Are parasites causing illness and pain in your body?

It sounds extreme, but parasites in humans are more common than you might think. You don’t need to travel in the wilds of South America to pick one up. Parasites can be found and contracted anywhere and not just foreign countries.

If you have tried everything –  Intestinal Parasites are can be the reason why you can’t fully heal your gut and can’t find the relief you need from your chronic stubborn symptoms.

What Are Parasites?

Parasites are organisms that live in or on a host, they can survive throughout the body however many prefer the intestinal wall. They live and feed off of another organism, they are minute and come in different shapes and sizes.  In fact, most parasites go diagnosed. They often show no obvious signs or symptoms of distress in the body.

Parasites range from microscopic organisms to larger multi-cellular and often show no obvious signs & symptoms of distress and discomfort in the body, but they can mimic irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and always steal our valuable nutrients! Some of them are:

  • Pinworm
  • Hookworm
  • Whipworm
  • Dientamoeba fragilis
  • Blastocystis hominis

These 2 are more aggressive with usual obvious gut symptoms such as diarrhoea :

  • Giardia lambda
  • Cryptosporidium

Whilst its not necessary to eradicate parasites in everyone hosting them, it is certainly important to investigate and treat for anyone with a chronic health condition.

What Symptoms Do Parasites Cause?

Parasitic infections can cause symptoms such as bloating, cramping, diarrhoea, constipation, fatigue, food intolerances and skin disorders. The health of a person’s gut, microbiome, the quality of their diet, levels of stress, and our genes all contribute to whether the body is capable of hosting them. The scary part is they can live for years undiagnosed and can cause what seem to be unrelated symptoms such insomnia, anaemia (by feeding off red blood cells), irritability and autoimmune conditions.

 How do you get Parasites?

There are many different types of parasites in our environment most enter the body through contaminated food or water, sometimes parasites are even contracted through the sole of your foot!

Usually people who acquire a parasite already have a weakened immune system or Leaky gut syndrome and an imbalance in gut microbiome. They are certainly contagious and something as simple as not washing your hands can transmit the infection.

 

Signs You Are Host To A Parasite!

  • Heartburn, reflux
  • Fever, nausea
  • IBS
  • Diarrhoea, cramps
  • Bloating, gas
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anaemia
  • Teeth Grinding
  • Anxiety
  • PMS/PMDD
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Skin problems
  • Weight issues
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • malnutrition

 

Is it a parasite, or isn’t it?

Not every case of the above symptoms can be blamed on parasites. There could be many reasons, there are other gut infections such as SIBO, fat malabsorption and H pylori to name a few. So working out where to start by a qualified health care provider is essential. But, because parasites are believed to be rare, they are often overlooked in the diagnostic process. Older, and sometimes unreliable, testing methods is another reason for an unsuccessful parasite diagnosis.

Detecting Parasites!

There are now inexpensive genetic tests are available.  This is a far more effective way for precise detection because some parasite are able to lay dormant phase in the body and then resurface as active.

 

Treatment What’s Invovled?

A blend of herbs such as oregano, pomegranate husk and nigella target specific species of parasites, nutritional supplementation (probiotics) and adequate dietary changes (foods that feed parasites) are essential while eradicating parasites from the body. Each individual will differ in terms of treatment protocols. The main component is to support the immune system and boost its ability to work effectively against pathogens by starting on strengthening the Gastrointestinal Tract (GIT) through supplementation and specific nutrient rich dietary changes. Treatment is aim at also sparing and improving the beneficial gut microbiome, in fact eradication alone is not necessarily useful if gut function does not change to become inhospitable to parasites.

Cheers, Gabriella

References
 The effect of Nigella sativa aqueous extract on Dientamoeba fragilis: an in vivo experimental study Eida OM, Eida AM, Eida MM, Dessouki AA – Parasitol United J. 2017. The effect of Nigella sativa aqueous extract on Dientamoeba fragilis: an in vivo experimental study Eida OM, Eida AM, Eida MM, Dessouki AA – Parasitol United J. [ONLINE] Available at: http://new.puj.eg.net/article.asp?issn=1687-7942;year=2015;volume=8;issue=1;spage=52;epage=59;aulast=Eida. [Accessed 27 October 2017].
Europe PMC. 2017. Skin manifestations in parasite infection. – Abstract – Europe PMC. [ONLINE] Available at: http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/12561678. [Accessed 27 October 2017].
2017. Journal of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine – Case study: Dientamoeba infection and post – infectious dysbiosis (Health Collection) – Informit. [ONLINE] Available at: https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=910454057758372;res=IELHEA. [Accessed 27 October 2017].
SpringerLink. 2017. Associations between common intestinal parasites and bacteria in humans as revealed by qPCR | SpringerLink. [ONLINE] Available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10096-016-2680-2. [Accessed 27 October 2017].

 

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