If you’re the kind of person that doesn’t wash your fruit and likes to indulge in pork or beef dishes regularly, you may have one problem in particular that many people don’t realize they have – parasites. Parasites are small organisms that depend on a host to live, grow, and multiply (1). Because they are so tiny, parasites are often an out of sight, out of mind kind of problem.
Even the healthiest of people can get parasites, but parasite symptoms can be vague and overlap with other conditions making them even more difficult to spot. Luckily, there are things you can do to cleanse your system and control parasites.
Parasite Symptoms and Signs To Look Out For
In order to properly treat a parasite infection, you first have to recognize that you have one. Here are some of the most common symptoms associated with parasites (1,2):
- Skin rashes or bumps
- Pains and aches
- Vomiting, diarrhea, and/or abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Change in appetite
- Drooling and grinding teeth when sleeping
- Iron deficiency or anemia
- Food allergies and sensitivities
The symptoms of parasite infections are not limited to this list and come in many forms (2). If you haven’t been feeling your usual self lately, don’t rule out a parasite.
Types of Human Parasites
Parasites in humans come in many shapes and forms; these are a few of the most prevalent types of parasites:
This parasite is quite common and an estimated 1 billion people worldwide are affected by them (2). Roundworms can grow to be 15 feet long can lay a whopping 200,000 eggs per day (2). This worm is sometimes visible in feces and enters the human body through the consumption of contaminated beverages or food (1).
These parasites are commonly found in damp places that are poorly sanitized (1). The larvae of hookworms have the ability to penetrate human skin (2). They often cause intestinal disease and upon reaching adulthood affect a host’s vitality, strength, and overall well-being (1,2).
You may have seen pictures of these parasitic worms before since they are well known for growing up to 35 feet long (2). They also have the ability to live in a person’s intestine for an entire decade (2). Humans can get infected with this type of tapeworm after consuming raw fish, foods contaminated by animal feces, or undercooked pork or beef (1).
This white worm grows to be about half an inch and is caused by roundworms (2). Pinworms spread through the oral-fecal route of the human body (1). They live in the rectum and colon and female worms lay about 15,000 eggs per day around the anus (1,2).
Flatworms are an intercellular parasite whichreside within a person’s cells and in the spaces of a person’s bodies (1). They carry bacteria and viruses and are responsible for severe diseases in the bladder, liver, and gastrointestinal tract (2). Flatworms grow to be ½ an inch to 3 inches long (2).
Whipworms are pretty common all over the world and affect several hundred million people (1,2). They live in the large intestine and eggs are passed in feces, which humans can then consume through unwashed fruits or veg (1). These parasites grow to be 1 to 2 inches long (2).
Treating A Human Parasite Infection
Parasitic worms are commonly treated through the use of prescription drugs (3). Some cases of parasitic infection require surgery for effective treatment (3). Both of these treatment options are used to address severe cases of parasites.
Parasitic infections are often not diagnosed when in reality there is a subclinical issue present. If you’re worried about parasites, seek out the help of a doctor.
8 At Home Parasite Cleanse Treatment Options
If you would like to better your chance of successfully getting rid of parasites, here are some suggestions:
1. Improve Stomach Acid
Parasites can’t thrive when normal levels of hydrochloric acid and enzymes are present in the stomach (4). Try taking a hydrochloric acid (HCL) supplement to increase stomach acid, optimize digestion, and reduce your risk of parasite infections in the future (4).
2. Avoid Added Sugars
Sugar is the most easily accessible source of fuel for a parasite so avoiding added sugars is important when trying to get rid of them (5). Look out for words like sucrose, fructose, maltose, lactose, glucose, mannitol, sorbitol, and galactose in the food you buy. It’s also best to steer clear of honey, artificial sweeteners, brown, raw, and date sugar if you have a parasitic infection.
3. Incorporate Foods High in Vitamin A and Beta Carotene
Both vitamin A and beta-carotene, the precursor for vitamin A, have been shown to help intestinal parasite infections (6,7). Beta-carotene prevents the penetration of larvae from parasites and a study on vitamin A supplementation on Brazilian children found that intestinal parasites, especially new infections, were significantly lower in children who took vitamin A. Eating more carrots, sweet potato, and incorporating some raw garlic into dishes will provide you with plenty of vitamin A (6).
4. Increase Zinc Intake
This essential trace element has the ability to destroy pathogenic parasites (8). In a study done on mice, it was discovered that when zinc-deficient mice were given 5 micrograms of zinc/ml for 30 minutes, they had a restored ability to kill parasites (8). Grass-fed beef, chickpeas, cocoa powder, mushrooms, and spinach are all foods that are high in zinc (9).
5. Consume Acidic, Low Sugar Fruit
Certain acidic, low sugar fruits help with getting rid of parasites by maintaining an inhospitable environment for them (10). Incorporate more limes, lemons, fresh cranberries, and Granny Smith apples into your diet if you have a parasite (10).
6. Avoid Wheat, Gluten, and Alcohol
Your body will be much better equipped to fully recover from a parasitic infection if you eliminate wheat, gluten, and alcohol from your diet. Since parasites consume sugar as their fuel, it’s best to steer clear of wheat and gluten, which can quickly break down into sugar and cause intestinal inflammation (11). Alcohol is another substance that should be avoided because it doesn’t allow your immune system to properly function (11).
7. Increase Your Intake of Anti Parasitic Foods
Certain foods have anti-parasitic effects that make them especially good at killing off parasites (11). The number one food that kills off parasites is pumpkin seeds (11). Garlic and coconut oil are also foods that are known for being very effective at getting rid of parasites (11).
8. Increase Fiber
Increasing your intake of fiber makes you more regular and betters your chances of getting rid parasites. Soluble fiber, in particular, is helpful for binding and eliminating toxins in your body as well as promoting regularity. Consume more oatmeal, nuts, and beans to get the full benefits of soluble fiber (12).
9. Take Probiotics
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help modulate intestinal environments and ward off parasites (13). Some probiotics accomplish this by producing lactic acid, which lowers intestinal pH and makes the environment less hospitable for parasites (13). Increase your intake of fermented foods like kimchi, unsweetened kefir, and yogurt or take probiotic supplements to get your daily dose (14).
10. Take Anti Parasitic Herbal and Dietary Supplements
Parasites are resilient creatures so you want to make sure you treat them with something that can help kill them off at each stage of their life cycle. Certain herbs and supplements have the ability to kill off the strongest parasites in your system. Oregano and ginger are two herbs that are known to have anti-parasitic effects (15). In terms of supplements, look for ones that contain cloves, black walnut, and wormwood, all of which have been historically proven to treat parasites (15).
Recognizing you have a parasitic infection can be quite difficult since parasite symptoms are so elusive. Parasites also don’t discriminate and affect even the healthiest people, which means consulting your doctor is key to effective treatment. Home remedies and products at your local health food store are also available if you’d like to get a head start on treating your infection.
Read this next to learn about the colon cleanse you should do immediately if you see signs of a parasite.
(1) Nordqvist, C. (2018, February 16). What’s to know about parasites? Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/220302.php
(2) Pemberton, C. (n.d.) 21 Signs You Might Have a Parasite (And What To Do About It). Retrieved from https://blog.paleohacks.com/signs-you-have-a-parasite-and-what-to-do-about-it/
(3) Busse, M. (2017, August 14). What Are the Treatments for Intestinal Parasites in Humans? Retrieved from https://www.livestrong.com/article/161877-what-are-the-treatments-for-intestinal-parasites-in-humans/
(4) Watson, B. (2015, July 30). Parasite Cleansing. Retrieved from https://www.alive.com/health/parasite-cleansing/
(5) Benjamin, D. (2015, November 8). Parasites: make your gut fight back. Retrieved from http://comptonherald.org/parasites-make-your-gut-fight-back/
(6) Pitts, J. (n.d.). How to Avoid Intestinal Parasites. Retrieved from http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/11648/1/how-to-avoid-intestinal-parasites.html
(7) Lima, A.M., Soares, A.M., Lima, N.L., Mota, R.M.S., Maciel, B.L.L., Kvalsund, M.P., Barrett, L.J., Fitzgerald, R.P., Blaner, W.S., Guerrant, R.L. (2011, March 1). Vitamin A supplementation effects on intestinal barrier function, growth, total parasitic and specific Giardia spp. infections in Brazilian children: a prospective randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, 50 (3), 309-315. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2830290/
(8) Wirth, J.J., Franker, P.J., Kierszenbaum, F. (1989, September). Zinc requirement for macrophage function: effect of zinc deficiency on uptake and killing of protozoan parasite. Immunology, 68 (1), 114-119. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1385514/
(9) Top 10 Foods High in Zinc. (2017, March 18). Retrieved from https://draxe.com/foods-high-in-zinc/
(10) Directions for Use of ParaGONE. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.renewlife.com/media/spec_sheets/InsertRNLParaGone_0312.pdf
(11) The Parasite Cleanse and Diet. (2014, June 23). Retrieved from https://draxe.com/parasite-cleanse-top-5-treatments-naturally-2/
(12) Gardner, A. (2015, July 23). Soluble and Insoluble Fiber: What’s the Difference? Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/insoluble-soluble-fiber
(13)Travers, M.A., Florent, I., Kohl, L., Grellier, P. (2011, September 28). Probiotics for the Control of Parasites: An Overview. Journal of Parasitology Research. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3182331/
(14) 13 Great Probiotic Foods You Should Be Eating. (2014, March 27). Retrieved from https://draxe.com/probiotic-foods/
(15) The Parasite Cleanse and Diet. (2014, June 23). Retrieved from https://draxe.com/parasite-cleanse-top-5-treatments-naturally-2/
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