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Question for Heather Re: D.Fragilis and connection with IBS-D
      #22864 - 10/08/03 06:29 PM
Tim G

Reged: 08/07/03
Posts: 95
Loc: NSW, Australia

Hi Heather,

I came across an interesting article relating to IBS-D and am considering getting the proposed 'specialised'stool samples, in an attempt to kick this IBS in to check.

Could you take a look at the attached links and let me know whether you are aware of any further research along these lines, or have any thoughts. I did a search, but could not find anything on the help for IBS site.

Here is the link to the research paper:
DientaMoeba Fragilis and IBS

D.Fragilis - Lab Testing

Thanks and best regards


-A poor man's Jamie Oliver...without the attitude!

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Re: D.Fragilis and connection with IBS-D new
      #22871 - 10/08/03 07:21 PM

Reged: 02/23/03
Posts: 75
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC

Hi Tim
I am also interested in having these 2 tests done, if not other relevant bacteria/virus ones such as MAP bacteria. I had samples tested five years ago, but they came up negative. I have no idea which parasites / etc they were testing for. An obviously, it depends how much care is employed in the testing as to whether the results are accurate or not. What if all this time people don't have IBS, but simply have un-discovered infections, post-infections, parasites, etc etc. What a frustrating situation. Good luck in Australia, I hope you can access the good labs!

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Re: Question for Heather Re: D.Fragilis and connection with IBS-D new
      #22928 - 10/09/03 10:00 AM

Reged: 07/14/03
Posts: 157
Loc: California

Tim--Know you're looking for an answer from Heather, but I wanted to share my experience with you. I was diagnosed with IBS (mostly C) in the past, but it was fairly managable and usually my attacks did not last for long. Diet would usually make all the difference. But in July of this year I started having the worst IBS symptoms ever, switching to D instead of C. I tried everything diet-wise, and I just kept getting worse. I did seem to be able to manage a bit better when I ate a very limited diet (applesauce, rice, bananas, a little chicken), but that's no way to live in the long run!

I finally went to the doctor and he recommended doing a stool sample to rule out various problems. They found that I had B. Hominis, another protozoan that seems to be similar to D. Fragilis. The doctor said he didn't think I needed to do anything, and that most people fight this infection off on their own. I did a little research (finding the same sites you noted in your post), and discovered that many people cannot fight it off, and that these infections can stay in the body for months or even years. Some people can have these parasites and have no symptoms at all (they're present in about 20% of the population in countries like US, Britain, and Australia), but some people get sick. Some experts think that these parasites can cause IBS; others think that people with IBS may have a harder time fighting off the infection than the general population and get sicker as a result.

I asked my general practitioner to prescribe something, and he gave me a combo of Flagyl and Cipro (you'll see this combo on the websites--it doesn't have a real high cure rate, but works for some people). I got better for a couple of days, then started getting sick again. So I decided I needed to go to a doctor who would be more agressive--someone with better knowledge of parasitic infections. I had gone to a homeopathic MD in the past, and I knew that he had a lot of experience in this area. So I went to him, and he put me on an antibiotic called Humatin. He said its cure rate is about 98%, much better than Flagyl, and it's a lot easier on your system than Flagyl. He also put me on a protein drink that has a lot of soluble fiber in it, as well as vitamins and probiotics (called Medi-Clear). This is to help strengthen the digestive system (and the soluble fiber is a big help!). After taking the Humatin I felt MUCH better and was able to resume many normal activities. The doctor said to wait a month to go through stool testing again, because you may test negative immediately after taking the antibiotic, but if the infection wasn't completely cleared, it will proliferate and you'll be sick again. Unfortunately, I am at this phase--I am sick again. I do the next round of tests tomorrow. Apparently it is not unusual to have to go through this a few times in order to get rid of the bug, and if you have a weakness in the digestive system (like pre-existing IBS), it may be more difficult. But he assures me we can get rid of it.

Sorry this is long, but my point is: get tested--you may have IBS, but you may have a parasitic infection as well. It can't hurt to rule it out. People often think that parasites only affect people who have poor living conditions, or that you might get it if you travel to a third world country, but this is just not true.

Another important issue: the standard medical lab (at least in the US) cannot always identify b. hominis and d. fragilis--d. fragilis especially can be easily missed. In the US, the best lab is Great Smokies Diagnostic Labs--they do the most thorough test and analyses. They are mentioned in several of the sites I found about b. hominis, including the site you posted ( ). Fortunately my homeopathic MD uses them. It does appear from their website that they are available in Oz. Website is:
My doc just gave me a kit to use and then I ship it off to Great Smokies. Takes about 10 days to get results.

I hope this info is helpful. Let me know what happens. I'm under the impression that Australia is more forward thinking about some of this stuff, so I'm hoping you can find a good doc to help you with diagnosis (and treatment, if it's necessary).


P.S. There are a few posts on this BB about parasitic infections. Do a search on parasite, or you can do a search on my name to find a few of them.

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Re: Question for Heather Re: D.Fragilis and connection with IBS-D new
      #22957 - 10/09/03 02:14 PM

Reged: 12/09/02
Posts: 7797
Loc: Seattle, WA

Hi Tim - Judith gave you excellent info here - I'd definitely follow her advice.

I also came across a huge resource of published info that might help you - it's here D. Fragilis Published Research


Heather is the Administrator of the IBS Message Boards. She is the author of Eating for IBS and The First Year: IBS, and the CEO of Heather's Tummy Care. Join her IBS Newsletter. Meet Heather on Facebook!

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Re: Question for Heather Re: D.Fragilis and connection with IBS-D new
      #23639 - 10/16/03 05:59 PM

Reged: 01/30/03
Posts: 1738
Loc: Oregon

Tim, the girl that put the site together use to post to the IBS self help group and lived in Sydney and was misdiagnosed.

This is rare and most times three stool samples can tell if its IBS or Dientamoeba fragilis.

The symptoms also can mimic IBS, but IBS has different presentations in symptoms also.

So its worth getting three stool samples done.

Here is some more info on it.

My website on IBS is

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