Recent Blog Entries
Common Intestinal Parasites
Here is a link from the American Academy of Family Physicians listing the most common intestinal parasites.
Dr Mark Hyman
Are Parasites Your Missing Diagnosis?
The hidden epidemic that can trigger weight gain, increase anxiety, destroy digestion and fuel sugar cravings.
Over 25 years ago, the Chief of Pathobiology at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Peter Weina, PhD, FACP, told me, “we have a tremendous parasite problem right here in the United States—it’s just not being identified.”
Could unsuspected parasites be holding your health hostage?
If you regularly struggle with a stubborn sweet tooth, fatigue, or any of the following symptoms, invisible culprits could be the underlying cause:
- Anxiety, nervousness and depression
- Frequent infections including yeast infections and colds
- Intestinal issues like intermittent constipation, diarrhea, bloating and gas
- Joint or muscle pain
- Difficulty sleeping or nighttime teeth grinding
- Dark circles around or under the eyes
- Acne, eczema, hives, rashes or other skin conditions
- Sensory disorders such as vertigo, brain fog or poor coordination
A focus of my work since my book Guess What Came to Dinner? Parasites and Your Health came out in 1991, most people still dismiss parasites as a third-world concern.
But, a study in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene found that 32% of a nationally representative sample of 2,896 people tested positive for parasitic infections, and at least 48 states have fought measurable outbreaks.
It’s time that this epidemic finally be brought into focus. Increased international travel, improperly washed fruits and vegetables, undercooked/raw or microwaved fish, meat and poultry, polluted soil and water and inadequate hygiene (particularly in daycare and senior centers) all contribute to the spread of parasites.
Parasites are responsible for an enormous panorama of human health problems. Within our bodies, these critters consume our food and nutrients, producing toxic wastes, and eventually even destroying our tissues and cells.
As the most immunosuppressive agent in the human body, parasites produce indole catabolites that our eliminating organs like the kidneys and liver have to work overtime to excrete. In addition, our immune system goes on overdrive, emitting substances called cytokines that trigger a variety of immune responses. These high levels of cytokines have been linked to increased incidences like violent suicide attempts as well as depression. Cytokines can pass through the blood-brain barrier and negatively impact neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin in the brain.
Here are the warning signs:
- Sugar cravings - A diet high in simple carbs like sugar, white flour, and milk can fuel your uninvited guests, even so-called “natural” sweets—honey, rice syrup, fruit juice sweeteners—provide instant nourishment for your internal hitchhikers. Simple carbohydrate foods require more time to pass through the alimentary system. A sluggish transit time allows more food to decay and putrefy, thus producing stagnation in the colon and an inviting environment for toxic buildup.
- Anxiety – Toxoplasmosis infection has been dramatically and significantly linked to General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), for example.
- Secondary dairy and gluten intolerance - Many parasites, like roundworm and Giardia, can trigger secondary lactose and casein intolerance, so avoiding milk and cheese is a must. Because of the damaged intestinal villi, Giardia can also precipitate a type of gluten intolerance. With any protozoan infection that can damage the intestinal villi, it is always a good idea to reduce the intake of grains.
- Food and environmental allergies – Parasites irritate and sometimes perforate the intestinal lining, increasing bowel permeability to large undigested molecules and activating the body’s immune response, causing allergic reactions.
- Anemia - If enough parasites are present, you can lose enough blood to cause iron deficiency or anemia.
- Constipation – Some worms, because of their shape and size, can block the bile duct and intestinal tract, making elimination difficult and infrequent.
- Gas and bloating – Some parasites live in the upper small intestine, making persistent abdominal distention a frequent sign of uninvited guests.
- Irritable bowel syndrome - Parasites can inflame the intestinal cell wall, leading to various GI symptoms and malabsorption of vital nutrients.
- Joint and muscle aches/pains – Some parasites can migrate and encyst in joint fluids and muscles, leading to chronic inflammation.
- Skin conditions - Parasites can cause allergic skin reactions: eczema, hives, rashes, sores.
- Inability to lose or gain weight
- Plus, Overall fatigue, dark circles under the eyes, and grinding of the teeth
Ready for a Cleanse?
If a few of the warning signs sound familiar, it may be high time for a targeted parasite cleanse:
Up your digestive enzymes, probiotics and HCl. All three are critical to the process of parasite elimination. You want your stomach and your gut to be acidic in order to provide an inhospitable environment for the critters to take route.
Limit raw of all kinds, especially if you eat out. Eat plenty of properly cooked proteins like wild-caught fish, organic meat, free range chicken and pastured eggs. Protein provides the amino acids necessary to strengthen tissues and enhance immunity.
Gently increase fiber intake. Soluble and insoluble fiber have amazing detoxification and sweeping effects on both large and small invaders.
Get the sugar out. The worst offenders are those liquid sugar calories from soda and fruit juice.
Eliminate cold drinks. These act as a shock to the body and cause the intestinal tract to contract and hold on to waste materials, exactly what you don’t want during this detox period.
Avoid most dairy and gluten-based products. The exception to this dairy ban would be plain organic yogurt and kefir.
Up the beta-carotene. Based upon clinical studies it appears that of all the vitamins and minerals, vitamin A best increases resistance to tissue penetration by parasitic larvae. Foods rich in pre-vitamin A or beta-carotene (think brightly colored orange and green veggies) should be added liberally to the diet. Note that a serving of organic wheat grass juice powder or capsules is a convenient way to obtain beta carotene as well as the nutritional value of three pounds of organic green veggies.
Think zinc. Along with vitamin A-rich foods, please increase your zinc. Vitamin A and zinc are by far the two most important nutrients to add to your diet for parasite-proofing. Zinc can be found in beef, turkey, lamp, eggs, and pumpkin seeds.
Use onions, garlic, cloves, and fennel in cooking and nibble on pumpkin seeds as a snack. These are all well-respected and time-honored parasite controllers.
Try colonic cleansing. Home enemas and colonic irrigation can play an important role in cleansing the colon of parasites. Garlic enemas, for example, are especially helpful in eliminating pinworms.
Take a tablespoon of fish or flax oil. Fish and flaxseed oils are especially helpful with parasites because their fatty acids are absorbed so readily in the structure of the body’s cellular membranes thus providing protection down to the cellular level against hidden invaders. The oils also lubricate the gastrointestinal tract and serve as a carrier for fat-soluble vitamin A, creating an environment uninviting for waste, toxins, and microorganism buildup.
Sip therapeutic teas. Drink one to two cups of mugwort tea every day. Mugwort hardly sounds like a formidable herb, but the tea made from it has been used for generations to kill intestinal parasites.
Try some antiparasitic supplements. For the microscopic parasites try an herbal formula consisting of cranberry concentrate, grapefruit seed extract, Artemisia annua, pomegranate, peppermint, slippery elm and bromelain. Cranberry is especially important because its organic acids kill parasites by breaking down their protein structure and stimulate the release of parasitic waste.
For the larger worms and flukes, try an herbal tincture containing black walnut, wormwood, centaury, male fern, orange peel, cloves and butternut. Centaury is an herb revered by Native Americans for its ability to relax the parasites triggering release of their hooks and suckers from the intestinal tract which is especially effective the newly uncovered human rope worm.
This is the intestinal parasite cleanse I have used for almost 20 years.
For a more definite diagnosis…
If you or anyone in your family shows signs of parasites (and your health care practitioner lacks experience with these kinds of infections), you may want to consider an Expanded GI Panel which allows you to collect saliva and stool samples in the privacy of your own home.
The panel tests for the following:
- Pathogenic bacteria including H. pylori and C. difficile, Candida albicans and fungus
- Protozoa and worms including Giardia, Blastocystis hominis, roundworm, Toxoplasma gondii, Trichinella spiralis, and Tapeworm
- Allergies to gluten, cow’s milk, eggs and soy
- Intestinal function markers including GI immunity – SigA, pancreatic enzyme output, colon inflammation, blood in stool, and stool pH
After the lab analyzes your samples, my office reviews your results, and you’ll receive personalized recommendations for diet, lifestyle and supplementation changes. If you have any questions about testing, please contact Uni Key Health at 800-888-4353.
Since writing Guess What Came to Dinner?, I’ve successfully counseled countless clients on effective ways to discover and eliminate these pests—or better yet, to prevent them in the first place. I hope you’ll find these tools helpful to preserve and protect your system for a very long time!
Amin, Omar M. “Seasonal Prevalence of Intestinal Parasites in the United States During 2000.” American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 66.6 (2002): 799-803. Web.
Gittleman, Ann Louise. Guess What Came to Dinner?: Parasites and Your Health. New York: Avery, 2001. Print.
Gittleman, Ann Louise. The Gut Flush Plan: The Breakthrough Cleansing Program: Flushes Fattening Toxins, Boosts Your Metabolism, Fortifies Your Health. New York: Avery, 2009. Print.
Wilcox, Christie. “Toxoplasma’s Dark Side: The Link Between Parasite and Suicide.” Scientific American. N.p., 4 July 2012. Web. 24 Apr. 2015. <http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/toxoplasmas-dark-side-the-link-between-parasite-and-suicide/>.
Ramona Smith NP
Symptoms of Intestinal Parasites
HOW & WHY PARASITES MAKE US SICK
Before you read over the following list of symptoms, you need to understand how and why parasites make us sick. Parasites are the HIDDEN DISEASE, they can occur ANYWHERE in the body, in EVERY organ, in ALL tissues, and in the blood. Parasites can cause problems that mimic other disorders and are not diagnosed as being parasite related.
Not only do they cause harm by taking nutrients away from their host, they also produce toxic waste (from their excrement and death cycles) that affects the human body including the central nervous system. For example: Parasite urine is pure ammonia! HUMAWORM not only removes parasites - it ALSO REMOVES TOXINS FROM THE ENTIRE BODY! If you nor your doctor can't figure out why you’re not feeling 100%, then please continue to read!!
The Symptoms of Parasite Infections
STOMACH & INTESTINAL COMPLICATIONS – The sheer number of parasites in the lower digestive system and the toxic waste produced by them can cause these problems:
Gas & Bloating
Excessive Early Bowel Movements (very explosive bowel movements very soon after eating)
Mucus in the Stools
Burning in the Stomach
FATIGUE - The toxic metabolic waste overloads and overworks the organs of elimination and taxes the central nervous system causing:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
SKIN DISORDERS & ALLERGIES – Parasites that penetrate the skin cause itching. When tissue becomes inflamed from these parasites, the body’s white blood cells increase to defend the body. This reaction causes skin rashes and food allergies to appear. Parasites also create toxins and the skin, being the largest organ, tries to remove these toxins which causes many skin problems. Symptoms include:
Allergic Reactions to Food
Crawling Sensation Under the Skin
MOOD & ANXIETY PROBLEMS – Once again, it’s the toxic metabolic waste produced by the parasites that attack the central nervous system causing:
SLEEP DISTURBANCES – The physical presence of the parasites themselves are a nuisance to the human body. The body reacts to them during periods of rest, this in turn produces:
Teeth Grinding During Sleep
Drooling While Asleep
Disturbed Sleep – Multiple Awakenings
WEIGHT & APPETITE PROBLEMS – Parasites live undetected by their hosts. They rob the body of all essential nutrients (they get the choicest nutrition from the food you eat) and you are left with the fats, sugars, etc. Many overweight persons are infested with parasites, they stay hungry which leads to overeating because of the parasites. Depending on the type of parasite infestation, many people are malnourished, they can’t gain weight, again, because of the parasites. This is why parasites cause:
Loss of Appetite OR
Uncontrollable Hunger Eating More Than Normal BUT Still Feeling Hungry
Inability to Gain or Lose Weight
MUSCLE & JOINT COMPLAINTS – Parasites can travel to almost all soft tissue including in the joints and muscles where they cause cysts and inflammation that is commonly mistaken as arthritis and muscle pain. The toxins from parasites can also pool in the joints and in muscle tissue causing:
Numbness of the Hands and/or Feet
Pain in The Navel
Pain in the Back, Thighs or Shoulders
BLOOD DISORDERS – The parasites get the good vitamins, including iron, leading to:
SEXUAL & REPRODUCTIVE PROBLEMS – With a weakened immune system caused by parasites and their waste you also can experience:
Candida – Yeast Infections
Urinary Tract Infections
Cysts & Fibroids
OTHER SYMPTOMS – More health problems caused by parasites:
Poor Immune Response
Chronic Viral or Bacterial Symptoms
DISCLAIMER: The FDA has not evaluated these statements. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult with your Health Care Professional before beginning any herbal treatment.
How do I treat if I think I have Intestinal Parasites?
You can treat for intestinal parasites several ways. You can go to a physician or other health provider and ask to be tested and/or treated with conventional prescription medication. Many providers require stool or blood samples and they often present a false negative result. The routine stool sampling does not check for all parasites and your provider may need to add additional testing.
You can treat with herbs without a prescription and most herbal remedy providers recommend you speak with your provider first before starting any herbal treatment.
I have found that the Humaworm treatment is the most economical and effective of the many treatments on the market.
Humaworm treatment for parasites is cost effective at $39.95 for #120 capsules for a full 30 day treatment. I highly recommend completion of the full 30 days to kill off the life cycle of the parasites. Each time after travel to Boliva and El Salvador I paid up to $200 for parasite treatments. By far, the humaworm is the most gentle and EFFECTIVE treatment available.
Many of the parasites are not visible to eye, but when the parasites "die off" you may have symptoms of the detox such as rashes which will be replaced by more energy and sense of wellness.
Below is the link to the Humaworm website.
This is the link to the formula specifically
My own experience was amazing, I saw improvement in my skin and my asthma symptoms.
One of my clients has diarrhea for 3 months and his doctors could not find out why. His colonoscopy was normal and routine stool and blood testing did not reveal any parasite. Yet, three days after starting the Humaworm treatment, his diarrhea improved. We believe his work related exposure (landscaping and working in soil) led to microscopic parasitic infection which was not detected in the labs.
Another client was ill for several years with fatigue and abdominal pain. She was told to take an antacid and see a therapist. Within 10 days of the Humaworm treatment she called and said she felt the best she had been in years.