By * Peter Elliot
For the last decade I've led a pretty active lifestyle - cycling, competing in triathlons and running around after my three girls. I’ve been feeling great, until recently things starting to go downhill to in terms of my health. I started getting chest pains, feeling fatigued, getting asthmatic symptoms and blocked sinuses as well as feeling overall that my energy levels were waning - initially I put it down to the fact that I was in my mid-40s now.
During this time took myself off to doctors, I even ended up in an emergency department ward for various checks and scans. I started fearing the worst.
No-one could tell me what was wrong and there were lots of failed attempts to diagnose what was going on. I was told that I was just training too hard and that I should rest.
At that point I decided to explore some alternative medicine as I wasn't getting anywhere with the GPs. Someone recommended Jo and she discovered that I had parasites.
I did a stool test and we found out that I had blastocystis hominis, which I've later discovered is a very common gut parasite and also one that can be incredibly difficult to get rid of. I don't know where I picked it up or for how long I had it; I expect for quite a while.
We then tested the rest of our family and my three daughters all had variations of parasites -- blastocystis hominis and another common, and difficult to treat, parasite called dientamoeba fragilis.
Of my daughters who are 8, 10 and 12 years old, only my youngest daughter *Sally, showed symptoms - and we weren't surprised at all to hear she had gut parasites.
What parasites do to your body
Sally has always been such an energetic and can-do kid, she wasn't unhappy but we did notice that things were just not right. She had dark circles under her eyes, she often complained about a sore stomach and all of a sudden seemed to fluctuate more between highs and lows in terms of her mood. She was also much more tired than she used to be.
We also noticed that her usual confidence with school was lacking. We looked at her end of year report card and noticed in the second half of the year alone she had been off sick for 10 days - during that time she had become prone to picking up every virus or tummy bug going around. Before this, she was rarely ill.
Of course, she's also an active, normal eight-year-old kid so at the same time, some of those things didn't surprise us. She was holding it all together, she's a smart kid, but we could see it was becoming more difficult for her to do well in everything. For example we could see this in her endurance at swim squad and things like that.
The thing is, I don't think we would have picked up that it was parasites if I hadn't been to see Jo. It started with my symptoms and we ended up taking the whole family.
Now we're treating the parasites - we've already gotten rid of Sally's we're still working on me and one of the girls. I feel confident that we are in good hands and will get rid of them though.
Jo has us all on various supplements for our immune system and gut health is the main focus as we detoxify our bodies and reduce the inflammation.
Together with her help, we've changed our families diet - we now eat a lot more fresh veggies, nuts, eggs and whole grains than we used to and less sugar, red meat, dairy, wheat and raw or fermented foods.
We've only been seeing her for three months and I feel like my energy levels are improving every day. It is taking some time to undo the damage done, but I am back to normal energy levels for work and home life and confident I will be able to return to my full exercise routine soon. My gut pain is gone and my sinuses are a lot better.
I went for a four-hour bike ride on the weekend and feel good. I feel like myself again for the first time in a long time.
Life after treatment
Sally is doing great as well, pretty much all her symptoms are gone, she has more energy and looks healthier. Her face is brighter and she doesn't have those dark bags under her eyes anymore.
Her appetite has also improved and she's eating a better variety of foods and even more in volume. Her swimming is faster and she wants to do more and more - to top it all off she hasn't gotten sick at all. Jo spoke to each child and educated them, so they took control of their health and this made it much easier for my wife and I to help them.
In general, the mood around our house has really improved - the girls have less ups and downs, less anxiety and fighting - all those things that we started to just accept as normal life.
The whole experience has been really good for us.
For more information
Here’s an article Jo Formosa wrote which offers a lot more information about the different types of parasites and how we treat them.If think you might have a parasite, call the clinic and to arrange a stool test.
* Names have been changed