If you follow as many of the various functional medicine forums as I do, you probably have noticed the topic of parasites coming up more often these days. In fact, there is a free “Parasite Summit” coming up in September. This topic became a personal one for me within the past month. Allow me to explain.
A friend and her sister were receiving some complex treatments for serious health issues that they have been battling most of their lives. Shortly after their focus turned to testing and treatment remedies from outside the United States, my friend suggested I look into parasites as the potential cause of the seizure attacks I have been battling for over 5 years. I looked into it. Their provider would not be for me yet the topic launched me into some new research about the time my hubby and I were set to leave on an extended vacation. Imagine realizing during your first day away from home that you have a new infection that requires attention IMMEDIATELY! Yeah, well when your bum itches making you crazy insane, ya gotta fix it FAST!
So right before heading out to my River Bear’s kayaking nationals 2 States away, wifey-poo requests hubby-poo stop at a local drug store for an over-the-counter medication. Thank the Lord he said yes! My symptoms diminished within hours! The problem was not a yeast infection but a nasty pinworm/parasite infestation! How did I get it? Who knows?! Pinworms are highly contagious and you can pick them up almost anywhere. The big shocker was that the seizure attacks virtually disappeared for the next 24 hours after treatment! I wasn’t expecting that! No episodes falling asleep or waking up; barely a little tic-zip broke through here or there. What was going on?
Three weeks have now passed and I have repeated the OTC remedy a couple of times. I found that clove essential oil with coconut oil provides some topical relief with the added benefit of killing the parasite eggs. Who knew? And now my Functional Medicine Doc is testing me a couple of different ways with a couple of different lab tests to see if we can capture all the critters that may be wreaking havoc “down there,” in my body, and brain. Yes: in my brain. Parasites can move to any tissue in the body once they hit the bloodstream or lymphatic system. My MRI and CT scans have been negative for typical markers that would suggest Central Nervous System involvement, however, allergies to contrast dyes have prevented use of same in diagnosis. In the end it really doesn’t matter to me if tests show anything or not. The idea of parasites just makes sense to me.
Simply stated, parasites develop a symbiotic relationship with their human “host.” They can actually help the body by balancing blood sugars or harboring heavy metals/toxic chemicals (that would be toxic if left to circulate freely). Parasites are not a good thingy though. They can also harbor infectious elements (some have suggested Lyme disease bacteria) setting up resistance to treatment, to eradicating the infections. And I thought it was the cysts and biofilms that were the biggest issues in treatment resistance! As they continue to live in our bodies, they drain nutrition and mineral resources in addition to creating a host of negative symptoms that mimic a wide range of diseases. Gut dysbiosis is a big example to which I can relate: my Doc wonders if parasites are causing my belly pain which has not changed much after two different treatment protocols for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. He says that worms/flukes/bugs can favor the right lower quadrant and where the trouble lies for me.
But the Palo Alto Toxoplasmosis Serology Lab testing was negative. Pinworms don’t typically cause neurological problems. Stool testing hasn’t found anything in the past even when I put a WORM in the sample cup! Oy vey! Maybe these two new tests will yield something useful? In the meantime, I am taking lots of anti-parasitic herbal formulas with a concoction of binders with gratitude that neither trigger seizure episodes as they have in the past. Lord willing, I am going to get well! Indeed there are parts of days where I feel some positive changes for the better as a result of these additions to my care.
If you have followed this blog for awhile then you know I am always looking for answers, for hope. I do hope to get well and am working every day towards that goal. Overriding everything however is this guiding principle: that my true hope is in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who will one day make me whole, here with you or when we meet in heaven. Nothing will change that. He is gracious and good to me even on my worst of days. I am so humbled to feel His presence on my bed of sickness as well as the moments where I can have a little fun here and there. Speaking of fun, did I tell you about white water rafting 2 weeks ago? Yeah, you heard me!
Stay tuned Gentle Reader. Pictures and more stories to follow that will blow your socks off . . . or at least get them a little cold and wet! The Snake River is about 60 degrees even in August dontcha know! More on that one next time. Gotta take some stuff and get to bed.
Take care, JJ
Snake River, Jackson Hole, Wyoming