Even though mainstream medicine often overlooks parasites as a cause or contributing factor when it comes to ill health, these “little beasties” are so prevalent and factor into so many different health issues that, early on, I wanted to be sure this site had at least some information about them to help raise awareness of the problems they cause.
I hate to say that I’ve actually had this post in the works since I first created this blog years ago, but somehow the draft got lost in the queue. And I didn’t realize that until recently when 2 friends asked if I knew anything about parasites and I went to send them a link to this info and found it had never actually been published. A few days ago another friend asked me and I figured I’d better “hop to.”
So, here ya go…..finally…..belatedly
Got PARASITES? More Than Likely!
You constantly hear from the mainstream medical establishment how avoiding trans fats, high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. are what you need to focus on, and certainly those things are important. But often little mention is made of parasites, heavy metals, candida, or how an overly acidic pH level (see post on The All-important pH Factor) can wreck havoc with your health. And yet, these issues play a major role in a wide variety of unhealthy, even life-threatening, conditions. These factors also come up in regard to some of the cleanse routines featured on this blog, so providing at least a quick overview here insures that you have some understanding of the part they can play in creating a toxic inner environment.
Parasites, in particular, get overlooked because people still think of them as a third world country problem, plus they can be pretty icky to even think about. Unfortunately they are a much bigger and more prevalent problem than most people imagine. Way back in 1990 a test sampling of the population of Elmhurst, NY showed that potentially 74.5% of the subjects were infected with intestinal parasites. And it’s now becoming clear that such test results are not some rare, isolated occurrence. Many people, whether they’re aware of it or not, are serving as a host (or hostess)—even when no one else is around. That’s because many Americans have bodies that are not only over-burdened by environmental toxins, but by the presence of a large variety of parasites as well
Sluggish digestion, eating an overly acidic diet, poor elimination, and the accumulation of toxic waste material in the colon form an ideal breeding ground for, in the words of National Geographic, “a sinister world of monstrous creatures that feed on living flesh: parasites” (wow, sounds like a trailer for some horror movie or The Walking Dead!). It’s something many of us don’t like to think about, but ignoring the issue can only make things worse. And if you are really intent on improving your health and/or cleansing and detoxing the body, it’s possible you’ll encounter some “little beasties” in the process, so it’s best to be forewarned.
Discover magazine published a feature article back in its August 2000 issue that stated: “Every living thing has at least one parasite that lives inside or on it, and many, including humans, have far more…” Most alternative healthcare practitioners have been aware of the problem parasites pose for some time, but the mainstream medical profession and scientific community are only just beginning to discover exactly how powerful these hidden inhabitants can be. The body is a collection of cells that work together, kept harmonized by chemical signals, and if an organism can control those signals—an organism like a parasite—it can have a far-reaching, even deadly, effect.
The combination of environmental toxins, an unhealthy diet, and parasites can cause any number of serious health issues. “In fact, parasites have killed more humans than all the wars in history”, National Geographic reported in its award-winning documentary, The Body Snatchers. I remember initially thinking that only people in under-developed countries had problems with parasites, and I was appalled at the thought that I might have worms and other things using me as some sort of rent-free housing. If you don’t believe parasites infect and affect people in America, just look at the pictures and read the thousands of personal stories on any number of websites. You will soon realize that this is a much bigger health issue in this country than you ever thought possible.
And you can’t always depend on testing to pick up the presence of parasites in your system. The test I had early on at the doctor’s office came back negative, but when I started doing some of my first colon cleanses I was both repulsed and intrigued when worms of various sizes and shapes started coming out, along with other toxins and waste. The good thing was that it provided validation that the cleanse I was doing was actually making a difference. But ridding my body of parasites was a slow and sometimes daunting proposition, and there were times when I wondered if I’d ever do a cleanse and NOT have some “little critters” show up.
Part of the problem is that you can pick up parasites in so many different ways. You can get them from contaminated food and/or water, unhealthy living conditions, your pets, eating raw fish or sushi, walking barefoot, etc. And the rise in international travel, use of day care centers, increased immigration, over-use of antibiotics, and propensity for some people toward having multiple sexual partners all add to the problem. Even people staying in some of the very best hotels have been known to come home with bedbugs or other unfriendly organisms picked up from what they thought was a chic, pristine environment. And contrary to popular belief, once in our bodies, parasites do not confine themselves to the colon, but can settle in the lungs, liver, muscles, joints, brain, blood, skin, and even the eyes. Yuck! Now that’s the makings of a real horror movie!
Some signs of the presence of parasites in your system might be chronic abdominal pain, cramps or bloating, chronic fatigue, Crohn’s disease or colitis, constipation or diarrhea, food allergies, unexplained weight loss, skin rashes, a suppressed immune system—even tooth grinding or clenching. Parasites not only damage organs and tissues, but rob the body of nutrients, and emit toxic waste in the process. And many people who have problems with candida (a yeast that is a parasite in its own right), low pH readings (overly-acidic body), and/or heavy metals—all issues mentioned in previous blog posts—also have parasites. Each of these conditions seems to incline you toward the others, which only serves to compound the situation.
Another reason that dealing with parasites can be tricky is that they often go through various stages of development while in your body, and what kills the adult stage of an “alien invader,” unfortunately, does not work on the egg or larva, and vice versa. Most herbal remedies made to help rid the body of parasites contain green black walnut hulls, wormwood, and whole cloves. It’s believed that these three substances taken together will help rid a person of more than 100 types of parasites. The first two ingredients attack the adult stage of various parasites, while cloves kill the eggs. Other substances used to fight parasitic infestation are red clover, Pau d´ Arco, vitamin C, pumpkin and papaya seeds, and wheat grass juice. Also, most parasites thrive on sugar, so eliminating that from your diet, at least temporarily, can also be of benefit.
If you end up doing any colon or liver cleansing, then it’s likely you’ll come up against the parasite issue yourself, so, as they say in the Boy Scouts, “Be prepared.” In fact, Hulda Clark, the author of The Cure for All Diseases, believes that parasites and the toxic chemicals in our daily environment are at the root of almost any disease (she has found them present in 100% of the cancer patients she’s treated). Her book goes into great detail about the different types of parasites humans are susceptible to and what can be done to address the problem. She recommends that anyone considering following her liver cleanse protocol (mentioned in a Self-help Health blog post) always rid themselves of parasites first, or else the cleanse could end up being ineffective.
For extensive information on various parasites and the specific damage they do, you can read Dr. Clark’s book and/or visit her website, or go to www.appliedozone.com/parasites.html. You can also call 1-800-888-4353 to order an in-home parasite test kit offered by Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman through Uni-Key Health Systems.)
(parasite images from CDC)
Parasites have far surpassed epidemic levels in the United States, with most sources estimating that a massive 85% of Americans have parasitic infections. Because of this, we recommend a parasite cleanse every six months, care in choosing restaurants, and cleaning up after exposure to animals.
(Stay tuned for Part !! for more information on different ways to help rid the body of parasites naturally.)
Source: Excerpt from A Healthier You From the Inside Out
More on parasites, this time from The Health Wyze Report…..
Unfortunately, most conventional doctors are not trained in the treatment of parasites. It’s only when parasites are visually seen that American doctors will suspect them, which usually requires a horrific case. There are many symptoms of parasites that people express in daily life, believing that these are completely normal. While sickness has become normal in the modern lifestyle, it does not have to be. The amount of damage that can be caused by parasites is virtually limitless, because many are small enough to travel anywhere in the body through the bloodstream. They exist by robbing the body of nutrients. Parasites are the root cause of Lupus, with all other symptoms being secondary to the parasitic infection. Therefore, Lupus cannot be cured without a parasite cleanse. Of course, Lupus is said to be just another “incurable disease” and an “autoimmune disorder”, according to the conventional doctors.
Identifying The Different Parasites
- Roundworms – Living in the stomach and intestines, these worms enter through under-cooked and contaminated food. Remember that the manure which is used in farming may be contaminated with worms. Always wash your hands after dealing with pets, or their feces.
- Heartworms – It is extremely rare for these to occur in humans. In the few cases which have been seen, they usually occur as a single worm in the lungs, rather than the heart. They cannot be spread from one animal (or human) to another, but must be spread through mosquitoes.
- Tapeworms – Enter the body through under-cooked beef, fish or pork. They live in the lower intestinal tract. Use gloves and wash thoroughly after preparing meat for consumption.
- Pinworms – Living in the intestinal tracts and lungs, these small white worms come out at night to lay eggs around the anus. The eggs hatch and the worms reenter through the anus. If the human scratches during this time, the eggs lay under the fingernails, spreading to wherever the person touches. It is believed that they are small and lightweight enough to become airborne, leading people to inhale them. This is how they can live inside the lungs. Perhaps smoking does have a benefit, after all.
- Hookworms and Threadworms – These can be found in contaminated drinking water, or they can enter directly through the feet. They are tiny in size, and can enter through the soles of the feet, even without any open wounds. Always wear shoes when walking outside. These worms are unique because they have a lifespan of several years, and the eggs can incubate for up to 10 years.
Symptoms of Parasite Infection
- Repeated diarrhea or constipation
- Chronic, unexplained nausea, often accompanied by vomiting
- Fatigue and weakness
- Intestinal cramping
- Unexplained dizziness
- Foul-smelling gas
- Multiple food allergies
- Loss of appetite
- Itching around the anus, especially at night
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty maintaining a healthy weight (over or underweight)
- Itching on the soles of the feet, often accompanied by a rash
- Coughing blood (severe cases)
- Palpitations (Hookworms)
- Facial swelling around the eyes (roundworms)
- Wheezing and coughing, followed by vomiting, stomach pain and bloating (suggesting roundworms or threadworms)
And here’s a site that lists a wide variety (eck!) of human parasites, how you get them and what the symptoms might be if you have them:
Information on intestinal worms:
p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.
Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained health care practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.