What Is A Parasitic Infection?
Parasites are more common than many people think. They’re often overlooked as a potential root cause of autoimmunity, colon disorders, allergies, unexplained pain, and many chronic health challenges.
Intestinal parasites are abnormal inhabitants of the GI tract that live off and have the potential to cause damage to their host, negatively impacting many aspects of health.
Although most parasite infections are localized within the GI tract, they can spread to other parts of the body such as the liver and bile ducts, heart, brain, lungs, pancreas, spleen, skin, oral cavity, and the GI tract. Parasites can burrow into the walls of the intestines causing large, crater-like ulcers to form. This results in an infection that spreads into the bloodstream, enabling it to reach many parts of the body. Parasites also adhere to the gut wall creating biofilms, where they live and hide from the immune system. Bacteria, viruses, Lyme and heavy metals can live inside the parasite too.
The human body is a host to over 130 different types of parasites! The most common parasites are Blastocystis hominis, Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba histolytica, Crytosporidium, and Dientamoeba fragilis. Other types of parasites include roundworms, pinworms, tapeworms, hookworms, Trichina spiralis and Filaria.
Parasites move all over the body and the brain weakening the entire system. They absorb vital nutrients, drain your energy causing fatigue, cause digestive difficulties, diarrhea or constipation, teeth grinding, itchy eyes, ears and anus, unexplained gas, sudden blurred vision, unexplained menstrual problems, slower reflexes, heart palpitations, loss of appetite or overeating, chronic fatigue and weakness.
A high toxic burden, heavy metals, poor diet, emotional toxins, mycotoxins, Candida overgrowth, glyphosate, hormone-disrupting chemicals, depleted adrenals, compromised digestion, microbiome imbalances and compromised immune function create an unhealthy terrain and an environment that allow parasites and other chronic infections to take hold in the first place.
Sources of parasite transmission
- Contaminated food and water
- Poor food hygiene handling practices (at home and in restaurants)
- Daycare centers
- Sushi, raw meat, smoked meats, or meat that is not fully cooked
- International travel
- Animals, pets, new puppies, cats (cleaning litter boxes without gloves), sleeping with pets, kissing pets
- Poor personal hygiene
- Public toilet seats, shopping cart handles
- Salad bars
- Sexual transmission, intimacy with an infected partner
- Carriers such as insects, mosquitoes, ticks and fleas
- Swimming in fresh water lakes
- Walking around barefoot
- Transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy if Mom is unknowingly infected with parasites, Candida overgrowth, fungi, yeast and mycotoxins
Parasites are masqueraders to many health conditions and diseases.
Testing for Parasites
Stool testing: a purged stool test or a comprehensive stool test specializing in parasitology (minimum of three days of stool samples or a one-day PCR stool test) currently provides the most sensitive diagnostic method for evaluating the presence and levels of parasites.
However, parasites do NOT always appear, even on the best of stool tests and other testing methods, unless one has an acute parasite infection. Therefore, it’s important to consider a person’s health history, personal timeline, subjective indicators, symptoms, complaints, and underlying health conditions.
Blood tests can provide clues.
- Eosinophil percent >3% considered parasite infections, especially if monocyte percent and basophil percent are also increased (Eosinophil % can be triggered by allergy or parasite infections)
- Monocyte percent >9%
- Basophil percent >1.5%
- White Blood Count (WBC): increased >8 or decreased <5 white blood count
- Increased neutrophils >60 in conjunction with decreased lymphocytes <24
- Decreased hemoglobin and decreased hematocrit
- Increased AST, >30 (liver enzyme)
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