Part 1 in a New Why Can’t I Get Better Series
People deworm their dogs, cats, and horses. They cook their pork chops thoroughly to make sure there aren’t any parasites in the pork. Some people even know not to let pregnant women clean a litter box (the parasite-toxoplasmosis in cat feces can cause miscarriages). BUT did you know that parasites are much more common than most people realize. Yes, even in North America, even in a first-world country.
For instance, a University of Washington study found that parasites in sushi have increased by 238% in the last 40 years. I don’t like sushi anyway but that’s a great excuse to turn it down or to at least consider ordering one of the cooked rolls.
(Note: The information I am sharing today is part 1 of a 2-part series on parasites and your health. So, make sure to check back here in a few weeks for the follow-up!)
Parasites typically have two modes of action in our bodies, Opportunistic and Symbiotic. Part 1 is focusing on Opportunistic Parasitic Infestations. Before I go down that road, though, I want to cover some of the basics.
Parasites come in all shapes and sizes, from 10-feet long tapeworms that live 25 years to microscopic protozoa that hide in our red blood cells. Some parasites are well-known worldwide such as Malaria and others are known only to those who deal with them like Babesia (the Lyme disease co-infection). These critters can live anywhere in our body (ever see a worm come out of someone’s nose?) but mainly we focus on blood parasites and intestinal worms.
Here are some associated symptoms and conditions of a parasite infection:
- Digestive issues (acid reflux, nausea, vomiting, bloating, constipation, diarrhea)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Abdominal pain
- Rashes, eczema, and hives
- Seasonal allergies
- Food intolerances
- Brain fog
- Joint pain
- Skin Crawling
- Mood swings
- Unexplained personality shifts
- Anemia (especially unexplained low iron)
- Food Cravings
- Ravenous hunger
- Bruxism (grinding your teeth)
- Histamine Intolerance
- Mast Cell Activation Syndrome
- Poor sleep (parasites are more active at night)
- Itchy rectum (think pinworms)
- Shortness of breath
- Respiratory issues
- Neuropsychiatric problems
Where Do Parasites Come From?
Parasites are found all throughout nature. They are part of the cycle of life and can be found everywhere. Some research shows that a small number of parasites actually help us stay healthy–more on that in Part 2 of this series, but other parasites make us sick.
We can pick these worms and bugs up from the soil, contaminated water sources, pets, farm animals, food, or other people. Did you know that most food service workers have feces under their fingernails? Parasites and worms have been found on many different types of produce such as fruits and vegetables. You do wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly, right?
Here’s a list of common sources of parasites:
- Unwashed food
- Undercooked meat or fish (recall that sushi statistic?)
- Soil and dirt
- Lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water
- Well water
- Pets or livestock
- Unwashed hands or dirty fingernails
- Feces (human or animal)
- Insect bites (mosquitoes and ticks are big culprits here)
- Sexual contact
- Anywhere else you come in contact with dirt or poop.
Thus, we are likely coming into contact with parasites all the time, possibly even ingesting them on a daily basis. It’s nasty to think about but our bodies are incredible and able to fight these slimy creatures off and keep us healthy and safe. Until they don’t…
Opportunistic Parasitic Infestations
Parasites are living creatures that want to survive, eat, reproduce, and find a hospitable environment. When the opportunity arises that YOU are that hospitable environment, they are happy to set up shop inside your gut or other areas. How does that happen?
1. Weakened Immune Response: Our immune system is designed to keep these invaders out. Sometimes parasitic invaders are just too overwhelming as is the case with certain tape worms. But another culprit can suppress our immune system…mold. Regardless of the reason, though, a weakened immune system will allow parasites to take hold.
2. Low Stomach Acid: Stomach acid or HCL helps us to break down protein, triggers fat digestion, and even stimulates bowel movements. But it is so acidic that it also helps us to kill infections. Many North Americans actually have LOW stomach acid that allows the tiny worms in your food to make it past your stomach into your intestines.
3. Dysbiosis: When our gut bacteria, the microbiome, or probiota, are imbalanced due to poor diets or overuse of antibiotics, they cannot mount an adequate defense against the incoming parasites.
4. Leaky Gut: When our gut wall and mucus layers in our digestive tract are injured and leaky, the parasites can swim right into our bloodstream and find plenty of tasty meals. Not to mention that they love poorly digested food.
5. Poor Hygiene: First, let me say that I am NOT in favor of sanitizing everything. Being clean is very different from being sterile. See the point above about needing some bacteria. With that said, wash your hands, clean your back side, wash your fruits and vegetables. Don’t sleep with your pets or let them lick you in the face.
OK! GROSS! But What Do We Do!?
First and easiest solution is to start with proper hygiene. Trim your fingernails, wash your hands, don’t get overly friendly with your animals. Washing your fruits and vegetables with CitriDrops Dietary Supplement can also be very helpful. Not only are the drops antifungal, but they are also antiparasitic. Oh, and stop eating sushi!
Next, I would focus on supporting your immune system. If you are dealing with mold illness or toxicity, then working on a mold recovery plan will greatly improve your immune response. As part of rebuilding your immune system, Sinus Defense 2.0 is a big help and has homeopathic nosodes of certain parasites to support healing.
Fix your digestion. Stop eating inflammatory foods, decrease your sugar intake (this feeds parasites), and focus on rebuilding your good bacteria. If you are low in HCL or digestive enzymes, then add those into your supplement plan along with probiotics.
Consider working with a qualified practitioner on a Parasite Cleanse. These often involve some of the above steps. One great way to start on this process is to add CitriDrops Dietary Supplement to your water and drink them throughout the day. Go slow and easy if you haven’t done this in the past. And I’d recommend a toxin binder if you decide to give it a try. Parasites can hold tons of toxins in their little guts, and we don’t want that junk floating in us.
Don’t Forget to Check Out Part 2!
In part 2 we will cover how parasites can actually help our body (weird idea, I know) and also ways to test for parasite infestations.