Catch up with Part 1 here.
Parasites can be a Big Silent Problem
According to Body Ecology, many of us are hosting a parasite party in our intestines, blood, and skin, and some of these sneaky creatures thrive without symptoms. In fact, sexually transmitted parasites are at the top of the list of infections that can be affecting Americans. That’s right, this is not only a problem in foreign countries.
What Exactly Are Parasites?
Parasites are micro-organisms that live on or inside their host. They get their food from their host and are able to multiply, often causing illness, infection and disease. The three types of parasites affecting humans are: protozoa, helminths and ectoparasites.
Different types of parasites live in different parts of your body, including your gastrointestinal tract, blood, tissues, lymphatic system or skin.
If you thought parasites were only in undeveloped countries, you may be surprised to find out how common they are in the U.S., for example:
- According to the Centers for Disease Control, Trichomonas, a sexually transmitted disease, is the most common parasitic infection in the U.S. accounting for 7.4 million new cases annually.
- More than 60 million people in the U.S. are infected by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which causes the disease toxoplasmosis and can be symptomless, cause flu-like symptoms, swollen lymph gland or organ damage.
A pregnant mother can pass this infection to her fetus in the womb. Her newborn baby may have no symptoms at birth, although some develop brain or eye damage and others develop symptoms later in life.
Have you Tested Positive for Parasites?
If you’ve been given the unfortunate news that you are suffering from a parasitic infection, your medical doctor may put you through a standard treatment regimen involving a high-dose anthelmintic medication along with possible anti-diarrheal meds to help with the uncomfortable digestive symptoms that can accompany such an infection. Anthelmintics themselves can cause a host of unpleasant side effects, ranging from hypersensitivity to yeast infections to an unpleasant taste in the mouth. It is important to assist in the cleansing of your body so that the anthelmintic can do its job the very first time you take it — considering the fact that, many times, it is necessary for those with parasitic infections to take repeat doses of the medication before it works completely.
A few supplements and herbs to consider
- Propolis, a substance collected by bees to construct their hives, can be taken in liquid or tablet form to help rid the body of parasites. It has been shown to be especially helpful in children with parasitic infections. Though this substance will not work to rid the body of parasites on its own, it helps to prevent further reproduction of parasites already in the body. Propolis has relatively few side effects but should never be taken by individuals allergic to bee honey or bee stings.
- Garlic, whether taken in tablet form, or ingested wholly, has been shown to help greatly in killing both parasites and fungal infections in the body. It also has a host of other health benefits, including the ability to lower cholesterol and to protect against heart disease and stroke.
- Goldenseal, an herb that comes from dried woodland plants, can be taken orally to boost the immune system, reduce inflammation and help rid the body of parasites with very few side effects to worry about.
Diet is Key, as Always
Allowing your diet to help you heal during treatment is also important. Though you may want to consider a detoxifying or parasitic-removing diet program, such as Colonix or a colon cleanse, including foods that are helpful (and being mindful of those that are not) is of the greatest importance.
Eat more of these
- probiotic foods like kefir and young coconut kefir
- pomegranate juice on an empty stomach
- dried prunes
- refined sugar
- undercooked meat
- fatty foods made with butter or cream
Even herbal remedies can trigger dangerous side effects when combined with prescription drugs. We urge you to check, not only with your doctor, but also with your pharmacist before combining remedies.
Adrienne writes for special-interest magazines and has worked on the production of women’s lifestyle channels at AOL as well as at E! Entertainment Television. She graduated from CUNY Baruch, where she served as the editor-in-chief of the award-winning student newspaper The Ticker.