Tuesday, July 13, 2010
This is the only sure cure for Blastocystis
July 13, 2010. The rate of Blastocystis infection has skyrocketed in the United States in the last 15 years. What was once a rare disease now infects at least 1 in 7 adults in Oregon and California. Patients develop chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, and severe fatigue. Some develop neurological problems, joint pain, and skin rashes. Many aren't able to work or function in society.
And sadly, many take their own lives. Patients with symptoms of Blastocystis infection are three times more likely to contemplate suicide or commit suicidal acts.
Patients don't want to kill themselves. They want a cure. But the NIH has repeatedly refused to support any investigation into drugs to treat the infection. They claim that it is too early to think about treating patients, and more research is needed. This, despite the fact that a 15-year study conducted between 1979 and 1994 in their own NIH labs conclusively identified Blastocystis as producing the same symptoms patients today are experiencing.
Many of the drugs which could treat patients today were used routinely by physicians until the mid-1980's, and then removed from use by the FDA except for a few specific cases defined by the CDC. If the NIH refuses to provide any assistance identifying drugs, that patients should have access to restricted antiprotozoals to try to find a treatment for themselves.
Is there a risk? Yes, of course. But many elective surgeries carry risks too, and they have not been banned. Patients can elect to have breast augmentation, nose restructuring, face lifts. People can choose to smoke, which has been proven to lead to cancer and death in many patients. In Oregon, a patient can even elect to end their lift.
But they can't elect to be treated with many antiprotozoal drugs for Blastocystis.
It's wrong for Federal agencies to drive patients to suicide when drugs are available which may help them. If you agree, please join us to promote patient choice in antiprotozoal treatment.
Because we'd like the disease to end with a healthy patient. Not a suicide.