We have been absolutely overwhelmed with the response to the stories in the media this week, about our very own Georgia's struggles with a parasite. So many of you have reached out to tell us how you have been suffering similar symptoms and are failing to receive a diagnosis or successful treatment from healthcare professionals. To help answer some of the common questions you're asking, here is an update from Georgia.
Thanks to everyone who has read my story so far and messaged us with your own experiences.
It was a bit scary sharing something so personal, but I’m thrilled it’s helped shine a light on an issue a lot of people are suffering with in silence.
The parasite that affected me was Dientamoeba fragilis, but there are some other popular parasites and gut issues that can cause similar symptoms.
Life is too short to feel that way, so if you or someone you know can relate to my story, I would suggest trying the following approach:
1. LOOK FOR A NATROPATH OR HOLISTIC GP
Look for a Naturopath or holistic GP, who's willing to be your partner in solving this mystery. Don’t go back to someone who just tells you to eat more fibre and get some more rest. The first practitioner who really listened to me was Tania Flack at Bondi Health & Wellness.
2. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Keep a diary with notes about when you feel better or worse. It is after eating certain foods? After cleaning the house? When you're exercising? Are you sleeping ok? Are you always in a state of stress? Slow down and lean in to how you're really feeling. Try to mediate, take long walks - whatever you need to do to really listen to what your body is telling you. Just like a parent asking a child to do something, actively listen when your body talking to you, rather than getting to the point where it’s shouting at you!
3. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH
Do your own research and be prepared to ask for specific advice and testing. HERE is a copy of a similar article that put me on the right path. (Note: research isn’t self-diagnosis, leave that to the experts, but it’s helpful for you to go to appointments prepared with ideas, because no one knows your body better than you.)
4. MAKE SMALL CHANGES
Make small changes to your life to help your body and gut cope with everyday stresses. I don’t credit my recovery to reducing the toxins in my life, but I do believe all the positive improvements help my gut health long term.
“Environmental chemicals can interfere with the composition of the gastrointestinal microbiota, which may lead to detrimental consequences for the host”[...] “The consequences of early exposure to pollutants must therefore be investigated as a factor potentially affecting the development of health disorders later in life"
The Environment Protection Authority believes our indoor environment is two to five times more toxic than our outdoor environment. Some of the key culprits adding to the toxicity of our homes are the very products we're buying to clean them. So start there!
Personal care products and makeup were next on my list and are another great way to reduce your toxic load.