I know so many of you are dying to hear how we made this discovery, how we are treating it and all the nasty details of this infectious disease.
As gross as it is to think of the possibility of parasites, it's way more common than we realize. We talk about being down with a cold or flu or other virus, but this is something we don't talk about. Not only because it's somewhat embarrassing, but also because it's not always diagnosed. Often parasites are missed because they have weakened the immune system and flared up the gut so much that it's causing other problems: eczema, bacterial infections like staff and strep(we were diagnosed with all these and given creams like prescription hydra-cortisone and antibiotics, which we took because I was afraid). I just wanted my sweet girl to feel better and get better. These created more problems, more weak immune system and more food issues. I have 4 kids and anytime they all got a virus, she got it the worst. I knew something was at the root of it, I just wasn't sure how to get help. I tried our own elimination diets, supplements, essential oils, bone broth to resolve the skin rashes and they helped, but the rashes never completely went away.
Here's her history. My baby, who is my 3rd child is 5 years old now, first started with the rash on her leg at 1 1/2. I'm recently succumb to the fact it's possible shes had a parasite infection for years and crazy enough that is VERY common. I have reason to believe with other health conditions she experienced(cyclical high fevers, rashes, headaches, etc) that this has been going on for awhile. I've had a really hard time resigning to the fact that I should have done something much sooner and not relied on my own understanding of science and the body. However, I'm thankful I finally became aware of it and because of her struggle and healing route, I understand it all so much better.
Here's why her symptoms came to a screeching halt last October and we realized we had to do something. We also realized that it was probably parasites. She was 4 1/2 at the time.
1. For months she complained about a tummy ache. Not all the time, but started complaining more and more often.
2. She was always hungry and never satisfied.
3. She followed the pattern eat, poop, eat poop all day long.
4. She was fatigued.
5. She had dark circles under her eyes
6. Her eczema was the worst it had ever been. About 13 patches in total.
7. Her belly was bloated.
8. She was generally uncomfortable and complaining or sleeping a lot.
Dark circles and pale skin
As you realized, my mothers' heart was broken. I felt everything she felt and I didn't know why my own "anti-inflammatory" diet and supplement regimen weren't helping.
I asked around for a good functional medicine doctor and specifically one that was good at diagnosing parasites. Found one on our first try. We saw Dr. Kaisa Coppola in San Juan Capistrano per my neighbor friends recommendation. She was fabulous, a mother herself who has dealt with parasites with one of her children more often than she wanted to admit. She determined within 2 minutes of using her healing hands through applied Kinesiology and muscle testing(I was super skeptical) that it was parasites...throughout her whole digestive tract, active and wreaking havoc. I was naive at that point and hopeful that our "pathogen starvation" diet along with extra supplements and some enzymes would kill these bad boys in less than four weeks. I was wrong...By 8 weeks along and we had some movement. The doctor "felt" the parasites had moved down the digestive tract and were only in the 3 or 4 lower organs. To me, that meant they were on their way out...
Around the 12 week mark, we started noticing some unusual suspects in her stool. Yes, I checked every stool for 6 months and I still find myself wanting to look at her poop...just to be sure. I know many, especially my own mom, find that insane and disgusting. But I felt it was me vs. this disease and by God I was gonna help my baby get better. Skip these next few sentences if you don't want the details. Her stool went from being very seedy, like larvae to having little cotton pieces in them. During these times where there was lots of "pathogens" in her stool, she also spiked fevers, was extra fatigue and her eczema was flared up. During the times where the stool normalized, the rash would be minimal, her belly less bloated and a normal kid. We had hope!
Because I spent countless nights looking at images of parasitic stool, because I had tests run on her to make sure she wasn't anemic, because I had poured in hours of research into my sleepless nights..I came to my own conclusion that it was a tape worm and we were getting pieces out, but not the real thing..this nasty has been around for awhile and it's not given up easily.
About the time of her birthday, after five months into this dreaded process, I decided to meet with her pediatrician about Western treatment. I told her all my thoughts after having gone through the process and she's aware of my science background and even commended us on going naturally for so long. She went ahead and ordered us STAT blood work, stool testing and even celiac test. Besides a little eczema, our Dr thought was seemed very normal and healthy and thank goodness had continued to grow through this dreaded process.
We went straight to the lab and of course it was late Thursday, so I wouldn't hear back by Monday. Got them all the stool samples by Tuesday and was hopeful we were going to find them and kill them off once and for all. In my research of stool testing though, I wasn't going to get my hopes up.
But guess what.......
EVERYTHING CAME BACK NORMAL!!!! No parasites found, no irregular stool, all blood in normal range except low liver enzymes and that was actually a good thing in this case. WHAT the heck!? I cried..not going to lie. I cried. I knew it couldn't be right, but I was starting to feel a little bit like an idiot. I had a follow up call with our Dr and she actually said she would still prescribe her anti-parasitic based on her symptoms over the last year and to think about it. I thought about it for a couple days and decided to go super hard on basically whole 30 protocol with a little rice and corn because popcorn is her fave and rice was something that made her feel like she wasn't missing out. I talked to my sweet 5 year old about it and said, we are going to get rid of the parasites once and for all.
Mind you, we are 5, maybe 6 months in at this point! For 2 weeks, we did everything by the book, no bites of a cookie, not even very much fruit. We weren't going to miss a single dose of her supplements/medicines. We were focused, driven and not letting down. Pretty sure I didn't sleep for 2 weeks straight because ultimately I know that God is the healer. I never doubted that for a second. We used to chant God is the ultimate healer and we trusted He had us on this path for a reason. So, I spent a lot of time in prayer..not just begging for healing, but trying to be at peace and understanding. Also, praying for parents who's children were much sicker than mine, who had terminal illness. I found way too many stories of families losing their children to horrible diseases because I couldn't sleep, so I prayed. I felt like a disciple during this time.
By the end of two weeks, her eczema was completely gone for the first time in years. She had a brightness to her eyes we hadn't seen in awhile and even had forgotten about. She felt truly well. BUT, I still hadn't seen it come out. But in that 3rd week, she had terrible tummy aches for a couple days. Her BM's were loose again and she seemed like she was getting sick again...I call this the "die off". Her body was in overdrive finally working on removing the infection. I didn't lose hope, I thought that was what was happening. Then for 2 days, she complained her booty hurt and help her butt area several times. Her eczema still gone at this point. Then of course, the worst timing ever, we were picking up our kindergartner and nature callled...I was sprinting into the office, carrying my 2 year old and 5 year old, asking the school nurse to call my kindergartners classroom to tell her to come directly to the office. There and then in the school office restroom it happened. Of course it was dark, of course I didn't have my phone to take a picture and of course we were in a hurry...but there it was in all it's glory, a freaking tape worm. At this point because it had broken off so many times, was only about 9 inches long and doesn't look like what you think it might. I have never felt such triumph in my entire life...and I've won a lot of championships ha ha. This was different..it was the best feeling in the world. I think because so much of my insight was from Mother's intuition and I was seriously doubting myself many times.
Here's what I know about parasites...we all get them. Most of the time we pass them no problem. These aren't worms that crawl in our mouths at night, these are tiny larvae that we can get from eating organic foods, guys. We can get them from playing outside and so many other places. This isn't a 3rd world disease, like we're used to thinking. If you have any reason to believe you are dealing with parasites, I would head the areas best functional medicine doctor and get on a protocol. It's so much easier for adults to starve the parasites than kids because kids don't understand going on a diet.
Several reasons I hesitate to share our info with you is because I don't have room to take any clients right now. Every body is different and a Dr might have a different protocol with you than with her. Definitely do your own research and get extra help from an alternative medicine doctor.
How we fought:
1. Parasite Diet
2. Natural supplements
4. Spring Water
5. Essential Oils
Now...even though she is healed of the parasite and probably because of how long she's had the parasite, we are still dealing with heavy metal toxins and still following a limited grain diet and no gluten diet, as well as adding a powder to her smoothies that binds with the metals and pulls them out. She eats limited dairy and continues to eat tons of healing, anti-inflammatory diets. Thankful she is not celiac, but she might have gluten issues forever. She still gets eczema from any gluten, even just a few bites. But everything else has been normal. We continue her on some vitamins and probiotics and she still loves her bone broth. After a long year of messed up sleep, anxiety and more, now it's time for this Mama's healing. Will share more about me soon, as I just had my first appointment with our beloved Dr. Kaisa Coppola.