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Gut Health

My Current Parasite Cleansing Protocol

Parasites, Gut HealthHolly SteinComment

A lot of people have been asking me the parasite cleansing protocol that I have been following! This is what I have been doing the last six weeks based on my own research. I have started working with Modern Holistic Health in Austin, TX and we will what sort of protocol they put me on based the results from my blood panel and Organic Acids Test. I also have results from Viome and uBiome that I purchased prior to working them, so that will give them even more info.

Mimosa Pudica Seed For Parasite Cleansing

Gut Health, ParasitesHolly SteinComment

I’ve parasite cleansed many times before, but never with the results that I’ve been having recently! I’ve been doing several things differently this time around, one of them being mimosa pudica seed. I initially heard Dr. Jay Davidson talking about it on a documentary series (The Gut Solution). I had just started parasite cleansing so I immediately ordered a bottle (thank you Amazon Prime 2-day delivery!) and I was soon adding it into my regimen. I am currently taking 2 capsules, 2 x day on an empty stomach, and I see worms EVERY SINGLE TIME I use the restroom right now. I am doing other things as well, which I will be sure to post about soon.

Here’s a little overview of mimosa pudica seed that I found from Dr. Jay and Microbe Formulas, but click on these two links below to see the full details of info! There’s also a video below with Dr. Jay talking about its benefits with parasite cleansing!

Dr. Jay and Parasite Cleansing // Microbe Formulas + Mimosa Pudica Seed

Here are just a few fun facts about mimosa pudica seed:

  • Originates with Ayurveda and is designed to help support the body’s natural functioning and healing by increasing your body’s strength and supporting natural healing functions*

  • Deep cleans your GI tract and allows for more health bacteria to populate*

  • Acts as a gut scrubber unwanted biofilms, build up, infections, heavy metals and other invaders*

  • Paralyzes parasites and forces them to fall away from intestine walls, which means they can be effectively flushed from your system**

  • Mimosa Pudica should be used for at least six months because it plays multiple parts in gut recovery. It binds toxins in the body AND repairs cell membranes. It also delivers positive nutrients to the blood and digestive system.**

  • Make sure you address any constipation issues so all the parasites and toxins you are releasing have a place to go!**

*taken from Microbes Formula website

**taken from Dr. Jay Davidson’s website

The Hot Dog That Ruined My Life (Kidding...Kind Of)

Gut HealthHolly SteinComment

Joking, but not...but seriously though, had it not happened, I wouldn’t be who I am today, and I truly do believe that it all happens for a reason.  Maybe I would have never ended up on this path of gut health….who knows! But I really do believe this is how my gut issues started. Many of my close friends know about the “hot dog” and how I’ve had digestive issues ever since I ate it!

So anyways.  Senior year of high school I went to a Laker game with my h.s. boyfriend.  His parents had front row center court seasons tickets which was rad, and I was lucky to go to many games!  After games I always wanted one of those bacon wrapped hot dogs from the street vendors….they just looked and smelled SO GOOD.  Well, one day in March 2003, I gave some random guy $5 in exchange for a greasy bacon wrapped hotdog topped with grilled onions.  It was delicious. I finished the whole thing by the time we got to the car. About 25 minutes into our drive home my stomach started to hurt.  I didn’t think much of it and it kinda went away. The next day, Friday, I went to school and was totally fine. But that afternoon while watching our school’s soccer game I started to get super nauseous and weak so I went home.  I rested and it went away. The rest of the weekend was like that as well. I then started to have a lot of acidity and reflux symptoms and the only thing I felt like I could eat was bread.

A few weeks after that I went to a G.I. doctor.  He didn’t ask me about my diet and what I was eating (never mentioned to maybe try eliminating gluten for 30 days...although back in 2003 I guess it wasn’t a thing yet).  He didn’t talk to me much about my lifestyle or stress levels, and parasites were DEFINITELY not a though on his mind. He prescribed me some antacids and sent me on my way.  Well, that didn’t seem to help. So after trying different medicines without a ton of relief we did an endoscopy. I was told I was fine. That fall I started college and things started to get better on their own.  I tried avoiding a lot of fat in my diet because I felt like it was harder to digest...but by spring semester it seemed to be in the rear view mirror.

Well, spring semester sophomore year they started to come back.  I did another endoscopy and I was fine. I also did a 24 hour PH test where they stick a tube up your nose and down the back of your throat into your stomach.  You wear this little monitor and it constantly measures the PH of your stomach for 24 hours. It was a cool look for a 19 year old. I also did this upper GI test where I drank some sort of fluid and they scanned my upper GI.  Those tests also came back normal.

After that symptoms subsided again and things were “normal.”  I put normal in quotes because while I felt like I could pretty much live life uninterrupted, I was constantly dealing with constipation.  I also at that time didn’t know it was not normal to go days without pooping. And sidenote: Just because something is common, does not mean it’s normal.  

Then at around 25 other symptoms came back and I did a colonoscopy...which if I remember correctly came back normal.  I needed to just drink a lot of water, eat a lot of fiber, and exercise.

Let’s also sprinkle in many rounds of antibiotics for urinary tract infections over the years as well.  My last round of antibiotics was at 25 when I had a kidney infection. And back then I had NO idea about the concept of repopulating my gut bacteria.  

Finally, at 26 I started to awaken.  Eric and I watched Food, Inc. (Shoutout to the O.G. health documentaries!) and were aghast at what we learned.  We also watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and I did a 10 day juice cleanse. We started making major changes and making sure to buy organic/non-gmo/grass fed/pasture-raised.  I started to feel fantastic! We also went further down the rabbit hole and learned about the toxic chemicals in our skin care products, cleaning products, etc. and I’ve been making just about all of those products for the last six years.  And what I don’t make, I buy super clean non-toxic lines. In the midst of that I lost 30 pounds and felt like I had a new start at life.

From about 27 to 31 things were pretty smooth sailing in the physical health department.  I no joke didn’t even catch a cold for like 5-6 years. I was energized, my brain and focus were laser sharp.  I never got that afternoon slump, and my digestion was pretty on point as long as I started my morning with a huge glass of water with lemon.

Through my entire pregnancy (Feb 2016-Nov 2016) I felt great.  I didn’t have any aches or pains, and the only ailment I had to complain about was heartburn.  But as long as I avoided the super acidic foods it was fine. It was after the birth of my son that things started to unravel….

After my son was born I experienced a lot of the common post partum symptoms.  I was tired, emotional, a little brain foggy, bloated. And while I’m sure those things really were attributed to post partum, I blamed “post partum” for too long as to why I was not feeling up to par.  I breastfed Rory for two years, so for his first two years of life I kept saying, “Well I’m still breastfeeding, that’s why I feel like this… my hormones are still off.” And then I stopped breastfeeding and things didnt get better.  But they didnt get worse right away either. The symptoms were on and off until mid-January of this year.

Out of nowhere I was insanely bloated 24/7, had brain fog, crazy fatigue out of nowhere, headaches, dizziness, etc.  I knew something was wrong at that point that I needed to fix. If you read a few posts back you’ll see how I found out how I had parasites.

BUT...this brings us full circle with the hot dog.  Parasites are rampant in pork. After talking with my doctor that I am working with… it is likely that I contracted a parasite(s) from that hot dog back in 2003.  Parasites can stay dormant for years without wreaking havoc. It seems that they did wreak a little havoc over the first few years, but when I really started to eat cleaner and strengthen my immune system they laid low.  Parasites and infections will lay dormant waiting for the right opportunity to attack. My doctor ALSO thinks that due to the weakened immune system that comes with pregnancy along with the crazy hormone shifts...the parasites/infection found the window they were waiting for to make their presence more known.  Over the least two-ish years they have slowly started to take over until I got to a point this January when I really knew something was wrong.

However, as you can see, this story is all speculation and a bunch of things that could have likely happened, and I’ll never officially know the story of how it all went down...but for now, I’m still holding on my story of the “hot dog” that messed me up.

Maybe after reading this you have a similar story.  Or maybe looking back some pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together?  If you think you have some sort of gut issue and/or parasites...act now! Start doing some research and give yourself a cleanse!

How Do You Contract Parasites?

Gut Health, ParasitesHolly SteinComment

So it turns out we’re all coming into contact with parasites all of the time.  Yes, even in the United States. While there are many cases of contracting parasites from a major food poisoning, or international travel, what is more common is just our day to day living.  We are all constantly coming into contact with parasites. If you interact with dogs, if you’ve eaten pork, if you’ve used a public restroom, grocery cart, etc. you’re in contact. Some can be transferred via sneeze or through walking barefoot.  What I’m saying is that they are everywhere and you are in contact.

However, we hope that we are healthy enough that they don’t become an issue.  A healthy gut, strong stomach acid, etc. determines how well these parasites will thrive after we’ve come into contact with them.  They do not thrive when are healthy and cleansing often. I learned that many other cultures regularly cleanse for parasites, including the Amish!  I also learned that back in the day (not exactly sure which day LOL), we used to cleanse all of our animals and ourselves for parasites seasonally. I imaging this practice started to die off as less and less of us were farming and working in the land and with animals.  

Here a long host of symptoms that parasites can cause…

Constipation, Diarrhea, Gas and Bloating, Painful Menstruation, IBS, Joint/Muscle Aches, Anemia, Cravings (especially sugar), Allergies, Skin Conditions like eczema, Sleep Disorders, Teeth Grinding, Chronic Fatigue, Brain Fog, Headaches, Acne, Weight Issues (Gain or Loss), Anxiety, Depression, and much more!

So if you have any of the above you may want to consider following along my journey and starting your own research!  However, one thing I will touch on soon is that it is very rare to have parasites without some sort of other gut infection.

Also, if you’d like to read more about parasites, Organic Olivia has a 2-part parasite blog post that is EXCELLENTLY written and super informative!  See below to read it!

Organic Olivia- Everyone Has Parasites Part One

Organic Olivia - Everyone Has Parasites Part Two

How Did I Discover I Have Parasites?

Gut HealthHolly SteinComment

That's the question I've been getting TONS of messages about, and it's the first question people ask me when I tell them I have parasites.

So first.  After doing a LOT of reading (both holistic and western opinions), and joining forums and FB groups about parasites..for reals guys, it's consumed me.  And it turns out there are some varying opinions on parasites.  Some people believe that a lot of these parasites (specifically rope parasites) are just biofilm (an intestinal mucous caused by gut dysbiosis).  Dysbiosis is a microbial imbalance in the gut.  And some people believe they are parasites.  Ascaris is another that people debate.  People generally agree that Ascaris is a parasite, but many people disagree on photos of what is Ascaris and what is rope worm/biofilm.  I've sent a bunch of pictures to my the doctor I'll be working with and she said they are parasites.  And yes, I've taken pictures of them...1. I just don't seem to be that grossed out by it, and 2. I've been getting desperate for answers and wanted to be able to show pictures to get help identifying them.

Ok, so that's my super long disclaimer.  What I'm writing/will write/have written is always my own personal opinion/experience, and while I do feel that my opinions are pretty informed, always do your own research.

SO, back to how I found my first parasite.  I had read that parasites are super common and parasite cleansed twice last year, but not much came of it.  But to be honest, I was a little lackadaisical on the diet.  Parasites FEAST on sugar, so you need to eliminate sugar, alcohol, grains, and dairy for a few weeks at a time and I kind of just thought, "Oh I'm so healthy, I rarely eat those things, I'll be ok."  Well, I always ended up indulging a little more than I thought and I saw a few things here and there that I thought *could* be parasites but I wasn't sure.  And I never felt any different after so I was unsure.

Fast forward to January of this year when overnight my symptoms exploded overnight.  All of a sudden major bloat, fatigue, brain fog....and feeling super irrational, irritable and tense.  I knew something was wrong and I didn't know what to do.  I saw an Ayurvedic practitioner and confirmed that I have a vata imbalance (that's for another post), and was given a list of foods to eat/avoid.  Essentially I'm supposed to eat warm grounding foods and avoid cold/dry foods (things like smoothies and crackers). 

I also did a microbiome test through Viome which gives you almost every food divided into 4 categories. 1. Superfoods for your gut, 2. Enjoy as much as you'd like, 3. Minimize (only eat 1 serving of minimize foods per day), and 4. Avoid - aka do NOT eat these.  These suggestions are completely personalized to your gut and can change as you increase/decrease the health of your gut.

After realizing I was mainly eating "minimize" foods, I decided to do 30 days of my list of Superfoods/Enjoy foods that also fit into the Vata category.  And that list is honestly super minimal.  Since March 1st, I've pretty much been eating eggs, berries, carrots, zuchinnis, rudabegas, parsnips, some pasture raised beef/turkey, and white rice on occasion.  

After about a week on that diet (which as you can see is almost no sugar except for what is naturally occuring in the berries and veggies), I did a coffee enema.  Coffee enemas are great for detoxing because it stimulates the liver/bile duct.  I also found out it disrupts the biofilm that parasites surround themselves with to stay safely in their habitat.  After that enema I expelled a 12" long parasite.  Not joking.  The coffee enema plus completely starving them was a lethal combination.

I immediately started adding parasite cleansing herbs and protocols (for another post), and have been seeing them come out constantly.  Constantly. Tons. Lots Of Them.

So that's how I figured out how I have parasites... essentially starving them by eliminating sugar (even in natural forms), dairy, grains and alcohol...and then the coffee enema.  

On An (Emotionally and Physically) Challenging Journey to Heal My Gut & Eliminate Parasites

Gut HealthHolly SteinComment

I've been hesitant to share what I’ve been going through recently, frankly because I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed to struggle with health issues when I strive to live such a “healthy” lifestyle... whatever that means. I felt like such a fraud for posting about so many health-conscious choices I’ve made over the years... only to end up where I am right now.

However, with every challenge comes the opportunity for growth. Yet as we all know, it’s not easy when you’re in the midst of it. I’ve started to get answers and feel like I’m on the road to healing, so I’ve started to be able to step back and look at the situation more objectively.

My biggest take away so far has been this: I place an enormous amount of my self worth in being healthy. I seriously had no idea.  But having it taken away made me realize how obvious it was.  I was feeling so worthless.

So what am I even dealing with here?!  Well, first of all parasites.  And gut issues, which is likely some sort of bacterial, fungal or viral infection.  Oh, and I know for sure low stomach acid.  It's a whole host of symptoms like bloating...INSANE 6+ months pregnant painful in I don't fit into my pants bloating.  Messed up digestion, increased agitation and irritability (yes, symptoms of parasites and gut issues), and it's CONSTANT work to keep my anxiety at bay (yes, also symptoms of parasites and gut infections).

I felt like a mess, but after feeling like I've taken myself as far as I can go on my own, I am going to be working with a holistic, functional practitioner to heal as quickly and efficiently as possible.  With some additional testing, we'll be able to see EXACTLY what I have going on in my gut and treat it appropriately.  They say it takes about 3-5 months to kill off the infections/parasites and another 3-5 months to heal the gut... So while we're looking at the 6-9 month range, I peg myself more at the 6 month range because I'm on over achiever like that... But hey, no expectations...just doing my best and going with it!

Honestly, there's like SO MUCH MORE to it than this post, and I plan to take you along on my journey.  It's honestly so cathartic for me to share these things.  I love the encouragement, the feedback of other perspectives, and the inspiration it can provide others to take a closer look at their health.