Though many of us do not think parasites are a common issue in the United States, parasitic infections are actually very common and hundreds of thousands – possibly millions – of people walk around every day with a parasite without realizing it. Parasites can be microscopic one-celled organisms or as large as a tapeworm that stretches multiple feet. Some parasites can be deadly, some may cause a variety of ailments and symptoms, and some may present little or no symptoms at all. So, how do you know if you have a parasite and whether or not you need to do something about it?
Signs You Have a Parasite
A parasitic infection can happen to anyone, regardless of race, gender, socio-economic status, and lifestyle. You can get a parasite from contaminated food or water, from a bug bite, or from sexual contact. Symptoms vary depending on the specific type of parasitic infection but common symptoms include stomach pain, upset stomach, diarrhea, gas, nausea, vomiting, cramps, weight loss, dehydration, muscle pain, fever, swollen lymph nodes, itching, redness, and more. If symptoms suddenly onset or persist for more than two weeks, it may be a sign you have a parasite.
What to Do If You Have a Parasitic Infection
If you think you have a parasitic infection it is important to speak to your physician. Generally, a stool sample is collected and tested, or a blood test is conducted, to determine whether or not a parasite is the source of your symptoms. If it is, there are various approaches to treating a parasitic infection depending on the type of parasite, severity of infection and symptoms, and your personal health history. There are prescription medications, natural cleanses, and homeopathic remedies to treat and eliminate both the parasites and the symptoms of the infection. Additionally, changes to your diet and supplements may help your body heal and recover. Prescription medications have many potential side effects and may not be necessary for the treatment of parasites and alternative therapies have been shown to be very effective in treating parasitic infections.
Naturopathic Parasite Treatment
Because prescription medications can have some harsh side effects and natural remedies are effective, many people opt to work with a naturopath to rid their bodies of parasitic infection. Naturopathic physicians may use some combination of antiparasitic herbs, dietary changes, homeopathic treatments, and other supplements such as digestive enzymes, probiotics, Vitamin C, and Zinc. Natural treatment does tend to take slightly longer to rid your body of a parasitic infection but it has been shown to be highly effective and with fewer side effects than preescriptions.