Amebiasis • Infection of the Intestines

Amebiasis is an infection of the intestines, usually caused by the parasite E. histolytica. It is a common condition in tropical countries with poor sanitation.

Amebiasis - Image of a parasite

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF AMEBIASIS?

None, some, or all of these may be present in an infected individual:

In severe cases

  • Abscesses
  • Infections in internal organs
  • Death

IS IT CONTAGIOUS?

Yes. It is often transmitted by infected food handlers who don’t practice good sanitation. Contaminated water also will spread the disease.

PREVALENCE

It is estimated that about 50 million cases worldwide occur each year, with up to 100,000 deaths. Since only about 10 or 20 percent of infected people have symptoms, the actual numbers may be much higher. While there are relatively few cases in the United States, compared to third world countries, there are cases reported every year, some resulting in death.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT FOR AMEBIASIS

Diagnosis is made from testing stool samples or liver function tests. Medical treatment is with medicines to kill the parasites or with surgery to remove abscesses in severe cases. If your doctor suspects organ damage, you may have an ultrasound or CT scan. A colonoscopy may be necessary.

SELF TREATMENT FOR AMEBIASIS

Others have made claims of efficacy for the following suggestions and treatments, but this is provided as anecdotal information for your further research.

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease. To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. The Zone is an excellent nutrition plan.

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING

  • Apricots
  • Bone Broth
  • Fiber to cleanse the intestinal tract
  • Garlic for anti-parasitic properties
  • Pomegranate
  • Pumpkin pulp and seeds

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Processed sugars
  • Smoking
  • Trans fats
  • Processed foods of any kind
  • High-fat foods
  • Greasy fried foods

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

  • Apple Cider Vinegar to keep pH in balance
  • Buttermilk
  • Coconut water
  • Drumstick (also known as moringa oleifera) plant juice
  • Mango flowers, washed, dried and ground to powder; add to water
  • Papaya seed powder mixed with papaya juice

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Chaparro Amargo
  • Cloves
  • Guava leaf powder added to water
  • Kutja bard and roots
  • Margosa leaves
  • Neem
  • Turmeric

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil, or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath. See the post for Essential Oils.

  • Oregano oil, taken internally: a few drops in a glass of water

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.

HYDRATION

If you have diarrhea, drink extra water. Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ ounce to 1 ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

EXERCISE

That exercise is beneficial is undisputed. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can without making yourself feel worse. Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend. Do what works for you to stay mellow.  Some suggestions:

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Apply cold or warm compresses to relieve stomach cramps (you can use essential oils on compresses).

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

PREVENTION

  • A healthy immune system
  • A wholesome diet
  • Boil tap water or treat with iodine before ingesting.
  • Do not buy pre-cut fruits and vegetables.
  • Drink clean water.
  • Drink water from bottles.
  • Keep the kitchen clean.
  • Regular exercise
  • Avoid food from street vendors.
  • Avoid ice cubes or ask if they are made with filtered water.
  • Do not eat unpasteurized dairy products.
  • Use natural household products rather than chemicals.
  • Wash all fruits and vegetables before ingesting, including melons and avocados.  If there is something unclean on the peel or rind, slicing will introduce that substance into the flesh.
  • Wash hands before handling food and after using the toilet.
  • Wash your hands regularly throughout the day with soap and water.
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