Parasites: Causes, Symptoms & Solutions - Paula Owens, MS

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Parasites: Causes, Symptoms & Solutions

Parasites: Causes, Symptoms and Solutions - Paula Owens, MSParasites are more common than many people think. They’re often overlooked as a potential root cause of autoimmunity, colon disorders, allergies, and many chronic health challenges.

Intestinal parasites are abnormal inhabitants of the GI tract that live off and have the potential to cause damage to their host, negatively impacting many aspects of health in both children and adults.

Although most parasite infections are localized within the GI tract, they can spread to other parts of the body and can live in the liver, bile ducts, heart, brain, lungs, pancreas, spleen, skin and the GI tract. Parasites can burrow into the walls of the intestines causing large, crater-like ulcers to form. This results in an infection that spreads into the bloodstream, enabling it to reach many parts of the body. Parasites also adhere to the gut wall creating biofilms, where they live and hide from the immune system. Bacteria, viruses, Lyme and heavy metals can live inside the parasite too.

The human body is a host to over 130 different types of parasites! The most common parasites are Blastocystis hominis, Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba histolytica, Crytosporidium, and Dientamoeba fragilis. Other types of parasites include roundworms, pinworms, tapeworms, hookworms, Trichina spiralis and Filaria.

Parasites move all over the body and the brain weakening the entire system. They absorb vital nutrients, drain your energy causing fatigue, cause digestive difficulties, diarrhea or constipation, teeth grinding, itchy eyes, ears and anus, unexplained gas, sudden blurred vision, unexplained menstrual problems, slower reflexes, heart palpitations, loss of appetite or overeating, chronic fatigue and weakness.

People with chronic, unexplained illnesses are most likely infected with a parasite. – Dr. Simon Yu, MD

A high toxic burden, heavy metals, poor diet, emotional toxins, mycotoxins, Candida overgrowth, glyphosate and other chemical exposure, depleted adrenals, compromised digestion, microbiome imbalances and compromised immune function create an unhealthy terrain and an environment that allow parasites and other chronic infections to take hold in the first place.

Sources of parasite transmission

  • Contaminated food and water
  • Poor food handling practices (at home and in restaurants)
  • Daycare centers
  • Eating sushi, raw meat, smoked meats or meat that is not fully cooked
  • International travel
  • Animals, pets, new puppies, cats (cleaning litter box without gloves), sleeping with pets, kissing pets
  • Poor hygiene
  • Public toilet seats, shopping cart handles
  • Salad bars
  • Sexual transmission, intimacy with an infected partner
  • Carriers such as insects, mosquitoes, and fleas
  • Swimming in fresh water lakes
  • Walking around barefoot
  • Transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy if Mom is unknowingly infected with parasites, Candida overgrowth, yeast and mycotoxins

Parasites are masqueraders to many health conditions and diseases.

Symptoms and Conditions of a Parasite Infections

Listed below are common symptoms of parasites. They can include any combination of the following:

  • Acne, eczema, hives, rashes, psoriasis or other skin conditions
  • Allergic reactions and multiple food intolerances
  • Anorexia
  • Anxiety, depression, mental health and behavioral conditions
  • Arthritis and other inflammatory conditions
  • Autism
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • B12 deficiency, iron anemia, and other nutrient deficiencies
  • Bluish-color around the lips
  • Bloating, excess gas, abdominal discomfort, distended belly
  • Cancer
  • Candida overgrowth
  • Chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia
  • Constipation, loose stool or diarrhea
  • Coughing, especially at night
  • Dark circles under the eyes, puffy underneath the eyes
  • Dizziness
  • Estrogen dominance
  • Gallbladder problems (giardia lives in the bile ducts)
  • Heart palpitations
  • Histamine intolerance, multiple chemical sensitivity
  • History of food poisoning and you haven’t been the same since
  • Hypoglycemia, type 2 diabetes
  • IBS symptoms, ulcerative colitis, acid reflux, heartburn, indigestion, malabsorption, leaky gut
  • Imbalanced brain chemicals
  • Immune deficiencies, low immune function, low sIgA
  • Inability to relax, nervousness
  • Insomnia and difficulty sleeping
  • Itchy-twitchy mess: itchy anus, eyes and ears
  • Joint pain, muscle pain
  • Memory problems, forgetfulness
  • Neurological disorders
  • Never feeling satiated or nourished no matter how much you eat
  • Nose picking, chronic nail biting
  • Rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune challenges
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Stubborn sweet tooth (sugar and carb cravings)
  • Teeth grinding (especially at night)

Some people have no symptoms at all, yet they’re infected with parasites.

If left untreated, chronic parasitic infections consume the food we eat, rob our bodies of vital nutrients, produce toxic waste, and eventually destroy the GI lining, organs, tissues and cells, affect and compromise brain function, and cause chronic disease and illness.

Testing for Parasites

Stool testing: a purged stool test or a comprehensive stool test that specializes in parasitology (minimum of three days stool samples or a one-day PCR stool test) currently provides the most sensitive diagnostic method for evaluating the presence and levels of parasites.

However, parasites do NOT always show up, even on the best of stool and other testing methods unless one has an acute parasite infection. Therefore, it’s important to consider a person’s health history, their health timeline, subjective indicators, symptoms, and health conditions.

Blood tests can provide clues

  • Eosinophil percent >3% consider parasite infections, especially if monocyte percent and basophil percent are also increased (Eosinophil % can be triggered by allergy or parasite infections)
  • Monocyte percent >9%
  • Basophil percent >1.5%
  • White Blood Count (WBC): increased >8 or decreased <5 white blood count
  • Increased neutrophils >60 in conjunction with decreased lymphocytes <24
  • Decreased hemoglobin and decreased hematocrit
  • Increased AST, >30 (liver enzyme)

How to Get Rid of Parasites Naturally

Use Food as Medicine, Lifestyle Medicine, Environmental and Herbal Therapy

A strong, healthy immune system is the best defense against parasites, many of which have become drug-resistant. It’s also important to be aware of and mindful of the various sources of parasite transmission (see list above) and do your best to avoid them.

Before starting any type of parasite cleanse, it’s important to build a strong foundation by boosting the immune system, limiting immune suppressors, supporting the adrenals, and optimizing elimination and digestion.

Use Food as Medicine

  • Organic, non-GMO veggies, leafy greens, grass-fed pasture-raised animal protein, wild salmon, healthy fats
  • Coconut oil
  • Drink only filtered or bottled steam-distilled water. Up to 50% of the U.S. water supply is contaminated with giardia lamblia, a protozoan not killed by chlorination.
  • Parasites love dairy products, especially milk. They also thrive, multiply and survive on sweets, grains, alcohol, sugar, fruit, juices, and highly processed carbs.
  • It’s important to cut out all sweets, sugar, milk, grains, fruit, gluten, pork, sushi, junk foods and processed carbohydrates as these feed parasites and encourage them to breed.
  • Avoid iceberg lettuce
  • Limit fruit consumption except for papaya and figs
  • Use more garlic, onions, thyme, turmeric, oregano, sage, clove
  • Pau ‘d Arco tea, mugwort tea
  • Raw pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, papaya seeds, figs
  • Vitamin A rich foods such as carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, leafy greens

Lifestyle Tips to Get Rid of Parasites

In addition to the following tips, it’s important to avoid sources of transmission (see list above)

  • Hand-washing before eating and after touching raw meat or fish, soil, pets, animals, changing a baby’s diaper, or visiting the toilet. If you have a parasite and you don’t wash your hands after using the restroom or after handling food, you can easily pass microscopic parasite eggs onto anything you touch – the door handle, the salt shaker, your phone, or anyone you touch.
  • Wash all utensil and surfaces that come in contact with raw meat, pork or fish.
  • Avoid suspicious restaurants
  • Wash all clothing, bedding and towels in very hot water. Change towels daily.
  • WiFi exposure and EMFs have a tremendous inflammatory effect on our system – destroying a healthy microbiome and feeding into parasites. It’s important to unplug the WiFi and limit EMF and EMR exposure for healing and removing parasites. WiFi allows parasites to multiply, thrive and survive.
  • When it comes to parasites and other chronic infections, addressing energetic and emotional imbalances is just as important as addressing the parasites. People can experience dramatic shifts in their psyche, their mental and emotional health as they heal. Failure to address the energetic and emotional imbalances will prevent a person from healing from chronic illness.
  • According to Louise Hay, author of Heal Your Life the probable emotional cause of parasites is giving power to others and letting them take over.
  • It is imperative to implement various detox support interventions beyond taking supplements and anti-microbials. Infrared sauna therapy, Epsom salt detox baths, dry skin brushing, deep breathing exercises, daily sunlight exposure, periods of intermittent fasting, and rebounding are all highly effective lifestyle interventions to help support your body during and after addressing chronic infections.

Nutrients, Antimicrobials and Herbs

  • Periodic rotation of various antimicrobials and anti-parasitic herbs such as black walnut hulls, gentian root, wormwood, fennel seed, mugwort, slippery elm, garlic, pumpkin seed, clove, cascara Sagrada, pau ‘d arco, thyme, grapefruit seed extract, goldenseal (berberine), Biocidin, Dysbiocide
  • Hydrochloric acid (stomach acid). You must have sufficient hydrochloric acid (HCl) aka stomach acid to inhibit an environment for infections like Candida overgrowth, yeast, fungi, dysbiotic bacteria, parasites and other pathogens to survive. You also need stomach acid to breakdown and digest protein, and to trigger healthy bile production.
  • Bile support. Your bile also needs to be healthy, thin and flowing. Infections affect the liver and gallbladder. Parasites can hide in the bile ducts. Bile sterilizes the small intestine, it’s an antimicrobial, and breaks up fatty acids and the fats that you eat. Bile support comes from Beta TCP or Beta Plus for those who have had their gallbladder removed.
  • Breakup the biofilms with apple cider vinegar, proteolytic enzymes, NAC, Butyrate Cal:Mag, and Interphase Plus
  • Binders such as bentonite clay and activated charcoal help to bind and grab up these organisms and remove them out of the body effectively
  • Support your body with basic nutrients that include omega-3 fatty acids, a good quality multi-vitamin/mineral, zinc, vitamin A
  • Probiotics
  • Essential oils such as clove bud, balsam fir, tea tree, lemongrass, oregano

It’s crucial to eradicate parasite infections safely and under the guidance of an experienced practitioner. Just taking antibiotics or off-the-shelf products will not do the job as the parasites become resistant to the drugs, dosing is not strong enough, and dietary, nutritional, lifestyle, emotional and environmental factors are seldom factored in. Many patients may even get worse because of the gut damage done by the antibiotics and the exhausted immune system. Each person needs to be assessed and treated on an individual basis.

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