IBS patients in the US frequently test positive for a common parasite
If you have irritable bowel syndrome, you are familiar with the misery of abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhoea, and/or constipation. It just so happens that these are also common symptoms of a gut parasite infection. If your symptoms have not responded to standard IBS treatment, taking a simple test may be the first step on the road to recovery.
It is well known that the gut is inhabited by trillions of bacteria, some good and some not so good. But parasites?
If you have ever thought that your innards appear to have a life of their own, it’s because they have. Down there in that dark, murky area of your being is a parallel universe of microorganisms: microbes, transients, opportunists and freeloaders all merrily coexisting along the tube that runs from mouth to rectum. There they live, breed, feed, ferment, do battle and eventually die or move on out.
Except that some don’t move out. Instead, they take up permanent residency (they’ve found a great place to put down roots), contribute nothing to your wellbeing and make your life hell.
We tend to think of parasites as hairy, bug-eyed beasts, rather than the invisible microorganisms that they often are. Parasites may be intestinal or blood borne. In the intestines, they are either single-celled microorganisms or helminths — worms, such as roundworm or tapeworm. Worms are generally visible to the naked eye but not so your single-celled parasites, which include the infamous Blastocystis hominis.
B. hominis is the parasite most likely to be found in the intestinal tract and is particularly at home in the human colon.
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