I hear this SO often: “There’s no way I have parasites! I haven’t been out of the country.” It is one of the biggest misconceptions people have about parasites. And to answer the question – yes, pretty much everyone has parasites.
So in this post (and in my latest podcast episode!) I’m going to cover some commonly asked questions about parasites, including:
- Do you have to go outside the country to get parasites?
- How do you get parasites?
- What are the symptoms of parasitic infection?
- Are parasites more active on a full moon?
Keep reading, because you’ll be surprised by just how common parasites are and how much they’re actually affecting your overall health and well-being.
Do You Have to Go Outside the Country to Get Parasites?
Absolutely not. Now, I’m NOT saying if you went outside of the country, you wouldn’t be exposed to more. Many people believe parasites can ONLY be contracted while traveling outside their home country. However, this is only partially true. While it’s true that some parasites are more commonly found in certain parts of the world, several types of parasites can be contracted in your own backyard.
In reality, we’re exposed to parasites all the time from our pets, the soil, and our food and water. All those things can potentially contain parasites. So whether you’re a world traveler or have lived on the same street your entire life, chances are that you’re exposed to parasites daily.
How Do You Get Parasites?
Parasites can be contracted in a variety of ways. One of the most common is through contaminated food and water. Parasites such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium can be found in untreated water and can cause severe gastrointestinal symptoms. Another way, as we mentioned, is through contact with infected animals or soil.
Parasites such as roundworms and hookworms can be contracted through contact with contaminated soil or feces from infected animals. Some parasites can even be contracted through sexual contact, blood transfusions, and organ transplants.
What are the Symptoms of Parasites?
The symptoms of parasitic infection can vary depending on the type of parasite contracted, the location in the body, and the host’s health. Common symptoms of a parasite infection include:
- Diarrhea-Parasites can irritate the lining of the intestine, leading to diarrhea. Some parasites can also cause intestinal inflammation, leading to bloody diarrhea.
- Abdominal pain-Parasites can cause abdominal pain by irritating the intestine lining or blocking the intestinal tract.
- Nausea and Vomiting-Parasites can cause nausea and vomiting by irritating the lining of the stomach or intestine or by producing toxins that affect the digestive system.
- Fever-Some parasitic infections can cause a fever by triggering an immune response in the host’s body. When the body detects a parasite, it mounts an immune response to try to eliminate it.
- Fatigue-Parasitic infections can cause anemia and/or affect the host’s immune system, resulting in fatigue.
- Weight loss-Some parasites feed on nutrients in the host’s body, leading to weight loss. This is especially common in parasitic infections that affect the digestive system.
- Anemia-Parasites like to eat iron for food, and they rob it from their host, which causes anemia.
- Muscle and Joint Pain-Some parasites can cause muscle pain by infecting muscle tissue or by producing toxins that affect the muscles. They can also cause joint pain by infecting joint tissue or by triggering an immune response in the joints.
The digestive issues mentioned above are very common because parasites throw off the gut microbiome, causing bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and more. GERD is also another common symptom because parasites throw off the balance of stomach acid in order to survive.
Some Not-So-Common Symptoms
Remember how we said symptoms could vary widely? Here are some not-so-common symptoms that may come from parasites:
Nervous System Issues
Many people may not be aware of this, but parasites can affect your mood. They can actually dysregulate our nervous systems and mess with the gut microbiome, affecting our neurotransmitters by interrupting the signals between our gastrointestinal tract and our brain.
This can really affect our emotions – causing anger, anxiety, and even depression.
Parasites can clog up your detox drainage funnel, which causes a lot of things to back up in your body. This can cause a lot of brain fog because the brain can’t drain properly. The brain has a drainage system called the glymphatic system. So, often you’ll experience brain fog if you have parasites because your glymphatic system is not working properly.
Also, brain fog can be related to nutrient deficiencies. And parasites do cause nutrient deficiencies because they survive off of nutrients that we, as the host, should be getting from our food.
One of the liver’s functions is to help flush toxins from our blood, so it is very important. Parasites not only affect our intestines and digestive tracts, but they can also affect the way our liver works. They can actually be located in our livers, which many people don’t realize. Parasites don’t only get stuck in our guts.
With parasites, autoimmune issues oftentimes get overlooked. Many autoimmune issues stem from parasites throwing off different things in the body. This is like a ripple effect.
The whole goal of a parasite is not to kill you: it’s to survive off of you. So they’re slowly sucking things like nutrients from you. They’re slowly creating some of these problems that can persist for years and years.
Are Parasites More Active on a Full Moon?
Weirdly enough…the answer is yes!
This is because our circadian rhythm is affected by the full moon cycle, making our body produce more serotonin and less melatonin during these cycles. Parasites love serotonin. It stimulates muscles and allows the parasites to move about more freely in your body, reproduce and get stronger as their ability to feed is increased!
They also use serotonin to communicate with each other and create biofilms in your body, which prevents your immune system from getting rid of them.
Why Should You Care About Parasites?
Now that some of the most common questions about parasites have been answered, you may see the importance of listening to your body and being aware of symptoms that could be telling you something is off. Be sure not to overlook something that could be slowly causing you harm, like parasites.Then learn the proper ways to get rid of them. They’re more common than you may think!
Is this a topic you want to dive deeper into? Check out my Parasites & Drainage MasterWorkshop
Hey there, I’m Kari!
As a Pharmacist and Integrative Health Practitioner, I get the privilege of working with women who are struggling with fatigue, poor sleep, painful cycles, digestive issues, and irritability- all of which have become their norm. And they are struggling just to keep up, simply wanting their health back.
I know what it’s like to feel frustrated and left with the same issues, even after spending time, energy & money thinking I’d found the answer.
With the right support, a proven method, and the Lord as our guide, let’s get your health back so you can run the race set before you with perseverance and joy.
So thankful you found your way here!