A reader from Portugal writes to us after finding the organisms pictured below in her stool. The organisms vary in size and color, some being black/dark brown with segmentation along their ‘backs’, while others are a beige brown with a smoother body.
First of all, we feel it is important to provide viewer discretion. The following images may prove disturbing or upsetting to sensitive eyes. Secondly, although our reader does not specify what type of help she is requesting in her submission, we must make it clear that we will not be able to identify the organisms. Given that they were in her stool, and thus in her body, the situation becomes medical in nature. As we are not medical professionals, we are not qualified to make identifications of potentially parasitic organisms, as doing so would be tantamount to providing a medical diagnosis. Likewise, we are not qualified to give any suggestions for specific treatments or medications. What we can do to help is provide some resources our reader can use to find and consult with a physician who specializes in matters such as this.
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To be more specific, we recommend that our reader consult a parasitologist. Otherwise known as an infectious disease physician, or simply a parasite specialist, a parasitologist is trained to identify and treat medical issues where an organism is involved. So, what we can recommend is that our reader do one or more of the following: 1) Search for a medical parasitologist in her area using this directory of medical parasitology consultants: https://www.astmh.org/for-astmh-members/clinical-consultants-directory. 2) Search for a local parasitologist by doing a Google search for “medical parasitologist (name of the closest big city)” or “tropical medicine specialist (name of the closest big city)”. 3) Get in touch with Dr. Omar Amin at the Parasitology Center at https://www.parasitetesting.com. 4) Contact Dr. Vipul Savaliya of Infectious Disease Care (“IDCare”) at idcarepa.com. Now, we recognize that our reader is from Portugal (or at least, her query was in Portuguese), and that, since we are a U.S. based organization, the following resources are unfortunately based in the U.S. That said, the two physicians mentioned above can consult with people online, and we imagine that if our reader contacts them, they could still be of help. Likewise, she could ask them if they are familiar with any counterparts in Portugal.
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In conclusion, while we are not able or qualified to identify the organisms our reader found in her stool, we hope that the resources listed above are of help. Similarly, if any of our other Portuguese readers know of any Portugal-based parasitologists that they can recommend, then they are welcome to share any resources in the comments section below. We wish our reader the very best!