How I Cured Myself of Giardia Naturally

I recently gave birth to a baby girl (that’s another story – stay tuned!). When I was around 28 weeks pregnant I became unwell and tests revealed I had giardia.  My obstetrician, as wonderful as he is, prescribed antibiotics, saying it was the only way to get rid of giardia. Further hunting around online showed that this was the most common belief, and that if I wanted to get rid of the infection I had no option but antibiotics.

There was one thing I was certain of and that was I would not take antibiotics while pregnant. Even supposedly safe antibiotics have not been fully tested to know the long-term effects on unborn children. The antibiotic I was prescribed (Flagyl) is a Category B drug and was described by my obstetrician as ‘very safe’ for use in pregnancy, yet I found studies showing that it was carcinogenic in the offspring of rats.  There is evidence that antibiotic use during pregnancy can lead to birth defects, allergies in children and even childhood cancer (a few links – and there are many more, this is just a small selection – Common Antibiotics Tied to Birth Defects, Maternal Use of Antibiotics and Cancer in the Offspring, Antibiotics Linked to Childhood Asthma Rise). Any risk at all was too great for me, and I needed to find a natural alternative.

Unfortunately I had trouble finding advice regarding this matter. I suppose most pregnant women who are prescribed antibiotics simply take them on advice of their medical provider. I had to come up with my own plan. This is what I did.

1. I cut out all sugars, including fruit. Sugar suppresses the immune system and feeds disease. I needed my immune system to be working overdrive to kill this bacteria!

2. I took a probiotic twice a day and upped my intake of foods high in probiotics. 80% of our immune system is in our gut, so I needed my gut health to be optimal.

3. I drank freshly cold-pressed kale juice with organic kale from my garden. Kale juice removes waste from the intestines, and my intestines needed a good clean out to get rid of the bug!

 

I had no idea if my plan would work, but I was hopeful… and desperate. I’m pleased to say that the combination of the above cured me of giardia completely and within a week. I had no need to take the antibiotic and all the symptoms of my infection disappeared. I have had no sign of giardia since and I’m pleased and proud to have a healthy baby girl who was not unnecessarily exposed to drugs in-utero!

 

About informedmama

I'm an Aussie mum blogging about my parenting journey, toxic chemical-free living, healthful living, nutrition, food as medicine and my learnings as I head towards semi self-sufficiency.
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26 Responses to How I Cured Myself of Giardia Naturally

  1. Mama Gringa says:

    Fabulous to hear, E. Since coming back from Peru last year I STILL have recurring bouts of gastro upset. Would love to know the secret! What probiotic foods did you eat?

  2. informedmama says:

    Hey Mama Gringa!
    Probiotic foods is something I have been doing lots of learning about recently. The most obvious is yoghurt, but not the sugary stuff from the supermarket. I bought an electric yoghurt maker and a yoghurt starter and have been making my own and sweetening it with raw honey.
    I’ve also been reading lots about kefir. I bought some milk kefir starter and tried that, but I don’t love it. I am going to order some water kefir starter – apparently it tastes like lemonade.
    Other foods high in probiotics are rejuvelac, sauerkraut (I haven’t made this yet), and really most pickled or fermented foods.
    Also, when I had giardia the only probiotic supplement I knew of was the one from Inner Health Plus. I’ve since learned that it only has a small number of the strains or whatever they are called, and that there are better (although more expensive) alternatives – one being Bio-Kult.
    Hope you can get on top of your gastro. Sounds like some nasty bugs have made their home in your belly – you need to show them who’s boss!

  3. Leif says:

    Hi!

    I was excited to find your post as I’m 99% certain that I’ve had giardia for the past 2.5 years since drinking the water in Mexico and want to avoid taking the drugs.

    I plan to follow your lead next week, though I’ll be taking my kale in the blender instead of juiced. That should work at least as well, don’t you think?

    I wanted to ask you two questions:

    1. Did this cleanse work in the long run? As in, are you still free and clear?

    2. Do you recommend a week for me, or how did you decide on that period? How did you know when you had done enough?

    (Okay, that was technically five questions.)

    • informedmama says:

      Hi Leif! Yes, I imagine blending instead of juicing will also work. The only thing to consider is the quantity – when I juice kale I tend to use more than when I blend it in smoothies etc.
      This did work in the long run for me, once the giardia was gone it was gone and has stayed away! I didn’t have a pre-decided length of time. A week is just how long it took for the symptoms to clear up for me. Just observe your own body and how you feel to decide how long to continue. Good luck, I’d love you to let me know how you go with it!

  4. Hi Informed Mama,

    Relieved to read your post and think it is worth a try. I am 24 weeks pregnant and recently traveled to Yelapa, Mexico and got giardia. It has been close to three weeks now and with no relief.When I returned from my trip, I went to the hospital to get liquid IV to prevent dehydration.

    I usually don’t see a doctor as I use naturopaths and acupunture for health. But I knew it was time to see a western med doc when this happened. They have done two stool samples which have tested negative and a white blood count to see if I am fighting a parasite. No results have been conclusive which has been really frustrating for a pregnant momma concerned for her own health and baby’s health.

    I have very little trust in American pharmeceuticals. I have also been given Metronidozole to kill giardia and am not comfortable injesting anything in my body that has been found to cause cancer in rats and is noted as not safe during pregnancy.
    Questions for you: Are you still healthy? Did it ever come back? What were your symptoms and how long did you have them before you cured it naturally? Did you ever see live organisms moving in your stool? Sorry to have to ask these questions but I would find it really helpful. Thanks for your response.
    Mali

    • informedmama says:

      I’m so sorry for my delayed reply. I have been busy with my family and not checked in with my blog.
      To answer your questions, yes I am still healthy and the giardia never returned. If I remember correctly I had 6 weeks of symptoms (diarrhea) before I took things into my own hands – after discussing with my GP and obstetrician and deciding I didn’t like their advice. I never saw/looked for living organisms. I hope you have been able to get the answers you were looking for regarding your own diagnosis, Mali, and I hope you are now well and healthy. xxx

  5. Daniel says:

    Interested to hear your story

    Thought I’d leave mine in case it helps anyone.

    Believe I have had Giardia for the last five years. It may or may not have included other co-infections that prolonged symptoms. I have never had a clear diagnosis in the nhs. However, after a visit to a tropical medicine consultant in London was given diagnosis of giardia.

    Initially when I had the illness I had a v sudden excruciating pain in my left upper abdomen. Other symptoms were diarrhea, fever, jolting, loss of feeling in arms and legs, stomach cramps, flatulence, hair loss, dehydration. I lost a stone and was off work for six to twelve months. When I was working I was exhausted and felt ill v quickly.
    Longer term I was diagnosed as having vit d deficiency. My bones became v creaky and thin and the difficiency also added to my exhaustion. I suffered from heart arythmia and fluctuating heart rate..one second below 60 and the next up to 140. My Blood pressure was low and was sent for thyroid tests. In short giardia can mess up your health.

    I have been through many waves of supplementing myself and I will list what I think would help with giardia:

    – ground nut oil / virgin coconut oil or monolaurine supplement. The tropical medicine people told me to supplement with this in cooking and on food.
    – no sugar or fruits as per the article
    – garlic – either raw or oil capsules. If raw wait for 30 mins before swallowing with water
    – general supplements. Muli vitamin good quality. I take a male multi vitamin.
    – berberine or a parasite cleanse formula
    – water or coconut water to stop dehydration
    – salt and coconut oil baths. I find these relieve my symptoms as with giardia you will also start to suffer from malabsorption of nutrients and fats
    – wild oil of oregano
    – get plenty of Sun and natural vitamin d
    – reduce stress to enable your body to fight illness
    – probiotics in the morning and evening before bed

    In general take gentle exercise to help yourself back to recovery. Hot saunas and swimming helped me before I could start going to the gym. I am much better than I was but still feel like something is in my system.
    I found generally doctors in the UK believe giardia is a mild illness and perhaps it is for most. But in my experience it has been a 5 year battle and still not totally over. One thing that does happen with a chronic case of giardia is your immune system becomes quite surpressed as you are busy fighting it off. I recently had more food poisoning, boils and bacterial sinusitus which I put down partially to a weakened immune system. Giardia will be different in each person and you may just have it for weeks or it may last for a long time. As soon as you know you have it attack it with everything natural you can.

    I definitely found that doctors don’t like to mention the words parasite infection and giardia is hard to detect in stool samples.I am now actually glad I haven’t had the anti biotics as I am not sure they would have cleared it. It seems a lot of people who take their doctors word will be labelled with IBS when in reality they will probably have a parasite infection.

    Hope this helps.

  6. It is very important to get your B12 and folate checked if you have giardia and your thyroid levels and GET OFF OFF GLUTEN AND LACTOSE.. gluten destroys the villae in your gut making it hard to absorb lactose (both foreign bodies) investigate this it can causes celiac and giardia can start all of this also thyroid issues.. you can become very ill and develop neuropathy like me.. can affect your myelin sheath eg. MS.. and heart arythmia and problems also like me.. it goes undiagnosed if doctors DON’T DO the most basic blood tests.. I had my family doctor, cardilogist and neurologist ALL miss these.. DON’T LET DOCTORS SHOO YOU AWAY BE PERSISTENT and proactive in gettting the answers you need.. you will have to pay for the folate test.. there is a genetic link to folate deficeincy look up the book ‘Stop the Thyroid Madness’ .. I became hypo after my third child very common it is all interconnected with the endocrine and immune sytems ..natural is the way to go I’m off sugar, gluten, milk products take high level probiotic lots of vegies.. a couple brazil nuts a day for selenium (no more than that for toxicity) I will try the fruit free diet and more kale/greens for the giardia (was attracted to this veg may be why so thanks) also parsley cilantro full of chlorophyl blood cleaser and folate.. sea vegies.. goldenseal for the gut, green tea, and thanks for the blog very helpful

    • informedmama says:

      Thanks Jean for your comments. This is by far the most popular post on my blog, getting many hits each day, so I am sure the info you have shared will be valuable for others on the journey to heal from giardiasis naturally.

      • What an amazing journey it is on the path to healing and sharing amongst others. I have often had the names of herbs come to my mind as my Grandmother did who was into natural healing herbs..such as goldenseal, milk thistle and agrimony. Then when I check into them I find they are just what my body needs, much as we crave foods such as I craved parsley when pregnant and kale and brocolli now. I suggest that folks look into agrimony as it is reccomended also for giardia and I am reading up on it, apparently ancent Welsh doctors had many uses for it as we still do today. Both agrimony and goldenseal can heal the gut. I have just found a link to using oregon grape that I will explore. I realize the caution with all herbs and best to check with someone knowlegable before self medicating. Stay well and take care.

  7. Da Kine says:

    were you tested for giardia again after your remedy? i know somebody fighting it currently, and through research we know that you can coexist with it (without symptoms). if you were tested after and were gaurdia free than she is very willing to do this!

  8. Ashley says:

    I am SO glad to read this! I went to Colorado in July, drank the water from a stream(I know, not too smart for being pregnant), and became violently ill. I went to the hospital the night I became ill fearing dehydration. It turns out I had giardia. I refused to take antibiotics and haven’t had any issues since. It lasted two days.

  9. jojo says:

    I do hope you are right about this as I think we may be fighting our second dose of giardia (a parasite, not bacteria incidentally), having had it 3 years ago and having resorted to antibiotics the first time. We haven’t been tested this time around but I recognise the symptoms. This time we are trying diet, including kefir. I would however like to point out that if you look for information about giardia online, you will find that for people with a good healthy immune system and good stomach acid levels (unlike my family!), it is normal for your body to fight off giardia without intervention within 6 weeks. So yes you may well have helped your body fight it off with the diet changes and it is well worthwhile making the effort to have a healthy gut, but getting rid of giardia without ABs is not actually a miracle for the average healthy person. Just sayin’….

  10. kumar says:

    i have been suffering from this nasty bug giardia for the past 15 to 20 years having gastric problems like gastritis,lack of appetite,falling of mucus from stools,hard stomach,severe constipation,hard stools and malabsorption of food.Frequent stool tests did not reveal any bacteria.Even a RUT test was done while carrying out endoscopy to detect the presence of helicobcter pylori.But no helicobacter was found.How to cure this chronic giardiasis through naturopathy?Can anyone suggest best naturopathic remedy to eliminate this nasty bug from the gut?I shall be highly thankful.

  11. Devushka says:

    Have you tested yourself after your symptoms disappeared to confirm that you are indeed no longer infected?
    I think that certain diet changes do suppress its activity, but don’t necessarily make it disappear completely. That’s why actual tests after the symptoms have stopped and after that regular tests are necessary to make sure it has indeed left your system entirely. However, it is quite possible that the probiotics you are taking and the improvement of your immune system have actually cleared the infection.

  12. Mellow Man says:

    Thank you for this info because I have all the sypmthoms for this bug. I’ve been looking online for 2days on a “health friendly” way to get rid of these things inside me. What kind of foods should i eat ? (Meal wise)

  13. Jennifer says:

    Hi, I read your article with interest as I too had giardia while pregnant and didn’t treat. Unfortunately, despite taking similar steps to yours, I remained ill for ages and my son is now a celiac. We have no history in our family but the paediatrician thinks my ongoing giardia infection overstimulated his immune system, causing the celiac disease. Of course, we’ll never really know but I just thought it’s important to note that there are risks to treating (which have been researched) and very real risks to not treating, which are virtually unknown.

  14. Jo says:

    The reason you can not get rid of giardia is because you have a low immune system or lack of stomach acid or last can be re-infection.
    Metronidazole will kill this parasite but the reason it can come back is cysts that are left behind as nothing kills the cysts to date, so a 2nd dose is needed, rather like pinworms the 2nd dose is to kill the eggs left behind when they hatch. Or if you prefer not to take metronidazole you can take pure flakes OptiMSM, this has no fillers in it.
    MSM coats the stomach lining so the parasites can not cling onto the stomach lining, so they fall off and are washed out of your system. If you have had giardia a long time you can take the Metronidazole for 7 days then take the MSM straight away and stay on it for 3-6 months.
    Then take a very good probiotic like Klaire ther powdered biotic 2.1oz in a dark blue bottle, take a quarter a teaspoon a day and a good vitamin & mineral a day both for 9 months to build up your immune system and put back good bacteria.
    Eat healthy, cut out sugars, processed foods, junk foods and sweet drinks. You need low carbs and high fibre. Exercise is really good for you to build up your immune system.
    If you are low on stomach acid you can drink fresh lemons added to water, lemons are high in vit’C’ and act the same as stomach acid. If you can not stomach lemons you can take Betaine HLC which is hydrochloric acid.
    You can have numerous stool tests done and they can come back negative because the giardia cysts are intermittent shedding so they can easily be missed in these tests! Then yes IBS which means irritable bowl syndrome, a label name meaning nothing more than the runs.

    • Shalla says:

      I finished taking metronidazole just over a week ago, this is the second treatment I have had. My stomach seems to be permanently sore now and I am not convinced I’ve got rid of giardia. Do you think it worth starting on optiMsm now or is it too late as symptoms are coming back? I am getting no support whatsoever from doctors, I asked if I should eat differently, she said no, I asked if I should take probiotic, she said just buy the drinks from the supermarket which I believe are a complete waste of time. I feel at a loss, I just don’t know what to do

    • Kaitlin Reid says:

      Hi Jo
      I am about to take Metronizadole because nothing else has worked for me, I was in South America last year so have been battling Giardia and Blastocystis Hominous for about one year now. The doctors weren’t clear (and didn’t know) on how long I should take it for, they thought 14 days straight. Is this what you think? or is it 7 days and then 7 days at a later time to kill the eggs?
      Thanks,
      Kaitlin

  15. fran dyche says:

    Please has anyone seem a difference in there urine -for example a fluttering

  16. tyomaster says:

    Just wanted to mention that I followed your exact method years ago along with coconut oil and thought I had rid myself of it. I was telling a doctor about it about a symptom free year later and he was skeptical. I had had a slight vitamin deficiency so we tested for the giardia for the heck of it. Lo and Behold I tested positive for giardia! A year after my alternative treatment having had no symptoms whatsoever. It appears my immune system had squashed it to barely measurable levels, but it was still there living in me. I ended up just giving in and taking flagyl and retesting at 1 month and 6 months, and was clear after that.

    Just throwing it out there, because you have suppressed the symptoms doesn’t mean you have cleared it.

    • Wendy says:

      Thank you so much for your advice. My 3 & 5 year old daughters tested positive for giardia. I Was certain they had been showing syptoms for months and worried about the effect on there immune system, so we all took the antibiotics prescribed. The whole family felt sick and barely ate over the coarse of antibiotics because of the side effects. Now, a month later they are still showing symptoms. Obviously I’m not keen to put them through that again, so I’ll give your method a good go first. Fingers crossed we see results too. Thanks again

  17. Tristan Kent says:

    Did you do a stool test to see if you still had it after.? Ive been taking Charcol tabs, spirulina barley grass and algae . And strong probiotics and working well but I will do a test to see if I’m still carrying. I got it last time I went OS and I used flagyl…. Side effects were worse than giardia so I hope this will work

  18. Karen says:

    Many people including doctors are unaware that there is such a thing as Non Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity. It was found to be the case by conventional practitioners years ago in the disease “dermatitis herpetiformis” Even though intestinal byopsies are often normal in DM sufferers, the problem always clears up completely with strict gluten free elimination. Many people may never be diagnosed as having coeliac disease but the gluten may be reeking havok to their bodies.There are so many nasty autoimmune diseases linked to gluten. Read the book Dangerous Grains by James Braly & Ron Hoggan. A website to check out is – Dr Rodney Ford Gluten Zero Global. Dr Ford is a pediatric gastroenterologist & allergy specialist. Dr Ford’s eClinic is designed to give you *Comprehensive Food Allergy Profiling – *Babies *Infants *Children *Adults * Immediate assessment of suspected food allergy & gluten problems. See also on the web – Could Going Gluten Free Save Your Life by Mark Hyman MD. There is also a very moving story on the web by Roger McDougall – My Fight Against Multiple Sclerosis. Also the Foodmatters website. Thank you for your website and being into natural health. I know this info is slightly removed from Giardia but I felt some of your followers my benefit from this info. Sorry if I am out of line.
    Cheers, Karen

  19. leda says:

    I’m impressed about the amount of people with this bug. I have been fighting this bug for over 30 years without any success. I have taken Flagil in the past and lately my doctor prescribed Metronizadole and it hasn’t left me alone. To make matters even worse, I just came back from an European cruise with H. Pylori and it has been hard to take medication for both. My stomach is is bad shape because of so many pills.
    Now I heard about the kale juice for the giardia, it seems interesting, BUT I still have a question about it. The juice is made with just water or mix with something else?
    Does anybody know any natural way to cure H.Pilori? I would appreciate an answer, and I thank you you all for the information posted here. It help so many people like me and many more.

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