What are They?
A parasite is essentially an organism that lives off another organism. Those that live in the human body feed off of cells, digested food, and supplements.
They steal our nutrients to grow and leave wastes in our body. These toxic wastes then poison the body and force the organs of elimination to work overtime, stressing the liver, slowing detoxification and weakening immunity. Infected individuals are capable of infecting others, even if symptoms are not present. Pregnant mothers can also pass on parasites to their children in utero. Note that you are not only at risk of being infected with parasites if you travel to tropical climates. Certain parasites can and do occur in Canada.
There are more than 3000 various types of parasites. Common categories include Cestodes (i.e. tapeworms), Nematodes (i.e. roundworms), Protozoa or Trematodes (i.e. flukes). Each differing in size and where they reside in the body.
Parasites are everywhere and come in all shapes and sizes. No one is immune to infestation. Everyone is exposed to some degree, though not everyone will suffer equally. However, certain factors increase the risk that parasites will stay in the body and wreak havoc rather than passing through harmlessly. These include weak immune system, poor diet and digestion, nutrient deficiencies, constipation, toxicity and travel habits. Parasites can enter the body through the mouth, nose and skin. Common sources include:
- Contaminated produce
- Barefoot contact with sand or soil
- Raw or rare meat
- Pets or Mosquitos
- Contact with Feces (i.e. diaper changes, animal excrement)
- Contact with Infected Person
- Polluted Water (drinking or in swimming water)
It is estimated that 8/10 people have parasites, even though not all may experience symptoms. Parasites can mimic other disorders and/or produce no noticeable symptoms. Certain indicators are:
Diarrhea or constipation, IBS, gas/bloating/cramping, fatigue, joint pain, teeth grinding, rectal itching, changes in appetite, skin problems, irritability and nervousness.
Parasites can affect tissue anywhere in the body. As they can get into the blood and travel to any organ, parasites can cause problems that are not always obviously related to their presence. Over time, an infection can cause leaky gut associated with malabsorption (especially B12), inflammation, and allergies as well as suppressed immune system.
Remember parasites thrive on diets high in sugar, refined/processed foods and constipation. They feed off of waste that has putrefied in the intestines. Healthy immune and digestive systems can neutralize and eliminate parasites introduced into the body, however, if these are weak, they can flourish.
- Do a Parasite Cleanse
Certain anti-parasitic herbs work by paralyzing the organism directly, allowing the body to remove it through elimination while others work by directly destroying the organism. Look for a formula that contains a blend of anti-parastic, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial herbs, as it is likely those who suffer from parasites also have candida/yeast overgrowth and bad bacteria in the gut.
Powerful ingredients to consider are garlic bulb, black walnut, oregano, quassia wood, elecampane, sweet annie, clove bud, goldenseal/berberine and citrus extracts (i.e. grapefruit, lemon, lime, tangerine). Thyme is also effective, as well as wormwood and caprylic acid.
Note that parasite cleanses should be taken for 15 days on, 5 days off, then another 15 days in order to kill the parasites in all stages of development. It may be necessary to treat all household members as infestations can be persistent and stubborn. Also, parasite cleansing can be done more than once per year if necessary. Lastly, note that it is normal to experience “die-off” symptom reactions as toxins begin to leave the system during a cleanse. If these reactions are severe or persistent, cut back to half the suggested dosage.
- Support Digestive Tract
Drink plenty of water and consider a daily fibre supplement to remove dead parasitic material from the intestines and into the colon for elimination. Note that additional ingredients such as activated charcoal or bentonite clay can help bind toxins from cleansing die-off reactions. Also, a strong probiotic (at least 50 billion active cultures) is critical in order to restore the body’s good bacteria that was destroyed by parasites. A digestive enzyme supplement with HCl ensures proper stomach acidity and optimal digestion in order to create a more sterile environment where parasites cannot thrive. After a parasite program, ingredients such as L-glutamine and N-acetyl glucosamine are beneficial as they help repair the damage caused by parasites in the intestinal tract. In addition, herbs such as marshmallow root help to soothe irritation in the gut.
- Consider a high quality multivitamin/mineral to help counteract nutrient deficiencies.
- Do not drink untreated water/ice.
- Avoid consuming raw meats or fish. Use separate cutting boards for produce.
- Wash hands often (after handling meat, using the washroom, changing a diaper, gardening or handling animal feces).
- Test pets for parasites.
- Wash produce before consuming.
- Freeze fish, beef and pork for 48 hours before consuming and thoroughly cook.
- Wear proper footwear and gloves.
- Support immunity by reducing toxic exposure, managing stress, eating well and limited sugars, yeast and caffeine.
- Consider a Saccharomyces Boulardii supplement to protect against travelers diarrhea induced by parasites.
-This article is sponsored by Good N Natural in Steinbach-