Parasite Infections in the Gut

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Naturopathic Treatment for Parasitic Infections in the Gut

Sometimes we get unlucky and pick up a parasite. It may have happened overseas while travelling or even right here in Australia. It happens, however this doesn’t mean you need to suffer with uncomfortable gut symptoms.

From a naturopathic perspective, treating parasite infections in the gut such as blastocystis, giardia, worms and d.fragilis involves using herbal antimicrobials to eliminate the infection, while helping to restore healthy gut flora balance and decrease gut inflammation. This is done via diet and lifestyle interventions, as well as herbal and nutritional supplementation (e.g. pro and prebiotics). This helps to decrease symptoms.

Interestingly, some parasites are a normal part of our natural gut microbiome and can overgrow when there is not enough good bacteria to keep them in check. When they overgrow, they can underly uncomfortable gut symptoms due to the inflammation they cause. They are also detectable in the stool via stool tests. This is why some people can suddenly develop gut symptoms for what they think is no apparent reason, then go to their GP, only to find out they have a parasite based on a stool test.

The reason for the parasite appearing in their stool is likely due to lowered good bacteria driven by poor diet and lifestyle habits, as well as environmental causes such as antibiotic prescriptions. 

Parasite infections affect the balance of normal gut flora and increase gut inflammation, which ultimately drives the symptoms you experience. This is why supporting overall gut health (i.e. decreasing inflammation and improving gut flora balance via evidence-based diet and lifestyle interventions, as well as supplementation) alongside antimicrobials, is very important. This is rather than just focussing on antimicrobials alone.

Lastly, unlike antibiotics, which destroy both healthy flora and the infection, herbal antimicrobials are a lot more targeted and don’t affect the health of the good bacteria in the gut.

If you have been diagnosed with a parasite infection via a stool test or you think you may be suffering from a parasite infection that you may have picked up overseas or after a bad bout of food poisoning, call Oak Health today or book an appointment online to regain your gut health.

*Please note that pharmaceutical antimicrobials can sometimes be necessary to treat parasitic infections in the gut, however, it is vital that overall gut health is supported alongside these medications in order to decrease their collateral damage on healthy gut flora, which could lead to further problems down the track, such as increased susceptibility to other infections and digestive issues resulting from gut flora imbalances. 

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