Are my IBS symptoms related to Blastocystis?


In recent months, I have had several clients who have informed me that they have been diagnosed with the parasite blastocystis in their gut. Many people who carry blastocystis have no signs or symptoms, but it is also common amongst people who have diarrhoea or other irritable bowel type symptoms. 


Blastocystis often appears with other organisms, so it’s not clear whether it causes disease on its own or is an innocent bystander.


Experts suspect that blastocystis may get into the intestinal tract through oral-faecal contact. This can occur when someone who has ‘blasto’ doesn’t wash their hands thoroughly after using the toilet before preparing food for others. The prevalence of blastocystis increases in places with inadequate sanitation and poor personal hygiene.


Blastocystis is diagnosed through a stool test and there is some suggestion of an association between infection with blastocystis and irritable bowel syndrome. Coyle, an expert in the field recommends that ‘blasto’ not be treated for those who have been diagnosed but are symptom free (who had stool test for other reasons) and those who only had a few cysts evident not be treated.


For those diagnosed with blasto who do have gastrointestinal symptoms, antibiotic treatment with Metronidazole has long been the usual treatment despite variable success in treating the condition. The dilemma for an IBS suffer was therefore whether to take more antibiotics in the hope that this one works, or to seek out alternatives. Recent advances in treatment with the use of  the antibiotic Paramomycin have shown a much higher success rate in eliminating blastocystis.


Only one of my current clients is yet to complete their blasto treatment with Paromomycin, but it worked and she is now blasto free and free from the gut symptoms she has had for years now. Worth considering?


This information is for educational purposes only. Not to be treated as medical advice. Please discuss your blastocystis diagnosis and treatment options with you doctor.