Tuesday, November 20, 2012
What's bugging your gut, part 3: Entamoeba histolytica
Considered pathogenic, this amoeba is a single-celled organism that constantly changes shape. It is pathogenic and can infect the intestines as well as other organs (via the blood-stream) such as the liver.
Transmission of this bug is usually through faecally-contaminated food, water, or hands, as the cysts are passed in faeces and can survive in the environment outisde of the host for anywhere from days to months. Once the cyst is ingested, the trophozoite is released into the intestinal tract where it can bore into the intestinal lining and cause symptoms, even going further and ending up in the blood-stream, where it will be deposited into other organs, such as the liver, lungs, brain, spleen, etc. It is found using a stool test.
Symptoms include a gradual onset of abdominal pain, diarrhoea, weight loss, fatigue, and bloody stools. In severe cases, fever and dysentery can be found. When deposited into the liver, it causes amoebic liver abscess, which can be fatal if left untreated. it is not uncommon for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) to be diagnosed when actually, this little bug is the poblem.
Like other intestinal parasites, this amoeba can be treated using pharmaceutical anitbiotics, however herbal medicine can also be beneficial, used in the appropriate dosages and in the appropriate manner. The standard protocol of clearing the gut and boosting the immune system using medicinals such as Chinese wormwood, Black walknut, cloves and turmeric. The gut then needs to be re-built using pre- and pro-biotics.
To make abooking to have your digestive system brought back into harmony, call Discover Chinese Medicine on 03 9013 1777, or click here to make an online booking.