I like to run a stool test on anyone who comes to me with any kind of digestive problems. The first test, if the budget allows, always includes a parasite test. This is because I find that around 80% of those who do the test come up positive to at least one parasite. It is generally estimated that at any time 60% of people carry at least one parasite1.
Let’s start with the symptoms of parasitic infection2.
- Pains that shift around the abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Joint and muscle aches
- Some parasites can block the digestive tract
- Sugar cravings. If your diet is high in sugar and refined carbohydrates your body will be acidic. Parasites thrive off a high sugar diet and in acidic environments
- Dairy intolerance. Parasites like dairy, since it is high in lactose (milk sugar). Certain parasites such as roundworm and Giardia can also trigger lactose and casein intolerance
- Gluten intolerance. Gluten causes inflammation in everyone, whether or not you are gluten-intolerant. Grains, and above all gluten, are harder to digest and take more time to pass through your digestive tract than other food types. The longer the foods take to move through your bowels, the more they putrefy in the gut, causing a toxic environment in which parasites thrive
- Multiple food intolerances. Parasites irritate the gut lining and can cause leaky gut. Leaky gut leads to multiple sensitivities
- Wind and bloating. Some parasites live in the upper small intestine and cause wind and distension
- Inability to lose or gain weight
- Dark circles under your eyes
- Grinding teeth
- Skin conditions such as eczema
- Itching anus
What Can We Do With Parasite Infections?
- Betaine HCL and digestive enzymes help ensure your meals are properly digested and not left to provide your visitors with food
- Avoid eating raw meat and fish (steak tartare or Sushi)
- Increase your intake of fibre. This has a cleansing effect throughout your gut
Children often catch pinworms. They might complain of having an itchy bottom, especially at night when the worms become active. Pinworms can be spotted if you shine a torch on your child’s bottom. You can see little white worm around the anus. Pinworm infection is easy to treat. You can purchase Mebendazole from the chemist. I have found that 3 doses rather than the suggested 2 doses might be required to be sure to completely eliminate the parasites. All your family should ideally be treated at the same time as well as any pets.
Tapeworms too can be treated with pharmaceutical medication effectively using for example, praziquantel.
Flukes and Single-Celled Parasites and Protozoa
Other parasites like flukes, and single-celled parasites such as Dientamoeba Fragilis or Blastocystis Hominis are harder to eliminate. There is no effective medication.
Treatment for Parasitic Infection of Flukes and Single-Celled Parasites and Protozoa
Elimination firstly requires a change in diet, avoiding sugars, refined carbohydrates and dairy. Parasites won’t be eliminated if you continue to consume the foods they like to eat. However, including foods in your diet they don’t like such as raw carrots, pumpkin seeds and garlic is helpful.
Essential is that you take a combination of natural anti-parasitic treatments such as herbs and supplements. Herbs known to treat parasitic infections include wormwood, black walnut, berberine and clove oil. You needs to take these in combination since parasites become immune to single herbal treatments after a few weeks.
Other supplements that are useful to consider are3:
- Oregano Oil
- Garlic high potency
- Olive Leaf
- Grapefruit Seed Extract
- Saccharomyces Boulardii probiotic
- Multi-strain probiotics
Single-celled parasites or protozoa are very small and can hide in the folds of your colon. For this reason it is highly recommended you do several colon cleanses throughout the treatment to be sure to flush them out. Otherwise you can find after several months of taking very bitter anti-parasitic herbs that your unwanted visitors have still not departed.