A parasite can be defined as any organism that lives in or on the human body and derives nutrients at the host’s expense. There are several different parasites that can affect human beings. In fact, parasites are a very common problem. Interestingly, a large number of people who are affected by parasites are not even aware that they are carrying one. People are constantly exposed to parasites one way or another. They contract parasites by eating uncooked fish or meat, sleeping with infected pets, walking barefoot, and drinking dirty water and so on.
Easy Targets for Parasites
Studies have shown that people with a weakened health system seem to be more prone to parasitic infections. Since the body is already exhausted, parasites can latch on pretty fast. Parasites thrive in an environment of heavy chemical, metals, and radiation. It slows down your and reduces their vitality, making them easy targets for parasites. Radiation agitates your cells, weakening your immune and neurological system. This gives an open for parasites to invade your body.
There are different kinds of parasites that can find refuge in the human body. The common ones are discussed below.
Types Of Parasites
When you mention parasites, people often think of tapeworm, hookworm or roundworm. However, there are plenty of different types of parasites that can affect human beings. They are categorized into three groups, namely:
Protozoa: Protozoa can multiply or divide within the human body. A commonly seen example is Plasmodium.
Helminths: Helminths are worm parasites. Some common examples include pinworm, roundworm, tapeworm, trichina spiralis, and so on.
Ectoparasites: These parasites live on, rather than in the human body. Some common examples include lice and fleas.
Symptoms Caused By Parasites
Parasites can cause different symptoms in human beings. Some of the commonly seen symptoms caused by parasites include digestive disturbances, diarrhea, grinding teeth at night, constipation, skin rashes, psoriasis, achy joints, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. Exhaustion, brain fog, and fatigue are also common symptoms of parasites.
Tests To Diagnose Parasitic Diseases
Most health professionals prescribe a test based on your signs and symptoms to determine whether you have a parasite or not. It is important to tell them about your recent travels if any to determine if you picked up a parasite or not as well. Since diagnosing parasites can be a bit difficult, you might be prescribed more than one test by your doctor.
Some parasitic infections can be determined by testing your blood. However, there is no blood test to look for all types of parasitic infections. By examining the blood smear through a microscope, medical professionals can diagnose parasitic diseases like malaria, filariasis, babesiosis, etc. According to medical experts, there are things you can do to test parasitic infections and blood serology is one of those. Serology helps identify antibodies and parasite antigens. The presence of parasite antigens indicates that your body’s immune system is fighting against parasites.
Fecal Exam ( Ova And Parasite Test)
The focal exam is also commonly known as an Ova and Parasite Test. This test looks for parasites that cause loose or watery stools, diarrhea, flatulence, cramping, and any other abdominal illness. Examining stool samples collected from three different days is recommended to find ova or the parasite. The lab will provide you with special containers that have a preservative liquid for collecting stool specimens. If the specimen is not placed it e preservative fluid, it needs to be refrigerated till it is delivered to the lab. In some cases, the doctor may request a fecal exam again, even if the first one is negative. This is because there is a higher chance of diagnosis by submitting more than one stool sample.
Endoscopy Or Colonoscopy
Endoscopy is a procedure that looks for parasites responsible for diarrhea, cramping, flatulence, loose and watery stools, and other abdominal ailments. Doctors prescribe an endoscopy when a stool test does not reveal the cause of your symptoms. The procedure involves inserting a tube through your mouth until it reaches the intestine. When the tube is inserted through the rectum, the procedure is called colonoscopy.
Some other common tests carried out to determine whether you have a parasitic infection include X-ray, Computerized Axial Tomography scan (CAT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan. These tests help find lesions on organs that may have been caused by parasitic diseases.
What To Do Once You Are Diagnosed With A Parasitic Infection?
Once a parasitic infection has been determined, it is important to follow the treatment prescribed by the doctor. Since the treatment depends on the kind of parasitic infection you have, it is essential to see a medical professional as soon as possible.
There are a couple of alternative treatment methods that have been observed to be successful. For example, parasites can be eliminated from the body by following an eight-day, mono-diet goat-milk cleanse. This treatment is accompanied by a particular vermifuge that is made from different anti-parasitic herbs. The goat milk acts as bait and draws out the parasites living in your gut. When they consume the vermifuge, they get eradicated. This has been observed to be a very effective method without bombarding your body with harsh drugs.
Many people make the mistake of assuming that once they eliminate the parasites in their body they are safe. However, it is essential to take preventive measures to prevent your body from becoming susceptible to parasites again. By strengthening your immune system and avoiding heavy metal, your body will be able to ward off any parasite invasion.
If you are traveling to regions where parasites are common, it is good to be extremely cautious. This includes finding out which type of parasite is prevalent in that region. It is also a good idea to carry insect repellents if mosquitoes are common to that region. Doctors advise eating only well-cooked fish or meat when you are traveling. It is also very important to drink water only from sealed bottles. Never drink tap water while you are traveling to new locations. It is also a good idea to avoid taking a bath or a dip in fresh-water lakes or rivers. After all, prevention is better than cure.