I am moving to Ecuador next week and my utmost priority is to embark on a mission to resolve some very odd physical symptoms that I picked up on a trip to Peru in December 2018. I had a serious bacterial infection which was eventually resolved after 2 weeks in hospital with some devastatingly strong antibiotics. I expected that I would have some gut issues afterwards until my flora was restored, but the symptoms have gone beyond what I would expect, and lasted much longer.
I have constipation, bloating, inflammation in my guts. I have arthritic pains, constant sinus inflammation. I have had allergy symptoms of many kinds despite my UK allergist not identifying any true allergies to these substances when he skin tested me. I have an uncontrollable appetite and have gained 50 pounds this year which is quite out of character for me, I have always been so slim. My skin is very bad, I get lots of random itching.
After lots of shrugged shoulders from doctors I had to do my own research and I am pretty sure parasites are the likely culprit.
I will be mostly staying in Vilcabamba and would really appreciate any recommendations for private clinics in Vilca or Loja who do thorough and comprehensive parasite testing for a reasonable price.
Here's the thing: the Doc's here, and in Peru, see a lot of the local bugs and know how to deal with them. It's a matter of local knowledge and repetitive exposure.
Now, if you have a case that doesn't respond to informed local experience, you need to take it up a notch.
So, forget Vilcabamba. But, if you get a solid recommendation for Loya, you may want to see what they say. But the odds are they're going to want to exercise their chops regardless, and may be less informed than those guys in Peru. Meaning a high likelihood of another course of harsh drugs with no satisfaction.
Were it me, at this point I'd find the best facilities and help I could, PERIOD. The time for piddling around has past, wouldn't you say? Your poor body can only take so much.
That means Quito. There are doc's there with solid western training and the facilities to back them up. Western training, if nothing else, means the discipline to figure out especially squirrelly cases. Of equal importance, they will have essential experience with difficult cases from local parasites.
This is you best shot at getting things fully resolved. I've long considered local health care to be appropriate for immediate relief from things like a broken arm, and to screen for more serious stuff. At which point, if it was clearly not within their competence, I'd head for Houston.
IN THIS CASE, the very optimal combination of competence and experience, anywhere in the world, would be in Quito. Loya would, at best, have second tier people.
Of course, if this is just a nagging inconvenience and unresolved nuisance to you, wander on.
Thank you so much for your response. I appreciate what you are saying, but the altitude in Quito affects me quite badly. Last time I was there I passed out because of it and suffered a serious head injury.
I was hoping that parasite testing would be a simple matter in countries such as these, being as they are endemic. I was also not expecting a huge difference in parasites acquired in Peru to those acquired in southern Ecuador.
My plan is to first try to address it locally, and if the issues persist then I will have to take the fight up a notch. Although probably Guayaquil would be a more attractive choice due to being at sea level.
Didn't know I'd be compared to a cow when obviously I just have too much time on my hands for that earlier post.
On reflection, the OP seems frail, and any number of things can go wrong when one gets older, often triggered by sometime else, perhaps like in this case.
I wouldn't rely on what I learn on the internet, especially for a diagnosis. What you learn, IMHO, can help screen out silly stuff and to prepare you for visiting a competent Doc: you learn the questions to ask and to spot poseurs, who do exist. It seems like just within the last few weeks a couple plastic surgeons in Quito were exposed for fake credentials.
Reading the OP with a bit more care, I don't know who in Loya offers tests, but parasite testing is COMMON in Ecuador. It's also cheap. There are walk-up places in Quito and Cuenca where you can just ask them to check for everything, and it won't cost much. These places are where the Doc's would send you anyway.
If that comes up zilch, it doesn't mean the tests were incompetently handled any more than that Dr. You doesn't know what they're doing when suspecting parasites..
Thanks for the additional reply! Yes, I was quite taken aback by the rude comments following our posts. This is my first day on the forum and I was hoping for a more respectful environment,..
In response to your post, I am not *ordinarily* frail, but my body definitely took a mighty hit after that serious infection (actually more than one) in Peru and my immune/digestive system has been out of whack ever since. I have made a lot of progress this year and am very close to regaining my former vitality but there is still something amiss and as I spent so much of 2018 in South America, I think parasite testing should really be a priority before I consider other causes.
I am happy that you have confirmed that the parasite testing should be easily available and cheap. I guess the best thing to do would be to ask at the Vilcabamba free hospital first. They may be best placed to recommend private clinics locally if they cannot help me directly.
Parasite testing can be done in the lab across the street from the hospital here in Vilca, but the test will only tell you that you have them, not which parasites you might have. Sounds like leaky gut, IBS, and other things may be going on, but I'm no doctor and it looks like you have been the medical route. There are a lot of "healers" here in Vilcabamba, and many remedies - from over the counter pills to turpentine protocols - for parasites. Allergies can be different here, as obviously the plants and triggers are different than in the U.S.. When you get here, you will find many people, referrals and resources that may help help you. I wish you well and hope to meet you when you get here. Best wishes, Dan
Thank you!! Very very helpful info. I do strongly suspect parasites but it may also be something that could be corrected with a cleaner diet. I already had long term gut issues before I got ill in Peru with typhoid and septicaemia and had to endure those brutal antibiotics. It may just be that I am still healing.
I am really happy to hear from somebody already in Vilcabamba and it would be great to meet you when I arrive! Will PM you if that's ok.
Lord knows, I am the last person who should give advice about problems relating to nasty parasites. I have been blessed for most of my life with a "cast iron" stomach whaich has allowed me to travel to some very nasty places and eat whatever but walk away unscathed.
However ... in following your thread, something jumped out at me that I apparently missed until your last post.
The fact that ONLY last year, you suffered a bout of typhoid AND septicemia should probably tell you that you haven't sufficiently healed and your system isn't completely restored. Yes, you should get checked for parasites - if for no other reason than to relieve your mind - but I rather suspect that everything you are currently experiencing is related to your immune system not being 100% and unable to combate all the other nasties that are currently plaguing you.
I don't know how old you are, but I can tell you that the older we get, the more time it takes our body to heal and bounce back. BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF! Don't get discouraged. Watch your diet wherever you go. When you get to Vilca, get in touch with a good nutritionist. Believe it or not, there are a couple of very good ones in Vilcabamba. Don't subscribe to any radical program and ( this is only my personal observation ) now that you've been through a series of heavy antibiotic treatments, avoid any more chemicals until your body has completely healed itself - which will take time.
Good luck to you. RELAX and enjoy what life brings us !
Thank you! You may well be right. I definitely want to rule out parasites though as the thought keeps niggling at me.
I am only 34 but have had a lifetime of extreme stress, trauma, 15 years of heavy tobacco and marijuana smoking (finally quit both in Dec 2018) and poor diet and insufficient exercise. My immune system has been less than optimal for a long time and I have had problems on and off for the past 8 or 9 years.
My decision to return to Vilca specifically is to seriously pursue holistic physical and emotional healing. I have been doing me best in the UK but I do not find the environment is conducive to healing. I will definitely look for a nutritionist on arrival, thank you so much for your advice.
Hi Jenya I have been catching up on the forums and saw your post. Have you been checked for Lyme disease? My wife was bitten by a tick while living in Maryland (US not UK) and a few of your symptoms matched her's. I noticed you had been in the U.K and Lyme disease does exist there, but not in South America. It is not something doctors in Ecuador would check for.
Have you recovered from the antibiotics? My wife was bitten by a dog and spent ten days in hospital with a staph infection. That was eleven years ago and her stomach still does not work right. She has tried to restore the flora too but still no luck. Did you do anything she might try? Be well. Dom