You’ll Never Guess Who Has a Parasite Infection? – Podcast #86

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand reveal to us today about a health issue that Evan is experiencing currently with regard to the parasites discovered in his stool tests. Listen as they share with us the things that can be done to get rid of these parasites via conventional medicine approach versus the functional medicine methods. 

Parasite Infection stained_giardiaDiscover what the common parasites are and what the conventional symptoms are that people typically experience when they have an infection. Learn the various ways and supplementation to help treat parasite infections as well as the laboratory tests you can take to confirm such infections.

In this episode, topics include:

00:44   Evan’s parasite story and symptoms

5:03   Lab testing

11:28   Giardia

15:33   Cryptosporidium

22:17   Supplementation










Evan Lab Test

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan Brand, how you doing this morning? It’s Friday.

Evan Brand:  It is Friday. Hey, I’m great.  We’re in the trenches again on ourselves today.  So this is fun.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, today’s gonna be a different kind of podcast.  I think we are pushing the envelope regarding functional medicine and functional health podcasting, because we’re doing tests on ourselves.  So today we’re gonna be talking about some stool test that came in for yourself.  And we already talked about them earlier this week and we’re just excited to share them with the general public because we know your story and my story will be able to help hopefully tens of thousands of potential patients and people out there.

Evan Brand:  Absolutely so to give a little of history here about why we suspected something was going on is when I first moved to Texas.  I was about 160 lbs and I quickly after moving there, I quickly began to lose weight without changing much of the diet.  Paleo was pretty much my diet template.  I was still exercising but not as much and I began to slowly lose weight and I bottomed out at like 138 lbs.  So we’re talking about 22 lbs lost in about a year, maybe a year and some change, and when I—I remember the first I came over to your house, you were like, “Dude, Evan, you got a parasite.  That’s not normal like you’re getting skinny, man.  Like your muscle’s disappearing.”  And I had just attributed it to adrenal fatigue because I ran a cortisol rhythm test on myself, too, and showed pretty low cortisol even though I had good DHEA.  And so that kinda made sense but it wouldn’t explain that significant weight loss.  So you even said, you know, over 6 months ago, “You better run a test for a parasite and see what’s going on.”  And so I finally got around to it and turns out I popped up positive for cryptosporidium and also Giardia which are 2 different parasites that can be found or that you can get exposure to in different water sources.  And so when I was talking to Dr. Kurt yesterday, he said, “Evan,” he goes, “Did you swim in any sources of water that were a little bit lower than normal like a drought-stricken place?”  And I was like, “Oh my God, Lake Austin, Lake Travis–”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Barton Springs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Barton Springs.

Evan Brand:   Krause Springs, like everywhere I went in Austin on the weekend was some sort of water source that–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand:  Could have potentially exposed me to it.  And so the light bulb really went off and I’m glad that we found these things because now we’re gonna get into the treatment stuff.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Absolutely. And one of the interesting things about this infection as well—well, first off, I saw pictures of you in the past before I knew you and you just looked bigger, more—more fuller in your—in your facial structure, and then when I met you in person a year or two later, I—I asked, I said, “Evan, you know, have you changed your diet at all recently?”  Because I know you’re a big Paleo guy, so I–imagine you weren’t eating much sugar or carbs back then.  You went, “No, I’m just losing weight and my diet’s pretty much the same.”  And we did a diet review and you were like, exactly what you said, I’m like, “You have infection.  There’s no way you’re losing this kind of weight without some kind of internal malabsorption.”  And then we saw your fingernails, too, and we saw these vertical ridging and we’re like, I’m just, “There’s some kind of protein or fat malnutrition.”  I know you kinda sat on it and then over time you were telling me some of the—you know, your cold hands, cold feet, you have it, every now and then you mentioned you’d have some kind of blood sugar or panic attacks explaining that we were connecting to some adrenal stress, and then we were saying, “Well, how is this adrenal stress happening because you’re so many good things right?  And then we finally got this testing done and we were able to quantify that this is more than likely the driving factor and anyone of these infections by themselves is a pretty big deal, whether it’s Giardia or crypto by themselves.  You have them together, so it’s like, you know, with—with the—all these forces combining it’s really an exponential issue.  It’s gonna be far worse than having this one at a time.

Evan Brand:  A double whammy.  Yeah, and so I had a—a slide here that was from the Institute of Functional Medicine’s Intestinal Permeability Lecture and it was saying “a recent study revealed a 23.5% of clinical samples tested positive for at least one parasite”.  So just go ahead and round that up to 25% of people that were getting tested had at least one parasite, and so we’re talking 1 in 4 basically.  For me, it seems to be 1 in 3.  And Blastocystis hominis was the number one at 12.5% and then you have Dientamoeba fragilis–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yup.

Evan Brand:  And they had Entamoeba and then you had blah, blah, blah, and then Giardia’s at the bottom, 0.7%.  So apparently Giardia’s pretty rare to even show up or to even have.  So for me to have that and the crypto, you and I and Dr. Kurt, too, was also like, “Wow! This is rare to have.”  And Kalish same thing, I’ve looked up a couple of his lectures and he said he had only seen it like once before of having the double whammy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, and here’s the real important thing, too, is well, most conventional laboratories especially in a hospital setting aren’t gonna pick up the infection. Again, I think you said it to me, we did a 401H on you, they—where it came up and I don’t think it came up on every single sample because there’s 4 or 5 samples on that 401H test by BioHealth.  We’ll give them a plug because they’re a really good lab testing company.  How many samples do you—are you aware of that it came up on?

Evan Brand:  I’m not aware of the number but it was, yeah, 5 or 6 samples over a 3-day period.  So if we missed it on day 1, which if you’re doing the conventional stool test—actually, I had a—a female client last week that she actually had some really weird type of stools and so she ended up going to the hospital and getting a stool test there.  It showed up negative for everything.  So I’m waiting on her results for the same tests that I ran on myself.  I’ll be so thrilled if we find something just to prove that those conventional ones fail once again.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   And I’m finding even BioHealth, I’m teaming up with some other labs that are doing the PCR/DNA stool testing because it’s about 2 to 3,000 times more sensitive.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Now sometimes BioHealth will pick certain things up that other labs don’t.  So I’m gonna be really curious to get your DNA testing back either from DRG or GI-MAP because I think we’ll find maybe even something else there as well and here’s the real important take home, is you didn’t have a lot of the major conventional symptoms for Giardia.  So like a lot of the conventional symptoms for Giardia are gonna be like lots of diarrhea, lots of gas, lots of bloating, right?  You didn’t have a lot of those major, major symptoms.  We did see, you know, we did see the malabsorption.  I saw that more on the outside, but again a typical individual won’t make that connection because they’re not looking at your diet and how good it is.  They—they’re not gonna be able to appreciate a conventional—a conventional physician won’t be able to appreciate a Paleo diet especially with the massive changes in weight you have.  So I was able to notice that but you didn’t have a lot of those conventional Giardia symptoms and that’s why I just think it’s so important where if you have any health issues that you can’t quite put your finger on, and you’re going to a conventional doctor to think that they’re gonna be able to pick this up.  A lot of times they’re not because most people—you didn’t have violent diarrhea.  You didn’t have massive abdominal cramping.  You didn’t have excessive gas or upset stomach or massive nausea, right?

Evan Brand:  No, not really, I mean–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Not really.

Evan Brand:  That—that one day of food poisoning or whatever—whatever that was, we talked about it on a previous episode but that was the only real episode where I thought, “Wow!”  Something was up with my gut and so it’s crazy.  I didn’t wanna read in which I kind of alluded to already where you could pick this up, but you know, the Mayo Clinic, they write about how people become infected with Giardia and that’s after swallowing contaminated water that could—you know, where the Giardia parasite is found in lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, municipal water supplies, cisterns, swimming pools, water parks, and spas.  And so I almost thought about we should title this episode like the downsides of being primal or something, because I go barefoot a lot of the time–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right.

Evan Brand:  Which I read that you can get exposed to somebody’s parasites via soil, and maybe I’m not soaping myself enough, you know, I will use from Dr. Bronner`s organic soap you know on the important areas.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yes.

Evan Brand:  And maybe—maybe sometimes I wasn’t cleaning myself enough and I was taking it too far with the whole dirt is good for you, you know, going barefoot, putting my hands in the dirt, in the mud in the backyard all the time.  I could have picked something up that way, too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Absolutely and the big issue, too, is with these—with these different infections, they can be spread fecal-oral, but Giardia and crypto can also be spread via water.  So I do a lot of water skiing in Lake Austin every week so I’m—I’m gonna make sure I’m tested, you know, a couple times a year because you’re gonna get these infections two kinds of ways.  You’re gonna get it, number one, where you’re chronically stressed whether it’s physical, chemical, emotional stress accumulating and the chemical could be food allergens, gluten.  It could be blood sugar swings, skipping meals, not eating—not eating nutrient-dense foods.  It could be toxicity issues.  It could be a whole bunch of things, low stomach acid and enzymes and then that chronic stressor opens you up so when you get exposed to something, it’s able to set up shop and create basically a niche in your gut and start to proliferate more cysts and spores for other offspring.  And that’s kinda like one, where you—the chronically ill person gets exposure.  And then there’s people like you that are just—they’re healthier but they just get exposed to a large bolus of it over a period of time, maybe just all at once or maybe at multiple times throughout the week like you mentioned, like your symptoms are perfect, right?  It’s a perfect script for it, and then—boom—now it sets up shop and then you’ve been gone from Austin for over a year and you’re not quite doing that same type of thing you were in Austin but look, you got two infections now.  So more than likely the water issue was a–a big driving factor and you know, I’m gonna get myself tested like we talked about again because I do it yearly with a couple of different tests all at once and we’ll do a podcast analyzing my test results soon as well.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so looking back on what I think was definitely some of the factors that—that led me to this.  I mean, I was still working at the supplement company, directly for the CEO, super–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right.

Evan Brand:  High position, super high stress position, and then I was also running my clinic on the side at the time.  And this is when you and I were being able to—we got to hang out locally and I was just seeing clients, you know, outside of my basically 8 to 5 hours during the workday at the office and then coming home and spending more hours looking at research, looking at labs, talking with people, that low adrenal function, I had to burn myself through.  I had to burn through stage 1.  I probably had high cortisol, gave some leaky gut condition, maybe made myself more susceptible to all this stuff, made the perform storm of stressors, and maybe even lack of sleep from the stress that set me up.  Now quickly which is kinda crazy actually, even though I still tested positive for these two parasites, I was still able to put on—I’ve put on about 6 lbs since I’ve moved back.  I’ve got back in the gym, my strength’s coming back, my injury where I thought I had a hernia has healed.  And so it’s amazing to see the progress that I’ve already made just by reducing the stress and being able to have more social interaction, being back in a—a place that I call home that makes me feel comfortable.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Evan Brand:   So I’m excited to see what happens once we get these things knocked out, how my progress especially with my strength and my weight coming back will—will be.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Absolutely and also there are over 40 different kinds of Giardia.  The main one that we get exposure to as humans is Giardia lamblia and that’s the—the so-called Beaver Fever that you can get exposed to in the water.  It can also be spread fecal-orally so at some point, we’ll have to get your wife tested as well and make sure she’s treated because don’t want—we wanna make sure that vector isn’t being passed back and forth as well. 

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I looked at her fingernails.  She’s got some vertical ridges, too.  But you and I talked about off air, even if we were to get a positive results on her with the baby growing in her tummy, we can’t treat her right now anyway.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right.

Evan Brand:  So we’ll just have to wait until after the baby’s coming and—and look at it then.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely and also a big vector for Giardia, I’m gonna say it now because it just happened last month with a patient, is gonna be your pets especially dogs because dogs love to lick and there’s you know, a big article over at, right?  Dog owners and Giardia that’s a big one, but I had a patient come in and we had diagnosed her with Giardia the month before, the next month she came in and said, “By the way, my dog was having some issues, we brought him to the vet, and the vet said he had Giardia.”  And she kinda felt bad because she thought maybe that she gave the dog Giardia and I said, “Other way around, he vectored that Giardia to you.”  So for all these pet owners out there, be very careful of playing kissy-face with your—with your dogs because you know, they’re licking something else, if you know what I mean, and they’re going home and licking you and licking your face or licking your hands.  So if they’re licking your face, that’s a no-no, and if they’re licking your hands, make sure you wash it off because they can vector these parasites, and I’ve seen many people that have worked with pets and with dogs and with animals, trainers and veterinarians, and they almost always come back with Giardia and multiple other  infections.

Evan Brand:  I wouldn’t doubt it if I got it from our Shih Tzu because if I’m playing with her and she’s slobbering all over the toy, I may not go and wash my hands right after I play with the toy and then I could touch my face and maybe even touch my mouth by accident.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yes.

Evan Brand:  So who knows?  You know, Lucy, our Shih Tzu, she may have Giardia as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, it’s very possible.  I would say one, we could get her tested, but al lot of times the conventional vet tests don’t work a bit, they aren’t awesome, but it’s worth a try, or you can just do a human-based test and see what happens on that.  But number two, it may even be worth just treating your—your dog with the conventional antibiotics for that infection.  So for the Giardia, that would be like Flagyl or metronidazole.  Again, I typically don’t recommend the antibiotics for most people.  You can do it.  Some people will do it like the Flagyl or the metronidazole or Alinia or like the—the go-to antibiotics for the infections.  I like the herbs better just because of the fact that the side-effects with the antibiotics can be very, very severe and a lot of times you get the better exposure with the herbs over a longer period of time.  Because with the Giardia and other infections, the Giardia may be there but there may be a massive imbalance of other bad stuff and the herbs can kind of help knock that back down without all the side-effects. If someone wants to go the antibiotics route, then we’ll typically do antibiotics and then follow-up with herbs as well.  The only issue with dogs—it just depends.  If you can do herbs with your pet, that’s great.  A lot of times it’s difficult to do that especially every single day.  It’s easier just to do it with an antibiotic, you know knock down the vector and then come in with some good probiotics afterwards.  But again herbs for humans are gonna be my number one—number one go-to with that, and I’ve knocked out hundreds in the past.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so let’s talk about the protocol that we’re gonna start with because antibiotics are the conventional option, the go-to thing for these types of infection, but you and I talked about it and we’re like, “Let’s—let’s go herbal route.”  So we don’t have to go specifically over every single ingredient but wormwood and some of these other natural antiparasitic, antimicrobials, oil of oregano and then a—a few other supplements is gonna be the treatment protocol that I’m gonna be starting on.  Everything’s ordered, I should have everything to my door in a few days and I’m gonna be started ASAP and then for the timeline–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   I just wanna touch upon just one thing­–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Real quick. 

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   We—we didn’t quite highlight crypto yet, but crypto is another waterborne parasite but it can also be, you know, fecal-oral spread meaning some type of fecal material from whether it’s intercourse or whether it’s from poor preparations or not cleaning hands, that’s another vector these things can be spread by, but crypto is that other major parasite and again, like in the mid-90s I think it was Milwaukee, they had a major outbreak in the water supply where I think 500,000 people were infected with crypto.  I think even 4 died.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So crypto is another big one.  We’ve been giving Giardia a lot of love here, but crypto is another one that can be basically hide in the crypts.  The crypts of Lieberkühn in the intestinal tract in between the microvilli buried deep out—deep down into the intestinal wall and that’s another infection that we’re dealing with here, that typically we have to kind of separate how we treat both of them because Giardia can move and get into the bile ducts and affect fat digestion and crypto can bury deep into the intestinal tract and in between those crypts where the microvilli are close by.  So different infections, a lot of times will call for different treatments and both can be spread via water, fecal-oral, and a lot of the side-effects and symptoms may be the same, and again immuno-compromised people tend to have that, like a lot of your AIDS patients and such, but you know, you’re not in that camp, and you may just been stressed and got exposed to it, so it’s not just the super immuno-compromised that the conventional medicine people say.  It could be someone like Evan who—who is super healthy and productive, and has a lot of energy—a lot of energy, too.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, it’s amazing how much I’ve got done.  You and I were kinda laughing like how productive I’ve been despite having these two type of infections simultaneously.  So I can’t wait to see what happens as we kind of work through this protocol which the timeline that you and I have kinda discussed is about 2 months that we’re hoping we can knock these things out and retest and see what see what happens and then something on hand that I have for die-off, just some activated charcoal I ordered some of that just in case, and then I’ll be using a probiotic at night, too, just to try to help out with inflammation and then obviously I’m gonna stick with the probiotic, too.  Once I’m done through this protocol and try to just focus a little bit more on gut healing and try to repair any type of damage that’s been done.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Exactly.  And even with the cryptosporidium it’s known that cryptosporidium causes zinc issues, zinc malabsorption.  Well, let’s think about that, right?  If we have low zinc, we need zinc to make hydrochloric acid.  We need zinc to make our—especially testosterone, our hormones, it’s a really important building block for hormonal health.  So if we have that, if we have low stomach acid now because we have now low zinc, we need zinc for our immune system, right?  The zinc fingers are really important epigenetic factor for our DNA, and then we need stomach acid, we need our sex hormones, so you can see what happens here when you get an infection, the sequelae of how you tend to get sicker or symptoms get worse overtime because of malabsorption, lack of ability to break down food, low nutrients compromised immune system, compromised sex hormones, compromised ability to make more digestive secretions to break things down, different infections can hide in the bile ducts like Giardia and then create  inability to shoot out bile so now we have an inability break down fat soluble nutrients, well, there goes vitamin A, D, E, K, all your EPA, DHA fats, cholesterol, and now we have this kind of bottleneck and then we miss all of these buildings blocks to make our hormones and be really healthy.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and I would like to add one other thing to it, too.  We ran an organics and looked over that, and we were just talking about that together, too, which showed high arabinose; therefore, meaning that I have some candida issues going on on top of all of this.  So kind of a triple whammy and it’s funny because I haven’t felt that bad and now thinking back a little bit though when I went, I guess this was a couple of years ago when I was kind of geeking out on the whole pyroluria topic.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yes.

Evan Brand:  And I ran the kryptopyrrole test which showed very, very high issues where I was gonna be lacking in the zinc and the B6.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Ah, see!

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so I’m wondering if it were—what, you know, chicken or egg here.  Was it the kryptopyrrole issue first or was it the infection that led to the problems with zinc which elevated py—you know, the pyrroles.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right.

Evan Brand:  I mean, what do you think?  That’s—that’s a hard—hard thing to try to figure out.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Well, again I’m partial to these infections causing a whole host of issues.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   And the big thing I wanna hammer home is you didn’t have a lot of the conventional symptoms so anyone that’s listening to this and think, “Well, I don’t have the main conventional symptoms.  My conventional doctor said it couldn’t be this.”  Think again.  Evan is a perfect example right now and Evan is a super healthy guy and—and look what’s happening here.  We saw symptoms in and around different areas and because of the fact that, I know you mentioned like maybe some—some anxiety at—at times, it’s very possible because of the protein and stuff.  We looked on your organics, we’ll do a separate podcast on this.  We saw some lower neurotransmitters.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   I think in—in the dopamine and catecholamines side of the fence and we need hydrochloric acid and we need healthy digestion to break down protein to convert those proteins to your brain chemicals.  So it’s very possible this was driving some of the underlying, you know, slight anxiety under the surface as well. 

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and I’ve told you this, and I’ve told the listeners probably a dozen times, I’m not an anxious person–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right.

Evan Brand:  By nature.  And so that was really odd for me to have some of these feelings of panic and anxiety overwhelming me where I literally had to leave the movie theater one time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right.

Evan Brand:  Because I was having a panic episode and I tell people this all the time, it’s not you necessarily.  Like it’s not you as a person, that’s anxious.  It’s your biochemistry.  It’s your neurotransmitters.  It’s the imbalance.  It’s the overgrowth of bad guys in the gut.  It’s—these are creating a toxic situation where it doesn’t matter who you are as a person, you can get overwhelmed and that’s what happened to me is that, sort of a good guy versus the bad guy, the light versus dark, the dark started to win on me a little bit so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Really looking forward to get going with this thing and I—I can’t wait to see what you have.  I mean, because you’re in—you’re in the water probably more now than I was, so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   It’s true.  It’s true.

Evan Brand:  I can’t wait to see what’s up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   I know, I’ll be really curious, you know, healthier IgA, healthier hydrochloric acid can help because it’s like a disinfectant.  You got a dirty table, the hydrochloric acid and/or IgA can come in there and clean that table off.  In my real world analogy, that’s like using bleach, right?  You–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Pour on the bleach out or using your—your Seven Generation natural cleaner for all everyone here that’s more naturally oriented.  We’ll use that stuff, get it clean and then—boom—you got a nice table that you can eat off of, that’s kinda like your intestinal tract where you have IgA and hydrochloric acid that can basically pinch hit for that bleach in our real world analogy.

Evan Brand:  Right.  So just to finish off, I’m sure–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Evan Brand:  People are curious.  A couple other pieces to the puzzle that I’m still keeping support nutritionally, obviously keeping the diet dialed in, keeping the sleep dialed in, I—I can’t imagine if someone didn’t have all the things that I have dialed in.  How awful they would feel to have two infections at the same time?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Oh, my God.

Evan Brand:  And so I really think, and you probably agree that this is the only way that I’ve been able to stay so productive is having the lifestyle and nutrition and the stress and the adrenals and all that in check, because otherwise I’d probably be a wreck.  I don’t know.  I don’t even wanna know really.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right, right.

Evan Brand:  But I’m—I’m doing the fish oil, you know, I’m doing, you know, high potency.  I’m trying to get at least a gram per day and then also doing some enzymes, doing some HCl, a little bit of oxbow, because thinking back and I don’t think I mentioned this to you before, when I first tried to start MCT oil, I was in such severe pain.  I was rolling on the floor, you know–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Wow.

Evan Brand:  Grabbing my stomach from literally one teaspoon of MCT, and so this infection is making me—this makes me think that I was unable to digest fats because my gallbladder was impaired like you were mentioning.  So this is—it’s kinda crazy now that I’m gathering all of these pieces that I didn’t think anything of when they happened in such isolated fashion.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, well, let’s just—I know you only got a few more minutes left here, Evan.  Let’s just go into treatment real quick.  I already alluded with the Giardia, the conventional is gonna be your Flagyl or metronidazole, your typical conventional.  Some of the more functional medicine MDs or—or even people like myself sometimes we’ll use an antibiotics called Alinia, and we’ll use that as well.  But you gotta be careful, there can be a lot of side-effects and I’ve seen many people already gone through antibiotics and still have the infection.  I’ve seen it dozens and dozens and dozens of times just this week.  So the—the moral of that story is don’t think because you get the antibiotics that it’s a slam dunk and it’s gone.  Just don’t have that assumption and if you do the antibiotic route, you still wanna follow up with the herbs anyway because there’s a whole bunch of gastrointestinal imbalance that’s gonna be there and you wanna clean everything up. 

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so to be clear, we have both kind of talked about this and we’re not going antibiotic route.  Yes, technically, we’re doing some natural antiparasitic, natural antimicrobials but not the conventional antibiotics, and we’re gonna be this for about 2 months and then we’re gonna re-test and see what happens after we use some of these remedies and see what type of results we get and then hopefully when we re-test we’ll see that it’s gone and we’ve wiped it out successfully and that’ll be another one for the books.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, and we’ll just kinda list off a couple of things that we’re doing but we’re doing higher dose oil of oregano, higher dose wormwood, higher dose berberines and black walnut and grapefruit seed extract.  We’re gonna be adding in neem.  We’re gonna be adding in bittermelon, barberry, and other different families of berberines. We may even talk about adding in some silver, and then there’s a couple of other herbal blends that we’ll do because we have to open up the crypts so we can get good exposure to these antimicrobials for the cryptosporidium, so we’re kind of doing two infections at the same time which is harder but I know you’re healthy enough to handle it but these are a whole bunch of families of herbs we’re using and you gotta be careful, too, because higher doses of wormwood can be very effective but they can also raise liver enzymes so we may have to add in binding support and liver support.  So you really wanna make sure you’re working with someone that has experience.  So one, you make sure you get a therapeutic dose, and two, you have the die-off binder support so if you start having too much of these biotoxins from these infections accumulation, you could have support there and maybe even have someone monitor your liver enzymes if needed as well.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, definitely.  So obviously, we’re a little bit biased here.  But without a doubt, for your health and for your overall wellness, even if you don’t have any symptoms at all which my own symptoms were really the nails and the cold hands and the cold feet, get tested, you know, reach out to one of us.  Get tested.  Run yourself through just for general wellness.  You don’t have to be one of those people that wait—wait until you get sick or wait until you have 30 symptoms and you’re on 5 pharmaceuticals and then you get tested.  Take the proactive approach like we’ve done.  I could have been just fine.  I could have just said, “Well, it’s winter time.  It’s 20 degrees outside, hmm, I have cold hands and feet.  No big deal.”  I lost some weight, whatever, it was stress, and I could have just ignored this stuff.  But just trying to be a little bit more proactive can really save your health and really save you from, I mean, not to bring up the—the big C word but I mean from cancer and other­–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Chronic illnesses that could happen.  If I were to—what if I were to keep this infection for 20 or 30 years­?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Evan Brand:  And then finally get discovered.  I mean, oh, my Lord.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   My God.  And the big thing, too, is—oh, I think one other thing we’ll—we’ll add in.  We’ll put links so people if people wanna get access to some of the stool tests then they can at least click below, but you wanna make sure you get interpretation either someone like myself or Evan or a good functional medicine doctor that’s trained in—in what the next steps are because the big thing that you’re doing here, that we haven’t emphasized you—you mentioned it briefly, is you’re doing all the diet and lifestyle and adrenal stuff and we’re even getting you on some brain stuff as well, which is you know gonna help you go through this whole protocol without the side-effects and keep you functioning at an optimal level so you can help, you know, all the patients that you’re helping.

Evan Brand:  Right, and luckily I have a little bit more of a relaxed lifestyle where I’m at home so if I need to take it easy on myself and block out some more time then I’ll be able to do that, but the goal is to maintain productivity and a lot of people they don’t have time to—to be sick and be laid out.  So we’re trying to craft this protocol here to where I’m still being able to be on hustle mode and still work through this thing, so excited to get going and I’m really happy that we—that we could share this with you all today.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   I am, too, and this is such a clinically relevant podcast so please refer to all of your potential, you know, candidates or friends or family, anyone listening that could resonate with this, please share it out there because it’s so clinical and I think people that hear it and resonate are gonna actually be able to take direct action from this podcast and that may help bring some closure to some of the underlying chronic symptoms that may be there. 

Evan Brand:  Absolutely and just to hit—hit that drum a little bit harder one more time.  This is not a theory podcast where our goal, which I did this for a hundred episodes successfully.  We’ve hit 4 million downloads on iTunes, etc. you know, what I started with NotJustPaleo podcast was very successful and very enjoyable but it hit a certain point, and especially, you know, in our careers where we’re realizing, look we don’t have to have some random new name on the podcast every single week because what we have going with our clinics and what we’re actually doing in the trenches to me is becoming more important than having some new voice or new perspective on every week.  So I’m glad that you guys—we’re still seeing the numbers of the downloads go up significantly when Dr. J and I are doing these episodes together, so thanks for your support and thanks for really digging deep with us and not just looking for the next piece of brain candy.  We’re actually sharing the things that may get a little bit repetitive but every single person is different and for this type of scenario, for me, the practitioner to have a two parasites myself, it’s like wow!  This stuff can happen to anyone so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely, and then Evan, do I have your permission to post up your—your lab work for this test online so people can actually see that this is the real deal.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, of course.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   That’s great, and I know, we’re both running late, we both have patients because we’re in the trenches.  We’re doing it.  We’re rolling up our sleeves trying to help people get their health back, so Evan, thanks for this awesome show.  Super inspired today with your story and I know that we’re just gonna help so many more.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, well, take care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Thanks, Evan.  You, too.

Evan Brand:  Bye.

Do You Have Parasite Infection? – Podcast #24

Parasite infections are more common than we think.  The idea that these critters only thrive in third world countries is not exactly always the case.  In fact, there are also a lot of cases of parasitic infections in people in developed countries as well.  

Parasites enter the human body in different ways like consuming contaminated water, unclean food, or not properly washing hands.   These organisms live and feed off inside the human body.  When we are infected by these various critters, it can cause various symptoms that can lead to a more serious health issues.

In this episode we cover:

04:25   What Dr. Baris and Justin ate for breakfast

12:38   How parasites come in to our bodies

16:10   H. pylori and other common parasites

28:01   Lab testing methods for parasites

33:52   Common parasitic symptoms

37:31   Treatment protocols








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Baris Harvey:  Thank you guys for tuning in to another episode of Beyond Wellness Radio.  We have a great podcast for you today.  But first, make sure you go to and there you can sign up to the newsletter.  By signing up to the newsletter, you will be able to get access to all of our interviews and all of our podcasts that we have created for you way, way, way in advance.  About five episodes now, so definitely do that.  Also we would really appreciate it if you guys give us a review on ITunes.   Go into Beyond Wellness Radio and clicking on the review allows us to spread our message worldwide.  So that is awesome.  Make sure you guys also get the chance to go to that can also be found at  By doing that, you can see all of the awesome content that Dr. Justin has provided.  He talks a lot about female hormones, infections and also you will have the availability to work with him.  He works with clients around the country.  So you can schedule a free 15-minute consultation with him.  He also has a free video series.  So go ahead and sign up to the newsletter there.  Also make sure that you go to, which is my site, and you can sign up to the newsletter to be ready to receive my e-book.  So with all that being said, how is it going today, Dr. Justin?

Justin Marchegiani:  It is going great, Baris.  Actually just got back from the Bulletproof Conference last week where I was treating patients.  Gave a little talk action and I was able to play around with a lot of different bio-hacking tools.  And I am also experimenting with Unfair Advantage.  It is a new CoQ10-PQQ compound for cognitive performance and mitochondrial function.

Baris Harvey:  Oh, yes. How was that going?

Justin Marchegiani:  Pretty good.   I am just doing a little bit more research on PQQ and its effects on cognitive enhancement, on mitochondria activation and just trying to sample it out and see how we do, and see how my focus is and my mental mindset, in general.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, so is that one also has the CoQ10 in there as well?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, I think it has 20 mg of CoQ10 and 10 mg of PQQ.  And I am doing about 2 ampules of that a day so about 40 and 20.  And I just given it a try and see how I do.  And I like it; I like a lot of Bulletproof products.  It is good stuff.  Also I am shocking myself right now as we speak.  I am using one of the PRS devices from Arcway to help to kind of drive some blood flow and help reduce some inflammation from an old wrist injury where I fell and did some cartilage damage.  So I just try to biohack my way back to health.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Definitely.  And it is funny that you mentioned that I am also having some electric stimulation right now.  I have the Marc Pro device on my back.  I am almost sore on the back so just getting the blood flowing.

Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.

Baris Harvey:  Helping as well for the inflammation and yes, I mean like football is not that healthy as I like it to be.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  So if you have the ability to get your hands on any of these technologies to help with recovery that is like most of it right there, if you know what I mean?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes, it is huge.  I mean obviously the diet and the lifestyle and the sleep, there is no laser or electrifying device that is going to ever replace that.  But once you get that in place, then it is like, alright now, what is the next thing you can do?  So, I think it is safe to say Baris that today’s show will be electrifying.  What do you think?

Baris Harvey:  Oh, yes.  Definitely.

Justin Marchegiani: But before we start shocking our listeners, what did you have for breakfast?

Baris Harvey:  What I had for breakfast today was, I actually cooked up some chicken.

Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.

Baris Harvey:  Actually, I had a whole chicken but I kind of just pulled it apart.  Had some pulled chicken and had a little bit of mixed veggies left over from last night.  Had some grass-fed cheese that was just put on top of that.  Basically just steamed the veggies and I put them in the oven.  Not too hot so I put some olive oil so it was not burning it but I kind of like the flavor when I bake with it.  And then some sea salt and cheese just a little bit as I pull it out.  Yes, broccoli, cauliflower and was it carrots?  Yes, that stuff usually taste good with like salt and cheese.

Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome, nice.  This morning I did a little intermittent fasting and some coffee and butter and some MCT and I just finished up here before the show with some kielbasa and some Dijon mustard and some sauerkraut.  I do not know just Kielbasa and sauerkraut they go together like peas and carrots, man.  So good.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  It is funny because sometimes we assume like, “Oh, these fermented foods and all these stuff are so foreign to us and they are gross but there are a lot of good tasting fermented foods.

Justin Marchegiani:  Oh yes.  Absolutely, but sauerkraut is definitely a good one and if you mix it with kielbasa, I highly recommend it.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-Huh.   Yes.  And one of the easiest ways to get it in is that you get like Applegate or some other like grass-fed, like 100% beef hotdog or 100% as long as it is one meat and not mixed with all these other stuff.  And just like slice it down the middle and basically put, you know, all your toppings right inside of the hotdog and use that as the bun, yes that taste good.  Like you can just use sauerkraut if you wanted to and just put that down the middle and it tastes amazing.

Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome, very cool.  And also a cool thing about PQQ that I am just kind of discovering and reading, it also helps with mitochondria.   Your mitochondria is kind of like the powerhouse of your cell, right?

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  Produces ATP.   It is like the currency of energy in your body.  But it also helps spontaneously regenerate new mitochondria which is pretty cool.  And also it is neuroprotective which is one of these really interesting things out there, all these drugs and all these pesticides and chemicals they tend to be neurotoxic.  And it is cool if you can use various nutrients to help, will not protect you but to regrow mitochondria.  I guess that is pretty awesome.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  And like you mentioned how it stimulates new growth in the mitochondria.  A really good one to have and see it combined with the CoQ10 really often.  So, yes.  It is a kind of a new one that people are starting to see but there has been a lot of trials and then usually paired with CoQ10 because they are both involved with the mitochondrial energy production portion of the body.

Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely, I am going to be trying it because I want to push my brain to the max.

Baris Harvey:  Yes, definitely.  Sounds good.  So in today’s podcast, we are going to talk about infections.  So for people out there, we are not just talking about like getting a scab and getting it infected.  It is a bit more complicated than that.  And a lot of people do not realize that if they are having the infection that they might not be noticing the signs and the symptoms.  Sometimes there are no symptoms.  But often times I hear so often that like, “Oh parasites, like no!  That only happens when you are in like a foreign country or something like that.”

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Baris Harvey:  So, often people think like it is so taboo and impossible to happen.  But all the time, when people think that their dog is sick the first thing that they turn to is like, “Oh, does your dog have worms?”  But it is like,” I did not take them to a foreign country.”  So first off, why is there a stigma that for some reason in the US, we are immune to these parasites or we do not have them?  Why is there such a stigma?

Justin Marchegiani:  Well, first off, really great analogy with the dog because that is true.  Like a lot of people when their pets get sick they are like, “Yeah, does it have worms?”  Like that is one of the first things that is always thought of.  So yes, that makes a lot of sense into that community we are able to make that connection but in the human side of things, we are kind of a little bit disconnected, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-humm.

Justin Marchegiani:  So I think the big disconnect is with the third world country, they are more malnourished, poor water.  So there is like more immune compromised ability, if you will, right?

Baris Harvey:  Uh-huh.

Justin Marchegiani:  Definitely compromised immune system less energy.  We have that big Kwashiorkor thing which is like malnutrition.  We see the distended baby’s belly.  And it is not that they are distended because they are overweight or obese, it is because of their being malnourished.  And basically fluid is going outside of their cell and causing serious distention.  So that is one of the biggest signs of malnourishment, it is that big distended belly.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  So come the malnutrition and come the lack of good quality water and hydration and the stress of you are not having a shelter over your head that is going to really mess up your immune system.  And when we have that, again we are going to fall prey to infections.  And when we do not have good sanitation because a lot of these infections are fecal-oral meaning they come from stool, they come from your bowel movement, if you will.  And when there are poo in the streets and we do not have good plumbing, the chances of parasites are going to be super, super high.  So I think, the disconnect is, we are healthier here.  We have better immune system here and we have indoor plumbing and better sanitation and cleaner water.

Baris Harvey:  What causes infections?

Justin Marchegiani:  Well typically, we have an immune barrier that lines all of our mucous membranes.  It is called secretory IgA.  So there are a couple of different membranes, Baris.  We have IgA which is more of a mucous barrier.  We have IgM, IgG, IgE.  So IgE is going to be there more with like allergies.  IgM is like more for like acute infections.  And IgG is like kind of more of like the vaccine kind of based immunity.  Like the cells that you are going to make, the longer term memory cells for your immune system.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-huh.

Justin Marchegiani:  So when we are looking at like parasites and immune function, IgA is a big one and with chronic stress, right?  And stress comes in three major forms: physical, chemical and emotional.  When those are out of balance like too much, too little exercise, trauma, old injuries, for the physical side.  The emotional side: family, friends, finances, religion, spouse and all that from the emotional side.  And then also the most important, I think, because it is the most insidious, is the chemical stress.  Because let us say, you have a whole bunch of symptoms and it is coming from infection and you do not know it is an infection.  Well, that is going to be stressing you out just not knowing.  So a lot of the chemical stressors like blood sugar and infections, adrenal fatigue and nutrient deficiencies and poor digestion, you may not notice that unless you are really seeing a good functional medicine doctor to get really assessed.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-Huh.   Definitely.  Makes a lot of sense.  And when we look at these stressors.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  And that is what is basically bringing down our immune system and making us susceptible.  Is it just that?  Or maybe we ate spoiled food.  Like I know, there is that portion of our immune system getting weakened.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  What are the other factors that are going to be introduced to actually be the cause?  So that is kind of be like the guard and our security.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Is it on guard basically, right?

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Baris Harvey:  They are tired.  We stress them out.  We have been working 24‑hour shifts and all of a sudden they fall asleep.  Now they are off guard.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Now who are these parasites?  How did they get introduced into our bodies?

Justin Marchegiani:  So we have basically the whole IgA mechanism that I talked about.  That is like our mucosal barrier.  That is like in Star Trek, when the force fields are down, right?  That is where they cling on to come and attack, if you will.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  And again with chronic stress, our IgA or our force fields are going to be down and we are more likely open to attack.  So we have the chronic stressors that allow us to be open for attack.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-huh.

Justin Marchegiani:  And if we go and we get exposed to bad food or some bad water or someone is preparing food in a way that their hands are unwashed or in a foreign country when we are getting exposed to maybe a certain bacteria in food that we are not used to, that can be enough to trigger it.  So we have like the chronic side of things, where we are chronically getting beaten down.  There are a lot of stress in our life.  It is compromising that barrier system, that IgA.  It is lowering our force fields and then we are open to attack.   That is kind of like the first step.  And then we have the second step; we just get exposed to a whole bunch of parasitic antigen.  So antigen is like the piece of the parasite.   So obviously it is dose dependent.  The more of an infection we get exposed to the more our barrier and body and our immune system has to deal with it.  So small amounts, if we are in good shape, we may be able to handle it.  Larger amounts maybe a lot harder.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  So when I was in Mexico earlier this year, I got a parasite infection.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  And it was really bad.  I did not even have time to test it because everything that was coming out of me, let us just say, it was liquid and it was not good.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  So I did not have time to do a test.  Not to mention doing a test without solid stool is very difficult to do.  So I just treated myself with a good general antimicrobial parasitic program and then within 6 hours my stool went from pure liquid to solid.  Like flipping a switch, it was like, whoa!  Like herbs are very powerful.  And if you are using them in the right dose they can really knock out infections.  And I guess we will come back to this at the end of how to treat these things.  Yes, because I never had experienced the parasite infection from that acute perspective myself.  So that was like an acute infection and I treated it right away and it was amazing the results.  But I see so many patients in my practice that they never put two and two together.  And they are walking around with chronic symptoms that may not even be gut related.  They may be.  They have poor digestion, and IBS and Crohn’s, reflux and bloating and gas.  But a lot of them may have other things, too.  Like joint pain and fatigue and thyroid issues and depression.  And they never ever make the connection because we live in a symptom-based model where symptom-drug, symptom-drug. The problem is you always want to trace symptoms back to the systems that are broken.  And if we have infections and that is affecting our GI system, well, if our GI system is out of balance a whole host of symptoms can occur from that.  So we only look at symptoms as a means to trace them back to the systems that are out of whack.  And again it is not this linear A equals be B symptom.  Oh, if it is bloating or gas it has to be GI.  It could be fatigue.  It could be depression.  It could be so many other symptoms that we call our extra intestinal.  They are outside of the intestinal tract.  And we may never make that connection.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  We do not have to wait until we develop ulcers.

Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Baris Harvey:  Right.  So what are some of the common infections that you see in your practice?

Justin Marchegiani:  One of the most common infections is H. pylori.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-humm.

Justin Marchegiani:  H. pylori is a big one.  And that is one of the infections that Dr. Marshall, I think he was either from New Zealand or Australia.  But he won the Nobel Prize for Medicine about 20 years ago or maybe it was even more recent than that.  But anyway, he was trying to conduct studies and he could not get the funding for the studies so he gave the infection to himself.  And he had himself scoped.  And he basically developed the connection that H. pylori causes ulcerations in the stomach.  So that was really important.  Also connecting the fact of increased stomach cancer risk in H. pylori.  So that was prolific that he was able to make that connection and he won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in that particular year for that innovation.  So that was cool.  Now I see H. pylori in a lot of my patients.  And H. pylori is like the common one that causes ulcerations.  So we think high amounts of acid, right?  It is causing high acid.  But H. pylori is one of these critters that actually causes low stomach acid.  And because of the low stomach acid food sits inside of you.  It putrefies or rancidifies and ferments and basically rots.  And organic acids from the rotting rise up and burn the esophagus.  So, as of that we are having malnutrition, we are not absorbing food, and we have low stomach acids so we are not able to sterilize our intestinal tract or at least the stomach.  So then we open up to so many more infections.  And I cannot tell you the study showing that with H. pylori infection, that messes up stomach acid.  A constellation of symptoms from one study can occur from just that one infection.  And because it affects digestion and nutrient absorption and basically HCl is one of our other barriers that we are able to overcome things.  It is kind of like sterilizing.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-hum.

Justin Marchegiani:  So when our HCl is down, it is another barrier that our body has that can, if it is down can open us up to even more infections.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  And you know it is funny too, back to the commonality of something like H. pylori, we mentioned that there is this belief that we are not going to get infections such as this.  They are not common.

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Baris Harvey:  But according to, and this is a reputable source and not just some hippie blog but according to the CDC, right?  This is Approximately two thirds of the world’s population is infected with H. pylori.  Now that is a lot of people.

Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  And the question is who is symptomatic?  And you may have that parasite and your immune system is able to overcome it.  And once that stress accumulates, you may start having symptoms.  But again it can go both ways.  It could be the immune system is compromised and then you get it.  It could be you have it but not a big deal because your immune system is kind of keeping it in line.  And then you get stressed and then the symptoms occur.  So kind of happens both ways.  And I agree.  It is definitely a problem.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Another thing that you noticed with those people that have stomach problems, there may be some reflux problems and they often are on medications for a long time.  Or they are on proton pump inhibitor or these H2 blockers or something that they are taking.  And maybe they have some temporary relief.  But that is not going to be taking away the infection, right?   Like what are we supposed to be doing about this?

Justin Marchegiani:  So if we have chronic infections like this, proton pump inhibitors like Nexium, omeprazole, Prilosec they are just treating the symptoms.  Because when we have infection the first thing that happens is infections can throw our body into a fight or flight state.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-huh.

Justin Marchegiani:  That is when our sympathetic nervous system is activated.  What tends to happen is blood goes to the extremities, arms and legs to fight and flee, right?  It does that so we can mobilize glucose, right?  Cortisol and adrenalin that helps mobilize glucose so we have the fuel so we can fight and flee.  Now the problem with this is that we are constantly stimulating the fight or flight nervous system.  Digestion is a parasympathetic response, meaning the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system fires.  And that drives blood into the center of the body.  Why?  Because we need that good blood flow, and we need that parasympathetic response so we can produce enzymes and digestive secretion and HCl.  So if we are constantly in this fight or flight state, and let us say that fight or flight state because of an infection, well, we are going to be just set up to not produce, not stimulate the enzymes, not produce the acids.  And then all of that are the dominoes for healthy digestion.  So healthy digestion works like this, parasympathetic nervous system response we stimulate HCl where we have to be well-hydrated and have enough zinc in helping nutrients in our bodies.  Zinc is really important as well as enough chloride.  Because chloride is another part of the HCl molecule.  That parasympathetic response allows us to produce HCl.  HCl activates pepsinogen to pepsin which is our active proteolytic or protein digestion enzymes.  So in the stomach, we are primarily digesting protein.  Protein gets digested and it lowers the pH.  So the ground up predigested food in our stomach known as chyme.  And we want that to be nice and low because when that chyme gets released from the stomach into the small intestine, that acidity triggers our pancreas to produce lipase, trypsin and chymotrypsin, these enzymes that breakdown fat and protein.  And it also triggers our gallbladder to produce bile salts which helps breakdown fat and it also helps with hormone metabolism.  So you can see how a parasite infection can cause estrogen dominance and hormone issues and can lead to malabsorption stuff.  So I let you kind of break that down just to make sure everyone has got their head around that.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  So basically we want to make sure that we are supporting our body entirely just because, like I do not know but you probably mentioned this several times.  I do not know whether we have mentioned this on the show.  But it is actually hard to see where H. pylori actually comes from.  And we know that it is either fecal-oral or maybe even oral-oral routes where it is transported.  So the main thing is to make sure that we are supporting our body, its defense mechanisms.  Making sure our bodies rehydrated, having enough HCl.  So that way all of our defense mechanisms always kind of peaked out.  So that way, in case we do come across something like this, our body can knock it out.  So that way we do not have to be on drugs all the time.

Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  And a lot of people especially in the Biohacking community are looking for optimum performance.  And the infection connection is so strong.  I just pulled up one study here.  And this is looking at children in various foreign countries.  And what they were looking at is helminthes.  So helminthes are worms, like tapeworms or roundworms.  And what they found was that people that have these parasitic infections combined with nutritional deficiencies had severe or had a strong association with cognitive impairments, independent of their education.  So again, memory tasks were given and they found poor performance associated with parasite status. But no association was observed with educational attainment or memory function.  So the study also examined various ways of assessing parasite load and kind of indexed those.  But again basically the results provide evidence that parasitic infection and attention process.  And again we talked about stress of an infection, where does it drive the blood?  Outward towards the extremities. So what that does is activate the sympathetics.  If the sympathetics are activated the parasympathetics cannot be activated because they are on a see-saw.  Parasympathetics are needed for digestion.  If we are not digesting, we are going to have nutritional impairments.  So having a chronic parasitic infection and having nutritional issues I am going to submit that they are cut from the same cloth.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  What are some of the other infections that you also see that are common?

Justin Marchegiani:  So H. pylori is a big one.  And let me just touch upon that real quick.  There are about five or six ways to test for it.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  So you have to test all five or six ways.  I think at the end, bring that question out to me at the end and we will breakdown the various testing methods, okay?

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  So I am also going to send you over that study, too.  And we will put that on the show notes because I think that will be good for the listeners.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-huh.

Justin Marchegiani:  So regarding other parasites, again other gut parasites such as Blastocystis hominis is a big one.  Giardia.  Cryptosporidium.  Various amoeba infections like Diantamoeba fragilis.  Entamoeba coli.  One of the biggest ones, one of the biggest killers in the world is actually Entamoeba hystolytica.  When you break it down it stands for “histo-” means cell and “-lytic” means cut.  So it is cell cutting.  That is pretty scary especially when it can travel up into your gallbladder or go out of your intestinal tract into your brain.  That is a big one.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  So those are intestinal parasites right there, for instance.  But they can go outside.  And you can add worms to that list.  Enterobius vermicularis, roundworms, pinworms, tapeworms.  Again those can all cause problems.  Again eat your nutrition, cause stress.  But they also produce biotoxins which are like the chemicals that these little critters, that they spit out.  Whether it is from defecation, they can poison your body.  So bacteria produces endotoxins.  Endotoxin is bacteria.  Mycotoxins from fungus.  SIBO and can produce lithocholic acid which is toxic and can unconjugate bile. Meaning it can unwind lots of metabolized hormone which can throw off your hormones.  So again, parasite infections can cause PMS and hormone imbalance.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  So I am seeing that a lot of these infections they often really easily be spread and kind of the best thing to do is to wash your hands and make sure you are washing your food.  But in a lake and you accidentally swallowed some water or if the person who used the public bathroom before you did not wash their hands when they walked out and grabbed the door knob and you did and you did not notice.  A lot of these things can be passing infections in a real subtle way.  So like you mentioned, there is kind of this idea that like, “Oh, I do not have Crypto.  I do not have H. pylori or Giardia.”

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Baris Harvey:  Unless it is like we have diarrhea for like five days in a row then it is like, “Oh, wait something is wrong.”

Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Baris Harvey:  But like you mentioned, often times they can kind of be hidden and have these small chronic like, chronic basically stressing our bodies out. And in such a small way that it is taking away from our adrenals.  And we are using a lot of energy to produce all of these fight or flight responses without noticing it too much on a day to day basis where it just keeps getting worse and worse and worse and worse.  So like you mentioned before, what are ways that we can test for some of these different infections?

Justin Marchegiani:  So we can always test via the stools.   Stools are a good way because we can actually see the antigen.  We can see a piece of the infection.  Now not all stool testing is created equal.  There is like three different companies that I primarily rely on for accurate stools testing.  One being BioHealth Diagnostics.  They are a good one.  They run a 401H panel.  Genova formerly Metametrix.  You can run a 2200 or 2205, they just updated the panel as of September 3rd 2014.  So I just maybe ran about fifteen of these new tests.  So I will be getting some results back soon.  But it seems to be more sensitive because they are looking at stool antigen as well as PCR which is polymerase chain reaction where you are looking at pieces of DNA as well so a little more sensitive.  Doctor’s Data has a really nice 3-day panel and then Diagnos-Techs has a nice salivary IgA antibody panel looking at worms and amoeba.  So I have a couple of tools in my tool bag to assess these infections.  And then also looking at the blood can be helpful especially for H. pylori.  I have diagnosed so many patients with H. pylori issues that do not show up on the stool.  So I find that doing a blood test for H. pylori is a must if we have some of the chronic gut issues just to make sure we rule it out.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-huh.

Justin Marchegiani:  Those can be good things off the bat.  Also one level deep will be Lyme disease.  And in Lyme, we are looking at Borrelia burgdorferi and there are a couple different ways we can look at that.  We can look at our standard western blot testing where we are looking at the various different bands, IgG and IgM.  Now when we look at Lyme, we are looking for 5 IgG or 2 IgM for diagnosis.  Or we can have a more sensitive criteria where we are looking at 3 IgG and 1 IgM.  That is a big mouthful.  Again, Lyme is really controversial because there are other labs like Igenex or Medical Diagnostic Laboratories that will look at other bands not tested on a conventional western blot.  And those are ways where we can find other infections.  And when we have Lyme for the most part, we also have other co-infections potentially like Rickettsia, ehrlichia, babesia or bartonella.  Various protozoa attach to the Lyme as well.  So again, there are a lot of things we can look at.  The blood and stool are usually your go-to.  And then again, we also have breath testing for H. pylori and/or for SIBO or small intestinal bacteria overgrowth.  I did not really even mentioned candida as well.  Candida is good.  Sometimes candida is really hard to pick up on stool testing.  Again some companies do it.  But when we look at candida, it is very rare that candida is causing a major problem just by itself.  It tends to be candida and something else.  Candida and a parasite and the H. pylori and SIBO.  And when we look at candida, you know it is really important looking at a person’s history.  Because stool testing or antibody testing may not be enough.  We may have to look at fingernails.  What is your history of yeast infections?  What is your history of dandruff like?  Any yellow toenails or fingernails?  Any rashes at all?  So things like that, doing a really good history can also help detect things.  And if we are seeing malnutrition, well, I am going to automatically think parasites because that can affect absorption.   So I will let you break that down for a second, Baris.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.   Definitely.  One thing that I noticed that you just mentioned right there which I think is so funny because it is common but it does not mean it is normal kind of thing, is the yellow toenails or any kind of fungus that we are seeing happening.  And we often do not look at that much deeper.  But yes, definitely something that is important that you mentioned is making sure that you get a lab panel done.  And for H. pylori especially, the blood panel because it can definitely do a better job in ruling it out.  But sometimes you might have to do two different lab tests.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Because guess what?  Your poop is going to be different from day to day.

Justin Marchegiani:  I want to just add one thing here just so while we are in the lab stuff.  If anyone is having a hard time getting a hold of a good lab testing, feel free to go into, click on the side where it says lab testing and then all my stool tests are up there.  So if you need access to good stool testing feel free and you can get access right up there as well.  And again, you can also reach out to me and I can definitely order some blood work and/or stool testing for you.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Definitely. So one thing I think we briefly mentioned it but going about these that these are more common than may be people probably thought.  Before we get into some of the ways that we can treat these things, what are just some of, I guess, key things to look out for?  Because it seems like there might even be kind of a general protocol.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Because you do want to test, just like we had an interview with Steve Wright and we talked about every year he spends two, three, four thousand dollars on testings to make sure because that is part of his investment.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  His health, being well-performing human being.

Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Baris Harvey:  So we should be doing that, too.  I know some people might not have that money but they might want to do like every year adding some type of cleanse or protocol or some kind of general thing to make sure that, “Hey, it might not be a very strong infection but maybe I have an infection and it is best if that can be wiped out.”  So what are some common symptoms that we might be detecting?  Whether that be weight gain or chronic fatigue.  What are these symptoms that we might not be noticing but are common?

Justin Marchegiani:  Alright.  Here are some good ones.  You grind your teeth at night when you sleep.  You wake up with that tight jaw.  You have that grinding of your teeth.  I know that that was a symptom that my fiancée would always complain about, “You are grinding your teeth.”  I am like, “Oh, I got parasites, it is not my fault.”

Baris Harvey:  (Laughs)

Justin Marchegiani:  And again why does that happen?  So let us go one step deeper.  Parasites are active at night.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  So again they are creating stress.  And they are having fun.  And they are doing their thing, having sex, partying inside your body.  Kind of sounds gross but it is what is happening.  The joke in graduates school is where the parasites party, I am going to ask you that.  Do you know?

Baris Harvey:  Where do parasites party?

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  Your gut, in your intestines?

Justin Marchegiani:  No, they party at Club-Siella.

Baris Harvey:  Ohh.. (Laughs)

Justin Marchegiani:  (Laughs) I know it is terrible.  It is really Klebsiella, it is a parasite infection, it is a bacteria.  Again that is a nerdy humor for you.  But again grinding your teeth is a big one.  And the reason why is because of the inflammation that is happening at night that is putting your body into a sympathetic nervous system state, right?  Think about it, when you are really tense you may even like close your mouth shut.  If it is really cold you may start shivering, right?  So, that can happen there.  Achy joints, skin issues.  Obviously there is like inexplicable reason why you are so tired.  Like I am sleeping so much, I am supporting myself, I am tired.  Why?  Not feeling satisfied or satiated after your meals.  Again, if you are at the table and another person sitting right next to you is stealing off from your plate, well it is pretty obvious why you are still hungry.  But if someone inside of you is doing it, you may not be aware of it.  So feeling like relieved not satisfied after the meals.  Being diagnosed with an anemia like this could be B12, like B vitamin based like B6, B12, B9.  These are called megaloblastic anemia.  And also microcytic anemia like iron, being low iron.  Now let see, trouble falling asleep.  Waking up in the middle of the night.  Having history of food poisoning, like an acute history. Like going to Mexico and coming back, right?  Travelling internationally, that is a big one.  And also unexplained constipation, diarrhea and/or symptoms of IBS.  It is a good little shortlist if you are having any of these issues you could definitely be motivated to run some stool testing.  The analogy I give is, imagine pulling out of your garage or parking spot, ever feel like ever drive away like with the e‑break on a little bit.  You ever feel that feeling like, ahh! It is not quite moving like I do, I am not getting momentum like I do,” and then you look down and you are like, “Oh, my e-break is on.”  And let go and you are like, “whoa!  Alright, this is cool.”  And that same analogy I have given hundreds of times to patients that is kind of how we are with our health.  We could be paleo, AIP, doing good with sleep and stress and meditating and exercising.  And then it is like we have this infection and it is like we are walking around with the e-break on.  We get rid of the infection it is like, “Whoa!  Okay.”  Skipping my step.  And again like the study I showed you with cognitive performance, it is like, “Oh, I can focus a little better, I have better attention, better memory.”   So that is a pretty cool benefit from just getting rid of these lingering infections.  Again, the infection connection is quite prolific.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.   Definitely.  So, next will be what are some of the protocols that we can use?  I know there are some conventional treatments as well if you got a test and you went to your normal western practitioner and you are probably given some type of antibiotics.  Then there are also some natural treatments.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes one, on a scale of 0-10, like 0 like you are in the grave, so let us start with one.  One, you are like bed-ridden no energy.  10 you just feel amazing.  So if you are under a 6 or 7, I recommend strongly that you work with a health practitioner.  I think everyone should.  But under a 6 or 7, I recommend you work with someone.  Because treating an infection without having foundation in your hormones and your diet, you are more than likely going to get re-infected.  I find getting rid of the infections sometimes can actually cause more symptoms than the infection was causing before it was even addressed.  So we want to make sure, if there is adrenal fatigue, if there is digestive malabsorption, if there is diet and lifestyle issues that are going on, if they over exercise, if there is hypothyroidism stuff, we want to make sure that a lot of those hormonal issues are addressed so there is a foundation for the hormones, for the body to lean against.   And again the hormones help control stress.  The sympathetic nervous system response like I talked about that is mediated by our adrenal glands.  And our adrenals and thyroid are intimately connected.  So if you have adrenal and thyroid problems we are going to have a hard time maintaining healthy nervous system functions.   We want to do that before we really get to the infection.  Now again, there are some herbs that you can try.  Again, my main foundational herb that I am starting with whenever I deal with an infection is Artemisia.  And Artemisia is a really awesome herb.  It is otherwise known as wormwood, sweet wormwood, annua.  These are really powerful herb.  It has been used for tens of thousands of years.  Now I use very high doses of this herb.  Upwards of 3 gram.   I do not recommend someone doing this without being under a care of a doctor because again you can have an elevated liver enzymes, ALT, AST.  So you want to be monitored and you want to make sure the right protocol is being followed by stabilizing the adrenals, diet, lifestyle and nutritional deficiencies.  All of those things leading up to that before you do it because it can cause more problems than you may be able to deal with.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Definitely.  I just want to ask the exact product name?

Justin Marchegiani:  There are two different ones out there.  I mean using higher end.  Higher end companies are going to be the way to go like Thorne or Allergy Research Group that is really using the right amounts is very important.  And then also combining it, like for instance, wormwood is more powerful when you use with licorice.  Now, not a lot of people know that.  So if you have someone on the adrenal program and they would really thrive using the right licorice while they are on an adrenal program, while they are being supported with the wormwood can also be very helpful.  But it cannot if you have higher blood pressure, licorice maybe contraindicated.  So there are a lot of variables going on.  And if you are chronically ill, monitoring liver enzymes via blood work maybe a good thing.  So again, we have wormwood, we have various Berberine such as Berberine HCl, Oregon grape, goldenseal.  We have black walnut and we have burdock root.  Again, we have oil of oregano, we have colloidal silver.  And then again depending on the infection, I tend to vary the herbs according to the infection.  Like for instance, I got a bartonella infection last month.  So bartonella henselae is commonly caused by cat scratch fever.  You can also get it from ticks to.  With bartonella my hands swelled up really big.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  And I used a combination of neem, morinda or noni and silver along with some cordyceps and it worked phenomenal.  It worked awesome and in three days my infection was gone.  And my hand was swollen.  I got to do a video on that because people just would not believe it.  I had literally purchased antibiotics and I had them like on my office desk.  I am like looking at them like, “Alright, I trust this natural medicine,” and I have been doing it for ten years.  I believe the herbs work and I have seen it hundreds of times.  This stuff is legit.  But I still had it because you know when you start seeing things get really bad, you want a backup plan.  You want an escape route.  And I had them there and never had to use them.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-Huh.  Definitely.

Justin Marchegiani:  So again, one, enough of the herbs is really important. Most people do not use the herbs long enough.  And it is really hard.  I am not going to give out protocols here because it really needs to be on an individual basis and needs to be worked with, again you know, a functional medicine practitioner so it is specific to you.  Because side effects can be nasty.  And also, using things like ginger or chamomile or peppermint, these things can be very helpful for lymphatic drainage from the infection because we are just pulling all these dead soldiers, if you will.  Like the dead soldiers meaning the dead parasites in the battlefield, the battlefield being your gut.  And your lymphatic system and your immune system and your detoxification system, they are like medics trying to pull these soldiers off the field, in our gut.  We have to process these parasites.

Baris Harvey:  Uh-huh.  Definitely.  I notice one thing that sometimes when people try to deal with themselves they are not introducing a biofilm disturber or biofilm buster and that sometimes can be the key because a lot of times these microorganisms, these infections are encapsulated.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  And it is like in exoproteins and they are basically protected.  And sometimes you need something like a biofilm disturber to break that down.  Can you talk quickly about like…

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Baris Harvey:  I know like myself I have used like interface.  But tell me something about like why that might be important?

Justin Marchegiani:  Have you watched the movie 300 hours?  See all of these Spartans they are fighting, right?  One of the big things they have is that shield in front of them.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.

Justin Marchegiani:  And then they are able to kind of poke up their spear in between.  But that shield is like a biofilm.  And again, these critters use the biofilms as a way to decrease exposure to some of these antimicrobial medicines.  So again, things like ginger can be very helpful.  Things like licorice can be helpful.   Andrographis.  Eleuthero.  These are natural biofilm busters.  Interface plus these enzyme products with various enzymes and EDTA which is the chelation agent.  And I typically will use this during probiotic phase because it is not as antimicrobial.  And I will use that to break up biofilms in people to have more gut symptoms.  So it is really specific.  Sometimes just the adrenal support and some ginger and that can be enough.  Other people need a little more.  So it really is on a case by case basis.  But the more virulent your gut is definitely getting some biofilm busters, a good simple one will be ginger off the bat.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Awesome.  Sounds good.  With that being said we want to make sure that people go to  Make sure you click the link to go to  When it comes to these situations like you said if you are someone who feels just fine maybe you can do a general protocol.  I know you have one on your site that is just something simple.  You know it is the New Year and you want to just make sure you clean everything up.  But if you feel like you are having some of these symptoms, make sure you work with somebody like Dr. Justin and really take a lab test.  That way you can identify what you have so you can fix the problem.  You can get a free 15-minute consultation to see if this is for you.  So make sure you go to and redirect yourself to justinhealth and get that 15‑minute consultation.

Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.  That is a great point, Baris.  And I also wanted to touch upon the good parts of parasites, the so-called good parts.  So there are parasites effects on more of the TH1 branch of the immune system.  So to keep it really simple, we have two major branches: the TH1, TH2.  So the TH2 is going to be more of the antibody side.  We are going to see that with like food allergens and autoimmune conditions because our bodies are producing antibodies that are potentially destroying our tissue.  And then the TH1 is more like the natural killer side.  So our TH1 is more active in parasite infections. TH2 with autoimmune conditions.  So for instance, I will pull up a study here and the study is looking at the impact of the parasite infection on MS.  And what they found was parasite infections associated to MS indicate that parasite infection can actually regulate the host and can alter the course of immunity in MS.  Meaning they found that when the parasites were treated in MS, it actually caused more MS activity on MRI.  So there was like more brain lesions.  And some of these is actually, the supposition of the underlying reasons why is because the infections are shifting the immune system.  So in certain autistic kids, they are also finding that potentially giving them worms can be helpful because it is shifting the immune system.  If they are TH dominant and then you give this infection that is now driving the TH1 part of the immune system. Well, there you go and then you can balance things out a little bit.  Like that is the reason why they find that so many people in the third world countries are so prone to viral issues like they are so much more sensitive to viruses.  It is because their TH1 immune system is so ramped up from infections that now they are actually weaker when it comes to viruses.  So I think of that as more symptomatic approach.  It is not really getting to the underlying cause of the stress, pulling the stress off the immune system.  It is not getting to the underlying cause of nutrition, malabsorption and toxicity.  So, there can be room for that I think but at the same time I think if you have an infection you are probably better off getting rid of it and getting the nutrition and the digestion back on track because we know these infections cause malabsorption, too.  So that is not good for your immune system either.  So, it is like, which one is it?  There is a study out there looking at H. pylori infections and Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune thyroid conditions.  And they find that after age 2 or 3 these infections are going to be negative.  Meaning when we get rid of the infection we actually see a reduction in thyroid antibodies which is quite interesting.  Again, off the bat, getting your kid exposed to dirt in the beginning can be really helpful for colonizing flora and getting your memory B cells out and getting your immune system robust.  But then after age 3 or 4, then it is like, well, maybe getting exposed to all these crap is not as good for the immune system.  So it is like there are some good stuff out there, some bad stuff out there.  And again, it is hard to make head and tails of it but that kind of gives you a good general idea of some of the pros of what these infections could be good and my kind of side of why I think they are not the best.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Definitely.

Justin Marchegiani:  Now, I think if anyone is on the fence and they think they have a health issue and they have a lot of things already.  I think the next stone to overturn has to be the infection.  So feel free to take action.  Again these infections do not go away unless you do something.  You can reach out to my site and I kind of already talked about how to get the lab work.  And again anything you want to add, Baris?

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  They are just not going to walk out of your body.  You are feeding them.  You are giving them free food and they want to stay there and can continue on.  So make sure that you invest in yourself and find a way to figure out what is going on in your body and do these tests if you have the ability to.

Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  And do not expect your classically trained medical doctor to be aware of these things.  Again the dogma is it is typically third world stuff and I have already kind of explained the background of that in the beginning.  So just understand that to begin with.  So you are not going there and try to get some real info.  But again, Louise Gittleman’s book, “Guess what came to dinner?”, Paul Chek has done a program in parasite infections.  Again if you study the work of Dr. Dan Kalish and Dr. William Timmins, it has got some great work on parasite infections.  And studying from various doctors, I have been able to get my knowledge dialed in regarding how to get rid of these infections.  So, I hope that gives everyone some good information off the bat.

Baris Harvey:  Yes.  Definitely.  Thank you guys for listening again and remember to go to and hop on the newsletter.  You will be the first to access all these podcasts before anybody else does.  So thank you guys again.



How to Treat Gut Infections: Antibiotics or Natural Herbs?

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Gut infections are common, and they can prohibit healing and cause a leaky gut. They must be treated to keep the body healthy, but are antibiotics the right choice for you? For some serious infections, antibiotics might be a good choice, but there are deleterious side effects.

herbal antibiotics

Let’s explore why antibiotics have side effects; why antimicrobial, or natural, medicines may be a better choice. And also, what the benefits are of natural medicines.

Antibiotics Pros & Cons

Antibiotics are one of the true miracles of the twentieth century. The invention of penicillin and other antibiotics over the last 50-75 years have saved thousands if not millions of lives!

We live in a world today where antibiotics are handed out like candy, and as a result our gut biome and our health are finally paying for it. Most conventionally trained physicians are still not recommending a round of probiotics after an antibiotic treatment. In my professional opinion, this is an absolute must if antibiotics are ever to be used.

There is a phenomenon known as antibiotics resistance where we are creating superbugs from excessive antibiotic use. I saw a patient just last week who over a 10-year period was given over 100 prescriptions!

This excess antibiotic use causes rebound overgrowth in the digestive tract, essentially causing the bad or sometimes pathogenic bacteria to proliferate. As a result, it will take up most of the space in our GI tract.

antibiotic resistance

If you use the garden analogy for our gut bacteria, everyone knows it takes virtually no effort for weeds to grow, yet, it takes good eating habits, stress reduction, and sometimes supplements to keep the good bacteria predominating. In the garden analogy, the healthy plants or vegetables growing.

When to take Antibiotics?

The bad bacteria in our gut can produce toxins and make it harder for us to absorb nutrients from food. In acute serious infections, antibiotics may be the right choice. With these chronic everyday situations, herbal medicines have a longer and safer track record and tend to be more selective to the bad bugs without causing as many side effects.

I was in a serious situation this last summer with a hand infection from a cat scratch and I was very close to using an antibiotic to treat the infection. I actually had the prescription in my possession, yet after 3 days of natural herbs, the infection resolved. If the infection hadn’t started resolving so soon, I would have had no hesitation to use the prescribed antibiotic.

What Are Efflux Pumps?

Bacteria or infections have a phenomenon known as efflux pumps. The antibiotic enters the cell, where it is metabolized. The efflux pumps then force the antibiotic out of the cell and into the extracellular space or back into the gut.

Imagine you’re in a canoe on a river, and the canoe has a hole in it. The canoe starts taking in water. Your natural response would be to grab a bucket and start bailing water from the canoe.

Efflux pumps are very similar to the bucket. The bucket takes the water that shouldn’t be in the canoe and bails it back into the river.

The same thing happens with the bacteria. That bacteria wants to thrive, and it knows the antibiotic isn’t good for it, so it takes the antibiotic. Just like you’d bail water from your canoe, the bacterial will shoot it’s way back into the intestinal track where it thinks it belongs.

efflux pumps

Our goal, however, is to kill the bacteria, so we must inhibit the efflux pumps. If we inhibit the efflux pumps, the bacteria will retain the drug or the antimicrobial, which will procure its demise. If the canoe is analogous to the bacteria, we want the canoe to take on water faster. So knocking out the person with the bucket (the analogous efflux pump) is the goal.

Do you think you have an infection, click here!

How Can We Block the Efflux Pump?

When we create protocols to knock out these infections, how to block the efflux pump is the question that is first and foremost in mind. There is a family of herbs called berberines, and it includes the following:

• Goldenseal
• Oregon grape
• Barberry

These herbs have efflux-inhibiting properties. They have been used in cancer medications, infection-treatment plans, and other treatments. They actually block the function of the efflux pumps.

If you’re going to use an antibiotic, at least use it with a gram of goldenseal to block the efflux pump. This will prevent the bacteria from shooting the antibiotic back out into the extracellular space or the gut.

However, a better choice, which may give a far superior result, could be to take a combination of berberines and other herbs. This is especially effective if you are in relatively good health and making good dietary changes. This healthier lifestyle will boost the immune system, giving you a better chance of responding to the herbs.


What Are Natural Ways to Address Gut Infections?

  •  Local killer: Goldenseal is one local killer that will target the area of the infection.
  •  Systemic killer: Artemisia or wormwood are systemic killers that will get in the blood and target the whole system.
  • Infection-specific killer: Herbal cocktails are created specifically to fight a certain infection. If you have a virus, we may use silver; If you have a Lyme disease coinfection, we may use neem or noni; And if you have a gut-bacteria issue, we may use oil of oregano.

There is an excellent synergistic effect when combining local and systemic killers—wormwood and Artemisia combined with goldenseal. The goldenseal makes the Artemisia stronger.

The Viscous Cycle of Infections:

Most people with a chronic unaddressed infection are kept trapped in a viscous cycle of a weakened immune system, nutrient malabsorption, and a leaky gut.

Our body needs nutrients to run its energy systems, and we derive those nutrients primarily from food. With a chronic leaky gut due to infections, we are assured to develop food allergens to even so-called healthy foods, like broccoli and beef. Thus, our diet becomes more restrictive as the root cause to many of these gut issues gets commonly missed.

With the additional stress to our digestive system, we also lose the ability to make adequate levels of enzymes and HCL. These compounds help break our food down, but they also help kill potential foreign invaders in our food, like bacteria and parasites.

As you can see, it’s common for people, over the years, to collect their gut infections like souvenirs on their mantle. The more gut bugs or infections you have, typically the longer it takes to recover.

If you want to break the viscous cycle of gut infections, click here!

gut infections cycle


Efflux pumps are the real problem, and that’s why a lot of antibiotics have side effects. The protocol for most antibiotics is only about 10–14 days. With a natural antimicrobial program, the protocol can be 60–90 days, allowing us to slowly break down the whole efflux pump system.

Natural programs include using specific herbs, like the goldenseal, and utilizing the synergistic effect of stacking local, systemic, and infection-specific herbs.

Use Mother Nature’s natural herbs first and foremost. Antibiotics can be beneficial when used in combination with the appropriate natural herbs, but antibiotics should be the last-resort approach.

If you have a gut infection, tough-to-remove parasite, H.pylori infection, or viral infection, these are common blocks that keep you from healing and cause a leaky gut. If you need more help to eliminate these gut infections, click here.

Do You Have Symptoms of a Parasite Infection?

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Many people have symptoms of a parasite infection and don’t even know it!

Research shows that a significant proportion of the population has a parasite infection. Parasite infections can cause many symptoms, and the most difficult part about it is that most of the symptoms they cause are not even gastrointestinally related. This means you may not experience gas, bloating, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, or acid reflux. It is very possible that if you have these symptoms, you more than likely have some type of gut infection. But what if you don’t have any of these symptoms?

Individuals tend to make the connection between gut symptoms and gut infections pretty naturally. Its symptoms of parasite infections that don’t involve gut symptoms leave people scratching their head.

Parasites may primarily reside in the gut, but they have the ability to travel through the body. Some parasites can even make their way up to your brain.


parasites locations

The Not-So-Obvious Symptoms of Parasite Infections

  • Brain fog
  • Sweet cravings
  • Mood disturbances (anxiety or depression)
  • Skin issues
  • Nutrient deficiencies (anemia)
  • Allergies
  • Fatigue
  • Crawling sensation under your skin

The More Obvious Symptoms of Parasite Infections

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • GERD or acid reflux
  • IBS
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Ulcerative colitis

What Is a Parasite Infection?

A parasite infection is an organism that lives off another organism. Parasites will not only rob you of energy and nutrition but also produce other biotoxins that can disrupt digestion. These toxins come from the defecation of the parasites as well as the dead debris of the parasites.



When we deal with parasites, we have ones that are bigger, like worms: hookworms, roundworms, pinworms, tapeworms, nematodes, protozoa, and more. These are infections that are typically big enough to be seen by the human eye.

We have small parasites that are microscopic and can only be seen under a microscope with specific stains: Giardia, Entamoeba histolytica, Blastocystis hominis, Cryptosporidium, Dientamoeba fragilis, Entamoeba coli, Yersinia enterocolitica, Entamoeba hartmanni, and Toxoplasma to name only a few.

Of the patients I see with health concerns, 70–80% have a parasite infection like the ones mentioned above. Most people aren’t aware of this hidden stressor as they go from doctor to doctor looking for answers to what’s causing their health issues. There is almost always an infection connection at play.

Chronic infections deplete your body’s ability to produce regenerative hormones, like DHEA, testosterone, progesterone, thyroid hormone, and growth hormone. When our anabolic/regenerative hormones are depleted, we are put in a very difficult situation to heal. Even if the infection is removed, there is a good chance of a reinfection due to the weakened hormonal environment.


hormonal stressors

The Stress Caused by Parasites

The immune, lymphatic, and detoxification systems are put in overdrive when parasite infections are active. Our lymphatic system is busy trying to move toxins out of the tissues and commonly gets backed up and stagnant when inflammation is elevated.

The detoxification system has to filter out the blood and run our cytochrome P450 oxidase enzymes (phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification pathways) so clean blood can then be recirculated.

The Immune system is revved up and produces antibodies and specific white blood cells known as eosinophils to help attack the various critters. It also stimulates various cytokines and interleukins to mobilize the attack against these foreign invaders.

Parasite Infections Make Us Stupid!

Parasite infections can impair our cognitive performance independent of age and nutrition.

How does this happen? I will speculate.

Essentially, when inside our bodies, parasites can produce biotoxins that decrease our mental performance. You may be eating good food, but the parasites have the opportunity to eat it before you do. This can affect your absorption of nutrients whether or not your diet is nutrient dense.

Poor performance was associated with parasite status and had no association with educational attainment or memory function.

The study (link above) showed there is evidence that the more parasites you have the more they have an effect on your attention/cognition. Decreasing your parasite load (i.e., getting rid of your parasites) can make you more intelligent.

One of the first places I look when chronic brain fog and memory issues occur outside of diet and lifestyle is at the potential of chronic infections.

To get assessed to see what infection you may have, click here!

Parasites and Nutritional Deficiencies

Did you know parasites can steal your nutrients in spite of a healthy diet? You aren’t what you eat, but what you eat assimilates, absorbs, and utilizes.

Recent work has also shown that a malabsorption syndrome leading to poor absorption of essential nutrients may occur in patients heavily infected with hookworms, Strongyloides stercoralis, and Giardia lamblia.

Anemia, whether it is iron-deficiency or vitamin-B-deficiency, can be devastating on your body’s ability to produce energy! It’s possible for a parasite infection to cause chronic fatigue.

Our bodies utilize B vitamins, especially B12 and folate, to make healthy red blood cells so we can carry oxygen and nutrition to all of our cells. Without healthy B12 levels, it is nearly impossible for our thyroid and adrenals to work optimally.

Without enough iron our bodies won’t be able to carry enough oxygen. Oxygen is needed for the creation of ATP, which is the main currency of energy in our bodies.

Iron is an essential nutrient in the production of thyroid hormone. If your thyroid doesn’t have enough iron, there is a good chance you will suffer from hypothyroidism and all of the symptoms that come with it. This will include  weight gain, fatigue, depression, and digestive problems.

How Do You Test for Parasite Infections?

Comprehensive stool test: There are companies out there, like Genova, BioHealth, Doctor’s Data and Diagnos-Techs, that run more comprehensive parasitology tests than what your conventional doctors or hospitals may run.


GI Pathogen Screen

To order these tests, click here!

I have seen hundreds of patients that have tested negative on the conventional panels but then test positive on the specialty panels that I run.

These specialty tests use better staining techniques and more specialized parasitologists, and they even incorporate PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to search for the bugs via DNA.

Multiple stool samples on subsequent days helps increase the chance of picking up a bug. Most conventional stool tests only test 1-2 samples on 1 day.

“Examination of a single stool specimen has a sensitivity of 50 to 70 percent; the sensitivity increases to 85 to 90 percent with three serial specimens.”

Click here to received more great information like this!

How Do I Fix It?

If you think you have a parasite infection or don’t have an answer to why you are sick, you need to get assessed.

There are different protocols or parasite cleanses depending on which type of parasite infection you have. Most infections can be eradicated with an herbal medicine protocol, but some may need antibiotics.

To get assessed to see what infection you may have, click here!


The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Justin Marchegiani unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Justin and his community. Dr. Justin encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Marchegiani’s products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using any products.