How, then, do you determine if you have parasites??? In order to understand
how this is determined, you have to understand what a parasite does.
A parasite eats, lays eggs, and secretes. Sounds pretty simple, doesn't
it? First, lets look at the "eats" part. Depending on the kind,
parasites will eat different things. Some parasites love sugar, for instance.
If you are a person who craves sugar, you may have a sugar loving parasite.
In fact, parasites are known to
be one of the causes of diabetic tendencies and blood sugar discrepancies.
These parasites live off the food that goes into your body. They exist
mainly in the digestive tract, but can be found in the liver, as well as
throughout the body.
Other parasites actually get their nutrition directly from the cells of the body.
They can literally attach themselves anywhere and suck nutrition out of the cells.
These parasites are significantly more dangerous because they can travel to places
in the body where they can do a lot more damage than a parasite living exclusively
in the digestive tract.
As if it wasn't bad enough to have an uninvited guest living in your body, the
parasites eat your nutrients before you do! They get the best nutrients, and
you get the scraps and leftovers. They grow healthy and fat, yet your organs
and skin starve for nutrition. What's more, parasites can remain in your body
for 10, 20 or even 30 years. To illustrate the longevity of parasites in the
human body, consider this example. In 1979, a British study reported on 600 former
prisoners from World War II. These men had been stationed in the Far East. Thirty
years after the war,
15% were still infected with a parasite called Strongyloides that they had contracted
during the war. This means you could have eaten meat 10 years ago that was contaminated
and still be hosting the tapeworms or other types of parasites that were in that
PARASITES REPRODUCE QUICKLY
Let's now look at the way parasites reproduce. First of all, we need to understand
that there are two major categories of parasites: Large parasites, which
are primarily worms and small parasites, which are mainly microscopic in
size, including what are called protozoa and amoebae. Despite their almost
invisibility, small parasites can be dangerous. Microscopic parasites can
get into your joints and eat the calcium linings of your bones. This can
lead to arthritic tendencies. They can also eat the protein coating on your
nerves (the myelin sheath) and this can cause a disruption
in the nerve signal from the brain. The disease is called amebiasis, and is
often transmitted via contaminated food or water.
Large parasites, which are the worm type, are usually large enough to be seen
by the naked eye. Some can be up to 10,12, or even 15 inches long and in most
cases cannot travel to other parts of the body, other than the digestive tract.
Although, in tropical countries there are cases of worms actually burrowing
out of the digestive tract into blood vessels and muscles of the body, where
they can do significantly more damage. This is quite rare in North America.
It never ceases to amaze me, when I hear an adult passing a worm in total amazement,
that they could have
had such a creature living inside of their body for possibly years.
The smaller organisms, the protozoa's and amoebas, can function almost like
a bacteria by traveling through the bloodstream to virtually any part of the
body. They reproduce without laying eggs and behave more like an infection
in the body than do the larger parasites.
The larger parasites are worms which reproduce by laying eggs. Eggs are deposited
in the intestinal tract, where they stick to the walls of the intestines. When
the eggs hatch, the young feed on the food that we eat and eventually grow
into adults. The adults them repeat the process. The smaller parasites reproduce
without the process of laying eggs. They reproduce by duplicating themselves
in a manner similar to bacteria or viral reproduction.
A) Toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma gondii) is a crescent shaped intracellular protozoan.
It is very common, very contagious, and is found worldwide. Its source of infection
is through eating raw or uncooked beef, mutton, pork or chicken that has been
infected with the organism, or by ingesting the cysts after being in contact
with contaminated areas such as cat litter boxes, soil, etc.
Pregnant women are often told to stay away from cat boxes and have someone
else clean them as they are especially vulnerable. Use extreme caution when
pregnant or if you have a newborn baby. These protozoa can be very serious
for the fetus or newborn.
B) Amoeba, Amebiasis (Entameoba histolytica) is most common in warm moist climates
but is found worldwide. These are a single celled, microscopic organism with
an irregular shape. Its source of infection is through feces, contaminated
food and water, or via the mouth. Poor sanitation is a major contributor
to the perpetuation of these problematic parasites.
Common symptoms include intestinal discomfort, dysentery, amoebic abscess,
weight loss and chronic fatigue. People that have immune system disorders or
have been on steroids and other drugs may be more susceptible to these infections.
C) Giardia, Giardiasis (Giardia lamblia) has been known as the most common
cause of “traveler’s diarrhea”. Again this protozoa is
found worldwide and is very contagious. All stream and mountain water should
be considered infected since many animals in addition to humans act as hosts.
The source of infection is through food or water contaminated by feces.
Common symptoms with giardia are mucous, diarrhea, mal-absorption, light colored
fatty stools, gas, abdominal cramps, lactose and meat intolerances, weight
loss, and potentially fat soluble vitamin and/or folic acid deficiencies.
D) Crypto, Cryptosporidiosis (Cryptosporidium parvum) is a single celled parasite
that is so small that over 10,000 would fit on the period at the end of this
In September 1994, the drinking water of many large US cities including Minneapolis,
were infected with cryptosporidium. The parasite has become immune to chlorine
and the eggs are so small, 33% will slip through the water testing process.
Its source of infection is through ingesting feces contaminated food, water,
soil, or hand to mouth contact.
Common symptoms include flu-like symptoms, stomach cramps, diarrhea and slight
fever. Crypto can be serious, long lasting and even fatal in persons whose
immune system is weakened.