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If you are not seeing your stomach as a gateway to health or disease, and have not learned to fill only a third of it with food during meal-times, it is possible you have not heard of the warning of British surgeons years ago that … death begins slowly but surely in the intestine. This is not a tongue twister of sort. Nor is it a picture or reasoning from double exposure on a photographic film. The stomach holds the key to life or death, and the intestine processes whichever it lets pass through the gate.

In this part of the series, the parasites world in the stomach and intestine will be linked, as events in one often affects the other. In Nigeria, many people do not even differentiate them when they fall ill. They keep talking about “The stomach” when they have abdominal pain caused by parasites or gas from digestive system disorder. All that many people see of the stomach is limited to peptic ulcer or to gastritis. They are unaware that bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori may have colonized or built “housing estates”, as it were, in the stomach. Even doctors did not know this until a few decades ago. They thought that a nerve, the vagus, was causing the overproduction of acid and often cut it surgically. When this did not stop the stomach filling up with acid and burning the stomach to the point of sometimes boring holes in it, to cause life-threatening events in the abdominal cavity, researchers thought the stomach had acid pumps which were over working whenever foods were eaten which required harsher chemicals for digestion. Thus, anti-acid medicines were developed which were intended to slow the “acid pumps” and literally lock their taps. One of such drugs was TAGAMET. It hit the market at a time Dr. Barry Marshall was disagreeing with his colleagues about the cause of stomach ulcer and the common treatment of the day, which was surgical removal of any part of the stomach that was damaged by the ulcer. Stomachs that were surgically tampered with became smaller and made digestion more difficult, apart from disposing the patient to compromised lifestyle. Dr. Marshall was determined to prove that bacteria, not overworking acid pumps or the vagus nerve, caused stomach or duodenal ulcers.

One day, he cultured a piece of diseased stomach tissue that had been surgically removed, to grow the bacteria which he thought caused the problem. Then, he drank some of the cultured bacteria in a solution…. And developed stomach ulcer! He treated himself with antibiotics and … waoooh!, the ulcer disappeared. When he published his findings, which were confirmed by independent laboratories in animal and human studies, the powers- that- be in medicine threatened to withdraw Dr. Marshall’s license. To them, he has made nonsense of the huge investments made in the development of Tagament and was going to make recovery, and profit from this investment, almost impossible. Dr. Barry Marshall survived the onslaught, and we know today that Helicobacter pylori bacterium occurs on the ulcer sites in the stomach and duodenum. What may still be unclear is if it causes the ulceration, or if it merely takes advantage of it. So, we now know once we can deal with this bacterium, we can deal with the ulcer and we do not need pharmaceutical antacids for the purpose. Stanford University, for example, has taught us that cabbage juice taken over about 14 days wipes out Helicobacter pylori and heals stomach ulcers. The only contraindication which often recurs in publications of the reproduction of the experiment is that people challenged with hypothyroidism need not overdo it.

Hypothyroidism is low or under functioning thyroid gland, which has been linked to many diseases. Cabbage juice contains goistrogens. These are chemical substances which lowers thyroids gland function and is good for hyperthyrodic people.

Antacids may have their salutary effects, especially in life-threatening emergencies. But they have been linked also to many digestive system problem which encourage the overgrowth of parasite populations in the system. Thoughts of this become worrisome when it is recognized that people who are challenged with cancers and immune deficiencies often present parasite overloads in their system. Even uterine fibroid tissue habours large amounts or populations of bacteria, viruses, fungi and the likes of them. How does this happen?

Researchers such as Dr. Robert O. Young, author of pH. MIRACLE have succeeded to some extent to persuade the medical community that the stomach has no acid pumps, that excess acid found in the stomach comes from food which, when digested, released its large acid content. An example cited is RED MEAT. Another source of excess stomach acid is said to come from the decay of food in the stomach when it overstays its allotted time. This prolonged stay may be caused by an insufficiency of enzymes to digest the protein and cuddle the fats in the food. Enzyme insufficiency may come from drinking too much water during a meal, which causes dilution and weakening of the enzymes, overloading the stomach to the point that the enzymes it produced for digestion is not enough for all the food loaded into it, or the stomach does not have enough hydrochloric acid (0.05 percent concentration) to trigger the production of Trypsin, the enzyme which digests proteins. To worsen matters, a habit of antacid use will neutralize hydrochloric acid and efface Trypsin production. Now, all germs and parasites which comes into the stomach with food are proteins which Trypsin would have digested and prevented from moving on to the intestine. Thus, if the egg of tapeworm or its lavaces escape the “gate keeper” that the stomach is, and survived digestive activity in the intestine because of enzyme insufficiency there as well, to arrives, someday, in the brain, in the heart or any other organs, it must be seen that the stomach was compromised in its service to the body as a whole.

As a seeker for the TRUTH who is not a Moslem, I find value in the teaching of Prophet Mohammed (May the Peace of Allah be upon Him) that humans fill their stomachs one-third with food, one-third with fluid (I believe digestive juice) and one third with air (I believe empty space). How many Muslims follows him and do not fill their stomach till their eyes almost pop out? How many Christians are prepared to adjust their lives to this wise teaching? Overloaded stomach have longer food transit tenures.

Longer residence of food in the stomach leads to food decomposition and decay there. Decomposition and decay not only bring their own acids but also create fertile grounds for germs to breed and overpopulates. Germs make gas and intensify the acid load. We experience the gas in stomach bloating and pain and the belching of foul air, or even mouth odour. The excess acid may cause gastritis or stomach ulcer for which you may have been taking antacids to further worsen the stomach’s condition. Gastritis suggests that the acid has “cooked” the raw flesh of the stomach to “boiled” meat status. The acid level may even rise up towards the esophague and burn the sphincter muscle which does not allow food in the stomach to return to the throat and the mouth. When the acid burns the lower part of the esophagus connection with the stomach, heart burn occurs. Doctors call it Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (G.E.R.D)The acid may so burn the esophagus that it may cause esophageal cancer. I have seen cases where people who thought they naturally had excess acid in the stomach and took antacids for this condition tried a simple test of adding digestive enzymes to their diet along with Apple Cider Vinegar before a meal, and the condition cleared. If it does not that suggests the need for another action.

Some Parasite Sources

Apart from pork and beef not well cooked, we ingest parasites with fruits and vegetables. Some people do not soak vegetables in salt water or vinegar solution for about 30 minutes and them rinse them in clean water before lightly cooking them. Some people do not wash banana before peeling them. The fingers that will later cut the banana fruit for the mouth may have picked some parasites from the peel. Parasites are on door knobs, on your cell phone, on the rails of overhead bridge, on the toys of children which they can put in their mouths, in the soil from where they may be picked when we walk barefoot. I read the story of an American woman who wore a brassaire straight from the pack. Her breast itched a few days later. To cut a long story short, worms began to come out of them. Her hands may have picked some of these organisms. If she didn’t wash them well before cooking or eating with bare fingers, as we sometimes do here, she may injest some of these parasites.

Symptoms or Signs

The parasite list is endless. And I promised in the first part of this series, that we would explore their elimination and restoration to health as 28 American orthodox doctors who have added alternative medicine protocols are doing in their clinics with the treatment of CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME and FIBROMYALGIA, two major symptoms of parasite infestation and overload. A head of their contribution to this series, probably next week, I would like to lift the veil off some of their thoughts. Dr. Murray R. Susser, M.D., says:

“The most common infections we find are yeast (candida albicans) and parasites… we also find hidden bacterial infections such as Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) and absence in the teeth. Sometimes chronic prostatitis, chronic sinusitis, and chronic gastritis”.

Dr. Martin Lee, Ph. D., Director of Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratory, in Asheville, North Carolina, says:

:    “Many doctors, hospitals and laboratories fail to diagnose parasite infection because they rarely allow the time for careful analysis and multiple procedure, using stool specimens collected over several days”. Dr. David case more, M.D., of the Public Health Laboratories in Bodewuddanryh, England says:

“Parasitic infection is almost certainly under detected possibly by a factor of 10 or more”. Parasite infectation presents many symptoms to the careful observer. Sugar Cravings is one of them. Many parasites, like cancer cells, like sugar and thrive on it. That is why many women who suffer from vaginal candidiasis or people challenged with systemaic candidiasis or other yeast infections hardly overcome them if they have sweet teeth. Such people are always craving for sugar because these parasite are asking them for it and consuming their sugar supplies, thereby making them weak and hungry for sugar as energy fuel.

Mental Confusion and Depression are other signs of parasite infestation which are not always linked to the condition. The brain runs on glucose. So do these parasites. Depriving the brain of enough glucose supplies may cause loss of concentration, mood swings, mental confusion and even depression. How often do we not seem to come alive after a drink of Orange juice or after eating some bananas? Fatigue is not too far away in this condition. The parasites are not only sharing nutrients with the cells or even crowding them out of the “paintry” they are also releasing into the cells and blood stream toxic waste products which inhibit the optimum performance of these cells in the production of energy for the body. You can imagine the cells of a car battery that function in a compromised environment. That battery will be flat and the car sluggish to start or drive.

Bloating and Pain are members of this symptoms family. Within minutes of having a meal, some people bloat up all over and experience pain (Dyspeptic pain). The intestine mummurs, and these sounds are attributed to the movement of worms. They feel uneasy, and are afraid to have the next meal. Belching and Farting are in the league as well. The odour or smell can be so damming that, in the bus in Nigeria, curses are often rained on whoever “spoiled” the air.

Intestinal Worms

These days, many Nigerian adults forget to deworm themselves. They even forget to deworm their children. How long ago did you deworm? One of my doctor friends hasn’t in a year. I probably did about one year ago, after a long, long while. The trouble is our choice pharmaceutical drug may be targeted at one specie of worm which may not be the one in our intestine. In this habibat, there may be tape worm, flat worm, round worm, open worm or flukes. They may cause bloating, pain, diarrhea, dysentery, itching in the anus or vulva, nausea or vomiting, gas, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, anaemia and other scenarios. They may get into the body as eggs through contact with the foot in infected soil, food, water or meat, pork and fish not well cooked.

Other Parasites

Apart from tape worm and round worm, protozoa inhabit the intestine, sometimes traveling to their parts of the body to live in organs. Some are too tiny that they can be seen only with the aid of a microscope. Some of the common intestinal organisms are Giardia Intestinalis, which cause Giardiasis, and the single cell organism, Entamoeba histolytica which causes amoebiasis. Other members of the intestinal amoeba family include Entamoeba Coli, Entamoeba dispar and Entamoeba hartmanni. There are, also, organisms such as cyclospora cayetanensis, which causes cyclosporiasis, you also not have heard about Enterobius vermicularis, which causes enterobiasis.

Before I close, I would like to mention bacteria again. There are two types… the friendly (or probiotics) or and the unfriendly, the bad ones. Friendly bacteria help us a lot. They not only manufacture useful nutrients for us, their activities keep down the population of unfriendly bacteria. Antibiotics to kill unfriendly bacteria kill them as well, exposing us to rapid population growth among the remnant unfriendly bacteria, and the vicious cycle of unfriendly bacteria.

Bacteria are concentrated in three parts of our bodies… the mouth, the skin and the intestine. Seventy – five percent of the troops of our immune system are found in the intestine, where these bacteria are largely concentrated. The dangerous bacteria in the intestine include Salmomella and E.Coli, Clostridium.

When British surgeons said years ago that DEATH BEGINS SLOWLY BUT SURELY IN THE INTESTINE, what they were seeing was a bacterial ecosystem of the intestine in which unfriendly or dangerous bacteria were gaining the upper hand our friendly or health- protecting bacteria. As already mentioned, increased reliance on antibiotics has a role to play in this. So is the overconsumption of sugar, which promotes the growth of unfriendly bacteria and weakens friendly bacteria and the immune system, the consumption of pro-inflamatory modern vegetable oils, pesticides, herbicide, chemical substances, physical, oxidative and emotional stressor.

Intestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, Colitis, Ulcerative colitis, Diverticulosis, and even colon and rectal cancers are growing in number and severity. They have been linked, also, to hormonal imbalances, pulmonary diseases, and brain problems.

Enlarged Prostate

Enlarged prostate and many more of today’s killer diseases. The question many people ask is: if antibiotics is not the best way method of ridding the body of parasites and bacteria, what is ? Some of the answers should come up in the next part of this series.