Blastocystis hominis: Living with it, how I recovered + how to prevent it

Woah. The last 2 years have been an uphill battle for me to achieve perfect health again after playing host to Blastocystis hominis (Blasto) in mid-2018.

CW: this isn’t going to be a pretty post. I’ve been putting it off for a few years because it’s not a very comfortable topic to write or read about. However, it may help someone. So, for that reason, it’s worth it. I also wrote this before the news of COVID-19 becoming a global pandemic. Sorry to overburden you with more health-related information. Oops. While parasites and coronavirus are very different, some of my experiences could be useful for prevention and healing across the board. So, for that, you’re welcome.

On another note: none of the information in this article acts as medical advice. I am not a qualified health professional. Please do not use the opinions of a blogger on the internet as medical advice and instead, consult your GP or a qualified health professional.

Now, let’s get to the nitty-gritty.

 

What is Blastocystis hominis?

According to nsw.gov.au, “Blastocystis hominis is a species of one of the most common human intestinal organisms. Blastocystis species are found in people throughout the world and higher numbers are reported in developing countries.”

There’s a lot of conflicting information out there. Researchers are still debating over whether or not Blastocystis is a health concern and if it even needs to be treated. Even my doctor said that GPs generally don’t know much about it. Which is absurd for me to think about, considering it’s one of the most common parasites a human can get.

The NSW government health website says, “It’s not certain how Blastocystis is spread” and the SA government health website goes on to say that, “There is a great deal of debate about whether Blastocystis causes illness or not.” And, according to Mayo Clinic, “Researchers don’t fully understand the role Blastocystis hominis plays”.

So, what does anybody know about anything?! Not much, apparently.

Anyhow, here are the facts:

  1. Blastocystis hominis is a single-celled parasite. Meaning it’s not visible to the naked eye. Unlike many other parasites, you can’t visibly tell that it’s there.
  2. It lives in the gastrointestinal tract of infected folk.
  3. It’s probably transmitted through infected food and water (I’d believe that, personally).
  4. Not everybody gets symptoms.
  5. Symptoms usually include diarrhoea, abdominal pain and vomiting, amongst other things. I’ll get to my own specific symptoms in a bit.
  6. There are no proven treatments.

While patient recovery/improvement has been shown even without any treatment, this wasn’t an option for me. The symptoms associated with Blasto, that I started experiencing, were beginning to affect my health and my ability to live to my full potential.

 

How Blastocystis started for me

I first got symptoms of Blasto a couple of weeks after I got back from the Tasi Travels Travel with Purpose Trip to Timor-Leste (it would have been about August 2018). It was an awesome trip. I did almost everything ‘right’ in terms of staying safe and healthy on travels. I drank only from the big, purified water drum at our accommodation, kept my mouth closed when washing (there wasn’t really a ‘shower’, so to speak), ate no meat or animal products (makes it easier when you’re vegan!), and bought my water purifier bottle with me to save on plastic and purify my water as much as possible.

However, I could’ve done better.

On the Island we visited (Atauro), we had no other choice than to eat from the buffet at our accommodation. There was literally no other food on the island than what our hosts were providing us. So naturally, I didn’t know how they washed the veggies I was eating or where any of the food was sourced from. I also recently learned that the purifier I used for parts of my trip wasn’t the best I could’ve bought.

There isn’t much information about the prevalence of Blasto in Timor but this 2019 study found Blasto in 34.4% of a population in Indonesia (146 people out of a 424 data set). It says, “[Blastocystis] is thought to be a common parasite in Indonesia”. So, it would make sense if there was a similarly high rate in the neighbouring country of Timor-Leste.

It’s also just as likely that I had contracted the parasite even before or after my trip because Australia certainly isn’t immune.

 

My Symptoms

My symptoms seemed to match up with after my return from Timor-Leste. They went as follows: gastrointestinal pain, diarrhoea on and off for 3 months, nausea, fatigue, night sweats, loss of appetite, malnutrition, even looking like something had been eating away at me. Not to mention the inflammation. So much inflammation throughout my whole body. Inflamed skin, rashes, and redness. I think this was around the time that I also experienced my first migraine. Then, with the inflammation and fatigue came restlessness, nervousness, and anxiety. I constantly felt like my skin was crawling and, at times, I wanted to burst out of my body.

I gave my symptoms a solid 3 to 4 months before I even saw a doctor – putting it down to hormonal fluctuations or a food allergy, then testing the elimination of such foods from my diet. At one stage, I even thought that I ‘just’ suffered from an anxiety disorder that was making me cry in stabbing gut-pain every week. If I saw past me, I would slap her (and then give her a hug because the system that is supposed to help us is so screwed up).

Looking back, it’s ridiculous how frequently patient symptoms (and female experiences, to be a bit more specific) are pushed aside, making us question even ourselves (hysteria, anyone?).

Honestly, it was a shock to my doctor that I was still functioning after that length of time living with the symptoms I had. It says something about my resilience that I launched my business in October 2018 and kept my blog thriving during this period as well 💪

But, in November 2018, I finally had enough. My methods of diagnosis weren’t getting me anywhere. You see, I can be pretty stubborn, and I don’t often ask for help. I’ve also had an unfortunate history of doctors not believing me, which didn’t make the process emotionally easier. At all. However, after witnessing what I was experiencing every few days, my boyfriend convinced me to go to the doctor. Thanks, Glenn. That’s true love.

It says something about my resilience that I launched my business in October 2018 and kept my blog thriving during this period as well.

 

My Diagnosis

Look, if I hadn’t told the doctor I had recently been to Timor-Leste, she probably wouldn’t have tested for Blasto. I had a funny feeling that it wasn’t ‘just’ a food allergy or emotional distress and that it could be a parasite, which I made very clear to my doctor. So, if you think you might have a parasite, request a test.

First, I got a blood test, and everything was in tip-top shape. Apart from my iron stores, which were on the lower end of the spectrum, but that’s pretty damn good for having a parasite.

Next up: stool sample. I visited my doctor again about a week later. The results came back with a clear BLASTOCYSTIS found. I remember my doctor being a bit confused, pulling up information on the infection from her desktop computer as I talked to her about what to do next.

I was relieved that we found the cause of my pain and symptoms but I soon realised that this was only the beginning.

 

My Recovery

Blasto is often hard to get rid of. After my diagnosis, I read blog posts about peoples’ 2-year (or more) journeys in returning to perfect health. My main concern, after diagnosis, was towards reducing the time it took to get rid of the parasite and get back to good health.

Metronidazole

My doctor prescribed me an antibiotic called Flagyl (metronidazole). She noted that I should take it for the suggested time and see if my symptoms disappear. If so, the antibiotics will have worked and I shouldn’t worry about coming back for a second test. On the other hand, if my symptoms persisted, she suggested that I should definitely come back.

As far as I remember, I took Flagyl 3 times a day for about a week and it made me feel yucky. I think this was mainly die-off symptoms that I was experiencing, except on another level. Although I was taking quite a strong probiotic while I was on antibiotics, Flagyl really affected the bacteria balance in my mouth as well, as I ended up with a white tongue for a couple of weeks afterwards.

So, why, as somebody who promotes natural medicine and holistic alternatives, did I choose to take such a strong medication?

The simple answer: I was desperate.

That, and antibiotics seemed to be the most trusted method at killing this parasite at the time. While I rely on natural alternatives for prevention and for healing other illnesses, there was no evidence that natural medicine would work in this scenario and I didn’t have the time to trial and test my methods while risking my health declining even more.

However, after my prescription of Flagyl was finished, I did things my way. Double whammy. I thought, “Why not do all I can to ensure this parasite is gone for good?”

So, why, as somebody who promotes natural medicine and holistic alternatives, did I choose to take such a strong medication? The simple answer: I was desperate.

Natural Parasite Cleanse

To help get rid of the parasite, I took a course of Para Purge, which I ordered from iHerb (use my code for 5% off iHerb: ANM7131).

Para Purge is a “gentle blend of 15 whole herbs” which come in a bottle of 60 veggie capsules. The herbs used in this formula are all historically known to help treat parasites and heal the digestive system, such as black walnut hulls, neem leaf, and wormwood leaf. There are many similar cleanse systems out there, including Pure Planet’s USDA Certified Organic Parasite Cleanse, which I would probably choose now instead – if given the opportunity.

I followed the directions and took:

  • 2 capsules, twice daily, for 1 week
  • 3 capsules daily for 1 week
  • 1-2 capsules daily for 2 weeks

I think doing this cleanse straight after my antibiotics not only gave my body the extra push it needed but really boosted the healing process as well.

I’ve heard of many families doing a parasite cleanse on a yearly basis, just to stay safe and ensure that they’re not living with anything unwanted. This is probably something that I’ll be looking at doing. However, it’s best to check with your qualified health professional to see what is best and safe for you.

 

Fossil Shell Flour & The Beauty Chef Powder

To finish things off after my month of Para Purge, I discovered Supercharged Food Love Your Gut Powder, which is just a fancy name for naturopathic grade, organic fossil shell flour (amorphous silica). I did a similar routine to Para Purge with this one, taking the fossil shell flour in my smoothie or a glass of water. During the period of taking this powder, I added in The Beauty Chef’s BODY Inner Beauty Powder, too, which I used as an additional prebiotic and probiotic to help heal my gut.

 

The full 9 weeks of purging went as follows:

 

1

Purge: Flagyl

Heal: Probiotic (taken in between doses of Flagyl), prebiotic- + probiotic-rich foods

2

Purge: Natural Parasite Cleanse

Heal: Probiotic, prebiotic- + probiotic-rich foods

3

Purge: Natural Parasite Cleanse

Heal: Probiotic, prebiotic- + probiotic-rich foods

4

Purge: Natural Parasite Cleanse

Heal: Probiotic, prebiotic- + probiotic-rich foods

5

Purge: Natural Parasite Cleanse

Heal: Probiotic, prebiotic- + probiotic-rich foods

6

Purge: Food grade fossil shell flour

Heal: Probiotic, prebiotic- + probiotic-rich foods, The Beauty Chef Body Powder

7

Purge: Food grade fossil shell flour

Heal: Probiotic, prebiotic- + probiotic-rich foods, The Beauty Chef Body Powder

8

Purge: Food grade fossil shell flour

Heal: Probiotic, prebiotic- + probiotic-rich foods, The Beauty Chef Body Powder

9

Purge: Food grade fossil shell flour

Heal: Probiotic, prebiotic- + probiotic-rich foods, The Beauty Chef Body Powder

Please note that this is not medical advice. I am not a qualified health professional. This routine was entirely my decision during the time. I listened to the advice given to me by my doctor and other medical practitioners and decided what was best for me to do from there. Please consult your own qualified health professional for medical advice.

 
 

Natural body healing

There is so much information out there about how to ‘get rid’ of parasites, and little about the recovery afterwards. For me, healing was (and is) a whole and complete process. It was about staying in tune with how I was feeling to make sure I was on the right track.

While I was on different forms of parasite purge medication, natural or otherwise, for 9 weeks, it took a while for my body to really return to its normal state afterwards. My body may have purged the parasite but I was so thrown off balance for months.

In the months following my cleanse, I tried to cut down on sugar as much as possible (without driving myself insane). Parasites thrive on sugar. So, by avoiding what they love, I was essentially working to starve them.

I introduced even more fresh veggies (lots of garlic!), legumes, nuts, seeds (sunflower seeds, especially!), herbs and spices into my meals. I also began to learn more about prebiotic foods and how to get all the probiotics I need. Through nutrition, I worked to heal my body from the inside out.

My body may have purged the parasite but I was so thrown off balance for months.

 

Natural psyche healing

Although I only had Blasto for a few months, the damage it also did to my confidence to leave the house lingered. So, I worked on the psychological after-effects, too. I practised patience in getting out in the world again and, most importantly, trusting and being honest with those I was around.

I remember showing up to Limon Spa in late 2019 after a particularly bad morning and letting the ladies know what was going on. Luckily, they are all about natural health, too, and completely understood. They even made a herbal tea for me, to help. In the aftermath of Blasto, this is the kind of people I surrounded myself with. Understanding, nurturing, open. It’s the care and compassion my body and soul needed (*needs!).

Psychologically, having Blasto started to chip away at the trust I had for my body to persevere and keep me safe at all times, too. With Blasto, I became physically vulnerable and that was scary. So, I spent most of 2019 rebuilding my bond with my body. Yoga was a real catalyst for change here. Any sort of movement or soul-work to help me reattach and reconnect, really.

In a way, I am grateful for getting Blastocystis. It allowed for a real transformation in my relationship with my body and taught me how to care for myself, even if I do so now only a little bit better. Those small changes – nourishment, positive people, self-care + self-love – have now become habits, and I’m sure I will continue to reap the rewards of them well into the future.

Turns out, The Beauty Chef is right. Beauty really does begin in the belly – being able to enjoy the beauty of a full life, parasite-free, that is.

 
 

How to prevent Blastocystis

Travelling soon? Or just don’t trust your home city or town to keep you safe from Blastocystis hominis? There are a few changes you can make to prevent getting the parasite in the first place.

1. Purify your water.

Bring a good water purifier and use one at home, too. My friends at Senda Essentials are working to release their patented purifier (the WAYFARER) that’s perfect for travel and that I’d trust above all else. For your home, you can install a water filter tap (if you own your home!) or invest in a Southern Cross Pottery water purifier. It’s worth it.

2. Avoid untreated water.

Don’t drink untreated water and don’t open your mouth in the shower. In the worst-case scenario, if you don’t have access to a water purifier bottle, drink bottled water. I’d always recommend planning ahead, though, and bringing a purifier bottle to leave a cleaner, plastic-free trail.

3. Eat clean food.

Wash all your fruit and veggies when you bring them home. Don’t just rinse. A lot of people have touched your produce before it comes through your front door. I use Koala Eco’s certified toxin-free fruit and vegetable wash (and then pop them in my Swag bag to keep them fresher for longer­ – if you wanted an extra tip).

When travelling, don’t eat from the buffet if you have another option. Don’t assume it’s safe because everyone else is eating from it. It’s not worth it.

4. Don’t eat animal products.

I’m biased here, so it’s easier for me to recommend this. Most sources will say to choose well-cooked meat and avoid raw meats and eggs. If you want to eliminate your chances of getting Blasto or other parasites from animal products, the only way to do so is to avoid animal products altogether.

5. Stay balanced.

Stay healthy by managing your stress, eating well, reducing your intake of refined sugar, starch, caffeine, and alcohol, sleeping well, and staying hydrated. Maintaining a balanced lifestyle will prevent you from creating an ideal living space for parasites and will help your body combat parasites should you come into contact with them.

6. Wash your hands well.

Practise good hygiene. With the recent COVID-19, I think we’ve got this all drilled into our brains by now. Who knew that washing your hands could keep you safe from other infections, too? Shocker.

Have you had Blastocystis hominis or a similar parasite? What do you do to stay healthy and prevent parasites? Drop a comment, I’d love to help spread the conversation and education far and wide.

Molly

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  • I needed to read this today. I am dealing with Blasto right now. I keep thinking I have other infections alongside it because how could a supposedly “commensal” organism cause so much damage?! I dealt with constipation, floating stools, gas, weird acidic/gas vapors that would come into my mouth (probably from lack of detox pathways being open), ammonia smelling body odor (again probably lack of detox), ear pressure/fuzziness, brain fog, and pain on my left side (trouble digesting). I’ve been working with a functional doctor and did a similar protocol of Flagyl for 10 days plus antimicrobial follow up. They also added in Xifaxin just in case Sibo was amongst the pathogens. I have two more weeks on the antimicrobials and am not feeling any better. In fact, a lot of what I have been experiencing is just as bad as when I started. I know it takes time to correct dysbiosis. In the months following your treatment, you mentioned you still had to deal with issues. Were they similar to the issues you started with and how did you become sure it was gone and you were healed? What was that turning point or you? I am trying to get my mindset to a positive place. Unfortunately I must have acquired it locally as I haven’t traveled anywhere lately 🙁

    • Hey Brittany, glad this post could help today, even just a little! Sounds like you’ve had a great doctor so far. In the months following my treatment, I was mostly dealing with the effects the antibiotics had on my body (white tongue, healing my gut biome again – those are all I can remember). I didn’t get a second test to confirm my blasto had gone because I didn’t feel like I needed to – my symptoms (notably the gastrointestinal pain and diarrhoea) went away. That was the turning point, but it wasn’t an obvious one – it was very slow healing and sometimes the turning point is a subtle one. Can appear a bit frustrating to not have a final answer but I’m happy with how my body and health feel now and that’s what matters 🙂 Hope this helps!

  • I found it ironic that it ended with a photo of your cat very close to your products. While it’s most likely you did get blasto overseas (I believe I picked it up in Bali), be mindful that pets can also carry parasites and we can get infected from them!

    • Thanks Carly, that’s great advice, especially for those reading who might not be sure where they picked it up 🙂

  • Thanks for writing this blog. I’m also dealing with Blasto now. I think I picked it up from a fastfood place in London 13 years ago. Physical symptoms include IBS and a rash on my forehead and cheeks. Mental symptoms… some confusion, forgetfulness, fatigue, and – the main one – irrational social anxiety and agoraphobia. It’s worst during and after excercise.

    I’ve been on a bit of a journey with my health over the past 4 years. Lived most of my life with chronic mercury poisoning due to amalgams and certain medical interventions prior to trips to subtropical regions. I reason this supressed my immune system enough for blasto to take hold in my gut. I suspect it also damaged my gut lining allowing it into the CNS and brain. I was lucky to find out and fixed the toxicity issues with thorough detox; glutathione, ALA etc. But the rash and IBS never cleared and, after several negative (NHS) parasite tests I got a private parasitology test and came up +ve for blasto. That was 3 months ago. I’ve since taken 2 x courses of metronidazole and one of co-trimethoprim, alongside some natural herbs and oils (oregano oil and others). Symptoms clear and I feel good for some days but it keeps coming back.

    I’m not really sure what to try next. Symptoms are… unpleasant but manageable. I’ve lived with worse! I seem to have tried all the main treatments. I wonder if it’s possible to eradicate it entirely now. Wish I had gotten a private test sooner and dealt with this earlier.

    • Thanks for your comment, Tim. Sorry to hear that you’ve been through such a journey. All the best with your recovery.

    • Hello Tim,
      I deal also with Blasto since three years….in a similar way like you, with a lot of heavy symptoms which I
      will not describe here. I was running from one Doctor to the next….without succsess.
      Blasto rides down my Thyroid …. and I have some good days and then again bad days. I have studied this parasite now
      for two years and there are helpful reports in the internet. One sientist report shows that every 4-5 days the symptoms will increase…. and this is the reason why some days will work….
      The only way to threat this parasite is the method from Prof. TJ Borody (Australia) which I will try this summer.
      I have to wait, because my last try with antibiotics was 7 month ago (Cotrim Forte) without access.
      My Borody recommends a “single trancolonscopic infusion of three Anti Protozoal Agents” for one time and then you take 10 days Nitazoxanide or if you have problems with allergies (sulphur) then you take Iodoquionol.
      Nitazoxanide are expensive but you can get in from Indien!! The anti-protozol medicament has less side effects then antibiotics.
      If you have interest I will send you the report. There was a 100 % eradication rate in the patients which try this way!!

      best regards
      Michael
      (sorry for my english, I am from germany

      • Thanks for sharing about Thomas Borody’s research, Michael. I don’t think that research article mentions that this is the only way to treat Blasto though but I agree that Borody’s research could be helpful. As mentioned in my blog post, I would urge people to see their doctor or medical practitioner and do their research before taking advice from bloggers/strangers on the internet.

        Thanks for your comment and if people are interested in the research article, here are the details to the one I think you’re referring to:

        Borody TJ; Wettstein AR; Benstock S, et al. Single transcolonoscopic infusion of three anti-protozoal agents for difficult Blastocystis hominis infections. Gut, 2012; 61 (Suppl 3): A292.

        And here is some more about Borody’s work: https://centrefordigestivediseases.com/about-us/professor-thomas-borody/

      • Hi Michael & Molly. Thanks for the advice and words of support.

        I’m not clear but I’m on the right road. Also found Prof Brody’s research and happenws to be in Peru where you can buy those antibiotics over the counter so I’ve tried that protocol several times now. I’ve found it’s effective at clearing the colon of Blasto which seems to be from where my symptoms emanate. But it didn’t clear the upper intestine so the infection returned after ~2 weeks. Volumes of the recommended antibiotics are large so medical supervision is highly advisable; I had severe difficulty retaining the enema for more than a few minutes… the one time I managed 40mins was by far the most effective. Could be sulphur allergy and probably wont apply to most. I did not take regular oral nitazoxanide for the following week as recommended so that’s next to try.

        Some thoughts; the longer you’ve had it the harder it is to eliminate. Oral treatments (antibiotics or herbal remedies) often don’t clear the colon, and enemas often don’t clear the upper gut. So some probably need both. Choice of antibiotics depends on subtype(s) and the right herbs (e.g. A. judaica) are maybe just as effective if used in the correct volumes with the correct delivery methods.

      • Hi Michael, I am also from Germany and struggle with Blasto. In Berlin I have been to every possible doc, today I have found the study you are telling about and now you say you will also take part in it. Maybe we can get in touch to exchange details. Thanks and good luck!

  • Thank you for writing this. I’m suffering with this parasite infection right now and am on the same antibiotics and a bio-film disruptor as well an a natural antiparasitic herb. All given to me by my functional medicine doctor. My stool test also showed gut dysbiosis so I’m on some strong probiotics as well. I’ve been feeling off for 3 months and it started with random acid reflux. Less so gastrointestinal symptoms which is quite odd? I’ve had a LOT of anxiety and stress and weirdly enough – neurological symptoms such as visual disturbances, brain fog and lightheadedness (and occasional dizziness). I’ve also been breaking out in random bouts of hives which I never have before. At this point I’m scared this will never go away. I’ve been in the antibiotics for a week and still have another week to go. I just want my life back. I’m scared to leave the house now with all the anxiety.

    • Thanks for your comment Alyssa & I’m sorry to hear all that you’re going through. I had a lot of neurological & emotional symptoms with my parasite too. Sending thoughts for a swift recovery – let us know how you go. I’m sure the many other people reading this post would love to know as well! All the best – Molly

  • hi
    im dealing with blactocyte rigt now. i tried metronidazole for seven days but after three week there is no symptom improvment. i have rush and i dont know what should i do now

    • Hi, please see your doctor! I’m a blogger and not qualified to give medical advice – I can only share my story. I hope you get better soon.

  • Hi, I’ve had blastocystis and dientaemeoba fragilis for at least 8 years. I had a test for bilharzia at the hospital of tropical diseases and it came back with blasto and dientaemeoba too! They wouldn’t treat me for it then and said it would likely cause more problems trying to and probably wouldn’t be successful. I have 2 children and the last decade has been a living nightmare with my health. I have become allergic to most foods and many other things and have now found out my children both have it too. Recently, I found an amazing practitioner who has experience with it. I have been taking AP traveller 3 x day, low sulphur diet, B. infantis probiotic, KIB500 washes, diatomaceous Earth. I’m praying it’s gone and am going to do a stool test with Invivo in a couple of weeks on completing the protocol with my children. It has absolutely rinsed my adrenals and liver so I’ve also been detoxing and building those up the last 3 months. It’s been very very hard dealing with this as a single mama too and wishing that my children didn’t have this in their system. However, we’re all getting stronger and healthier and doing positive healthy practices daily.

    • Hi Emma, thanks so much for sharing your story, I’m sure it will be very helpful for everyone who comes down to this comments section. I haven’t heard of dientaemeoba before, I will give it a Google! So glad you’re all doing better. Would love an update on how your feeling now if you have one. All the best 🙂

  • Hi Molly, great to hear your story and thanks for sharing. Keep spreading the word! I believe I picked up blasto in 2014 in Zanzibar so have been suffering for over six years now! I’m hoping to get the triple lot of antibiotics to get rid of it this year in May/June. Fingers crossed it goes as it’s very debilitating condition and I wish it was taken more seriously. Good to hear you are doing well anyway 🙂

    • Thanks for your wonderfully kind comment, Emily! I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been suffering for 6 years and I agree that blasto needs to be taken more seriously. Let us know how you go in May & June. I’m still doing well but hope to go back to the doctor for a stool sample some time this year. I’ve had a lot of interest in this article and would love a scientific confirmation that my blasto really is gone. Sending well wishes for the coming months 🙂

  • Hi, did you actually get re tested to be sure you got rid of Blasto? I’ve done antibiotics twice now and still have blasto but I only know this because I get re tested? So many blogs show parasite cleanses but I still haven’t come across anyone who has proof they got rid of blasto? Thanks I would love to know.

    • Hi Janelle, thank you for reaching out. I just want to share that I don’t believe it was the parasite cleanse alone that helped me – I was on flagyl and took diatomaceous Earth as well, and also heavily focused on prebiotics and probiotics too. When I first went to my doctor, she told me not to bother with a second stool sample/blasto test if my symptoms went away, and they did. So, I did not get retested. It has been 2 years now that I’ve been free of all the horrible symptoms that I had due to blasto. I’m happy with my health currently & have felt well & healthy for the past 2 years, and for that reason, I feel comfortable sharing that I have recovered from Blasto. However, I understand that this article has found lots of people recently, so I do have plans to go back to the doctor this year and get retested for my own peace of mind. I will keep you updated 🙂 – Molly

  • I’m glad I found your post. I just took my last dose of metronidazole antibiotics (worst medication experience ever!, and I’ve dealt with pregnancy sickness 4 times). I wanted to learn how to rid this parasite for good.

    • Hi Heidi, I agree that metronidazole is just the worst! It’s comforting to know that other people have found the same. Hope you’re feeling better & best wishes for your recovery.

  • Your blog has been a great comfort in my own healing. Reading progress in your recovery pushed my optimism above all the negative reviews of flagyl and resistance to treatment.

    For others I just want to add my own two cents in eradicating this beast. I was a symptomatic for about 8 months, hospitalised twice in the last month, ended up 44kg, but received a negative-not detectable test today! I wanted to emphasise this because all the blogs I’ve seen don’t seem to have a certain test conducted at the end of treatment. I did and it’s negative – it’s worked. I took a hard approach and cut carbs and sugar and first, for about a week (after diagnosis) and ate dried papaya seeds (between 10-20 a day) for seven days (ground them and use as pepper is the easiest way). I had seven days off, and then seven days on again. I researched anti microbial properties and papaya seeds were found to contain an enzyme that targets parasites. A study in Nigeria also found success in using papaya seeds in eradicating blasto. I don’t know if my last bout of illness was another cycle of blasto or whether it was symptoms of die-off. I had diarrhoea, night sweats, fatigue, nausea, no appetite, and body aches; I ended up in hospital again for dehydration. By this time I started a 7 day course of Flagyl. The side effects and reviews of this were terrifying to me and I’ve been chronically ill for the last decade with very little success with antibiotics, plus my gut was already abused from the amount I’ve had – at least 4 courses every year for the last ten years. I was desperate too though. The doctor in the ED told me the trick with Flagyl was to just keep eating, which can be so hard when you feel so sick but it really did help to control the nausea; take it at the same time every day and take a probiotic at least two hours after a dose – every dose. I only experienced limited appetite, nausea, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness and severe bloating from this drug; The latter is likely a result of the absolute nuclear fall out that Flagyl is on your gut microbe – I found yoga to be very helpful in reducing the bloating. I have a big gut restoration ahead, and some motivation and guidance thanks to this blog! Find yourself a nutritionist to guide you through this restoration and kick this little bug’s butt! My gut feels notably different already, I have a bit of an appetite back and the brain fog is gone! I’ve had a history of b12 and iron deficiency and selective IgA deficiency, so it will be interesting to see if this now changes. Good luck to everyone fighting this and thank you Molly for your blog! I can’t express how comforting it was amongst the negative reviews of flagyl and struggle to eradicate it.

  • Hello from Seattle, Wa. Thank you for this post! I never expected to have the mental health aspect come into play when dealing with this parasite. Your experience is relatable and comforting to hear. All the best to you.

  • Hey thanks for sharing your experience. I am suffering from IBS-C for 20 years and it got much worse after living in SE Asia for 2 years. After many years of managing the symptoms and having every test come back negative, I took a PCR stool test and they found BH in my stool so I am trying to understand how to treat it

  • Thank you for sharing your story!
    I stumbled across your story today.
    I was confirmed to have blasto and dientamoeba 5 weeks ago.
    I did the metro antibiotics and got some relief but then the symptoms returned and my tongue was to embarrassing to show anyone! So gross. I got sick of doctors saying it was a virus and saying my tongue was dehydration.
    I started working with a naturopath 2 weeks ago and I’m on a range of herbs and pills and powders and stuff. I had some nasty headaches when I started which was hopefully die off and some dreadful fatigue (great with a 2 & 4 yo and a part time job).
    But fingers crossed I can get back on top.

    I have no doubt the antibiotics stuffed my gut even further.