Being aware of parasite symptoms is key for pinpointing the issue before it gets out of hand. Unfortunately, as you'll discover shortly, many parasite symptoms can be vague in nature. As such, people – particularly those in developed nations – ignore them and don't give much thought to the idea that they could be harboring unwanted guests.
By the end of this article, you'll have a firm understanding of symptoms to look out for as well as how to get rid of parasites effectively with a parasite cleanse.
Parasite Symptoms: The Basics
What symptoms you experience largely depends on the type of parasite infection you have.
There are three main types of parasites: protozoa, helminths, and ectoparasites.
Protozoa are single-celled organisms as opposed to the gross worms we often think of when we hear the word 'parasites' (but don't worry – we'll get into the worms shortly).
This type of parasite is responsible for illnesses like malaria and toxoplasmosis. They thrive in soil, water and moss. This allows them to affect humans that come into contact with those things and do not wash their hands properly. (1)
Helminths are the icky worms like tapeworm. (2)
These worms enter the human body through eggs, which can exist in soil and improperly-cooked meat.
Lastly, ectoparasites are those that live outside of their host. This can include parasites like lice, fleas, ticks and mites. (3)
Because this class of parasite can live within the human body, it can easily spread to other humans via contact.
Up next, let's explore the symptoms that stomach parasites cause.
Protozoa Parasite Symptoms
As with most parasitic infections, protozoan symptoms exist on a spectrum. Medical experts commonly refer to one type of infection caused by this type of parasite as "amebiasis."
This type of infection is most common among those who live in tropical regions. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that it can affect anyone, anywhere. (4)
In many cases, patients may not become noticeably sick. This is why it's important to do a natural parasite cleanse regularly, even if you think you're doing just fine.
When it does cause noticeable symptoms, however, this type of infection can be highly alarming. Some people may experience (5):
- 1-3 weeks of severe abdominal pain, accompanied by bloody diarrhea
- Long-term abdominal pain
- Mucus in the stool
- Severe weight loss
In severe cases, patients may experience a liver abscess, which is when a pus-filled mass grows in the vital organ.
There are other symptoms that medical practitioners associate with different types of protozoan infections.
For example, trichomoniasis is a common sexually transmitted parasitic infection. It's incredibly common, with 3.7 million people having it at any given time. (6)
Men who have trichomoniasis may experience:
- Irritation inside the penis
- A burning sensation after peeing or ejaculating
- A discharge from the penis
Women with it can experience:
- Itchiness and redness around the vagina
- Uncomfortable urination
- White, yellow, or greenish vaginal discharge that has a fishy smell
If your protozoan infection is in the intestinal area, a colon cleanse can be a great way to flush it out.
Malaria is another common protozoan infection.
The parasite P. falciparum causes the most severe from of malaria. Symptoms of this parasite can include (7):
- Muscle aches
- Potential organ failure
Mosquitoes can expose humans to malaria in certain parts of the world. You can prevent it by avoiding certain areas or, if you must travel there, taking antimalarial drugs.
Educating yourself on how to get rid of parasites naturally is also an important preventative measure.
As you can see, there are many types of protozoan infections. The three we've covered here are among the most common, and so looking out for these symptoms can go a long way towards protecting you.
Helminth Parasite Symptoms
Many people don't realize they have a worm inside them until the creature comes out one day. This can leave the patient feeling shocked and, of course, seriously grossed out.
That doesn't mean helminths don't cause symptoms, though. Rather, we often mistake many of the symptoms they do cause for run of the mill health concerns we may have gotten used to due to a poor diet.
One of the most popular types of helminth infections is the tapeworm. There are almost 5,000 species of tapeworm in existence. Luckily, only three (they live in beef, pork and fish, respectively) regularly find their way into the human body. (8)
However, as lucky as we might be that most types of tapeworm do not infect humans, the types that do are nothing to laugh at.
You see, tapeworms can cause (9):
- Cravings for salt
- Weight loss
- Poor appetite
- Abdominal pain
The gross part? Those are only the symptoms they can cause when they infest your intestines. If they infest your muscles, eyes, or brain, you're in for a whole different level of nastiness.
In the case of the latter, a tapeworm infection can be fatal.
The tapeworm responsible for the most brain infection sin the Western World is the pork tapeworm. (10)
During such an infection, patients may experience symptoms ranging from the subtle – personality changes, mental impairment – to the severe – seizures, monster headaches, vomiting and endless sleepiness.
Thankfully, learning how to get rid of tapeworms is easy.
The most popular intestinal worm infection in the United States, however, is not the tapeworm – it's the pinworm.
That's according to the Mayo Clinic. (11)
This is a small white worm that lays thousands of eggs in the skin around your anus while you sleep. It sounds absolutely disgusting because it is.
It can also be a nuisance, with symptoms including anal itching and difficulty sleeping. Patients may also experience abdominal pain and nausea that comes and goes.
Pinworms easily make their way from surfaces to humans, and then from that human to other humans. It doesn't help that they can live for two to three weeks on surfaces before calling it quits.
Children ages 5 to 10 are highly susceptible to pinworm infections, likely because of the fact that they are constantly touching surfaces and then putting their hands in their mouths.
If you're feeling down about parasites, perk up. Modern medicine has greatly reduced the prevalence of some really nasty helminths like guinea worm. That disgusting type of worm can cause excruciating pain as it burrows out of your skin.
Thankfully, the infection's prevalence has fallen by more than 99.99% since the 1980s. (12)
In addition to doing a natural parasite cleanse, colon hydrotherapy may help you get rid of the helminths and their eggs that have been embedded inside you.
As long last, after much ickiness, we have arrived at the section of this parasite symptoms article where we talk about ectoparasites. It's still a topic that can make your skin crawl, but you might agree that having your skin crawl is better than having your intestines crawl, as can happen when you learn about intestinal worms.
Ectoparasites are among the easiest to spot. Why? Well, you can see them with your eyes in most cases.
Bedbugs are one type of ectoparasite. One surefire way to spot bedbugs is to look for rustic, reddish stains on your bedsheets or mattress. These stains occur when you crush bed bugs, which can happen as you toss and turn at night.
You can also commonly observe live bed bugs scurrying around if you lift your mattress in the morning and look around your bed frame. The critters love to hide there.
Other symptoms of a bed bug infestation include (13):
- A burning sensation in your skin
- Raised, itchy bumps with a clear middle
- Small red bumps on your skin in a zigzag pattern
Another common type of ectoparasite is lice. There are two types of lice to look out for – public lice, and head lice. You can easily spot these creepy-crawlies in the affected area.
Other symptoms can include:
- Itching or burning at the affected area
- Lice eggs in your hair, which you can mistake for dandruff
So What Do You Do About These Parasites?
If you think you have a parasitic infection, your first step should be to visit a doctor. As we mentioned in this article, there are some types of parasitic infections that can cause serious health implications.
In such cases, doctors might recommend that you use medications designed to get rid of serious parasitic infections.
In the case of malaria, a doctor may prescribe artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) or other medications like:
- Primaquine phosphate
If a doctor determines that your parasitic infection is not severe or life-threatening, you may wish to consider checking out our line of detox supplements.
The ingredients in these products are scientifically-proven to eliminate parasitic infections.
In addition to detoxification supplements, you'll want to look at preventative measures to reduce your exposure to parasites in the first place.
For one, wash your hands regularly, particularly after you've handled raw meats or feces (including soil that may have been fertilized with manure.
Also avoid swallowing water within lakes or other bodies of water. This water can contain parasite eggs that will make their way into your body and hatch.
Lastly, ensure you're drinking quality, filtered water – especially when you travel to countries with less-than-ideal sanitation practices.
Parasitic infections can be a major inconvenience and have serious effects on your health. Thankfully, with the proper prevention and treatment methods, getting rid of unwanted guests – and keeping them out – is easy!