If you have started to experience stomach cramping, vomiting, or feverish after eating, drinking or even after bathing, then you may have a bacterial infection caused by E. Coli.
Learn more about its symptoms and what you can do about it.
What is E. Coli?
Escherichia coli, aka E. coli, is a rod-shaped bacterium whose strains are mostly harmless and normally live in the intestines in healthy people and in animals.
Just like with candida, if there is a balanced amount of E. Coli, it is harmless and is beneficial to the digestive system by assisting to digest the food we consume.
The most common strain that causes diarrhoea and makes you feel sick is referred to E. coli 0157, which produces a toxin called Shiga. This toxin damages the lining of your small intestine and causes diarrhoea.
According to the WHO Global Burden of Food-borne Diseases, 300 million illnesses are reported to be caused by diarrhoeagenic E. coli worldwide each year.
What are E. coli infection symptoms?
People can have the following symptoms typically within three to ten days after drinking or eating foods contaminated with E. Coli bacteria:
- Loss of appetite
- Watery diarrhoea
- Blood in stools
- Gas and flatulence
- Stomach discomfort and cramping
- Low fever (around 38.5 °C )
- Urinary Tract Infection, particularly in women.
Most people will feel much better without taking medication within five to seven days. (1.)
It is worth noting that another strain exists which can develop a condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome in which the toxins can destroy red blood cells and damage the kidneys.
The symptoms of this strain include the following:
- Blood in the urine
- Feeling dizzy
- Fast heart rate
What are the common causes of E. Coli?
You can only get infected by eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
Common food sources include:
- Undercooked meat. This accounts for approximately 55% of E. coli infections.
The riskier meat is ground beef, followed by steak.
- Unpasteurised raw cows/goat/sheep milk.
- Raw cheese
- Fruits and vegetables that have not been thoroughly washed.
Common water sources include:
- Ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, and the sea
How to prevent E. Coli
- Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly before eating or drinking.
You can also get E. Coli on your hands after changing baby diapers, having a bowel movement, being in contact with farm animals.
- Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly
- If you eat meat, make sure to cook it thoroughly. Using a thermometer will give you the indication when meat is thoroughly cooked.
Wash your hands after you open a package with meat, since it is usually covered with bacteria. Never rinse raw meat in the sink before cooking it.
Clean and disinfect all surfaces exposed to raw meat. It is best to use a ceramic or plastic cutting board for meat since they can be cleaned easier.
E. coli can still survive high heat, therefore reducing meat consumption or switching to a plant-based diet will minimise infection.
- Avoid nail biting
- Try to avoid getting water in the mouth, eyes, ears and nose if you are bathing in possibly contaminated fresh water, swimming pools and even the sea.
How to treat an E. Coli infection
The conventional treatment is to rest and drink plenty of fluids, since E. Coli usually clears up by itself within five to seven days.
Antibiotics are not typically recommended since they are ineffective against E. Coli.
Health care professionals don't recommend drugs to stop diarrhoea either, since this is the body's effective method in removing toxins from the body.
If there is severe dehydration and you're experiencing symptoms caused by the strain that develops hemolytic uremic syndrome, then hospitalisation may be needed to receive treatments, such as IV fluids, electrolytes etc.
1. Drink plenty of fluids
Experiencing diarrhoea will cause you to lose a lot of water, therefore it is best to drink good quality, filtered water.
Avoid tap water. To find out why, read my blog post: why you shouldn't drink tap water.
A nice healing broth recipe I can recommend is the following by Anthony Williams - Medical Medium:
Healing Broth Recipe
- 4 carrots, chopped or 1 sweet potato, cubed
- 2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
- 2 onions, sliced
- 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 1 cup of shiitake mushrooms, fresh or dried (optional)
- 2 tomatoes, chopped (optional)
- 1 bulb of garlic (about 6-8 cloves), minced
- 1 inch of fresh ginger root
- 1 inch of fresh turmeric root
- 8 cups of water
- Optional: Chili peppers or red pepper flakes
Place all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a gentle boil. Turn heat down to low and allow to simmer for about an hour. Strain and sip for a mineral rich, healing and restorative broth or leave the veggies in to enjoy as a light healing soup.
Oregano oil is a powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal.
You can take oregano daily up to a maximum of 2 weeks, then it is best to take a break before taking them again.
A study in 2003 (2) concluded that the bactericidal concentration of oregano irreversibly damaged E. Coli and is therefore effective in prevention as well as treatment.
You may wish to speak to your doctor first before taking oregano oil since it may interfere with medication involved with blood clotting and increase risk of bleeding.
Oregano oil is generally not recommended for pregnant women.
Activated charcoal is a potent absorber of toxins and chemicals. I highly recommend having activated charcoal at home as one of the first-aid remedies.
There is no set dosage as such, so it is best to follow the instructions on the label.
As a general rule:
For the onset of diarrhoea, take 1000 mg with a full glass of water and 1 hour later take another 1000mg with a full glass of water.
For children, take 200mg with a glass of water and 1 hour later they can take another 200mg with plenty of water.
It is the number one remedy for food poisoning and can even prevent hangovers. Pesticides, mercury, fertilisers and other chemicals bind to the surface of activated charcoal and pulls them out of the body.
Activated charcoal is used to filter water, such as the Big Berkey water filter I recommend as mentioned in my blog post on Filtering Your Water to Optimize Your Health
A study published in 2001 (3) concluded that activated charcoal is a powerful and effective absorber for the removal of E. Coli. In this study, 10mg of activated charcoal absorbed strains of E. Coli within 5 minutes, whilst not affecting the good bacteria needed within our gut for a healthy microflora.
It is important to take activated charcoal at least 90 minutes before meals, supplements and prescription medicine as it can interfere with absorption.
Activated charcoal may interfere with the following medication:
- Naltrexone (used for alcohol and opioid dependence)
- Morphine Sulfate Liposome
- Mycophenolate Mofetil
- Mycophenolic Acid
- Tricyclic antidepressants
If there are any doubts, consult your doctor.
- Cleveland Clinic https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16638-e-coli-infection
Burt SA, Reinders RD. Antibacterial activity of selected plant essential oils against Escherichia coli O157:H7. Lett Appl Microbiol. 2003;36(3):162-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1472-765x.2003.01285.x. PMID: 12581376. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12581376/
- Naka K, Watarai S, Tana, Inoue K, Kodama Y, Oguma K, Yasuda T, Kodama H. Adsorption effect of activated charcoal on enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli. J Vet Med Sci. 2001 Mar;63(3):281-5. doi: 10.1292/jvms.63.281. PMID: 11307928. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11307928/
Everyone that comes to have a kinesiology session will get tested for heavy metals, usually within the first few sessions.
Why is this so important though? Where do heavy metals even come from? What do I need to do to eliminate them efficiently?
I will answer all of that here for you.
Heavy metals can be a hidden antagoniser, even at low levels of exposure it can have a significant impact on the health of our organs. The toxicity of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury pose the greatest risk to public health (1). There are many potential symptoms of heavy metal toxicity, such as:
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Mood disorders
- Concentration and memory loss
- Prolong and increase the severity of bacterial and viral conditions
- Tingling or numbness
- Heart palpitations
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Aches and pains
The truth is, we can't get away from them in this day and age. They are described as being heavy because once they are in the body, they are hard to get out and stick around, quite often accumulating within tissues within the brain, liver, heart, kidneys, immune system and the reproductive system.
Mothers can also pass heavy metals down to their unborn child because heavy metals, such as mercury, are able to cross the placenta, blood-brain and blood-cerebrospinal fluid barriers. Over time there is an accumulation of these toxic heavy metals, which can make us more vulnerable and weaker with every generation.
Here are some of the common ways we can get exposure to heavy metals:
- Traffic fumes, air pollution, cigarette smoke, radiation.
- Food, such as fish, seafood, and processed foods, canned foods, soda drinks and baby formulas (2)
- Amalgam dental fillings
- Tap water has concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, nickel, mercury, chromium, zinc, and lead (3). (This is why it is so important to have a good water filter system!)
- Cosmetics, such as lip products, whitening toothpaste, eyeliner, nail colour, foundations, sunscreens, eye shadows, blush, concealer, moisturisers, eye drops, antiperspirants and talcum powder (4)
- Children's toys
- Getting tattoos
- Aluminium foil, metal pots, pans, stainless steel cutlery
How to eliminate heavy metals from the body efficiently?
The heavy metal detox protocol is a method created by Anthony Williams, Medical Medium.
In kinesiology sessions, I have found the protocol to be extremely effective, quite often eliminating the heavy metal imbalance within one month of daily consumption.
There are 5 foods that synergistically work together to pull out these toxins deep within our body:
- Spirulina: A superfood algae with potential to pull out heavy metals from your brain, central nervous system, urinary system (5) and liver.
Hawaiian spirulina is often considered a superior spirulina. A good one can be found on Naturitas.es
It is not recommended to get one shipped from China.
- Barley grass juice powder: A superfood grass with the ability to remove heavy metals (6) from the spleen, intestinal tract, pancreas, thyroid, and reproductive system.
It is important to make sure its the juice of the barley grass. A good one can be found on Naturitas.es
- Cilantro/coriander (7): This herb grabs onto old heavy metals from hard-to-reach places.
It is best to buy organic or grow your own if possible!
- Wild blueberries (8): This anti-oxidant rich berry removes heavy metals from the brain. It's protective abilities heal oxidation caused by heavy metals and is particularly useful in the case of Alzheimer's and dementia.
You can buy this in the freezer section of most supermarkets. The large ones are cultivated and will not hold the same nutritional value. If you cut the cultivated ones in half, they will be whitish inside.
When cutting a wild blueberry in half, it will be blue all the way through.
If you are in the Javea area, you will find a large 1kg packet of wild blueberries in the freezer section of Puga cash and carry supermarket, near Mercadona between the port and arenal.
As of September 2022, a 1 kilo bag should cost about 8 euros.
- Atlantic dulse: This seaweed is like a magnet and binds itself to lead, aluminium, copper, cadmium, and nickel. It draws out heavy metals from the digestive tract and ensures all heavy metals are eliminated from the body (9).
A large bag can be bought from Naturitas.es
Best taken every morning for 1 month minimum, this smoothie is so tasty that even children will love it!
The recipe is based on one person, therefore double the ingredients as needed.
Incorporate at a minimum of 3 ingredients.
Place the wild blueberries into a bowl and let them thaw during the night.
In the morning, drain the liquid and add the blueberries to the blender with the other ingredients.
You can add additional ingredients such as, bananas, apples, honey, shredded coconut or dates to sweeten.
Add 1 cup or more of either water, vegetable milk, or orange juice.
Blend thoroughly, pour into a tall glass and enjoy!
It is reccomended to drink daily for at least 1 month at a minimum.
- Tchounwou PB, Yedjou CG, Patlolla AK, Sutton DJ. Heavy metal toxicity and the environment. Exp Suppl. 2012;101:133-64. doi: 10.1007/978-3-7643-8340-4_6. PMID: 22945569; PMCID: PMC4144270. [online] Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22945569/
- European Commission. Mercury in food [Online] Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/chemical-safety/contaminants/catalogue/mercury_en
- Rehman K, Fatima F, Waheed I, Akash MSH. Prevalence of exposure of heavy metals and their impact on health consequences. J Cell Biochem. 2018 Jan;119(1):157-184. doi: 10.1002/jcb.26234. Epub 2017 Aug 2. PMID: 28643849. [online] Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28643849/
- Campaign For Safe Cosmetics. Lead And Other Heavy metals. [Online] Available at: https://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/lead-and-other-heavy-metals/
- Hideki Fukino, Yukari Takagi, Yasuhiro Yamane. Effect of Spirulina (S. platensis) on the Renal Toxicity Induced by Inorganic Mercury and Cisplatin (Regular Presentations) (Proceedings of the 15 th Symposium on Environmental Pollutants and Toxicology). 1990. [ Online] Available at:
- Eldamaty HSE, Elbasiouny H, Elmoslemany AM, Abd El-Maoula LM, El-Desoky OI, Rehan M, Abd El Moneim D, Zedan A. Protective Effect of Wheat and Barley Grass Against the Acute Toxicological Effects of the Concurrent Administration of Excessive Heavy Metals in Drinking Water on the Rats Liver and Brain. Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(11):5059.
- Masoumeh Bahrekazemi, Mahboubeh Eslami & Jaber Nikbakhsh (2020) The effect of dietary coriander supplementation on growth performance, biochemical responses, carcass proximate composition, and heavy metal accumulation in beluga, Huso huso, Journal of Applied Aquaculture, DOI: 10.1080/10454438.2020.1782798
- Pin Gong, Fu-xin Chen, Lan Wang, Jing Wang, Sai Jin, Yang-min Ma. Protective effects of blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) extract against cadmium-induced hepatotoxicity in mice. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology, Volume 37, Issue 3, 2014, Pages 1015-1027, ISSN 1382-6689. [Online] Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1382668914000726
- Medical Medium. Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie. [Online] Available at: