Reply To: F with tapeworm infection from stool test: Taenia spp, cylospora, Entamoeba Coli

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#1000
Christine Bailey
Moderator

Dear Dr Gabi,

Many thanks for your question about your client with various gut infections including Taenia species.  Taeniasis is an intestinal tapeworm infection caused by eating contaminated beef or pork. Poor hygiene can also be a factor. Most people that have taeniasis don’t have any symptoms. If signs and symptoms are present, they may include:

pain

unexplained weight loss

blockage of the intestine

digestive problems

muscle weakness and fatigue

cramps and abdominal pains

changes in appetite, including feeling very hungry despite eating or loss of appetite

weight loss (even despite eating)

signs of nutrient deficiencies, including cognitive problems like poor concentration and fatigue

Some people with taeniasis may also experience irritation in the perianal area, around the anus. Worm segments or eggs being expelled in the stool cause this irritation. The tapeworm can grow up to 12 feet in length. It can live in the intestines for years without being discovered. Tapeworms have segments along their bodies. Each of these segments can produce eggs. As the tapeworm matures, these eggs will be passed out of the body in the stool.  Taeniasis is more common in countries where sanitation and hand hygiene are often substandard.  It is also more likely to cause an issue for immune compromised clients – HIV, Diabetes, Chemotherapy or similar treatments.

Medications for the treatment of taeniasis include praziquantel and albendazole. In most cases, these medications are provided in a single dose. But these medications can take a few weeks to fully clear an infection. The tapeworm will be excreted as waste. Common side effects associated with these medications include dizziness and upset stomach.  Without treatment there can be a risk of complications from the infection. Tapeworms may block your intestines. This may require surgery to correct. In some cases, the tapeworm may travel to other parts of your body such as the heart, eye, or brain. This is a good summary document about the infection https://tinyurl.com/ybwleg4l

You are correct that some studies have shown that people who have or have recently had parasites in their bodies are less likely to develop autoimmune diseases and helminthic therapy has been suggested in certain cases. It may be that parasites stimulate a specific type of response (Th2 response) away from (Th1) that is seen in autoimmune diseases.

·       Elliot et al. Helminthic therapy: using worms to treat immune-mediated disease. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2009;666:157-66. https://tinyurl.com/y7npynzm

 

However, the Cochrane review is not currently recommending this therapy for inflammatory bowel conditions: https://tinyurl.com/yb6acwoo

 

As your client also has other infections and dysbiosis then eradication would be recommended. In addition, parasites can also promote intestinal irritation and potentially leaky gut, and contribute to malnourishment.

It is also important to always ensure pork and the meats and fish and properly cooked and stored. It would also be recommended to reduce sugar intake, overall carbohydrate intake, increase fibre, leafy greens, coconut oil, papaya (including seeds known for anti-parasitic properties). Natural anti-microbials that may be helpful include oregano oil, clove oil, black walnut and grapefruit seed extract and clove oil. Drinking olive leaf juice or tea may also be helpful. If bowel movements are irregular performing two to three colon cleanses per week over the course of several weeks can help increase effectiveness of a parasite cleanse.

·       Force et al. Inhibition of enteric parasites by emulsified oil of oregano in vivo. Phytother Res. 2000 May;14(3):213-4. https://tinyurl.com/lmjq5dl

·       Krishna et al. Artemisinins: their growing importance in medicine Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2008 Oct; 29(10): 520–527. https://tinyurl.com/y9496dc2

·       Islamuddin et al. Apoptosis-like death in Leishmania donovani promastigotes induced by eugenol-rich oil of Syzygium aromaticum. J Med Microbiol. 2014 Jan;63(Pt 1):74-85. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.064709-0. Epub 2013 Oct 25. https://tinyurl.com/yb48226m

 

Whether you consider the medical or natural anti-microbial support is a clinical decision, but both will cause disturbances to the gut microbiome so it would be important following this stage that you support the gut with probiotic supplements and gut healing support. Fermented foods & fibre (prebiotics) would also be recommended.  You may wish to recommend VSL#3 for 1 month to replenish the gut flora. I would also consider supporting the innate immune system throughout with Saccharomyces boulardii and vitamins A and D.

SUGGESTED SUPPLEMENTS

The following supplements are suggested for you to consider in light of your relevant expertise and intimate understanding of the needs of your client or patient. They may be used in isolation or as part of a multi supplement strategy, but at all times the consideration of their use should be tied into the specific needs of the individual you are responsible for.

Innate immune support

·       Saccharomyces boulardii (ARG) – take 1 twice daily – https://tinyurl.com/z27sdwn

·       Vitamin D3 Complete (ARG) – take 1 daily – https://tinyurl.com/jqx3ttt

Anti-microbial – consider for 4-6 weeks

·       ADP Oregano (BRC) – take 3-4 with each meal – https://tinyurl.com/hdjg9c5

·       ParaMicrocidin 250mg (ARG) – take 2 with each meal

·       Intenzyme Forte (BRC) – take 4 twice daily away from meals (can help with breaking down eggs / cysts) – https://tinyurl.com/hyhjfp9

Gut healing after the programme

·       Phospholipid Colostrum (ARG) – take 1 tbsp three times daily – https://tinyurl.com/zwty66b

·       Perm a vite (ARG) – take 1 scoop twice daily – https://tinyurl.com/z8vnbcw

·       GI Flora (ARG) – take 1 twice daily – https://tinyurl.com/zrbvo8g

I hope this helps answer your question

Christine

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