Giardiasis is an infection of the small intestine caused by an insidious parasite called Giardia Lamblia. A protozoa that often contaminates water it spreads via contaminated water, soil, animals, contaminated food, direct human contact and household pets. It lives in the intestines and is passed in the faeces. The parasite has a hard outer shell which means that they can survive for long periods of time and contaminated water is generally a likely source for picking up the parasite. Symptoms usually appear 1-2 weeks (but may take longer) after infection and most people are able to eradicate it from the body within 6 weeks if addressed appropriately.
- weight loss
- bloody stool
- gas and flatulence
- stools which float and are greasy
- ineffective digestive processes
- halitosis (bad breath)
- leaky gut
Any diarrhoea that persists beyond five days warrants examination of the stool for evidence of parasites such as Giardia. It is best to err on the side of caution when it comes to digestive illnesses and have a stool analysis performed so that you know exactly what you are dealing with and not guessing as to what the cause may be. If left untreated intestinal parasites may cause further complications to health such as allergies, digestive conditions, liver congestion, bowel ailments, chronic dehydration and depressed immunity. A sample of blood, stool, urine or phlegm may be analysed for the presence of parasites in the body.
WHAT ARE INTESTINAL PARASITES?
A parasite is an organism that lives off of or inside another organism, called a host, during all or part of its life. This is a type of symbiotic relationship in which the parasite needs the host in order to live to obtain nourishment. Many organisms, including some plants, animals, spiders, crustaceans, bacteria, and worms, are considered parasites. Many parasites can enter the human body via the skin and mouth and when the larvae reach the intestines and develop into adults, mild or moderate symptoms may begin to occur.
DIET TIPS FOR GUARDIA
- Increase bitter foods in your diet to help slough off the parasites. Intestinal parasites thrive on an acidic digestive system so by changing the environment to alkaline natural kills them off. Bitter foods are lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, rocket, endive, raddichio
- Use coconut oil in cooking and smoothies as it contains Caprylic Acid a short chain fatty acid which inhibits the growth of bacteria and parasites
- Decrease acidic foods such as sugar, dairy, wheat, alcohol, tea, coffee and soft drinks
- Ensure adequate dehydration to increase bowel cleansing and use herbal teas such as Ginger, Echinacea, Elecampagne, Peppermint and Chamomile to improve digestion
- Begin each day with a small glass of warm water with ½ lemon squeezed into it. Lemon has a cleansing effect on liver and bowel
- Decrease the consumption of dietary fats as they may increase the risk of intestinal parasites
LIFESTYLE FACTORS FOR GUARDIA
- Simple hygeine practices is important so as not to cause further carrying on of the parasite. Wash your hands after using the toilet and before cooking, be careful not to swallow water when swimming and do not drink untreated water from rivers etc.
- Support the health of the bowel and liver
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR GUARDIA
- Probiotics may help to recorrect flora imbalance in the body and ensure a healthy amount of good bacteria through the colon. The parasite will produce waste and this may also help to encourage better bowel elimination and immunity to fight off the incubation of parasites.
- Antiparasitic herbs such as Pau D’arco, Thuja, Piccorhiza, Barberry, Black Walnut, Black Cumin, Chamomile, Echinacea, Oregon Grape, Bitter Orange, Cloves, Oregano, Gentian, Golden Seal, Neem, Olive leaf and Wormwood. Speak to a Healthcare professional who can tailor make a herbal tincture specific to your needs.
- Fibre supplement such as slippery elm or psyllium husks to increase bowel elimination and parasites through the faeces
- Magnesium Oxide is a bowel cleanser and may help expel the worms and reduce the risk of them continuing to occupy the lower bowels.
- Liver supplements may help to produce bile and kill of parasites as well as increasing detoxification and elimination
- Hypochlorhydria (insufficient production of hydrochloric acid) as low digestive acids increase an acidic system which parasites thrive on. Other than increasing bitter foods in your diet you can take digestive enzymes, especially if you have other digestive complaints such as bloating, constipation, belching and abdominal pain