Aloha! Here is another article I found about Parasites, How common they are, and what we can do to protect ourselves – Very informative, definitely a must read.
Ask yourself – Do I have Parasites?
Do I Have Parasites That I Am Unaware Of?
Ask yourself the following questions.
___ Do you have diarrhea frequently?
___ Do you have abdominal cramps or pains?
___ Do you have intestinal gas frequently after eating?
___ Do you suffer from indigestion or flatulence and bloating frequently?
___Have you lost weight without trying?
___Are you anorexic now or have you even been?
___After meals, do you often have heartburn or find it necessary to belch frequently?
___Are you often constipated and bloated?
___Do you suffer from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia?
___Have you noticed blood or mucus in your stools?
If you answered, “yes” to two or more questions, intestinal parasites may be causing your symptoms but treating the symptoms alone won’t eliminate the parasitic infection, it is important to find out what parasitic infection you have in order to eradicate it. Parasites affect millions of even those who never leave the country. They can cause symptoms from intestinal disorders as those mentioned above along with problems throughout the body.
Why should I be concerned about parasites?
Parasites are much more common in North America and other developed countries than you may realize. They also cause many diseases, which can lead to serious illness and even death. Intestinal parasites can weaken your body’s natural immune system, making you more susceptible to other illnesses. The frequency of world travel and increased immigration to the North America has resulted in the significant increase and spread of parasitic infections, as many parasitic infections can be asymptomatic and passed on without knowledge.
What are intestinal parasites?
Intestinal parasites are a variety of organisms ranging from visible worms (like tapeworms and pinworms) to microscopic organisms such as Giardia lamblia that live within the intestinal tract, and quite often other organs, growing and feeding off the resources of your body, robbing your body of precious nutrients.
How do you get parasites?
• Parasites are found in raw and undercooked food and treated and untreated water; are transmitted by insects and household pets; and are passed from person to person through unsanitary habits and poor hygiene. Other parasites and their eggs are found in raw, rare or undercooked meats and fish, while others are in contaminated soil.
• Parasites travel in different ways. For example: the microorganism Giardia, which causes persistent diarrhea, fever, cramps and other symptoms, is contained in feces. It gets into public water supplies when animal or human sewage contaminates the water source. It can also be transmitted from person to person through careless diaper changing and poor hygiene in day care centers.
• Another parasites, Cryptosporidium, infest public water systems and can cause widespread outbreaks of severe diarrhea and cramps. It has been found in water supplies throughout the North America, and the disease it causes can prove fatal for people with weakened immune systems.
• Many immigrants unknowingly carry parasites that can produce symptoms in others transmitting the organisms into food through unsanitary practices in restaurants kitchens.
What are the symptoms of a parasites infection?
• Almost any persistent digestive disorders could result from a parasite. The most common symptoms are diarrhea and abdominal pain. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, gas and bloating, foul-smelling stools, anorexia or weight loss, gastritis, fever and chills, headache, constipation, blood or mucus in stools and fatigue.
• Other health problems can result from disturbed digestive processes or toxins produced by the parasites, such as aches and pains in the joints and muscles, anemia, allergies, chronic fatigue, immune dysfunction, sleep disturbances and depression.
• Ongoing irritation from a parasitic infection can alter the lining of your intestine, creating the “leaky gut” syndrome, which permits toxic compounds to permeate into the body through the intestine. A variety of disorders, including food allergy and inflammatory bowel disease (IBS or IBD), can result from altered intestinal permeability.
How can I tell if I have parasites?
• Many symptoms of parasitic infections are similar to other illnesses, making it particularly important to test for parasites for proper diagnosis and treatment. A comprehensive parasites test, using a stool sample analyzed by a laboratory specializing in parasite testing, is the most effective way to diagnose this type of infection.
How do you treat parasites?
• Eliminating the parasitic infection is the key to relieving the symptoms of infection, or the parasites will continue to grow and reproduce. Health care professionals such as naturopathic doctors use a variety of natural treatments to eliminate parasites, including anti-parasitic herbs, diet changes and adding “friendly” bacteria to your gastrointestinal tract once a proper diagnosis is obtained.
How do I get a parasitology test?
• Talk to your naturopathic doctor about your symptoms and ask if parasite testing would be suitable for you.
How do I prevent parasites?
• Always wash your hands before eating, after cleaning up and after playing with pets.
• Order your food cooked to medium or well done when eating out in order to ensure that there are no parasitic infections in the meat.
• Don’t eat in places that appear unsanitary. Always look around for the inspection certificate that is usually displayed at the entrance of the establishment.
• Don’t drink unfiltered or untreated water, no matter how pure it looks. Drink bottled or boiled water when traveling in undeveloped countries.
• Insist on antiseptic cleaning practices at day care Centers. Carry antibacterial wipes with you and make sure you wipe of your children’s hands and yours after leaving day care.
By: SUSHMA SHAH, NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR, AT THE NATURE’ S INTENTIONS NATUROPATHIC CLINIC.