While not as common as the parasites listed above, many other pathogens contribute to the Chronic Stress Response. The following four are the ones we see the most clinically:
Clostridium difficile: C. difficile is a ﾓbadﾔ bacterium that coexists with good bacteria in our intestines. Fortunately, when you are healthy, the millions of good bacteria keep C. difficile under control. However, taking antibiotics also reduces good bacteria. If your C. difficile population is virile and not killed by the antibiotic, then it can overpopulate your colon, potentially releasing toxins that contribute to colitis. Colitis is a painful irritation of the colon that causes diarrhea and severe cramps.
Dientamoeba fragilis: Recent medical literature states that D. fragilis is a harmful parasite causing abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea in up to 90 percent of infected individuals. The most common symptoms appear to be intermittent diarrhea and fatigue. In some people, both the organism and related symptoms may persist or reappear indefinitely until appropriate treatment is initiated; multiple treatments may be necessary to eradicate it.
Entamoeba hartmanni: This parasite is similar to E. histolytica, but does not have an invasive stage and cannot ingest red blood cells. While this makes it less of a danger than E. histo, it still produces classic gastrointestinal symptoms and contributes to chronic stress. It is—like its close relatives Endolimax nana, Iodamoeba butschlii, and Entamoeba nana—considered by many in mainstream medicine not to be problematic in healthy individuals. Again, we believe that scientific research lags clinical experience and smart case management.
Toxoplasma gondii: According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 60 million people in the United States may be infected with the Toxoplasma parasite. As this bug is very common in cats, cat owners are at a high risk of contracting it. While it does not typically cause obvious symptoms, T. gondii can cause brain and eye damage, especially in immunocompromised individuals. Some patients report flu-like symptoms that can be debilitating for up to several weeks. Serum antibody testing must be performed to confirm a T. gondii infection.
Many other microorganisms are responsible for driving the Chronic Stress Response. To address them all would require another book altogether. Just be aware that these bugs are out there—if not inside you—and use common-sense measures to prevent exposure. Early identification and treatment of these nasty critters is the best way to prevent their potentially devastating health effects.