Parasite Symptoms, Information & Causes
General Parasite Information
Parasites are organisms that are larger in size than bacteria that can invade the body and cause infection or other medical problems. The most common forms of parasites live in the large intestines, but parasites can also invade other areas of the body, including the brain. The majority of North Americans think parasites only affect people in underdeveloped countries, but research shows that most Americans up to 85% have at least one type of worm parasite living in their bodies that they are unaware of.
The most common types of parasites are:
- Roundworms, ascarids, hookworms
- Contagious intestinal parasites with the shape of an earthworm but smaller in size.
- Appear as short white threads of 1/3 inch length or shorter. This is the most common worm problem for young children.
- Are from one inch to thirty feet in length and may live in the body for up to 25 years.
- Protozoa, flukes
- Names for specific types of roundworms.
Parasite infestations may be severe or mild and can be life threatening, especially for children. Parasites commonly lead to poor absorption of critical nutrients, which can cause anemia, growth problems, fatigue and a weakened immune system. These infestations can be the leading cause of severe abdominal cramping, fatigue, skin rashes, food allergies and chronic illness. Parasites are often found in people with AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, candidiasis, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis and many other disorders where the immune and digestive system become impaired.
Possible Causes of Parasites / Worms
Parasites enter the body via the mouth, the skin and the bottom of the feet. Direct contact with the bodily fluids (sexual contact) of a contaminated person can also spread parasites. Parasites can be found in contaminated soil, vegetables, meat, water (both salt and fresh water), household pets and feces. Worm eggs or larvae are often ingested in partially cooked or uncooked foods and they can become airborne. If you have pets, especially indoor cats, parasites are often transferred from the litter box throughout the house. It is best to keep pets out of the bedrooms and off of furniture to prevent infection.
Possible Symptoms of Parasites / Worms
Symptoms of parasites vary depending on the type and severity of infestation. The worms may go undetected for years with no apparent symptoms, but they may be seen in the stool. Parasites appear as mucous at the bottom of the toilet bowel or as actual worms that are within the stool. Other common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea. Weight loss, anaemia, dehydration and malnutrition can occur in extreme cases.
Symptoms of specific parasite infestations follow:
- May cause severe anal itching, insomnia and restlessness. These worms tend to migrate out through the anus at night to lay eggs.
- May cause the soles of the feet to itch. Bloody spit from the mouth, fever, rash and loss of appetite are also possible
- May cause coughing, abdominal pain, diarrhea, gas and itchy red abrasions on the anus.
- May cause weight loss, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.
- May cause bloating, stomach pain, vomiting and shortness of breath.
- Microscopic Roundworms
- May lead to muscle damage and complications of the cardio and neurological systems.
Prevention Parasite / Worm Infections
Do not eat undercooked meat, fish or poultry. Do not walk barefoot outside in public areas. Wash hands after playing with pets and farm animals. Do not allow household pets into the bedrooms. Avoid drinking stream water when camping. People traveling to developing countries should avoid drinking tap water, eating uncooked foods, foods purchased from street vendors, ice and fruits that cannot be peeled. Eat a healthy diet made up of primarily of organic, well washed fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water. If you are travelling bring a high dose probiotic (friendly bacteria) to support healthy intestinal flora. It is important to bring a heat stable probiotic that is enteric coated and contains 20-50 billion live strains of acidophilus and bifidus bacteria.
Beneficial Dietary Supplements
The following suggestions are not intended to heal or teat parasites. If you suspect you have parasites it is recommended you go and see a medical professional. Sometimes the parasites can be detected through a stool sample that your doctor will send for testing. The following are simply suggestions. Due to the vast number of illnesses implicating parasites as the cause, a regular natural digestive detoxification program including an anti-parasite formula and regular colon cleansing to promote proper elimination is the best recommendation. You may need to use an antibiotic prescribed from your physician to help kill the parasites. Following this an herbal parasite cleanse and a round of four to six colonics will benefit in flushing the parasites from your body.
The following herbs are extremely beneficial in fighting parasite infections and recommended for those travelling outside of North America as a method of prevention.
- Black Walnut Extract destroys most types of intestinal worms.
- Grapefruit Seed Extract is effective in destroying parasites. It may be taken internally and used to wash raw fruits and vegetables before eating.
- Cayenne, Garlic and Turmeric support proper immune system function and help destroy some worms.
- Aloe Vera Juice may be taken to soothe the system.
- Acidophilus helps restores normal friendly bacteria levels to the intestines.
- Essential Fatty Acids may help protect the intestinal tract.
- Multivitamin and Mineral Complex supports proper nutrition.
- Vitamin B Complex may help prevent anemia caused by parasites.
- Bromelain may help to destroy tapeworms.
- Witch Hazel may be used to reduce anal itching.
When doing a parasite cleanse it is best to use a kit which will contain all of the above herbs. The kits usually have capsules and tincture products to offer you the best benefits. Ideally you will follow a parasite cleanse for 15 days, take 5 days off then complete it for another 15 days. It is essential to do colonics during the cleanse month at least once a week. This way as the parasites die off you can effectively eliminate them from the body. When you see parasites pass from your body they will often look like clumps of mucous or long strings of yellowy or white mucous. As an effective preventative measure it is important to do at least one parasite cleanse a year. Those with physical symptoms of parasites may do more than one cleanse a year to completely tackle the tough and often persistent parasites in the body. When you have effectively cleansed the worms from your body and re-established healthy bacteria in the bowel; the physical symptoms will diminish and your health will be restored.
- Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 3rd Edition, Phyllis Balch, CNC; James F. Balch, M.D.