Parasites are notoriously tricky to identify. With common symptoms like stomach troubles, skin issues, bloating, and fatigue, you might blame them on the effects of stress, poor sleep, or food sensitivities. The potential reality? You have a parasite – or several! – living inside you.
Let’s take a look at the top 8 parasitic infection warning signs our patients experience. Then, listen to our patients’ stories about their own parasite experiences and how they found relief.
1. Weight loss or weight gain
The most common mental image that people have when they think of parasites is the tapeworm. This large, segmented worm lives in the intestines and feeds on the nutrients of its host. Because the tapeworm eats the food you consume before your body can absorb it, you may experience weight loss and reduced appetite.
On the flip side, parasites may also cause weight gain. Parasites usually reside in the small or large intestine which often leads to bloating and constipation, two symptoms that impact your weight. Parasites can also influence your food cravings because they thrive on sugar and carbohydrates!
2. Digestive problems
If you eat a healthy, balanced diet but chronic digestive issues won’t go away, a parasite may be to blame. Constipation, diarrhea, persistent gas, and bloating are the most common stomach and gut troubles our patients suffer.
Nausea and vomiting are also tell-tale signs of a parasitic infection. If allowed to mature and breed in your intestines, parasites can trigger bouts of stomach sensitivity which may lead to nausea and vomiting.
3. Skin issues
Intestinal parasites can cause both internal and external symptoms. Unexplained skin issues like rashes, hives, or eczema can be attributed to parasites that induce your body to produce immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies made by your immune system can trigger allergic reactions that manifest on the skin.
4. Joint or muscle pain
Some parasites like roundworms make their way from the intestine to other parts of the body. If they end up in your muscles, they can cause inflammation that presents as joint pain or muscle weakness. Roundworms are most commonly contracted if you eat raw or undercooked meats like pork or wild animals.
5. Depression or anxiety
In many of our patients, we see firsthand that the gut and brain have a strong connection. In parasitic infections, this can manifest in feelings of depression or anxiety. If a parasite causes inflammation in the gut, it’s likely that the brain’s chemistry can change and lead to depression or anxious thoughts.
When your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs to function, fatigue can set in and become persistent if left unchecked. Because parasites eat what you eat, they take away all the vitamins and minerals (like iron and B12) your body craves before you have a chance to absorb them. Worms or protozoa that live in your small intestine are often the culprit for extreme fatigue.
7. Sleep trouble
Parasitic infections can also interrupt your sleep cycle. Because parasites are more active at nighttime, you may notice that it’s hard to fall or stay asleep. Their presence in your intestines impacts you in two ways. First, they disrupt the nervous system which is responsible for sleep regulation. Second, parasite activity can sometimes trigger a spike in cortisol which wakes you up.
If you grind your teeth in your sleep, it could also be from parasites. They release toxins and waste into the body which can trigger restlessness, anxiety, and teeth grinding.
8. Irritation in the anus or vagina
Pinworms (sometimes called threadworms) are the most common human worm infection in the US. They live in the intestine and lay their eggs in and around the anus. These bugs are most active at night, so you may notice itching sensations become more intense at bedtime. While there are several over-the-counter remedies, we prefer a natural approach with herbs and botanicals like raw garlic, clove, oregano, rosemary, cayenne, ginger, and grapefruit seed as the first line of defense.
So, you think you have parasites. What’s next?
If you think you may have a parasite, the best course of action is to talk to your doctor. While many parasitic infections don’t cause immediate drastic damage, long-term inflammation can take a toll on the body. Parasites are more common than you think! See our previous blog to learn more about potential infection hot spots, how to avoid them, and the tests we use to identify parasitic infections.
Subscribe to the Infinity Wellness Center newsletter for wellness tips & promotions delivered to your inbox!
What’s living inside you? Past patients share their stories.
Hear past patients’ experiences with parasites, from their earliest symptoms to successful elimination.
Susan had a long health history of constipation, low mood, and other irritating symptoms. Dr. Tenesha Wards recommended the CellCore parasite cleanse to flush any parasitic infections from Susan’s body. She had a successful experience, passing several rope worms (yikes!), regulating her bowel movements, and feeling happier & more well-balanced.
Lacy, a long-term patient who moved away, experienced unexplained weight loss, insomnia, and low mood. She was recommended the CellCore Para 1 botanical to clear any parasites, which were certainly the cause of her symptoms. After clearing the critters, she started to gain healthy weight, sleep better, and feel happier.