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 meat.


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 line.

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.