Sunday, 23 November 2014

My Arch Nemesis - Blastocystis Hominis

Aka The Colonic Infusion

Back in my earlier posts I touched on having a blastocystis infection HERE and HERE. I've mentioned in the blog briefly outlining the two times I’ve tried to treat it with triple therapy medications via the Centre of Digestive Disease in Sydney. Then there was also the occasion I doubled up with the antibiotic I took for SIBO HERE adding metronidazole to the mix (which is a common treatment) to bring about a tiny glimmer of hope that it might rid my system of the blastocystis as well. Metronidazole (Flagyl) used to be the first line go to treatment for blasto but it has been commonly ineffective for several years… I tried it as I wanted to believe anything was possible at that point.

I was unsuccessful with all three approaches and swung from ‘kinda unwell’ to ‘on the couch can’t move’ sick each time. I swear after each round of meds my poor immune system got a little bit more run down and my digestive system a little more reactive. I felt good for a few weeks after each course of meds but symptoms came back fairly quickly, and sometimes worse than before (my skin was a mess after the round of Flagyl and my food intolerances got progressively worse). Given the choice I’m not sure if I would chose to take this exact route again. At the time though, I was just so desperate to get rid of it, thinking if only I could get rid of the dreaded blasto, my health would be awesome again. I’d finally be happy. So I just held on and forged ahead.

I did a lot of natural things in-between, mainly to support my system versa actively trying to get rid of Blasto. In my research and hours online there isn’t any successful natural protocols to eradicating blasto (doesn’t mean it can’t be done but I couldn’t find any and if they’re around, they certainly aren’t well known and take a long time). I’d highly suggest if you do want to take the natural route, thoroughly interviewing any natural practitioner you’re considering working with and ask if they’ve successfully eradicated blastocystis in their clients before. Even go as far as to ask if you could get a testimonial from a previous client. 

The nail in the coffin for me was when I spoke to one well known naturopath in Sydney and she confessed outright that despite all her efforts she had no luck treating blasto infections naturally and sent all her clients directly to the CDD for consults. This was what set me on this path.

Two places in the world currently do the colonic infusion for blastocystis, Dr Froomes in Melbourne and the Centre of Digestive Diseases in Sydney. In short, under colonoscopy you’re infused via the large intestine with 3 different medications, straight to the site of the infection. According to the CDD and Dr Froomes the success rate for this is 95%… Surely I’d have a good chance of being in that 95%!? After a phone consult with a nurse from the CDD, I was advised not to take anything else orally to avoid risking any further resistance to medications and sabotage any efforts to get rid of it in the future. I figured I’d done enough damage to my gut flora by now I minds well just go the whole way and try my luck. 

Here is my diary outlining my experience: Diary of a Colonic Infusion for Blastocystis 

Here is the full overview of the treatment I went through, oral protocols and infusion information: My 3 step CDD journey to Getting Rid of Blasto

I’m sharing this information not to encourage you either way, but to help you educate yourself on one of the possible routes to take to attempt to get rid of your own infection. When I first started out I was offered very little hope and it was all a bit confusing! I’ve spoken to many people along the way, some who had success after a first line oral treatment, some who felt amazing after the colonic infusion, some who have chosen not to treat blastocystis but monitor their symptoms and address what caused the infection in the first place (how they were a good host to such an infection) and others who no longer have blasto but still have symptoms and health problems. 

Blastocystis affects people differently, some showing many ill effects to hosting an infection while some people remain completely asymptomatic but are carriers. I have to wait and see which category I fall into once I finish two more days of post infusion medication (listed in the diary above)... At the moment it's a little too early to tell if it's helped. I retest in a month so until then it's tons of probiotics, rest and as little stress as possible!