extended page is, in effect, a miniature but easy-going textbook. If
you want to be well informed, read it all!
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WHIP WORM (Trichuris species)
So-called because these intestinal worms look like little whips,
around 1- 2" long. Its spread is favoured by
poor sanitation and a warm moist climate. In parts of southeastern
USA, 25- 30% of the population, mainly children, are infected, so it
is not rare in Western society. Whip worms suck blood from
the intestinal lining and can cause anaemia and damage to the gut
wall leads to leaky gut syndrome, with resultant food allergies.
Infestation can result in colitis, proctitis, appendicitis and in
extreme cases prolapse of the rectum.
You may never have heard of this
unpleasant human pathogen, yet you may be harbouring it, even as you
read this. Amongst other symptoms of infection are insomnia, nervousness,
loss of appetite, vomiting, urticaria (hives), prolonged diarrhea,
constipation, flatulence and feeling "toxic" (Schmidt GD, Roberts
LS, Foundations of Parasitology, Times Mirror/Mosby College
Publishing, St. Louis, 1989, p. 418).
It is vital that the reader
understand the wide variety of conditions that can present due to
parasitic infections. Whip worms in the liver can wreak so much
damage that a toxic overload is created by the liver’s inability to
function normally. Thus environmental chemicals triggers can be
apparent that are, in reality, the result of infestation, rather
than chemical intoxication.
Nobody is safe
I introduce this beast as a way of
making the point that many parasitic diseases masquerade as allergy
and environment illnesses. Doctors so rarely think of parasites as a
cause of trouble, yet only by constantly including them as a
differential diagnosis will they be checked for and diagnosed
Parasites are bad news for humans. Of
the 7.8 billion acres of potential arable land on Earth, only 3.4
billion acres can be farmed; most of the rest cannot be developed
because of parasites (malaria, trypanosomiasis, schistosomiasis
and onchocerciasis). In Africa alone, an area the size of the
USA cannot be farmed because of trypanosomes and many millions in
South America have never had a healthy day in their lives because of
this protozoan parasite. Horses, dogs and cattle are killed very
quickly. Humans may survive but trypanosomes invade every organ and
tissue in the body, having a predilection for the lymphatic system
and the brain, with disastrous consequences (sleeping sickness). Lymphatic swellings,
especially at the base of the skull, were regarded by slave traders
as a sign of certain death and slaves bearing this mark of trypanosomiasis were routinely thrown overboard before reaching the
Worldwide, 25% of all deaths result
from parasite infections (Malaria, still the number one killer
disease in the world, is
classified as a parasitic disease). International travel has made
matters worse by enabling rapid and uncontrolled spread to areas
with low natural immunity. I produce all these figures to make one
important point: parasites are everywhere, a big problem,
dangerous and nobody is safe. It is unlikely that even a single
individual exists who does not have at least one foreigner
living in his or her tissues (by which I mean one species: there may
be dozens or thousands of individual creatures!) Where the immune
system is strong, the infected host generally remains well. But
where immunity is compromised, as with environmental illness, these
infestations can be source of serious symptoms.
Generally it is not in the parasites’
interest to kill the host outright. But severe allergic reactions
may be set up, where the cause is not obvious unless diligently
searched for. Fatal anaphylaxis has been documented. Competition for
nutrients from parasites will inevitably lead to micro- and
macro-nutrient deficiency, which in turn leads to chronic ill
health, lowered immunity and the possibility of succumbing to some
Parasites therefore become part of
the clinical ecology picture. Remember, ecology means our
relationship with the outside environment. This is not a sick body
problem but a healthy body being damaged by extraneous factors.
Parasites are just another type of body burden, an important one at
The study of parasitology is a vast
and growing subject, requiring a considerable textbook to introduce
merely the basics. Here we shall select some of the common pathogens
found in Western society and which may mimic or cross-over with
allergy, nutritional and environmental disease. Astute physicians
will be alert to their ever-present menace and realize that the
majority of cases appear as chronic smoldering ill-health and not
the dramatic unmistakable picture of the full-blown infestation.
Remember also that parasites, even
when present in significant numbers, may not be the sole cause
of the patient’s problems but merely a contributive overload factor.
Reasons to suspect
Tiredness, listless, loss of appetite, irritability,
insomnia, vague aches and pains (not confined
to bowel), swings in bowel habit, flatulence, inappropriate hunger,
skin rashes, itching anus, itching ears.
Note that hookworm disease was the
cause of one third of all deaths in Puerto Rico early in the
20th century, yet fewer than 25 worms will cause no
symptoms; 25- 100 worms will produce only "light symptoms"; 500-
1000 considerable damage but only "moderate" symptoms. If you are
thinking you could be harbouring a bunch of these critters and you
would not know, you are correct. (Schmidt GD, Roberts LS,
Foundations of Parasitology, Times Mirror/Mosby College
Publishing, St. Louis, 1989, p. 440).
There are an estimated 4.5 billion
worms in existence; plenty to go around, so you may have one or
more. Do not suppose that living in a sanitized environment means
that you are safe. An estimated 55 million children in the USA are
infested with worms but, say experts, this is a gross underestimate,
if pinworms (Enterobius vermicularis) are included.
The main groups we contend with are
tapeworms, round worms, hookworms and pin worms. A tapeworm may be
harboured with little or no ill-effects, until it drops as a strap
from the anus and is felt flapping between the thighs! Competition
for nutrients can be serious however causing severe protein-energy
malnutrition (PEM) and iron depletion. This is turn leads to immune
malfunction. The fish tapeworm Diphyllobothrium latum has a
high affinity for vitamin B12 and may so deplete supplies
for the host that he or she develops debilitating anaemia. Generally
in clinical ecology we meet with less extreme forms of parasite
infestation; but micronutrient deficiency (vitamin and
mineral depletion) is usual and impairs the immune system’s ability
to throw out the intruder.
is related to the whipworm
already mentioned. It is one of the smallest nematode worms to
infest humans and yet is arguably one of the most widespread and
clinically important parasites in the world. The male is around 1.5
mm, the female twice as long. Once ingested, the sexes copulate and
release juveniles, which then migrate throughout the body. No
tissues are free of infestation, including lungs, brain, heart and
kidneys. Fatal myocarditis can result.
But once again the usual clinical
picture is that of low-grade grumbling disease, that can mimic all
levels of environmental illness, including allergy and overload
symptoms, per target organ. The original invasion may be dismissed
as "food poisoning" (nausea, abdominal pains, sweating and
diarrhea). During the phase of tissue-migration any of a host of
symptoms may develop, from pericarditis, pneumomnia and meningitis
to peritonitis, encephalitis and severe inflammatory reaction
(Schmidt GD, Roberts LS, Foundations of Parasitology, Times
Mirror/Mosby College Publishing, St. Louis, 1989, p. 424).
Trichinella therefore often goes un-diagnosed and the patient
remains unwell for years or even life. The worms may die in situ and
all that remains of their presence is calcified nodules in muscle
Unfortunately, there is no treatment
for Trichinella, beyond good immune care and unburdening, as
described in this book. Homotoxicology adds vital degrees of
resistance and may, alone, be sufficient to dislodge this parasite.
are unusual in not being more prevalent in the tropics. Rather they
thrive in temperate climates and often at surprisingly high
socio-economic levels. Whites are more susceptible than blacks. At
least 500 million people are infected with this pest.
Pinworms are often asymptomatic,
until they reach large numbers. Most symptoms are centred on the
bowel and include cramps and mild bleeding. Serious damage to the
gut lining is yet another cause of leaky gut syndrome. Itching anus
may call attention to the unwelcome guests, which may also reach the
vulva and even vagina and uterus, setting up sites of bacterial
Children with heavy pinworm
infestations are often nervous, restless and irritable and may
suffer loss of appetite, nightmares, insomnia and weight loss.
are more serious and infestation can reach fatal proportions if the
host’s defences are down. Ascaris lumbricoides is the most
common and menacing. Surveys over the years 1956- 1970 showed
between 20 and 60% of children were infected in certain states of
the USA where it is endemic (Derby CP and Westphal M, The
Morbidity of Human Ascaris, J S C Med. Assoc.
1972,68:104-108). Experts do not consider this position likely to
have improved. Ascaris grows to 18 inches in length and walks
through our tissues as if lungs and liver were a mere highway. It’s
destination is the gut, where it sets up home in large numbers. As
it "walks" around the body, Ascaris can cause lung bleeding
and start up infections in any tissue. In severe cases it may block
the trachea and oesophagus. Sometimes the beasts crawl out of the
nose or mouth, causing predictable dismay. Massive infestation may
cause fatal intestinal blockage before the patient can be relieved.
Large numbers wriggling in the stomach may cause nausea but when the
host vomits up wriggling 18" worms the diagnosis will not be missed
and this gross pathology is not the concern of the clinical
Rather we see milder grumbling
abdominal pain, failure to thrive, rashes, asthma, insomnia and eye
pain, triggered by allergic reactions to the worms. Also large
numbers of worms deplete nutritional resources and cause
syndrome, which can become a self-perpetuating cycle.
Thus any pre-existing allergy condition can be made worse.
serious human pathogens: Necator americanus ("American killer")
and Ankylostoma duodenale. The former is prevalent
worldwide (380 million plus victims by 1947) but has had major
economic impact in the southern states of the USA, where in 1947 it
was estimated that 1.8 million citizens were infected (it is
important to realize these figures will have increased, not
decreased with time). Ankylostoma is predominant in, but not
confined to, Africa, India, China and south-east Asia.
is probably best linked to this group. Juveniles penetrate the skin
and migrate via the lungs to the gut. In the lungs massive allergic
reactions can take place which may wall in the parasite. Adult
Strongyloides stercoralis live in the gut and produce larvae
which penetrate the gut wall and invade the tissues, setting up a
cycle of auto-infection. It can also cause leaky gut syndrome.
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What Puts Us At Risk?
Animals can pass parasites on to humans. Children should not
kiss or be kissed or licked by pets. This is a very easy pathway
for parasites to enter the human body. Keep infants and toddlers
away from pets that have not been wormed. Hands should be washed
after each and every contact with a pet, otherwise one is putting
self at serious risk.
Am I saying do away with loving pets?
No! We all love our pets, but we must be practical and wise
also. I have two cats and love them dearly. However, I am
wise about their care. Animals that are strictly indoor animals
and that do not come into contact with the outdoors are a
much lesser risk, but still a risk. Animals that come and
go from the outdoors into the home pose a serious risk, especially
to children. Cats and dogs for example clean their anus with
their tongues. If they lick you, they are transfering parasites
to your skin. If they lick your face, it does not take long
for the parasite to find its way into your mouth and your
Toxoplasmosis and is usually acquired from
cats. A small stratch from a cat or dog can also transmit
the parasite. Cats use a cat box. They are moving around
feces and urine that has been prior deposited in the cat
box. This dirt that has parasites. Cat boxes should be scooped
daily and throughly bleached and washed on a weekly basis.
Make sure you use gloves, put two pair on when doing this.
Use HOT water with the bleach. If you do this is in a bathtub,
make sure you bleach and disinfect the bathtub afterwards to
kill any bacteria or parasites. Its' best to clean the box
outside. Mechanical cat boxes are a breeding ground for bacteria
and parasites because you cannot easily disinfect them.
are no different because they also lick their anus. If you
have a pet that is stratching its' behind on your carpet,
you better get that pet to a vet to get wormed. You should
also steam clean, at least three times a year, your carpet.
Parasites can be transmitted to carpets from shoes and animals.
Never walk barefoot on carpet, especially near doors. Cats
should definitely be kept away from new borns and infants
less than three year olds. A parent that gets that sweet
little kitty for their one year old is playing Russian roulette
with their child's life. Parasites can exist on the fur as
well. Indoor animals should be bathed regularly just like
animals, twice a month, at least! And if it is an outdoor
animal that comes indoors, do not let the animal lay on furniture,
you are only inviting health problems.
You may think this
is taking things to an extreme, but believe me, these deadly
little parasites are on those dear loving pets of ours. If
you own a cat, keep in strictly indoors, never let it go
outdoors. If you practice these recommendations, you will
find you will have less health problems. Do not under any
circumstance, give your pet raw meat of any kind. You are
providing the means for a parasite infection in the pet which
can easily be transmitted to humans, especially children.
Do not let your children play in areas where animals have
defecated without spraying the area with bleach.
Animal feces should be picked up
using a shovel daily and gloves should always be
worn and hands washed throughly after any yard work.
Wear a air filter mask while you do this if they
area is dusty. The dust you breathe in will contain
parasites. By the way, any garden work, always wear
gloves. There are over 100 different parasites in
soil that can be transmitted from the soil. Never
work in soil if you have a cut on your hands. The
little critters will get into your bloodstream via
the cut. Do not flush cat box liter down the toliet.
The parasites can cling to the bowl and crawl up
to the seat. Once on the seat, they find their way
into you. If you see rice like particles coming out
in animal feces, they have worms or parasites.
are carriers of tapeworms. Recently a woman in New
Jersey had severe lower colon pains and severe blaoting.
This went on for several months. She had two dogs
in her house that she let outside every day. Several
months after trying to cope with the colon pains, she then
developed rashes and itching. Nine months later, they found
through exploratory surgery, a large 3 and 1/2 foot tape
worm inside her and several smaller ones. Upon investigation
at her house, fleas were found in the carpet. Do
not walk barefoot around animals unless they are
strictly an indoor animal.
treatments of worms
Diagnosis rests on viewing eggs,
cysts, juveniles or other characteristic forms of the pathogen in
stool or other specimens (eg. sputum). Pin worms and eggs can often
be collected live by using cellotape applied to the anal margins.
Biopsy may be required for species like Giardia.
The parasite laboratory I
recommend is Dr Omar Amin in Phoenix. Phone (480) 767-2522. Website:
The eosinophil count is often very
high (a type of white blood cell associated with allergic reactions
to parasites). Monoclonal antibody tests and/or ELISA tests can help
but this requires guesswork as to the nature of the beast.
Good EAV specialists may be able to
identify parasites but on no account embark on an
expensive or distressing parasite cleanse unless you are sure
the practitioner is good. Many are not reliable.
Drug treatments have unpleasant
side-effects, which are worse in children and the elderly. These
include nausea, vomiting, colic, diarrhoea, allergic reactions
including urticaria, bronchospasm, angioedema, dizziness, muscular
drowsiness and confusion. Care is needed administering anti-parssitics
to patients with poor kidney function and liver disease. Some (piperazine)
may make neurological conditions worse. A second dose is usually
required, to hit those organisms which survived the first dose or
were hidden too deep in the tissues.
TREATMENT (preferred and secondary)
worms (Ascaris etc.)
It may be necessary to treat all
members of the household simultaneously. Pinworms eggs are light and
become airborne; they may be inhaled. Cleaning of carpets, towels
and bed linen etc. is therefore recommended. In all cases
improvements in hygiene standards are demanded, to reduce the pool
not be considered the only means of attacking parasites.
Indeed, this approach is a last resort. Re-building the
body’s defence mechanisms, to allow it to expel the host
naturally, is the preferred route. This will help to prevent
re-infestation which drugs, of course, do not do.
in mind, there are general principles of de-infestation
of parasites which must be applied in the clinical ecology
never attempt to eliminate a parasite without a major
change in diet.
Sugar and refined carbohydrates, which are rapidly split
to energy giving glucose, favour the parasite and hamper
your immune system(tests have shown that a single sugary
drink, such as a cola, stuns the leukocytes for up to
six hours, before they can resume normal anti-pathogen
remove all refined carbohydrate (and this means all
manufactured foods) from your diet. It is better, short-term,
to also omit fruits and fruit juice, since these too are
rapidly split. Avoid wheat and dairy products short-term,
since these are common stressors. Finally, omit coffee,
tea and alcohol. Eat instead high roughage foods, vegetables,
salads, beans and whole non-wheat grains (if you are not
allergic to them). Fowl, meat and fish are fine in this
context. Sprouted seed and beans also help, with active
enzymes. Add good vitamin and mineral supplementation,
to help your immune system; this will not support the
parasite, which has already grabbed its share, without
prepare with a bowel cleanse
is that it is hard to hit parasites if the bowel is full
of accretions. Well, the model may or may not be correct
but in clinical situations the cure seems to work better
if you apply this principle. You need to take a gentle
laxative over a period and get the bowel emptying on a
one I recommend is NATURAL
BALANCE discussed elsewhere on this website. It consists
of Fennel Seed, Psyllium Seed Husk, Rhubarb Root,
Peppermint Leaves, Black Seed, Cumin Seed, Cinnamon Stick,
Ginger Root. It is a 100 year old recipe from an ancient
Lebanon household which helps to cleanse the colon, liver
and other digestive organs, breaking down and removing
old putrefactive faecal build up in the large and small
intestines. The programme is gentle yet very purgative.
Taken regularly it accelerates the cleansing process and
helps keep the intestinal system in a state of internal
hygiene. Natural Balance cleanses and re-educates the
muscle tone and helps return healthy peristaltic action
to the colon. The fibre in Natural Balance also helps
eliminate heavy metals, toxins and other poisons from
the body’s cells.
Considered to be ‘colonics in a capsule’, Natural Balance
is a safe alternative to colonic irrigation and is vital
for anyone embarking on an anti-parasite or an anti-Candida
programme. Although Natural Balance can be used on its
own as an exceptional detox, anyone wanting to use herbs
to eliminate parasites should start by using Natural Balance
as a primary cleanse.
Follow Natural Balance
with Natural Cleanse:
Here's a note by expert
Graeme Delglyn from the UK
Natural Cleanse (60 capsules)
Ingredients: Green Hull Black Walnut (husks), (Juglans
regia L.) Cloves (flower) (Eugenia caryophyllata), Pumpkin
Seed (Cucurbita pepo L.), Gentian Root (Gentiana Lutea
L.), Hyssop (leaves) (Hyssopus officinalis L.), Black
Seed (Nigella sativa), Wild Peppermint Leaves (Mentha
x piperita), Thyme Leaf (Thymus Vulgaris L.), Fennel Seed
(Foeniculum vulgare), Grapefruit Seed (Citrus paradise
Macf.), Oregano (Origanum vulgare).
A 500 year old recipe, Natural Cleanse is known to help
the body rid itself of health-destroying parasites. It
also has strong anti-fungal properties and is used to
assist with the elimination of moulds, fungi and yeasts,
including candida albicans. Acting as a scavenger in the
bloodstream, Natural Cleanse uses taste, texture and heat
to create an inhospitable environment for parasites to
exist. This explains its broad spectrum application for
the many different parasite groups. Natural Cleanse is
recommended over a minimum four month period in order
to catch parasites in all their stages of development.
It is a safe programme for adults, children and animals.
To order Natural Cleanse and Natural Balance go to
plant sources are anti-parasitic.
(male fern) or Felix mas, the great fern
was once a standard treatment but is now considered far
as an antiparasitic is Artemesia annua. It is
currently under study by the World Health Organization
as a possible treatment for chloroquine-resistant malaria.
Activity is thought to be due to an alkaloid with the
Chinese name of qinghaosu. A. annua is available
as a bowel preparation take 1 g three times a day for
60 to 90 days. Better results may come from combining
it with some other herbs. Grapefruit-seed extract, known
under several brand names such as DF100, Parcan and Citrocidal
(100 mg three time a day) has a similar range of activity.
The two combine very well. If a short-term course of metronidazole
400 mgm twice or three times a day, is added, this makes
up just about the best ammunition we have got.
there is no guaranteed cure. Relapses may occur and life-long
maintenance therapy may have to be considered.
with useful antiparasitic properties to be considered
include the following:
of fresh pumpkin (Curcubita species)
Grapefruit-seed extract (Citricidal, DF100,
Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort)
Black walnut husk (collected while green)
Oil of cloves
list of compounds can be combined in many ways, to produce
differing proprietary formulas. Just make sure you know
what you are buying and how to take it effectively.
You may need
a strong stomach in the metaphorical as well as physiological
sense. Treatments often lead to coughing up live worms
or parts and seeing a flush of dead worms in your stool
is only slightly less horrifying. Be warned!
it makes no sense to try and eliminate parasites, unless
you take steps to prevent recurrence.
are often contacted through unhygienic habits. However
many, such as hook worms and pin worms, can pass through
the unbroken skin. Merely touching something that has
been handled by a parasite victim could pass it onto
you or your family. There is absolutely no point in
feeling ashamed or trying to pretend it couldn’t happen
to you. Just face facts and get to work on an effective
cleansing programme. Before or while you take the anti-parasitic
remedy, whether allopathic or herbal, consider sources
infect each other in a "ping pong" fashion.
Treat everyone in the household at once.
are the main source of human infestations. Worm your pets
regularly and never allow a pet to lick your face
around the mouth.
your hands thoroughly before handling raw food (salads
etc). Never taste uncooked foods, even one lick can produce
fatal Trichinella (if you are very very unlucky,
Cook all meat
products thoroughly. If you have a predilection for rare-cooked
steak and pork etc. YOU MUST FREEZE IT FOR A MINIMUM OF
20 DAYS. This will kill the tapeworm scolex. Remember
offal is just as dangerous as muscle meat.
as well as cleaning up your outer environment, change
your inner terrain to make it very hostile for parasites.
am talking now about homotoxicology. This means to cleanse
your tissues and remove toxins, so that the body’s nutrition
and defence systems work well.
HOMOTOXICOLOGY AND PARASITES
If you have not already visited the
homotoxicology section, do so now, to gain a general understanding
of this remarkable advance in detoxing and fortifying body defense
Homotoxicology is really about
terrain. It is about the physiology and function of your
body. When it is healthy and functioning well, it is death to a
parasite to walk in your front door! Your immune system will attack
it and the system we call the mesenchyme matrix will make it
absolute hell for the parasite to set up home.
Parasites are what we call
"opportunists", meaning they move in when there is trouble in the
neighborhood. They are rarely the cause of the trouble but the
result of trouble. That is where allopathic medicine gets it
wrong yet again. Your body health and defence mechanisms have
already failed in protecting you by the time you get a parasite
installed. The main road back then is to change your body terrain
back to how it should be. Nutrition is paramount, removing food
allergens which stress up the system helps, chemical detox helps,
taking plant-based anti-parasite remedies undoubtedly helps.
Now you must put your attention on
de-polluting the lake of intracelleular fluids which bathes and
nurture our cells and tissues, as explained in the section on page
000. Consider the function of the following remedies:
(HEEL or BHI). This is not an Echincaea herbal product but a
fortified homeopathic version, which is much more powerful. It
contains, among a total of 26 remedies in the mixture: Echinacea,
aconite, sanguinarea, Lachesis, Bryonia, Pulsatilla,
Influenzinum-nosode, strepto-coccus nosode, staphylococcus-nosode,
arnica and argentum nitricum. It is designed to fortify the immune
system in over a dozen different ways, herbal, mineral and detoxers
(also HEEL or BHI). Been well studied scientifically in hospital
trials. This cleans out the lymphatic system, which is a major de-tox
pathway totally ignored by allopathic doctors, unless it becomes
completely blocked by worms (filiariasis). Lymphomyosot strikes at
the toxic residues lingering in the body from past illnesses, such
as influenza and childhood fevers. A must on an anti-parasitic
programme, for the first 6 weeks.
(HEEL and BHI). Vital liver support, including well-known liver
herbs such as milk-thistle, Peruvian bark and chelidonium. But also
healthy liver potentized, thymus gland extract, gall-bladder and
histamine. This remarkable proprietary product also includes
intermediates from the Kreb’s or citric acid cycle, which drives the
body’s energy system. I have to point out over and over that cells
with poor mitochondrial energy function cannot detox easily; it
takes a lot of energy to push out poisons!
Liver support if this kind is
absolutely vital for protecting the liver from damage by parasites.
(Tansy) is a traditional antiworm treatment for tics, nervous
irritability and restlessness in children, here potentized to make a
homeopathic compound with Artemisia vulgaris, Artemisia absinthum
and wild thyme and goosefoot to protect the liver.
is from the same stable and contains 5 different potencies of
sulphur. Older readers will remember rhubarb and soda as a worming
mix in country practice up until the end of World War 11.
is another good choice. Apart from being
soothing to inflamed tissues it has a strong sulphurous property.
is another good choice to settle the bowel disturbance of shedding
worms and flukes. I like to give it as a range of potencies called a
chord (D12, D30 and D200).
More general advice on rebuilding
health through deep tissue cleansing is given in the
A historical note
A fearsome parasite, the guinea worm, uses a human host. It
migrates under the skin where it is quite visible, wriggling,
and can grow to many feet in length, causing great pain and
damage. The traditional way to get rid of these worms is to grab
one end through a cut in the skin and wrap it round a stick; by
winding the stick over a period of days, the worm is gradually
The reader may know that the traditional symbol for a doctor
is the serpent wound round a stick. This has always been
supposed to be a snake but a more serious suggestion is that the
creature is the guinea worm and the sign of a healer is a man
who can get rid of this burdensome pest! I go along with this
suggestion. It would also make good sense of a quote from the
Bible, concerning the Israelites on their migration back from
Egypt: "And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and
they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.. And the
Lord said unto Moses, ‘Make thee a fiery serpent and set it upon
a pole; and it shall come to pass that everyone that is bitten,
when he looketh upon it, shall live’."
AMA seal, with the rod of Aesculapius.
Does the serpent depict the guinea worm (Dracunculus
It need hardly be said that this list is not
comprehensive and contains an overview of only the main worms that
infest humans. Other important parasite groups include the flukes
and amebas, which again flourish in the nutritionally compromised or
immune deficient patients, such as has AIDS or environmental
This well-know tropical protozoan infection is
surprisingly widespread in temperate zone (as high as 5 per cent of
the population in the US). People are largely symptom-free because
they are healthy and well-nourished – it is probably responsible for
a lot of chronic mild complaints but goes undiagnozed. 'Carriers'
may exceed 50 per cent of the population in poorly sanitized areas.
E. histolytica probably
only attains its killer dysentery form in an immune-compromised
host. There seem to be some strains more virulent than others.
Except in these special cases the dangerous spread to the liver and
brain, causing amoebic abscesses, is very rare.
Stools are characteristic and may show specks of
blood. The organism or its cysts can be found on microscopy.
Serological tests are almost always positive when the disease is
present, but since antibody levels stay high long after infection
this isn't a good guide to current disease.
Immunofluorescent techniques are better.
There are many other such organisms and the list
is growing constantly. Blastocystis hominis is an example.
This organism was formerly considered to be a yeast but is now
re-classified as a protozoan. Its frequent pleomorphic forms (odd,
changing shapes) make diagnosis exasperatingly difficult.
Endolymax nana is another type of ameba. Formerly thought to be
nonpathogenic, it is now realized that it may be, given a weakened
host. It is often present with other organisms. It may be associated
with inflammatory arthritis. Dientamoeba is still considered
an amoeba by most parasitologists.
It is quite common to find these organisms but
care must be taken not to presume that its presence is pathogenic.
Even if one is flourishing, the real problem still lies with the
It remains to consider three other important human
pathogens that are a common part of environmental illness and
cross-over with allergy and overload. These are Gardia,
Toxoplasma and Cryptosporidia species. Giardia and
Cryptosporidia are notorious in that they both by-pass normal
water treatment and filtration systems.
(Giardia lamblia and G. Intestinalis)
It is now realized that as many as 15 per cent of
us may be carrying Giardia, a minute flagellated protozoan that
causes severe fatigue and bowel disturbance. That's 1 in 6 of the
population. Prevalence is high throughout the tropics; modern travel
has spread it to more temperate zones. It is an important cause of
traveller's diarrhoea and chronic fatigue states. Patients with
irritable bowel or 'food allergy' can often due the onset of their
symptoms to an episode of tummy upset on a holiday abroad.
A single Giardia cyst can cause infection, and
studies show 100% infection with exposure to only 10 cysts. By
contrast, most bacterial illnesses require hundreds to thousands of
organisms to produce illness. Giardia causes as much as 25% of all
diarrhea cases in North America, making it the most common
non-bacterial cause of diarrhea.
Person-to-person spread is more common in day
nurseries, residential institutions and between male homosexuals. It
exists in a free swimming form and as a cyst, the latter being the
form in which it is transmitted. Symptom-free carrier states are
common. These individuals may pass on the infection while being
unaware that they are carrying it.
Typical symptoms other than diarrhea include
nausea, anorexia, abdominal discomfort and distension. Severe
malabsorption may occur, not unlike the changes of celiac disease,
from mild to total atrophy of the gut lining. Stools may be bulky,
float and stick to the pan (steatorrhoea). If the illness is
prolonged, weight loss can be quite pronounced.
It is common for patients with Giardiasis to have
secondary deficiency of the enzyme lactase and they may also fail to
absorb folic acid and vitamin B12, leading to anaemia.
Detecting Giardiasis is very difficult.
Most labs do not have the requisite detection skills. The 'gold
standard' for giardia is jejunal biopsy, where a capsule is passed
through the stomach and a small specimen of mucous epithelium is
sampled. The parasite is visible with microscopy. Unfortunately this
test is rarely carried out.
Routine hospital screening of feces for the
presence of cysts misses the diagnosis 98 per cent of the time. A
newer and probably better method, described by the researchers Bueno
and Parrish in the US, consists of a superficial biopsy of rectal
mucosa taken by means of small cotton bud swab pressed firmly into
the mucosal lining. The specimen is centrifuged and examined
immediately under a microscope or, if this is not possible, it is
held in an incubator at 98.6° F/37°
C until ready. A positive result would include visualization of the
protozoa, which are actively mobile for up to 24 hours. Cysts may
also be present and can be recognized by their form.
Originally mepacrine, an anti-malarial drug, was
used. Co-trimoxazole (a combination of sulphonamide and trimethoprim,
also known as Septrin) and metronidazole (Flagyl) have been the most
widely used drugs to date. Unfortunately the relapse rate is very
high and treatment may need to be repeated, showing that the
organism was not eradicated properly in the first place.
A new drug, tinidazole (Fasigyn) has become
available and appears to be effective. It may cause short-lived
abdominal discomfort and drowsiness. The usual dose is 2 g as 4
tablets taken on a single occasion. Treatment should be avoided if
the patient is pregnant or breastfeeding; patients may feel ill if
they consume alcohol concurrently with the treatment.
Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by Toxoplasma
gondii, an intracellular protozoan which requires for its life cycle
a definitive host such as a cat, sheep or pig and an intermediate
host, e.g., a human. Infection of humans occurs either congenitally
(passed on from the mother) or by ingestion of foods contaminated by
infected cat, lamb or pork feces, or by eating lamb or pork
contaminated with T. gondii cysts.
Toxoplasmosis is endemic in Europe,
where most people carry it. It is also endemic in the southern US.
The chances are high you are carrying in in your brains!
Five major clinical forms are
1. A mild asymptomatic form with only swollen
lymph glands which is occasionally found by chance.
2. A more severe disturbance with swelling of
lymph nodes and a mild fever. This is the form that can mimic ME or
infectious mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr Virus) but the Paul-Bunnell
test for the latter will be negative and remain negative.
3. Neurological abnormalities which include neck
stiffness and headache, sore throat and rashes. The cerebral spinal
fluid has a raised pressure and its protein level is elevated. This
means the brain has been heavily invaded.
4. An acute febrile illness with widespread rash,
swollen liver and spleen. The complications of this form include
inflammations of the eye, the myocardium and the liver. The latter
tow forms are more common in those with a poor immune system, such
as AIDS sufferers.
5. Congenital toxoplasmosis, which often leads to
mental retardation, epilepsy and even spasticity or paralysis.
Diagnosis is made chiefly from serological tests
for IgG antibodies to T. gondii. Other antibody tests include
indirect fluorescence or haemagglutionation. Raised antibody levels
are not rare in the general population, and only an increasing level
is suggestive of active toxoplasmosis.
Most patients require no therapy as the disease is
mild. Good general measures as described above will be sufficient to
shrug it off. For those with the more severe form, pyrimethamine (25
to 50 mg three times day) and sulphadiazine (4 to 5g daily) are used
in combination. Therapy needs to be continued for at least one
month. Since pyrimethamine causes fetal abnormalities it should not
be used during pregnancy or if a woman might be pregnant. Steroids
are occasionally used to dampen down any inflammation in the eye.
Prevention is better than cure. Domestic cats that
kill mice and birds are the chief source of infection and strict
codes of hygiene should always be observed around pets.
In the last decade, Cryptosporidia species
have become recognized as one of the most frequent causes of acute
gastroenteritis caused by a parasite. Cryptosporidium is a
spherical, single-celled protozoa found in contaminated water and
foods. It occurs as spherical cysts about 4 to 6 microns in
diameter. It is not killed by water chlorination. According to the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ingesting 137 cysts infects 50%
of the people exposed, and ingesting 300 cysts infects 66%.
It is common in farm workers but affects the
population generally. Surveys indicate that about 2% of the
population in North America are infected and 80% have had
cryptosporidiosis at one time or another.
Six species are known which infect mammals, birds,
reptiles, fish and humans. C. parvum is the major species
responsible for clinical disease in humans and domestic animals.
Transmission is direct transfer (fecal-oral route). That is to say,
cysts are excreted in the feces and, due to inadequate hygiene,
eventually find their way into the mouth of uninfected hosts.
Usually cryptosporidiosis is a mild self-limiting
attack which lasts no more than a few weeks. Immune-compromised
patients, with allergies and chemical overload as much more at risk
and infection may linger to become on of the many causes of chronic
fatigue. But it is particularly disastrous for AIDS victims who
cannot fight it off and suffer a severe life-threatening diarrhea
with dehydration. Secondary symptoms include fatigue, headache,
joint pains and general debility. The antibody response to
Cryptosporidia may interfere with treatments being attempted, such
as enzyme potentiated desensitization (Page 000) or Miller's method
To date, there is no really successful treatment
for Cryptosporidium infections. Metronidazole (Flagyl) can be tried.
The general defense measures above are the best approach to ridding
one’s self of the problem.
Because many cities are unable completely remove
Giardia and Cryptosporidia cysts from their water supplies, even
drinking water direct from the faucet may be infected. In fact,
cysts have been found in most major municipal water supplies in the
United States, and more than 63% of water problems in the United
States may be caused by Giardia and Cryptosporidia. Milwaukee had a
huge Cryptosporidia outbreak in 1993 that infected half a million
people and resulted in 100 deaths.
Prevention is much more effective than treatment.
drink only filtered water outdoors
avoid swallowing water when swimming in
lakes, ponds, and rivers
avoid drinking unpasteurized milk and
wash your hands, especially after exposure
to diapers and livestock
if you are at risk, add thoroughly washing
all fruits and vegetables