Tag Archive for: natural health parasites

By Mariela Amiri, Traditional Naturopath & Patient Coordinator


Nobody likes to think about worms, amoebas, and other creepy crawlers living inside our bodies! But unfortunately, this is a very real and common health concern. In fact, parasitic infections are quite common in the United States, affecting millions of Americans through new or chronic infections. However, these diseases typically go undiagnosed due to lack of awareness among health care providers, as well as the relative inaccessibility or unavailability of the right diagnostic tests.

So let’s educate ourselves on this health issue to learn all about parasites, the havoc they can wreak in our systems, and the detoxification, nutritional, and lifestyle steps we can take to eliminate or prevent parasite infections in our households. 


What is a Parasite? 

A parasite is a plant or animal that lives upon or within another living organism at whose expense it obtains some advantage. Parasites include multi-celled and single-celled animals, fungi, and bacteria, and some include candida and viruses. Without a host, a parasite cannot live, grow, and multiply. For this reason, a parasite rarely kills its host, but it can spread diseases, ranging from the mildly annoying to the severe or even fatal.


Types of Parasites 

Roundworms are typically found in warmer climates but are common worldwide and can grow to about the size of a pencil. (Anclastomic, Ascaris, Dog heartworm, Pinworms, Strongyloides, Toxicara, Trichinella, Whipworm,)

Flatworms-Tapeworms Family (Bladder Worm, Beef Tapeworm, Dog tapeworm, Dwarf tapeworm, Fish tapeworm, Pork tapeworm, Rat Tapeworm) Infections from tapeworms usually occur from ingesting undercooked or raw meat or from contaminated food, water, soil, or hand to mouth contact. 

Flatworms- Fluke Family (Blood Flukes, Fish Flukes, Intestinal Flukes, Liver Flukes, Lymph Flukes, Pancreatic Flukes) 

Single-Cell Parasites (Amoebas, Anaplams, Babesia, Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, Giardia, Leishmaniasis, Neospora, Plasmodium, Sarcocystis, Spinal Fluid Parasites, Toxoplasma, Trichomonas)


What Are the Symptoms of a Parasite Infection? 

Parasites can negatively affect any part of the body and immune system. One can experience a range of  neurological symptoms, gastrointestinal symptoms, to inflammatory symptoms. There is a parasitical connection and neurological disorders- narcissistic behaviors, schizophrenia, dissociative disorders, paranoia, PTSD, anxiety, bipolar disorder, MS, epilepsy, seizures, ADD, ADHD, brain and spinal cord issues, brain lesions, poor balance. 

Parasites can also live in the sinus cavities (Ascaris Lumbricoides-nematode roundworms) causing nasal discharge, nasal obstructions, facial pain, headaches, allergies, and chronically swollen tonsils. The most common parasitic symptoms are in the gastrointestinal tract causing diarrhea, slow bowel movements, stomach upset, slow digestion, gas bloating, food intolerances.  

Roundworm Symptoms: allergies, sinus issues, anemia, asthma, digestive disturbance, grinding teeth at night, intestinal gas, restlessness, lymphatic issues, snoring and weight gain. Calcium deficiency often accompanies roundworm infestation.  

Flatworm Symptoms: feeling toxic, dizzy, foggy thinking, hunger pains, poor digestion, allergies, bloating, high and/or low blood sugar, gas, jaundice, mineral imbalance, thyroid imbalance, disturbed sleep and teeth-grinding. Infections from tapeworms usually occur from ingesting undercooked or raw meat or from contaminated food, water, soil, or hand to mouth contact. 

Blood Flukes Symptoms: blood clots, high blood pressure, stroke, The bone marrow may also be affected. Blood flukes take up amino acids, especially arginine, which may cause a protein imbalance. 

Fish Flukes Symptoms:  skin issues, liver and intestinal disturbances including feelings of pressure and gas.

Intestinal Flukes Symptoms: sinuses, mucus, indigestion, intestinal problems, prostate problems, issues associated with dioxin poisoning. 

Liver Flukes Symptoms: Liver disorders, pain near the liver. 

Lung Flukes: anemia, dry cough, coughs that persist, shortness of breath, impaired breathing, redness in the whites of the eyes. Lung flukes may cause oxygen starvation to the entire blood system. Keep in mind that weakened lungs may lead to other lung illnesses such as repeated flu, pneumonia, and fungal infections. 

Lymph Flukes Symptoms: lymph disorders, including breast cancer, lymphoma and leukemia. 

Pancreatic Flukes Symptoms: autism, sugar imbalances – both low and high, candida overgrowth in the liver, and pancreatic disorders of any kind.


Parasites and Testing 

Why lab stool parasite testing is unreliable & inaccurate: 

  1. Parasites have a self-dissolving mechanism. They can excrete an enzyme that makes them dissolve in about 24 hours after being purged from the body/die. 
  2. The skill level of the individual examining the microscopic specimen is critical to accurate results. Parasite ova can be easily missed if the sample is not examined thoroughly, & false positive results can occur because other substances – pollen, insect ova, & plants can look similar to parasites & their ova. 
  3. Parasites live throughout the body, not just the colon. They love living in the brain, sinuses, lungs, pancreas, joints and many other organs. This is just one more reason why parasite stool testing is an unreliable source to confirm if you have parasites. 



A Few Fun Facts about Parasites 

If you’ve ever had a parasitic infection, you know there is nothing fun about them! But here are a few interesting facts: 

  • Worms can grow more than 3 feet long.
  • Hookworm transmission transmitted by walking barefoot on contaminated soil.
  • One can get roundworms and whipworms by ingesting parasite eggs, through uncooked food.
  • 200 roundworms are considered a moderate infection in a child’s intestines. Each worm can be 8-12 inches long.
  • Adult worm parasites can live up to 30 years inside the human body!
  • Malaria causes the most deaths globally (400,00 per year)
  • Parasites can lump together in the human body in balls and appear as cancer tumors.
  • The largest recorded human parasite extracted to date is 37 feet long!!
  • Toxoplasma gondii is linked to ADD, schizophrenia, suicidal behaviors.
  • Follicle mites can live directly on the human body. Up to four mites can attach to one hair follicle.
  • The second cause of blindness in the world is caused by a parasitic worm called Onchocerca Volvulus.
  • Hookworm infection is linked to low blood count.
  • The Naegleria Fowleri amoeba is responsible for brain inflammation/meningitis.
  • Approximately 50 million children in the US have a parasitic infection.
  • Chagas is a parasitic infection considered to be “the new AIDS.”
  • A square foot of a single carpet houses about 10,000 dust mites.
  • Parasites multiply quickly. They can have their own parasites, and they can have even more parasites!


In part two of this series, I will dive into the ways we can test for parasites, how to detox them from our systems, and the holistic nutritional and lifestyle steps we can take to treat and prevent future infections.  


Read Part 2