The Extraordinarily Persistent Patient

Health Tips / The Extraordinarily Persistent Patient

Posted 08/16/2011

Despite my admonishments to stay well if you want to avoid the multifarious problems of our health care system, sometimes–and through no fault of your own–you’ll get sick.

Your best chance of emerging unscathed from whatever ails you is having what’s called a “self-limiting condition,” namely, one that goes away by itself, with or without doctoring. With any condition that brings the phrase “if symptoms persist, see your doctor” to mind, well, best of luck. Most of the time, the gods will be on your side, your doctor will figure out what’s wrong, and you’ll do just fine.

But here’s the story of a woman with persistent symptoms who saw not one doctor, but at least ten over six long years. Some of her docs came from the best medical centers in town, others were what might be called “alternative.” Finally, getting nowhere, she took matters into her own hands. And that’s really what this story is all about.

Alison is in her fifties, very bright, and until six years ago quite healthy. It was specifically during one week in 2005 when she and her husband were vacationing in Mexico that both of them suddenly became ill. He had the fairly standard turista and recovered with antibiotics, but her symptoms were different. She initially experienced a sudden onset of severe nausea, dizziness, and profound exhaustion, and the first time this happened actually blacked out. Alison and her husband returned to the US and from that week forward her health was never the same again.

Although Alison felt guardedly better on her return, she began to experience peculiar week-long episodes of just feeling very ill: nausea, dizziness, and weakness, all severe enough to send this usually active woman to bed for a week. Then she’d recover enough to return to work. “Recover enough” means never really feeling well, however. And a few weeks later, another episode, another week in bed.

Alison’s primary care HMO physician could find nothing wrong with her, even though she returned multiple times.

“I couldn’t get them to order more tests,” she told me, “but I knew something was wrong. I felt like I was pounding on their door to let me in, with no response. I knew they just didn’t want to see me anymore.” (This image, by the way, can be found in Franz Kafka’s novel The Trial.)

After two years (two years!) of this, Alison’s symptoms began to change for the worse. Now an episode was accompanied by stomach cramps and watery diarrhea. And still her HMO physician had no suggestions—not a diet change, anti-diarrhea medication, nothing. Then one day the episodes stopped being episodes, and instead her diarrhea was non-stop. Seriously weakened by days and days of watery stools, Alison changed medical centers and went to their emergency room. It was obvious she was extremely dehydrated, and she was admitted for intravenous fluids and antibiotics.

“Unfortunately, I arrived at the beginning of a three-day weekend. They sort of forgot about me and by Sunday they were treating me for getting too much fluid. I was literally drowning.”

Finally, still in the hospital, Alison was seen by a gastroenterologist, had a colonoscopy, and was told she had a form of ulcerative colitis. She was started on steroid drugs, discharged, and actually felt guardedly better for a while, though never fully well. Alison herself doubted the diagnosis, however, and after weeks of taking steroids decided to see a different gastroenterologist at a different medical center for a second opinion.

He didn’t believe she had ulcerative colitis, but rather celiac disease. She was advised to stop the steroids and also stop eating all gluten. Again she felt a little better, but knew she wasn’t out of the woods.

Something still wasn’t right.

Alison gives up on conventional medicine

When despite cutting out gluten her symptoms escalated again, Alison was told to restart the steroid drugs. This is the point, she told me, at which she gave up on conventional medicine, deciding to try her luck with traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, and nutritionists.

And still no progress.

Then, on her own, Alison began reading about intestinal parasites, on her own ordering a parasite testing kit. Each of the three stool specimens she submitted showed a large number of a parasite called blastocystis hominis. Delighted to finally have discovered her problem, she took the results to her gastroenterologist, who promptly disparaged the whole issue of self-diagnosis and the non-hospital lab she’d used, shrugging off the report and its conclusion. (He may have even tested Alison’s stools and identified the same parasite but…see #3 below for more on that).

After some online searching, Alison located an MD parasitologist in the UK and arranged a Skype consultation. Based on her test results, he completely agreed with her diagnosis, saying that of course she’d acquired it on her trip to Mexico and that he’d send a list of the prescription drugs she needed to clear the infection. Because he wasn’t licensed in the US, he couldn’t prescribe the meds himself, advising Alison to give the medication list to her own doctor. The UK parasitologist even added the name of the compounding pharmacy he most trusted to prepare his anti-parasite mix, a combination of three prescription medications taken together over a period of ten days.

Not wanting to go back to either of her gastroenterologists, Alison located a sympathetic physician who retested her from a second parasitology lab. And again all three specimens show heavy amounts of blastocystis hominis. This physician, however, was reluctant to prescribe the UK medication combo because one of the three drugs wasn’t FDA-approved for parasites. Instead, this doctor prescribed a standard blastocystis treatment, which the UK physician had already warned Alison “wouldn’t work, not strong enough.”

He was right. It didn’t.

Alison makes her way to WholeHealth Chicago

At this point, Alison scheduled a visit with us. I admit that as I sat listening, utterly enthralled by her six-year quest to get well, from her first sentence I had a clear sense of what she was going to say based on three facts:

#1  If you’re healthy and you visit a developing or newly industrialized country (such as Mexico), become ill there, and can’t get better, you’ve acquired a parasite. Period.

#2  The mail-order labs for parasite testing (Genova, Metametrix, Meridian, etc.) are actually superior to hospital labs, but in Alison’s case old-fashioned physician arrogance had reared its ugly head. Veterinarians are also quite good at parasite diagnosis, though sadly your health insurance won’t work in the office of the compassionate vet who cares for your terrier.

#3  Many US gastroenterologists do not believe blastocystis hominis is a pathogenic (i.e., disease-causing) parasite. I know this may be hard to accept. But because I trained in the same hospitals myself, I knew that even though Alison’s stools had been repeatedly tested for parasites, when the results she showed her doctors said “blastocystis” these physicians shrugged it off as harmless. But blastocystis hominis from Mexico isn’t the same as the US variety, and I have a sneaking suspicion that Alison’s doctors forgot to ask a key question, “Did you do any foreign travel before you became ill?”

In the Brains Department, there wasn’t much for me to do. Alison had just held my rapt attention with a textbook history of a chronic parasite infestation as detailed as I might hear in a lecture by a university parasitologist. She then spread before me six separate stool-specimen reports from two highly respected labs, all showing “heavy growth blastocystis hominis.”  The labs had even made photographs of the parasites.

Alison then handed me her correspondence with the eminent UK parasitologist, his prescription, and the phone number of the compounding pharmacy he preferred.

All I had to do was pick up the phone

Be well,

David Edelberg, MD

PS  Anticipating your questions

  • People acquire this parasite via fecal-oral transmission—dirty hand to mouth or infected food service worker hand on food you’re going to eat.
  • Scientists don’t know for certain how blastocystis hominis causes diarrhea and other symptoms, though it’s probably by releasing a toxin.
  • Did Alison’s UK drug regimen work? She’s taking the medicines as you read this. Stay tuned.

71 thoughts on “The Extraordinarily Persistent Patient

    I’ve been tested for blasto with single antibiotic (didn’t work) and then the triple compound antibiotics- to no avail. 6 years now. Diet changes help when symptoms are severe but nothing kills it.

    Posted October 24, 2022 at 8:58 pm

      Hi Rachel,

      We are sorry to hear that you have been struggling with blasto for years. If you need a partner in your healthcare journey, we are happy to help. Please feel free to call 773-296-6700.

      WholeHealth Chicago
      Posted October 25, 2022 at 7:38 pm

    Wow! I went to Mexico the year this article was written and have had constant, chronic, severe IBS ever since and just got tested by GI 360 and came back with ‘many’ blastocystis. I’m really glad this was written. I feel really angry that no-one ever told me about this parasite or ever thought to ask if I had travelled before my symptoms started.

    Posted March 1, 2021 at 2:29 pm

    What was the treatment and did it work?

    Cindy Van Daalwyk
    Posted February 15, 2020 at 9:23 am

      If food sensitivities are present, simply eliminating the culprit foods will help. If you get diagnosed with acute intermittent porphyria (which is quite rare) you’ll need to see a specialist in that disease

      Dr E
      Posted February 24, 2020 at 8:12 am

        Dr D,
        I am in Canada.
        Where do I find this tri-therapy enema?

        Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:51 am

    Dear doctor, I reside in Dubai. I have been having painful abdominal cramps since 2009. I initially thought endometriosis, which a gynae said that I don’t have. Then I asked them to do colonoscopy.. they found nothing.then I somehow found websites which said it could be gluten insensitivity…so began to eliminate gluten.

    But even now, I have painful, abdominal cramps that come in waves, makes my legs shiver and I get like paralysed and breathless…and it gets better only when I burp intentionally. And bowel movements can sometimes be very painful and draining. Another thing is I feel that I have pms connected with this pain… somehow the excruciating pain comes before 14 days of my periods..

    It has turned into scary episodes

    Please could you guide me… please

    Posted February 6, 2020 at 2:10 pm

      Since you’ve had these cramps for eleven years, you should get tested for food sensitivities (a blood test) and a metabolic disorder called acute intermittent porphyria. Your doctor can do these

      Dr. E
      Posted February 10, 2020 at 8:21 am

    I desperately need the name of the eminent UK parasitologist and the three medications needed.

    Elizabeth Ginger
    Posted January 15, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    Hello Dr. Edelberg is blastocystis spp. the same as blastocystisis hominis? I have been diagnosed by the Genova comprehensive stool test as having blastocystis spp. Do I need the triple therapy approach? Thank you.

    Elizabeth Ginger
    Posted January 15, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    Hello Dr. Edelburg,

    I have recently been diagnosed with Blasto and am about to start treatment in Melbourne, Australia.

    I stumbled across a naturopath in New Zealand who created CanXida. I have read stories all over the world from people who claim this man’s product cured their Blasto.

    My doctor reviewed the ingredients and said he would be more than happy for me to take this if I wanted a herbal approach.

    Maybe this could help your clients too.

    He also has a YouTube channel

    Posted January 6, 2020 at 9:57 pm

      Did it work for you? It doesn’t always work.

      Ramis Shuja
      Posted January 15, 2021 at 9:31 pm

    Alison’s story reminds me almost exactly of mine! Nearly five years ago, now, I was diagnosed with both SIBO and blastocystis hominis, and I have struggled to find relief ever since. Luckily, my gastroenterologist does believe that b hominis can cause illness–and she is also open-minded enough to have referred me to a functional medicine practitioner who she thought might help me–but nothing either one of them has done for me has eradicated the parasite: not flagyl, not alinia, not rifaximin, and not the wormwood, garlic, black walnut and other naturopathic supplements I have repeatedly tried, in various doses and combinations. (I recently finished an almost five-month-long “pulse” regimen of wormwood, artemisinin, myrrh, and garlic, and while I felt better–though by no means perfect–for about two months afterward, my symptoms came roaring back about two weeks ago.) I have heard of the triple-prescription regimen and while I have also seen stories from b hominis sufferers who said it didn’t work for them, I have been eager to try it myself, though I always assumed it would be impossible to find someone to prescribe it for me.

    Dr. Edelberg, I am in New York City, and I wonder whether you know of a physician here who could provide me with the triple-drug regimen, or whether it would be possible for my gastroenterologist to consult with you by phone. I am becoming more and more desperate as this condition lingers, and more and more fearful that I will never again enjoy a healthy GI tract or live a normal life!

    Phil Harper
    Posted March 20, 2019 at 10:16 am

    Hi Paul
    I’m sorry but I don’t do phone consultations. I suggest you contact Genova Labs on their Find a Doctor tab. These are the docs who do a lot of parasite diagnosis and treatment

    Dr E
    Posted January 9, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    Dr E I am currently struggling from a Blastocystis Hominis infection (confirmed by a stool test by my GP). I am only 24 years old. I contracted it around September 2018. Since this has begun I’ve lost 30 pounds & have had so many different GI symptoms. My normal doctor gave me a 10 day course of metronidazole in November. It seems to slow things down but I have not fully eradicated the parasite. I don’t live in Chicago, however i do live in Atlanta. Is there any way you can help me so that I can go back to being a normal healthy/active young adult? I can’t make it to Chicago but is there anyway we can speak? You seem well versed & knowledgeable about this terrible parasite.

    Posted December 31, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Do you know any doctors in the twin cities area that would prescribe the triple therapy?

    Paul Kramer
    Posted October 10, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Hi Paul
    The Alinia might be enough but recheck.Take it along with Flagyl

    Dr E
    Posted September 20, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Hi Dr. Edelberg,

    I took flagyl in December 2017 for blastocystis. Was symptom free until July 2018, stool sample showed I had blasto again and am currently dealing with symptoms. Tried flagyl again but didn’t help…I’ve heard that blasto will be resistant after using it once. convinced gi nurse practitioner that I’m currently seeing to priscribe Alinia 500 mg 2x day for only three days. She never heard of the other two medications to go along with alinia. Wondering if this can still eradicate the parasite on its own and if three days on it will be enough?

    Thank you,
    Paul from St. Paul, Minnesota

    Paul Kramer
    Posted September 19, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Hi Lynda
    The very best test for parasites is simply to purchase a Comprehensive Parasitology kit from Genova Labs. They have a best lab for this. Here’s a link
    If “positive,” metronidazole usually works but stubborn cases may require the triple therapy described in a previous response

    Dr E
    Posted April 20, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Hi David,

    I wanted to tell you my parasites dont show in stools also in Gatineau they dont test these anymore. Now I think I have chrons it is burning in my colon can I have your phone number to discuss this. Thanks

    Lynda Foubert
    Posted April 19, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    Im pretty sure I have ulcerative colitis I had blasto hominis in the past but I am getting so tired of the gastro or doctors who thinks I have IBS… Im doing colonics myself and see that its still in me… Can you help please I live in Gatineau close to Ottawa. Im at the end of my rope..

    Lynda Foubert
    Posted April 19, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    Is there anywhere they will treat someone as an inpatient? I have problems with my arrhythmia every time I take antibiotics for this parasite, and always end up in ER. I don’t care what it costs I just want to treat this safely and be well again. It’s been 5yrs.

    Sarah. Harvey
    Posted April 6, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    Hi Helena
    In your anxiety about success, you’re making the treatment more complicated than necessary/
    You can do it at home
    Choose times to take meds that are convenient.
    For example
    First dose: 7 AM (all three)
    Second dose: 1-2 PM (just two–no nitozoxanide))
    Third dose: 7 PM (all three)

    Dr E
    Posted November 9, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Dear Friends

    I am from Poland and i am suffering from Blastocystis hominis almost 3 years after my staying in Dubei. My symptoms are extremely hard (diarrhea and constipation, flatulence, bloating, dizziness, nausea, skinrush, itching, migrena, faintness,coughing). I spend a fortune for miliard of tests and private doctors and unnecessary medicaments. I tried metronodazol several times, paromomycyn, Seprin, Nifuratel, but I steel have in stool this parazite and feel me almost not possible to exist. At least i have got the Nitazoxanide from Usa for what I payed 5.000 $ for 30 CAPSULES. I have Secnidazol and furazolidon as well and like to start the triple therapie, but
    to be sure I want to ask you:
    should I do it at home or in hospital
    and to achieve the maximum efficacy and to avoid the reinfection shell I repeat this after some break?
    If yes- after how many days?
    And how must I take it? Nitazoxanide every 12 hours and Secnidazol and furazolidon every 8 hours (together?) I mean each antibiotics with which one or separate with some break between each other?
    I will be very grateful for Your answer because the doctors in this country does not know how to use this medicaments and it seems to be in whole Poland only me have this opportune bug which the doctors mostly don’t recognise as a parazite to eradicate.

    With hope

    Helena Ingrid
    Posted November 4, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Hi Melissa

    Secnidazole 400 mg (30 Capsules) 3 times a day
    Furazolidone 100 mg (30 Capsules) 3 times a day
    Nitazoxanide 500 mg (20 Capsules) 2 times a day
    all combined for 10 days.

    Dr E
    Posted August 29, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Dr. Edelberg, could you please send me the triple therapy information to eliminate Blasto? I cannot find a doctor who is knowledgeable or believes in treating this.
    I have had two labs…probably inferior results. The first one said +2 for blasto..treated with flagyl. Four weeks later second stool test read +1 for blasto. I had to beg doctor for anti-protezoan (Allinia I think). Pharmacy here does not even carry it and has to order it!
    I’ve been sick for a year now, debilitating fatigue, rashes, vertigo, dizziness, brain fog, panic attacks, gas, excessive sweating…I felt a little better after flagyl but I know it is going to return.
    I live in Maui, Hawaii. I cannot find a doctor to help me and cannot afford to come to Chicago…can you recommend any help? I’m desperate! Thank you and aloha.

    Melissa Brown
    Posted August 28, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    My story is similar as a previously healthy woman that had chronic decline in health. Multiple Doctors dismissed my complaints for 8 years until I produced an independent lab test showing Blastocystis infection. An O&P confirmed. I found a physician willing to prescribe the Australian protocol of Secnidazole, TMP/SMX, and Diloxanide Furoate. I supplemented with Saccharomyces boulardii. Take care to heal gut after with NAG, L-Tyrosine, bone broth, starchy root veggies. Now testing negative and feeling better.

    If in Canada, Kripps Pharmacy can fulfill and ship this triple script or the American cocktail. Naturopaths and I believe Vets can also prescribe these if you can’t find a knowledgable physician. Most aren’t familiar with the parasite or how to treat it, especially with drugs not tupically available here. Bottom line if you pick up a parasite internationally, try to get treated in country of infection. They’ll have the anti-parasite drugs readily available. Good luck!

    Tati Montague
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    An interesting article. I am somewhat surprised early stool testing did not highlight issues. We find this kind of testing very effective when it comes to diagnosing IBS. Infact it is how original diagnosed my own condition of IBS and Sibo, which followed mucht he same original path.

    Alan Search
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 9:52 am


    Posted November 1, 2016 at 7:59 am

    Hi Amy
    You can find the triple therapy drugs on the internet with some perseverence.
    Enter into Google the name of the drug you want and “buy online.” This will connect with several pharmacies all selling the same drug and just purchase where the price seems best. Most will require you to FAX a prescription

    Dr E
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    Hello Dr. Edelberg, I have had Blasto for 10 years and nothing works to eliminate it. I am working with a Doctor who wants to prescribe the triple therapy however, two of the drugs are no longer available. Can you please share how we can obtain these other two? Is there a compound pharmacy you work with? Please help. Thank you very much.

    Amy Good
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 10:27 am

      Just an update, my children did try Bryarly’s approach using Unikey herbs and diet, followed by 10 days of nitazoxanide with 5 day breaks, three times. Also lots of saccaromyces boulardii. Blastocystis is still in residence. Frustrating, and I can’t seem to find a pediadric doctor with any idea of how to treat. My son is 11. By the way, he has been diagnoses with a severe autoimmune eye disease that seems to be related (improved the first time we used nitaxozanide).

      Posted September 21, 2016 at 6:25 am

    I have feelings of parasites crawling in the skin around the top of my head it comes periodically about every two or three months and I want to know what to do

    carol robbins
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Hi Leslie
    Actually either of those triple therapies work well but Iodoquinol is very difficult to find

    Dr E
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 6:11 pm

      Thank you so much for your reply. Pertaining to the 2 drug therapies, if I can get the iodoquinol does that drug therapy work better? Does one of the triple therapies work better than the other?
      I also wondered do people sometimes relapse from the drug therapy or do they work long term?
      thank you very much.

      Leslie Downs
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    Dear Dr. Edelberg,
    I thought the triple drug treatment was Secnidazole Furazolidone Nitazoxanide
    but then Richard posted here Iodoquinol 325mg, Nitazoxanide 500 mg, Paromomycin 500mg
    Could I please ask which treatment works better and what is the amount and length of the time of the Iodoquinol, Nitazoxanide, Paromomycin?
    Thank you

    Leslie downs
    Posted March 14, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Amazing story. Americans have a smug idea they are too clean or some strange thing, or too healthy to become infected.
    We are even infected with our own parasites from camping etc.
    And most Doc’s won’t even address this issue.
    Mom’s in the 50’s wormed their kids. LOL

    Posted December 15, 2015 at 9:23 am
    Dr E
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Hi there

    Who is the UK doctor mentioned below?

    I am looking to get a doctor to get a cure for this



    rob staunton
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Dr. Edelberg, an amazing story, very similar to mine. I have several lab reports clearly showing that Blastocystis is the parasite that has been torturing me for several years now (since 2011). I have seen a number of gastroenterologists and been prescribed several types of antibiotics from Metronidazole, to SMZ/TMP to Nitazoxanide(Alinia) for up three weeks and double doses. Every time after completion of the antibiotic treatment there is a remission for about 2-4 weeks, and then the symptoms return – strong abdominal pain early in the morning, nausea throughout the day, severe constipation, with symptoms usually worst after carbohydrate rich diet – rice, bread, pasta. I would really appreciate if my functional doctor could consult with you the three antibiotic combination prescription.

    Thank you for your great post!

    J. George Strnad
    Posted November 8, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    Hi Anastasia
    I agree the triple antibiotic is a rough go. That’s why I recommended the program already used for children

    Dr E
    Posted October 12, 2015 at 6:30 am

      Sadly, the blastocystis that has taken up residence in my children doesn’t respond to either flagyl or saccaromyces boulardii, or even nitazoxanide on its own. We may try Bryarly’s approach, which includes Unikey’s colon cleanse, before we resort to the harsh drugs of the triple. Thanks for your advice, Dr. E., much appreciated!


      Anastasia Walsh
      Posted October 13, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Hi Anatstasia
    Studies have shown that either metronidazole (Flagyl) or the probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii can safely be given to children to clear their blastocystis.

    Dr E
    Posted October 9, 2015 at 6:43 am

      Thanks so much for your prompt response – much appreciated! My husband is Mexican and thus we traveled to Mexico with my son at 10 months old, and again at 3 years. We’ve tried both Flagyl and saccaromyces boulardii per the attached study, as well as a 20 day course of nitazoxanide (Alinia). My now 10-year-old son greatly improved for quite awhile after taking nitazoxanide, but eradication wasn’t successful and the blasto is back. We are considering the triple antibiotic treatment for him because his autoimmune eye disease went into remission for 10 months following nitazoxanide treatment, leading us to believe that in his case, it’s very, very important to get rid of the blasto. But we hesitate to use such harsh drugs on a child and haven’t ever heard of other children who’ve gone through the treatment. My daughter, 7, also has blastocystis, probably transmitted from her brother. She is fairly asymptomatic. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

      Anastasia Walsh
      Posted October 11, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    My 10-year-old son suffers from an autoimmune ocular disease. The only thing his integrative doc could find wrong with him were multiple food allergies and blastocystis. We have since treated him with multiple herbal treatments and finally nitazoxanide for 20 days. He still tested positive for blastocystis one month after treatment, but numbers much smaller. His ocular autoimmune disease went into remission for 9 months. He relapsed over the summer, after we began eating potatoes and corn and lots of watermelon (we previously followed a strict GAPS diet). My question is whether the triple (iodoquionol, paromomycin and nitazoxanide) is considered to be safe or advisable for children? His sister, 7, has also become infected. I would love to hear from Dr. E. on the topic of pediatric blastocystis as well as anyone who has successfully treated their children. Thank you!

    Anastasia Walsh
    Posted October 7, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Hi Dr Edelberg,

    I have been sick for about 8 months and tested positive for Blasto. I’ve seen infectious disease specialists at the Cleveland clinic who still won’t prescribe me anything except Falgyl. I even went as far as removing my breast implants because Drs couldn’t find anything wrong with me and I was told over and over again that blasto wouldn’t be causing my symptoms. I live in Los Angeles and would be willing to travel to you for the triple therapy if you can help me treat this parasite.

    Posted September 24, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      Hi Britney – I’ve shown your comments to Dr Edelberg and he said he would be happy to see you. Please bring test results with you as these will be important to establish the diagnosis. Additional tests may be necessary, but we’d be happy to see you in our clinic for an appointment with Dr E. You can schedule by calling our staff at 773-296-6700.
      -Dr M

      Posted September 24, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Dear Dr. Edelberg,
    Thank you very much for this article- I suffer for the last 14 years (after a trip to India) heavily from Blastocystis Hominis. Unfortunately in Italy this parasite is not recognized as pathogenic, and I could not find any help in this year. Could you help me- which drugs helped Alison? I would do anything to improve the current situation- do you think it could be beneficial to come over to you?
    Thank you very much- all the best

    Martin Reinstadler
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 4:42 am

      After trying to treat my Blastocystis hominis infection for two years, I finally found a cocktail that worked successfully for me! I had already tried Flagyl and Paromomycin and an herbal protocol containing black walnut and goldenseal, and none was successful. Then I came across the Healthy Gut Summit interviews, wherein I heard two interviews with gut experts Anne Louise Gittleman and Dr. Leo Galland. They both mentioned that they had treated B. hominis successfully with herbal/supplement protocols. I combined their two approaches for a 6-week protocol, and now, 1.5 months after finishing the protocol, my follow-up stool samples have come back with no B. hominis present. I have regained most of the weight I lost when I was infected, and my stools have improved dramatically.

      Here is what I did:
      I was already on a low glycemic index diet that eliminated all possible gut irritants including dairy, grains, night-shade vegetables, sugars and sweeteners, alcohol, caffeine, tofu, legumes (beans, peas, lentils, soy): the Auto-Immune Protocol diet (as found in The Paleo Approach, by Sarah Ballantyne). I was focusing on lightly cooked vegetables, bone broths, a variety of meats and seafood, and organ meat once or twice per week. I was also taking l-glutamine, Vitamin D, iodine, digestive enzymes, and fish oil (highest quality, toxin-free) for gut support and support of my hypothyroid.

      For a week before starting the protocol, I continued this diet and drank a glass of long-cooked bone broth daily, and I took Prescript Assist (soil-based probiotic) daily.

      Then the protocol began. I took the following for 6 weeks:
      – Unikey’s My Colon Cleansing Kit (it contains detailed instructions about what foods and supplements to avoid during the protocol to ensure its effectiveness)(Anne Louise Gittleman developed this product)
      – Thorne’s SF722 (an essential fatty acid that apparently helps to break down the cyst structure, Unikey’s wellness consultants explained)
      – Berberine – 500 mg once per day (or 250 mg with breakfast and 250 mg with lunch). I added the berberine, because it was one herb that Dr. Galland uses that wasn’t included in the Colon Cleansing Kit

      At the end of each week on the protocol and at the very end of the 6 weeks I performed a coffee enema to help flush out the parasite and its waste products. I did a lot of research on coffee enemas to ensure that I was doing it optimally. I flushed my colon with a sea salt enema first (using purified or tested spring water), then did two coffee enemas in a row (holding each one for about 10 minutes).

      Apparently it is very important to follow the diet and supplement recommendations found in Unikey’s Colon Cleansing Kit during the protocol (for example, you’re supposed to stay off sugar, alcohol, antioxidant supplements etc… things that the parasite thrives on and things that can increase gut inflammation).

      After the protocol was complete, I just continued to follow my low glycemic index Auto-Immune Protocol diet, and resumed all my previous supplements, making sure to continue probiotic supplementation and eating probiotic foods every day (esp. sauerkraut with live cultures).

      By day 7 of the protocol, my stools went from daily diarrhea or constipation that would last 2 days to a good daily stool that was firm. When I was finished with the protocol, my stools continued to be good, except for a few days here and there when they were loose again. At first I thought, “Oh no, the Blasto is back!” but after a few days my stools improved again and for the past month they have been consistently good.

      Unikey has Wellness Consultants on a toll-free number who are ready and willing to answer any questions you have about the protocol, and they have experience treating people for Blastocystis hominis. When I first called them, the one I spoke to said she had personally treated 3 patients with Blasto in the preceding 5 months, and all 3 were cured of it. For Blasto infection it’s important to take the SF722 product along with the Colon Cleansing Kit. She also said that if you have had the infection for a long time, then it might take 2 or 3 rounds of the protocol to successfully eradicate it. She said the Colon Cleansing Kit can be taken for up to 6 months straight if necessary.

      After I did the protocol once, I started doing it a second time just to make sure I was rid of the Blasto, but I started feeling nauseous while taking the herbs, which I think was my body telling me that it didn’t need to do a second round. Perhaps my liver needed a break too. In the end, I didn’t need to do the second round.

      I have since been trying to be careful to wash my hands before eating and practicing careful hygiene, because I don’t want to reinfect myself with any cysts that might be still lying around the house on door knobs etc. I don’t know how long they remain viable for, so I’m being cautious.

      This isn’t medical advice, because I’m not a medical expert, but I thought you might be interested in hearing what worked for me. All the best!

      Posted September 7, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    Hi Richard
    There is a real shortage of Iodoquinol but you can contact the manufacturer and perhaps your doctor can order it directly from them.

    You can also try a compounding pharmacy and see if they can prepare capsules

    Dr E
    Posted August 20, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Hi Dr. Edelberg,
    I’m working with a doctor in California who is researching the First Line triple therapy recommended by the CDD in Sydney.
    Iodoquinol 325mg, Nitazoxanide 500 mg, Paromomycin 500mg.

    However, the pharmacy is telling us that Iodoquinol has been discontinued. Can you recommend a US-based pharmacy that carries the triple therapy, or if a new treatment has replaced it?

    Eager to find the solution.

    Richard Muncaster
    Posted August 17, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Hi Lana
    You’ll need to print out the triple therapy recommended and ask your doctor if he/she will prescribe these. The meds are not unusual or alternative and simply used for stubborn infections

    Dr E
    Posted August 10, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Diagnosed with b hominis a month ago, did a round of Flagyl to no avail, now going for scans and MRI. Have lost considerable amount of weight, I am a 64 year old active female, no disease and eat a very healthy diet. Please help me with treatment to rid this nasty invader.
    Thank you.
    Lana Duim

    Lana Duim
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 7:36 am

    Thanks, Dr E for the references to US doctors experienced with BH.

    Unfortunately, Dr. Kaiser (Northern CA) no longer runs his private practice (he’s now focused on clinical trials).
    I contacted his employer for a potential referral, but he no longer provides referrals as he wasn’t able to find a practice in Northern California that lived up to his standards.

    Dr. Stuppy (Southern CA) doesn’t have as much commentary online, as you do, especially regarding triple therapy, as he’s used a single approach with Nitazoxanide.

    I will work with Whole Health Chicago on the possibility of meeting with you.


    Richard Muncaster
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Hi Richard
    Just click this link and you’ll need not travel to Chicago

    Dr E
    Posted June 17, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Hi Dr. Edelberg,

    Five years ago, I acquired Campylobacter after international travel (albeit to England), and have spent countless hours, thousands of dollars, and relentlessly sought out medical help to solve the ongoing GI issues that have lingered since the initial Campylobacter antibiotics. Similarly to your “persistent patient” story, all of my doctors have disregarded my symptoms, refused to test for parasites, and belittled my situation to a point of saying: “Well, you’re not dying, so what are you worried about”.

    The bloating, severe distention, loose stools, and a multitude of other GI issues have increased exponentially over the years.
    This year, 2015, after finding a Certified Nutritionist, I finally learned that I have blastocystis hominis.

    My Internal Medicine doctor and GI specialist all refuse to provide anything other than Flagyl, which I’ve read, alone, will not kill the parasite in the long term, in fact, it only proliferates.

    Can you recommend any doctors in San Francisco (or Northern California) who practice the triple therapy approach that you’ve used?
    If not, I am open to flying to Chicago to meet with you.

    Desperate but hopeful,

    Richard Muncaster
    Posted June 16, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Hi May
    Yes, we can work with you. Be sure to bring all your lab tests at the time of your first appointment. Generally, the triple antibiotic approach clears these infections.
    You might want to contact Genova Diagnostics and order the “Comprehensive Parasitology” test if you haven’t had a stool test in the past 6 months. They would mail you the collection kit and you’d send it directly to them

    Dr E
    Posted May 11, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Hi Dr. Edelberg, I’m also suffering from Blastocystis hominis for almost 2 years now. I took Alinia and things got better for a few months, but then all my symptoms came back. Can you help me. I live in Canada and willing to travel to Chicago.

    Posted May 9, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Hi Bryarly
    I think the Blastocystis and the autoimmune issues are unrelated but to finally clear the parasite I do suggest the triple antibiotic protocol. I’ve not heard of Saccharomyces able to completely clear Blastocystis
    Dr E

    Dr E
    Posted March 15, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Hello Dr. Edelburg,
    I have had Blastocystis hominis since May 2013 and have tried Flagyl and Paromomycin to get rid of it, without success. My symptoms initially were diarrhea, nausea and faintness after eating starchy foods, and irritability. Within 2 months I also developed an autoimmune condition of the scalp (lichen planopilaris), resulting in cutaneous lesions and some hair loss. I had to radically change my diet to reduce inflammation in my body, following the Paleo Approach. I have also tried herbal remedies such as black walnut, goldenseal, and slippery elm to eradicate the parasite and heal my gut. In October 2014 stool tests confirmed that I still have Blastocystis hominis. My hormones are also messed up- I haven’t had a period for 5 months. Before I try another strong antibiotic, I’m trying intensive accupuncture for 4 months, but based on others’ reports it sounds as if the only effective way to eradicate the parasite is via the triple drug therapy.

    I have read that Saccharomyces Boulardii can resolve a Blastocystis hominis infection. What are you thoughts?

    Also, do you think that in order for the triple-drug therapy to be successful one should avoid the following during treatment: starches, sugars, probiotics and probiotic-rich foods? I have read (not in scientific articles) that probiotics can make Blastocystis hominis infections worse.

    Finally, have you heard of other patients who have developed autoimmune diseases as a result of Blastocystis hominis infection?

    Much thanks,

    Bryarly McEachern
    Posted March 15, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    What an enlightening article. I just got healed from blastocystis hominis. Its now March 2015. Nine months ago, in July 2014, I started a cough that won’t go away. It would begin with a throat infection and then I would cough and cough with no relief. I saw three Doctors — one my regular Doctor trained in Family Medicine. Several times, she treated the cough with varying types of antibiotics, antihistamines, nasal drops, anti-asthma meds and so on.Her theory was that, since I am allergic to house dust and fresh dairy products, my symptoms MUST be allergies. She theorized that my sinuses were dripping so causing throat irritation. The meds helped some but soon, the cough was back. My tummy was bloated, I was flatulent, my stool was unhealthy. I cleaned my house, changed mattress and bedding, and so on. No relief. My daughter in Australia said: Mum, try alternative medicine, and I saw a Chinese Doctor who decided that Ying and Yang:) were imbalanced. She even told me that I was fighting bouts of anger, and mu hormones were totally out of balance. I spent almost $900 on Chinese herbal meds over four weeks of treatment. Coughing stopped for a bit but soon the symptoms were back. I then decided to seek out a ENT Surgeon and demanded an endoscopy, convinced that I had something growing in my throat. Endoscopy was clear and she gave me more antihistamines but this time, decided that I had too much acid and my problem was acid reflux. So, I got meds to stop my “acid pump” in the stomach from pouring too much acid. But I asked her: “Where is the acid coming from?” Still she told me to go on and try the meds. I did and for a week or so, coughing stopped. Then it was soon back. I slept only a few hours and I would wake up to do herbal concortions and so on. Finally, a few weeks ago, I went to my Family Doctor and demanded a full blood test to check on abnormal cells as well as a stool test. I told the Doctor that I am convinced that I have parasites in my gut. She laughed at me and obliged. A week later, results were out. I had blastocystis hominis. After two weeks of treatment, MY COUGH IS GONE! I thank God that my journey was shorter than six years, but who would have thought that blastocystis hominis can be linked to a long irritating cough!

    Dr Gladys Mwiti
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 12:25 am

    Yes: Alison’s stool is completely parasite-free

    Dr E
    Posted January 25, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Has Alison’s treatment worked?
    I have been diagnosed, through stool samples, with Blastcytis Hominis. From Jackie Delaney’s web page I have the description of the treatment that cured her. It is Triple Therapy. Unfortunately I cannot find a doctor who will prescribe it. I live in Canada and at present visiting Fort Myers, Florida for the winter. I am still looking for help!!!!!

    Moira Minke
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      I’ve been battling this same issue, been ill since 2010. Please what us the formula if UK doc.
      Dorothyrae3@hotmail. Com

      Dorothy R Kirk
      Posted January 9, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    Been suffering from BC (documented by stool cultures) for 4 years & is getting more frequent. Several DRs ignored me, but have been prescribed two courses of Flagyl & a course of Alina without results. Tried pro-biotics, yogurt then tried Pepto Bismo daily. Went 4 months without an episode while taking Pepto Bismo. Relief lasted 4 months. Now, has returned as before in 1 to 3 times a week. Can you help me?? Thank you.

    james bielmaier
    Posted April 16, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    I had almost exactly the same experience. Sadly, the parasite can recur in two to three year intervals. At least Alison will recognize the culprit if this happens to her.

    janice Trecker
    Posted August 18, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Thanks for being such a good and sensitive listerner Dr. E. You truly care more about your patients feeling better than any doctor I have met. This women was lucky to walk into your office that day.

    Joan Bedore
    Posted August 16, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Amazing we’ve avoided this, eating out often and in various foreign countries! Fingers crossed for the future – for us and for
    all of you. David is unique at listening and diagnosis. He’s smart. I love all of you at WHC! Thanks for all of your support and sensitivity and for the imagination and skill with which the practitioners have helped me. Ann Raven

    Ann Raven
    Posted August 16, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Thank you for this wonderful article, David. You are providing such a service to us. Education and self-empowerment are gifts which can sincerely change lives…they have changed mine. Keep up the great work!

    Catherine Rush-Ossenbeck
    Posted August 16, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Wonderful article. First of all, it shows that Dr. Edelberg is a truly caring doctor who actually LISTENS to his patients! He is also a wonderful writer! I’ll just bet that this woman is cured since she is finally being cured by the right doctor! For me, I’ve given up. Unfortunately, I don’t live near Chicago, and I’m tired of using my time to spend five minutes with a physician who only considers me a number in his day where he has a quota. Life is too short, I’ll try to enjoy the time I have left on this earth.
    Keep up the great work, WholeHealth Chicago!

    Evie Maurer
    Posted August 16, 2011 at 7:46 am

    OMG! This is so true and typical or what doctors/dentists do. It appears their egos are hurt when you persist or question them or take matters into your own hands. You want to get well and appears they are in the ego and money making business more than the caring and getting well business. Dr. E thanks so much for the article I will keep it forever.

    Lorna Bibbie
    Posted August 16, 2011 at 7:06 am

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