You may have seen this article circulating last week.
The article was about how an Australian teenager ate a slug on a dare and within a few days started complaining about feeling weak and experiencing pain in his body.
Within a few days he was starting to lose function of his body and weeks later he would become paralyzed.
This took place more than 8 years ago and only recently did the young man succumb to his injuries and die.
How did this happen?
As it turns out, the slug harbored a parasite known as the rat lungworm parasite, which eventually attacked his Central Nervous System, damaged it and paralyzed him.
Why am I writing you this?
Because I wanted to warn you about the danger of parasites.
Parasites aren’t something most people think about, but in our experience as integrative physicians, parasites are actually an underlying cause for many afflictions people simply can’t figure out.
If you have a persistent, nagging problem, no doctor’s been able to figure out, there’s a decent chance you’ve been infected by a parasite.
In this article I’m going to show you some of the most common parasites seen here in the United States, where they come from, what kind of damage they can do to you.
After that, I’ll also show you what we’re using in the office to get rid of them for good.
Why Parasites Are Worth Getting Rid Of
The good news is the kind of parasite that killed that young man isn’t something you’re likely ever going to have to deal with.
But, for the record, and as an advisable health practice, I only recommend eating foods meant for human consumption.
If you’re going to eat raw foods of any sort, make sure they’ve been washed as unwashed foods are known to harbor parasites. Also, be sure of the quality of the food you eat.
For instance, if you plan to make your own sushi, be sure to use sushi grade fish… not regular old fish found at the fish counter in your local grocery store.
The other thing I recommend, that’s a little outside of the scope of this article, is if you travel abroad and eat foods out of country – or come into contact with livestock out of country – you should absolutely expect to come into contact with parasites.
This is especially true if you visit the developing world where sanitation standards aren’t close to what they are here.
However, if you’re stateside and you practice basic sanitation techniques and cook or wash your food, you’re ahead of the game when it comes to parasite prevention.
Of course, you’re not entirely out of the woods.
In the U.S. many of us will come into contact with 3 kinds of parasites. Tapeworm, Giardia and Roundworm.
Yes, you’ve heard about these parasites no doubt.
But you’ve probably never given them much attention.
You should and here’s why.
How Tapeworm, Giardia and Roundworm Could Ruin Your Life
Most of us only remember these parasites from our time spent in school.
Well, it turns out that many people we see in our clinic may have been dealing with parasites since their time in school, a full 40 years earlier.
Let me just give you the backstory on some of these parasites and why you should be concerned about them.
Tapeworms are gross. They’re long (15-30 feet long), flat worms that live inside your digestive tract and eat your food and infect your body…
Some of the most common ones are beef tapeworms, pork tapeworms, fish tapeworms, dwarf tapeworms (Hymenolepis nana) and the Echinococcus species of tapeworms.
Typically you’re infected by these worms when you come into contact with the feces of animals already infected. This is why parents are always telling their kids to wear shoes when they play outside.
Unfortunately people can be infected without stepping in poop. Because of substandard food packing conditions, the eggs of worms can sometimes make it into the food you eat, infecting you that way.
The harm they may cause could be devastating to your health. Tapeworms may eat your food (they live in your intestines after all) robbing you of nutrients… they can take up residence in organs like your heart, brain, liver and eyes… they may cause cysts and more.
One of the most damaging things they do is they may consume your supply of vitamin B12 which may negatively affect energy levels and prevent a number of biological functions from taking place.
That’s why it’s important to find out if you have them and get rid of them fast!
Giardia, one of the most annoying and common parasites in America, is also one of the most harmful.
Most of you are familiar with giardia and how it induces the runs. That’s why it’s known as “Beaver Fever.”
This parasite is found in most major sources of public water in the U.S.
This would include streams, ponds, lakes and more.
Another major risk factor is being exposed to food and water which may have been contaminated because of runoff and other agricultural effects.
Once infected, giardia takes up residence in your intestinal tract where it begins to wreak havoc on your body. One of the biggest dangers associated with giardia is that it may cause you to become deficient in vital nutrients.
This is because when you become infected with giardia your body will attempt to expel it by inducing diarrhea. This is an immune response designed to purge your body of this parasite, and it may eventually lead to the loss of water and electrolytes in the body.
The temporary issue with that is you’ll deal with dizziness and nausea.
If left untreated, these symptoms expose you to the very real risk of nutrient deficiencies and unhealthy weight loss.
Which is why it’s incredibly important if infected, you get rid of it ASAP.
Roundworm is a lesser known parasite, but one you definitely need to worry about.
While it’s often associated with the tropics (it is much more common in tropical areas), this parasite does crop up with some frequency here in the states. In fact, it’s believed as many as 300,000,000 are infected with it today.
The problem is roundworm is extremely easy to be infected with.
It’s typically introduced by contact with an infected animal or the feces of an infected animal.
Once the roundworm makes it into the body a person develops ascariasis, which is a localized, small intestine infection.
What happens next is pretty gross, but is important to know because it demonstrates how dangerous this infection is.
- Swallowed eggs first hatch in the intestine.
- The larvae then move through your bloodstream to your lungs.
- After maturing, the roundworms leave your lungs and travel to your throat.
- You’ll either cough up or swallow the roundworms in your throat. The worms that are swallowed will travel back to your intestine.
- Once they’re back in your intestine, the worms will mate and lay more eggs.
- The cycle continues. Some eggs are excreted through your feces. Other eggs hatch and return to the lungs.
From there you could become sick in the following ways.
You may develop intestinal blockages. This is when a mass of roundworms worms cause a blockage in your intestines. This will lead to severe pain, vomiting, and other major medical incidences.
You may also experience a bile duct blockage. This is when your bile ducts are blocked in your liver and pancreas which can lead to serious health complications.
Lastly, an infection may lead to loss of appetite as well as nutritional deficiencies because the roundworm robs a person of their ability to absorb nutrients properly. This is especially detrimental to children, and anyone who’s already immune compromised.
Here’s What I Suggest For Getting Rid Of Parasites
Fortunately, getting rid of parasites doesn’t usually require medication.
Parasites are susceptible to exposure to natural elements that will kill them or cause them to leave the body.
First things first, if you believe you may be infected with a parasite you have two options. Go to a physician and have them check you out.
Or, you can treat for a parasite at home as you can do so without introducing anything dangerous into your body.
In the office we have a simple supplement that we give to those who suffer from parasites.
This supplement is a proprietary blend of amargo, simarouba, boldo, fedegoso, carqueja, quinine, erva tostão, epazote, anamu, and graviola.
I recommend taking 3 capsules 2 times a day (or as directed by your health professional). Exposure to this blend of herbs may attack and expel the dangerous organisms found in your body.
If you believe you may have a parasite, or have already been told you have one, this will work on the 3 I listed above as well as a host of others.