Oh No! I’ve got Blasto!

Blastocystis hominis is a tiny parasite that infects the digestive tracts of tens of thousands, maybe even millions of people around the world. Many people in mainstream medicine consider it to be a benign parasite, because it is not associated with diarrhea, constipation or other obvious digestive symptoms.

However, there are many people with chronic health conditions such as arthritis, autoimmune diseases, skin problems, hormonal problems that are found to have Blasto, and through the process of clearing the blasto they will get improvement in their chronic health condition. In some cases their condition is resolved.

Various treatment approaches exist – antibiotics are the chosen first recommendation for most doctors, herbal medicines the mainstay of naturopaths and Chinese medicine practitioners. There are some interesting studies showing promising therapeutic outcomes from taking probitiotics and adding in other treatment approaches such as diet modification. There are some specific lab tests that can be done that test the vulnerability of your particular strain of blasto against common medication and herbal medicines – allowing you to be more targeted with your treatment approach. There is little benefit in a course of antibiotics that has been demonstrated in the lab NOT to kill the blasto – especially if you’re risking a disruption to the balance of good bacteria in your gut for no therapeutic benefit. Herbal medicine protocols can be trickier to stick to, and generally take longer. Knowing ahead of time if something is going to kill your blasto can make it easier to choose which herbals are going into your protocol, rather than drinking a foul tasting potion for 6-12 weeks even longer and still having the blasto there at the end.

Ultimately whichever treatment route you go down, there are two things I consider to be vital in treatment of parasites and bacterial overgrowth in general. Firstly – and most obviously – knowing exactly WHAT is in there is important, so you can address the things that don’t belong in a healthy gut. Secondly – and this is the really important part – is knowing that the ENVIRONMENT within your digestive system is a huge factor in determining the types of little guys that want to be setting up house in your gut in the first place. If your digestive system and pelvis is inflamed, and is like a warzone, then there are certain bacteria that are going to like that and be suited to that type of environment, and some that won’t like it at all.

It’s not enough to just go on a killing spree – whether it’s antibiotic or herbal – if you’re doing nothing to correct the environment within your digestive system then you’ll likely end up needing to do another clean out sooner or later. Inflammation, out of balance pH levels, enzyme deficiencies, problems with peristalsis, immune reactions – these factors among others can dictate the type of critters that are going to be living in your digestive system. Taking steps to improve your gut, and turn it from a warzone into something that looks a little more like the rolling green hills from the sound of music, will go a long way to ensuring that your blasto treatment program is a long term success.

Clare Pyers