The Dangers of Parasites
Gastrointestinal parasites and the diseases they cause were long thought to be uncommon or difficult to detect. In fact, this is not the case. These are literally and in reality "bugs" and are extremely common, with the majority of them directly affecting your gastrointestinal tract.
Helminths, which include worms like tapeworms, hookworms, and roundworms, are the most common and widespread parasites. These complex animals have a tendency to act quickly, causing symptoms to appear in weeks or even months.
Protozoa, small one-celled organisms that develop symptoms slowly, are at the other end of the spectrum. They can, in fact, go undetected for years before causing autoimmune stimulation, inflammation, and immunological dysfunction.
What Leads to Infection
Internal parasites are “devious” organisms that can remain undetected in your body for months or even years. Their method of infiltrating the body is also misleading. The following are some of the most common vectors:
- Swimming: Most parasites flourish in water, and even chlorine present in pools isn’t always effective at eliminating them completely. Rivers and lakes, on the other hand, are dangerous parasites-prone environments
- Food: Parasites can be easily spread if meats and seafood aren't cooked properly or produce isn't washed adequately.
- Nursing Care: Changing diapers or bathing adults or children, puts you at risk of infection.
- Contaminated Water: In impoverished nations, well water and sometimes even municipal drinking water can readily be infected with parasites.
- Outdoor Activities: Trekking, camping, and horse riding are among activities where parasites might be found.
It is critical to recognize that different parasites cause different reactions in those who are infected. These reactions frequently go undiagnosed or manifest as completely unrelated disorders. Below is a list of all the most common parasite symptoms.
- Problems with the Gastrointestinal System (Diarrhea, Nausea, Bloating)
- Poor Nutrient Absorption and Weight Loss
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
- Arthritis and Joint Pain
- Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)
The Most Common Intestinal Parasites
The vast majority of helminth parasites are well known. Protozoa, on the other hand, are frequently misleading, especially given the vast number of different species. The following are some of the most common protozoan infections cases we encounter at our facility in Houston, Texas.
Blastocystis, one of the most common gastrointestinal plasmodium parasites, has been linked to chronic disorders such as IBS and Recurrent Fatigue Syndrome, as well as more temporary symptoms. There are many different types, but not all of them cause symptoms right away. This is a concern, however, because people frequently go for years, if not decades, without seeking help.
Giardia Lamblia is a chlorine-resistant, water-loving bacteria that lives in the small intestine and causes a variety of symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, bloating, swelling, and abdominal cramps. In severe cases, it can result in malnourishment, dehydration, and chronic illnesses such as leaky gut, IBS, and CFS.
Entamoeba Histolytica / Iodamoeba Bütschlii
These amoebas frequently prey on the immunocompromised and elderly. Although abdominal cramping and diarrhea are common symptoms, such parasites can live in the liver, brain, kidneys, and spleen, causing catastrophic damage and painful abscesses if left untreated.
This is a parasitic infection that primarily affects farm animals and spreads via polluted water sources. Because it is chlorine resistant, it grows in public swimming pools and water slides. Abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and other symptoms usually appear five to ten days after the infection spreads. Transmission is much more common in people who have already been compromised by Lyme Disease, which is also common in The Woodlands and Houston.
Toxoplasma gondii, perhaps the most well-known of all the names mentioned, has infected roughly one-third of all adults in the United States at some point. Water pollution, raw meat, and cat feces are all common sources. Even if not everyone is affected, the parasite can cause severe complications such as migraines, vision abnormalities, and seizures.
Using Functional Medicine to Cure Intestinal Parasite Infection at Internal Healing and Wellness MD, Houston
Since each form of parasite demands a particular sort of therapy, we always recommend seeking expert help whenever a parasitic disease is suspected. Most helminths and protozoa can be detected through blood tests and stool samples, allowing us to tailor a treatment plan to your individual health needs.
At Internal Healing and Wellness MD, we have treated patients from Houston, Conroe, The Woodlands, and the rest of Central Texas with unique diets aimed at stopping parasitic worms and re-establishing the stability of your microbiota. Anti-parasitic foods include probiotic and vitamin C-rich foods, as well as garlic, beets, carrots, and papaya seeds.
If you're experiencing parasite infection symptoms or have a persistent ailment that you can't seem to pin down, our Holistic and Functional Medicine experts can assist you.
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