms out right then and there, and why deny what they can see with their own eyes, albeit a video. How on earth could I possibly fake something like that–coming out of my skin?! I don’t present as a kook, I’ve been told on several occasions, but very aware and intelligent. So why the evasiveness, or downright disbelief? It just boggles my brain. Does anyone out there know anything about this worm? I’m truly frightened: I caught one wiggling across my eyeball, and if they’re in all these places, why not making pathways in my brain?

  56. Dr E says:

    Hi Janet
    You may have a condition called Morgellons Disease. For many victims, it is triggered by Lyme Disease so your first step is to get tested for Lyme. Ask your doctor for the Western Blot test. If positive, treating Lyme will help.
    If negative, you might benefit having a doctor order the medications in Klinghardt Parasite Protocol which you can find online. It works best when used with a medication called Pimozide which reduces symptoms as the parasites die off
    Good luck!
    Dr E

  57. Pia says:

    Hi Janet. There’s a doctor Omar Amin at parasitology center in Arizona who specializes in morgellons detection and treatment. It sounds like that’s what you have. You don’t need to travel you just send a stool sample. I’ve heard that this is a hard one to get diagnosed and treatment for. I hope he can help you out. I’m sorry about your condition and the doctors overlooking it. It’s a shame they do that but I guess if they don’t know what something is they don’t know how to treat it. Good luck with things.

  58. John Kay says:

    Hello,

    I’m sorry to bother you. 42 age Male Healthy no issues ever.

    I have type 4 and 5 stool on the Bristol chart for over 4 weeks with yellow mucus.

    I am also bloated, gasses, fatigue, loss of appetite.

    I have tested a GI Panel Stool Test includes 22 bacteria, viruses and parasites. Which came back negative. I have taken Bactrim for 7 days and also Flagyl for 10 Days but still have symptoms.

    What else can it be ?
    Please HELP, HELP, HELP !!!
    Thank you.

    List of 22 bacteria, viruses and parasites.
    https://www.labcorp.com/test-menu/37171/gastrointestinal-profile-stool-pcr

  59. cliffmaurer says:

    Hello John – This could be a myriad of digestive issues and I recommend working with a functional medicine trained doc to determine next steps. Assessments for leaky gut, SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth Syndrome), and food sensitivities should be on the radar, in my opinion. Any physician or our nurse practitioner at WholeHealth can help, or you can use this resource to find a functional medicine provider near you: https://www.ifm.org/find-a-practitioner/

    Best of luck to you,
    Dr M

  60. VenomFangC says:

    I’ve taken some of the best OTC Parasite killers and cleansers on Amazon. The list is, Black Walnut Hull, Wormwood, 14 day colon cleanse detox, and “Intestinal Pro.” For about 4 months I’ve noticed my stool becoming mushier and mushier. I had a feeling it might be parasites, until it seemed like I was having complete mal-absorption. I took all of those products I talked about at once and somewhat aggressively, along with some garlic cloves and pumpkin seeds. I passed from taking the high doses of cayenne pepper even though I eat that and hotsauce nearly every day. Long story short, I pooped out some clear squigglies and then I was sure there were parasites. Then the second elimination I did, there was one that looked like it might’ve been 4 inches long. It just didn’t look like mucoid plaque to me. When i drizzled it under water, it completely split open but didn’t look like it had any insides. This second time, I also had some little things that looked like granules. But from the looks of it, they were “flukes.” Around the time I developed mushy stool, I know the environment I was around probably was the culprit of these nasty things. Doing this all at once had me thinking I had severe colon problems that led me to schedule an appointment with a specialist. I felt sick in the most weird way. Like my body was weakened a little, and my stomach had a head cold. I had dirreah and pain in my stomach for several days on and off. After 3-4 days of being off, I havent had any symptoms of IBS (I didn’t mention that) and the first few inches of my stool have been firmer than when my problems developed 4 months ago which I consider excellent news. Right now I’m taking Tumeric and Astaxanthin. Those products I took all at once made me feel sick maybe because I killed to many things at once. I don’t know. I can document some more if more people want to know.

  61. Sarah says:

    I have been unwell for a few mths with nausea diahhrea fatigue and other symptoms. The result of stool test was presence of parasites (blasto and). I have hashimotos so fatigue is nothing new but it is the other symptoms that puzzle me including muscle pain/discomfort notably in my chest. There is also a pain at the bottom of my shoulder blade, similar to that described by Sam in Oct 2015 post. I also have dry upper throat and nasal passage with dry cough and headaches. The muscle pains are persistent but the nausea and diahhrea come in cycles. Can these parasites cause the pain/discomfort i (and Sam) refer to in my chest and back (pain below shoulder blade as described by Sam) and also the dryness and cough?

    Sarah

  62. Dr E says:

    Hi Sarah
    To the best of my knowledge B Hominis symptoms are limited to the digestive tract (nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, etc). Hashimoto’s on the other hand can cause all sorts of mischief including musculoskeletal issues.
    Get the Blastocystis fully cleared; get your TSH to about 1.0 using natural desiccated thyroid and see how you’re doing

  63. Lynn says:

    I have been unwell this year: In hind sight I believe I had pinworm infection in March of this year, which came and went through April.. on another note, I also have had weird pain sensations in my legs from my groin to my toes, varying from nerve pain to tendon pain and muscle pain and it migrated everyday somewhere else in the leg! I tested IGM positive for Lyme on 2 bands via my foot dr so my pcp treated with 3 weeks of doxy, to no avail because once I was off the medicine my symptoms increased ten fold and I’ve been dealing with them all summer while seeing Lyme literate dr while on doxy again… cd57 value crashed and has now recovered and I am coming off doxy, but my leg/foot etc pains still remain… I am doing a parasite cleanse right now, pin worms are active, but I still don’t know the reason for the pains? Neuro dr found nothing! Could it be parasites? Remaining symptoms are nightly raised body temp 99.5, migrating leg/foot/toe etc pain, with pins needle feeling in feet and hands- mostly left side but sometimes both, hands tingle and fall asleep in the night while sleeping, bottoms of feet hurt when going from sitting to standing for long periods, minor skin itching/sensations on face/body that comes and goes…. Could it all be from just be remaining pinworms? Any ideas what would cause the remaining symptoms? Any ideas or suggestions would greatly be appreciated! Hoping mimosa pudica and formula 1 will be enough to rid whatever is inside me! Would antibiotics be good as well?

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