Solving the Crohn’s and Colitis Puzzle

December 6, 2017
Solving the Crohn's and Colitis Puzzle

I started my career rewriting the rules of nutrition by getting people off of sugar, gluten, dairy, and unhealthy fats.

This was 1988, when no one was talking about gluten yet – except me. In my decades of nutrition practice, I’ve found a correlation between non-Celiac gluten sensitivity, dairy intolerance and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Removing these foods often leads to quick and dramatic healing responses if not total remission of Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis.

Total remission isn’t necessarily total healing, however. Most IBD sufferers are surprised when eliminating these foods gives them relief from their symptoms, because it seems they previously tolerated them well with no issues. I made the connection that the issues with foods started right around the same time as the disease was diagnosed. This correlation told me I needed to dig deeper to find the real root cause of these diseases. The answers I found were shocking.

The Parasite-IBD Connection

In 1974, my mentor, Dr. Hazel Parcells, took me in a room and showed me a collection of little glass bottles containing different organisms and worms that had come out of people after doing her eight day goats milk cleanse with anti-parasitic herbs. It was horribly fascinating to me, and I went on to study with well-known parasite experts to learn more about this hidden epidemic.

Dr. Parcells taught me parasites are the most immunosuppressant agents in the body. Gluten and dairy intolerance are secondary to these parasite infections. The reason Dr. Parcells used milk for her cleanses is because it is a preferred food for parasites. The milk brought them out of the intestinal walls, and the anti-parasitic herbs were able to kill the circulating parasites. Once the parasites take hold and cause the food intolerances, inflammation and immunosuppression come along and IBD is born. We can achieve remission by eliminating these foods, which decreases the populations of these parasites, but once these foods are added back in, the symptoms come back because the parasites grow a new population when their food sources return.

Parasites Start at Home

You don’t have to travel to another country to come in contact with a parasite, you can get them anywhere. I have tested and found them in people who went to one of the nicest resorts in the US, drank unfiltered water on a cruise to Alaska, “kissed” and let their pets sleep in their beds, or ate raw fish like sushi. Produce imported from other countries also often has parasites on its surface; proper cooking and handling of all raw foods including fruits and vegetables is essential for parasite prevention.

There have been more than 130 parasites identified that can inhabit the human body and the average person is infected with at least 4 of them. The specific class of parasites I’ve seen most often in IBD patients is the amoeba. Some species of amoeba look so similar under the microscope to certain types of white blood cells that the laboratory analysis hasn’t been accurate, and many false negative tests have resulted. But a new test is available that changes all of that.


Historically I’ve recommended my clients do a parasite cleanse first and only test if the cleanse isn’t successful. My reason for this was mainly because the testing available wasn’t accurate. It relied on cultures and microscopic analysis to identify stool microbes. The problems include not only the look-alikes with healthy cells, but also the parasites that are missed in just that one small sample. It can take several samples to find them because parasites often form a biofilm that protects them from elimination while allowing them to feed.

The GI-MAP test from Diagnostic Solutions Lab tests for the DNA of microbes including bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. This test uses the same technology the National Institutes of Health (NIH) used to sequence the human microbiome. It will also tell you if the genes for antibiotic resistance are present and recommend the best course of treatment. By testing genetic material, we no longer have to rely on whole parasites to be eliminated in order to identify they are there. I’m pleased to announce I will have this test available in the near future.

The Best Defense is a Good Cleanse

My Colon Cleanse was formulated after working with masters like Dr. Hazel Parcells, parasitologist Dr. Hermann Bueno, and well-known herbalist Hanna Kroeger. It is a time-tested and trusted remedy that has provided excellent results for my clients for more than 2 decades now. This is where I recommend starting for anyone with bowel issues, depression, insomnia, grinding of the teeth at night, circles under the eyes, ADHD, and problems with hair, skin or nails. The symptoms of parasitic infections can be diverse and seemingly unconnected, so watch for unusual symptoms that have been plaguing you to be suddenly relieved by this cleanse.

Parasite cleanse and detox should be a twice-yearly event, but in our toxic world, we need to incorporate anti-parasitic foods and nutrients daily. Foods high in Vitamin A and zinc will make your gut parasite-proof. Yellow and orange foods like squash, sweet potatoes and yams are good sources of Vitamin A, plus one-fourth cup of pumpkin seeds daily for the zinc. Herbs that help include thyme, garlic, cayenne pepper, ginger, slippery elm, black walnut, and bromelain (from pineapple). High protease enzymes like Zymex from Standard Process are a good parasite cleansing supplement for children. When one person in the household does a parasite cleanse, the rest of the family and the pets should all cleanse at the same time.

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Marsha

    Interesting information about the testing. I’ve had problems my whole life.

  2. Margo Parker

    Awesome products! Thank you for your dedication to healing

  3. Linda

    Very informative

  4. Claudia Rowe

    Is it likely IBS is caused by a pathogen? One of the Clostridia?

  5. Team ALG

    Claudia, yes is can be caused by a pathogen including Clostridia. It can also be caused by parasites.

  6. Madiha Tariq

    I did a parasite cleanse for a month and started seeing blood in my stool initially I thought it was normal but then the bleeding became more intense and I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Please can u tell if I got colitis because of the parasite cleanse I did.Bfr that there was never blood in my stool.

    • Team ALG

      Madiha, You didn’t mention which parasite cleanse you did. I can not speak about the ingredients of any other parasite cleanse except Para-Key and Verma-Plus, which was formulated by Ann Louise Gittleman. In over 30 years of use of this product we have never had anyone diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. There is nothing in it that would cause this.

      • Madiha Tariq

        No it wasn’t this brand at all. I want to know if it can be healed If it was the parasites cleanse that injures my intestines

        • Team ALG

          Madiha, taking L Glutamine can be very healing for the intestines.


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