Parasites are organisms that depend on a host for survival. Parasites can have one of three relationships with their host. First there’s mutualism where both the host and the parasite benefit from the relationship. The mutualistic relationship is demonstrated in the vagina where lactobacilli are provided with a warm environment and nutrition in exchange for production of lactic acid, which protects the vagina from overproduction of yeast and colonization of other potentially harmful microbes. The second type of relationship is known as commensalism where there is no apparent harm to the host’s health. For example, there are certain types of staph present on skin that do not cause any harm to health, but are responsible for various body odors. The third type of relationship, known as parasitism, occurs when the host’s health is harmed by the presence of a disease causing parasite.
Pathogenic parasites often live and proliferate in the intestinal track, but can also migrate to the liver, pancreas, lungs, and stomach as well as other areas other body. There are a variety of parasites such as roundworms, liver or pancreatic flukes, pinworms, hookworms and others that cause a range of symptoms in humans. These types of parasites infect a host and immediately begin to deteriorate health because they absorb vital nutrients the host needs and release toxins into the body. According to AltMed, there are only five root causes of illness which include: Heavy Metal Toxicity, Parasites, Food Allergies, Poor Diet and Nutrition, and Dental Problems. Notice that parasites are among the five causes.
A common misconception is that parasitic infections are more likely to occur in underdeveloped countries. In fact, most people have contracted parasites at some point in their life by consuming contaminated food or water, undercooked meat or fish, unwashed fruits and vegetables or by coming into physical contact with microscopic eggs on surfaces. An infected person can easily pass eggs by failing to properly wash their hands after using the restroom. Microscopic eggs are often present on door handles, cell phones, restaurant table items, hands, skin, and pets.
Amy Meyers, doctor and author of The Autoimmune Solution says, “If you have tried countless approaches to heal your gut and relieve your symptoms without any success, a parasite could be the underlying cause for many of your unexplained and unresolved symptoms.”
Common Signs of Parasite Infection
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or issues with constipation, diarrhea, gas, and bloating.
- International travel where “traveler’s diarrhea” was experienced.
- Trouble sleeping or waking often through the night. (Insomnia)
- Skin irritations such as eczema, hives, rosacea, or other rashes.
- Teeth grinding.
- Constant joint pain or muscle aches.
- Persistent fatigue, lethargy, and lack of energy.
- Depression or lack of interest in life.
- Iron-deficiency anemia.
- Irritability, anxiety, and mood swings.
- Insatiable appetite.
- Anal or vaginal itching.
- Thinning hair.
- Bad breath and body odor.
- Hypoglycemia and blood sugar problems.
- Shortness of breath.
- Mucous in stool.
- Malnourishment and vitamin deficiencies despite robust diet.
According to Meyers, these symptoms are manifestations of the internal battle a person’s body is waging against parasites. A massive amount of energy is expended during the body’s constant effort to counteract the effects of parasites and preserve homeostasis or balance. In addition, malnourishment can occur, weakening the body’s immune response and leading to a host of other health issues.
Meyers wrote, “Trouble sleeping, skin irritations, mood changes, and muscle pain can all be caused by the toxins that parasites release into the bloodstream. These toxins often cause anxiety, which can manifest itself in different ways. For instance, waking up in the middle of the night or grinding your teeth in your sleep are signs that your body is experiencing anxiety while you rest. When these toxins interact with your neurotransmitters or blood cells, they can cause mood swings or skin irritation.”
Webster Kehr of the Independent Cancer Research Foundation suggests that pancreatic flukes are the root cause of Type 2 Diabetes. These parasites intercept glucose causing long-term interference in production of insulin and overload the organs ultimately leading to the dysfunction that we call Type 2 Diabetes. Altmed Today reports a connection between parasites and common health conditions including cancer, asthma, allergies, and irritable bowel syndrome. For example, night coughs and asthma caused by round worms in the lungs or bloating, gas, nausea, and appetite changes caused by strongyloides and liver flukes present in the gallbladder and liver.
Parasitic infections often go unnoticed and untreated because traditional stool tests frequently yield false negatives and Western medicine is not designed to cure root causes of disease. Functional medicine physicians can administer comprehensive stools tests to help individuals identify up to 17 types of parasites. Thought it is more effective, the comprehensive stool test does not always identify parasites that are burrowed deep within organs.
Tinctures of broad spectrum antibiotic herbs can be used to exterminate parasites. Magnesium caprylate, berberine, tribulus extracts, sweet wormwood, grapefruit, barberry, bearberry, clove, oregano, and black walnut are commonly used. Many websites and health food stores offer tinctures and “paracleanses” that are highly effective and easy to follow. Cleanses may need to be repeated several times with short rest periods between in order to successfully remove all unwanted critters.
During treatment it is important to keep bowels moving at least three times per day with a colon cleanse. As parasites die off, they will exit through the bowels. The “P&B Shake,” a mixture of liquid calcium bentonite, whole psyllium, and filtered water is commonly paired with herbal tinctures or capsules to remove parasites from the body.
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