Body Bugs:  The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

Our body’s surface is colonized by trillions of microorganisms – ten times more than the number of cells in our body. Most of these ‘bugs’ are tolerated well. Some are beneficial, and some are irritating and can be pathogenic when their population is high.

For many, the populations of these irritating organisms are not severe enough to be termed infection, but they are causing problems. This is called dysbiosis.

Dysbiosis typically occurs: on the skin (acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, tinea, vitiligo, cradle cap; the mem- branes of the respiratory tract (chronic sinusitis, tonsillitis, ear infections, respiratory infections, asthma, allergies); the digestive tract (gingivitis, periodontal dz, gas/bloating, IBS, diverticulitis, Crohn’s food allergies); the urinary tract (chronic urinary tract infections, interstitial cystitis); and the genital tract (pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic vaginal and uterine infections, cervical dysplasia – HPV, endometriosis, prostatitis, herpes, infertility).

When dysbiosis becomes systemic

- bugs cross our surface and enter

- you may see conditions like chronic fatigue, high blood pressure and cholesterol and lyme disease. Autoimmune diseases, attention deficit, autism and cancer, among others, are related to dysbiosis.

Dysbiosis involves many types of organisms. Bacteria, parasites, fungi, viruses are all involved to different degrees in different people. The key point here is that the whole community must be addressed, not just one part. If one population is suppressed, another can rise.

The most common example is a woman getting antibiotics for a bladder infection, then developing a yeast infection the next day. Conversely, if yeast and parasite populations are suppressed, h. pylori (bacteria) can rise.


Parasite Cleanse Tips

1)      When you kill parasites, they release lots of toxicity and other organisms; this is why we get sick. When you do a parasite cleanse, you should be taking something for bacteria (golden seal or other berberine containing formulas are best), and possibly something for virus and fungi as well, together with support for draining the liver and kidney (and possibly the local site – pelvis, lung, skin etc).

Probiotics always need to be used as well. Substances we call ‘sponges’ are needed to bind up the toxicity and carry it out in the stool rather than being absorbed across the intestinal membrane and brought to the already burdened liver.

Greens are the best sponges, especially the sea greens. They are such good sponges, however, they may already be contaminated when you buy them. This is another reason quality-controlled products should be selected.

2)      Kids are much more vital and don’t require as powerful of substances as adults. Homeopathics are usually sufficient. Some people are loaded so we need to proceed gently, especially if there are a lot of viruses involved ie. chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, lyme disease, HIV, herpes, HPV, etc.

3)      In terms of a product’s effectiveness, quality control of the company is a big factor and the price usually reflects this.

4)      In our society, almost everyone should consider cleanses.

5)      In terms of side effects, if you push change too  quickly,  you  can  open a ‘can of worms’, when it comes to toxins and bacteria, etc.

6)      It is not always necessary to consult a professional such as a naturopath. An otherwise healthy person can get away with more experimentation with cleanses, without consulting a professional.

If one has any of the conditions mentioned above, it is prudent to consult.

7)      A cleanse kills the bugs we don’t want around, puts the ones there that belong, and cleans up the toxicity that brings them around.

8)      Frequency of a cleanse varies. In the beginning of treatment, cleansing is ongoing for many months; as many as two years for some. After this is accomplished, one to two times a year is sufficient maintenance.

 Article written by Todd Carricato, a naturopathic doctor at Elgin Integral Health Centre in Sault Ste. Marie