Home | Blog | Parasites- a traveler’s not-so-best friend

This is a guest post by my friend and fellow blogger over at Jenny D’s Remedies. It’s full of useful info to help make you aware of parasites while traveling. 

Did you know that around 85% of people will have a problem related to parasites at some point in their life? Parasites can have major effects on your body including digestive issues, energy levels and even your mental health. Many people begin to have health problems after traveling but never undergo a parasite cleanse because they are either unaware that parasites exist or that there is a way to remove them. Being aware of parasites can be critical to your well-being.

Parasites make up 80% of all life on earth. As world travelers we are more susceptible to contracting parasites because we may be traveling in places that are more unsanitary than others. Generally, they are acquired from eating or drinking contaminated food or water. But that’s definitely not to say that it’s just travelers that can contract parasites. You can get a parasite from the comfort of your own home. They can be transmitted from water, raw fruits and veggies, your pets (especially cats) or even just from eating pork.

Luckily, it’s super easy and affordable to cleanse out these nasty organisms from your body.

So what exactly are parasites??

Parasites are defined as, “any organism that lives on, or in, the body of another organism”. It’s pretty gross when you think of it. They literally survive and thrive inside of us. These little buggers feed off of our cells, the food we eat and even the supplements we take. Like, seriously, Parasite? Buy your own supplements – those things cost money!

Some parasites live off sugar, gluten and others dairy. Other similar organisms include microbials, which are fungi (yeasts) and microscopic parasites (bacteria). They can live anywhere in the body and can affect several of the body’s systems. These little creatures are especially active during the full moon. And if that doesn’t give you the heebie-jeebies, the names of parasites might! Some are Ringworms, some are Tapeworms, some are Blood Flukes, and some are Threadworms.

Human lice are parasites, traveller’s diarrhea can be caused by parasites, and malaria- the deadliest diseases in the world- are caused by parasites. There is a strange thinking that you can only be infected by parasites if you live in an undeveloped country, or you if you are very unhealthy. This is far from the truth!

The fact is that millions of people are affected with parasites. In the US alone, up to 60 MILLION people are infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which is associated with a number of neurological disorders.

Parasites are often misdiagnosed because many doctors are not trained to deal with parasite diagnosis. Parasites are especially great at mimicking other afflictions. So, what we think may be cause of a problem, may not be the case at all. There are also many people, even if they are informed of about parasites, who don’t like the thought of these organisms living inside of them and en up ignoring the fact.

If you have tried to improve your health by eating a healthy diet, exercising, and practicing healthy stress management techniques, but feel like you are missing something, you may want to learn more about parasites.

If you’ve made it this far you’re probably thinking, “Alright, let’s get real Jenny.  Tell us the freakin’ symptoms so I can self-assess myself to see if I have creatures living inside of me.”

So here they are!

Chronic Digestive Issues-The main symptoms of a parasite infections.  Parasites can destroy the intestinal lining of the gut which then causes inflammation and particles like food can pass into the bloodstream. The body then sees this as foreign and starts to attack them.  Parasites can often be overlooked and sometimes because they cause similar symptoms to Leaky Gut and IBS. As well causing weight loss, parasites can also cause weight gain since inflammation triggers the body to produce more cortisol aka a fat storing hormone.

Mental Distress or Issues- Yeah, these guys can affect our nervous system and our BRAINS. Mental distress is another common issue among people carrying parasites.  Waste products from parasites can irritate the nervous system. But the most interesting thing is that the gut and the brain are SUPER closely related.  The gut and the brain have such powerful effects on each other that it’s almost scary. Inflammation and distress in the gut can translate into distress and inflammation in the brain. If there is inflammation in the brain, this can lead to anxiety, depression, headaches, eye aches, hallucinations, and cognitive disorders. NUTS RIGHT?!

But wait, there’s more.

Other symptoms of parasites:

*Teeth grinding or drooling at night                *Blood in loose stools

*Itchy anus, nose or mouth                             *Chronic acne, especially on the back

*Increased stress                                            *Passing a worm in your stool

*Chills & aches                                                *Fatigue

*Stomach pains                                              *Heartburn

*Vomiting/Diarrhea                                         *Sudden weight gain/weight loss

*Excessive hunger or loss of appetite            *Skin ailments-hives, rashes, eczema & ulcers

*Female hormone imbalances

*Difficulty losing weight with exercise and a healthy diet

So WTF do I do if I think I may have a parasite??

You’re not in this alone. I’m here to help!! Head over to my page to read more about how to get rid of those pesky parasites!  I have something super awesome to guide you through this. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

*Much love,

Jenny D xx

To learn more about Jenny and what she’s up to, feel free to stay in touch on Instagram and Facebook 🙂

References:

PARASITE ALERT: 3 SIGNS TO WATCH OUT FOR!

(All Body Ecology Articles, n.d.)

All Body Ecology Articles. (n.d.). Parasite Alert: 3 Signs to Watch Out For!. [online]

https://bodyecology.com/articles/parasite-alert.

HOW PARASITES AND BACTERIA COULD BE CHANGING THE WAY YOU THINK AND FEEL

(The Conversation 2017)

The Conversation. (2017). How parasites and bacteria could be changing the way you think and feel. [online]

https://theconversation.com/how-parasites-and-bacteria-could-be-changing-the-way-you-think-and-feel-71309 [Accessed 25 Jan. 2017].

TORREY, E. F. AND YOLKEN, R. H.

Toxolasma gondii and Schizophrenia

(Torrey and Yolken, 2017)

Torrey, E. and Yolken, R. (2017). Toxoplasma gondiiand Schizophrenia. [online] Centers for Disease And Control Prevention. Available at: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/9/11/03-0143_article.

LESSARD-RHEAD BSC, ND, D. B.

(Lessard-Rhead BSc, ND, 2015)

Lessard-Rhead BSc, ND, D. (2015). 3rd ed. Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada: CSNN Publishing, pp.74-77.

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