Parasites – A Serious Health Concern

By Dr. Elizabeth Laskonis, ND, MH, CNC, CNHP

What are parasites? 

A parasite is an organism that lives in or on another organism, at the expense of the host organism. Parasites living inside the human body will feed off our cells, our energy, off the food we eat, even off the supplements we take. There are many varieties of parasites. They fall into several categories. Here are some common parasites: Amoebas, Arthopods, Bacterias and Nano-Bacterias, Flat Worms, Flukes, Fungi, Mildew, Molds and Slime Molds, Microzymas, Mycoplasmas, Nematodes, Pin Worms, Prions, Protozoas, Round Worms, Somatodes, Spirochetes, Tapeworms, Viruses, and Yeast. Some are only visible under a microscope. Some can be passed in the stool and be quite large. Parasites produce thousands of eggs, and have several life stages, ranging from three to twenty four. 

Here is a brief description of the types of some of the known parasites: 

Roundworms are elongated, cylindrical worms with well developed digestive tracts. Most species are free living but a large number of species parasitize humans, animals, and plants. In humans, there are both intestinal and tissue inhabiting species. Some species are thorny-headed worms, equipped with hooks to help attach itself to the intestinal wall. Their digestive tract is absent. Some examples are: Ascaris lumbricoides, Pinworm, Enterobius vermicularis, Strongyloides stercoralis, and Trichinella spiralis. 

Flukes are leaf shaped, thin worms with a bilaterally symmetrical body and hooks or cup shaped suckers. They have both male and female organs in each individual. They have a simple digestive tract and complex life cycles with two or more hosts, usually one of which is a mollusk. Some examples are: Fasiolopsis buski, Fasciola hepatica, Eurytrema pancreaticum. 

Tapeworms have an elongated ribbon-like body, with a specialized attachment organ called a scolex on the anterior end. They contain both male and female organs. They have no digestive tract and attach themselves to the inside of the small intestine, or other organs, and absorb nutrients directly into their bodies. Immature tapeworms invade tissues and encyst themselves there. Most require at least two hosts. Some examples are: Diphyllobothrium latum, Echinococcus granulosus, taenia solium. 

Protozoas are a single cell animal and have very complex life cycles. Some examples are: Toxoplasma gondii, Sarcocystis species, and Giardia lamblia. 

Bacteria can be present in almost anything. Here are some examples: Shigella species are frequently in pasteurized milk and cause intestinal, muscle and joint problems. Salmonella species are frequently in pasteurized milk and raw eggs and poultry, and cause food poisoning. 

E-Coli can also be found in foods. Staphylococcus epidermidis is very difficult to kill and causes sinus and skin infections. Streptococcus pneumoniae often causes ear, sinus, throat, and bronchial infections. Borellia burgdorferi causes Lyme’s Disease. It spends part of its cycle inside the nerve cells. 

Mycoplasmas are a crystalline bacterial toxin associated with the Brucella bacterium. They are sometimes found in chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, Gulf War illness, AIDS, and related diseases. It can be delivered via insects, aerosol, the food chain, or caught from contact with other infected persons. 

Viruses and Warts – Viruses can cause serious illness. Adenovirus causes the common cold. Respiratory syncytial virus causes respiratory problems. Influenza virus causes flu. There are many other types of viruses. Warts are colonies of several species of viruses. 

Yeasts are species of single cells that divide, and parasitize humans. Candida albacans is one of many species. 

Fungi is multi cellular- with long filaments/spores, that can live on the skin, under nails and inside tumors and tissues. Ringworm is a fungus of the skin. 

Arthopods are six to eight legged creatures, such as lice, bedbugs, mites, ticks, and fly larvae. 

Prions are an incorrectly folded protein that are treated as a parasite because of the damage they do. They can get into the cells and cause holes in the brain. This is the leading cause of Alzheimer’s and Mad Cow diseases. 

The increase in world travel by tourists, armed forces and immigrants spreads every possible parasite everywhere. The increase in synthetic toxins within the body is changing the life cycles of some species making many parasitology textbooks inadequate. Our changes in lifestyles have increased the spread of parasites all over the world. Increased use of nurseries and other child care facilities increase exposure. Increased eating in restaurants contributes to less control over parasite contamination. Increased consumption of ethnic foods exposes us to a wider variety of species. Increased world travel exposes more people to a wide variety of species for which they have no natural immunity. Increased levels of stress in modern day living lowers our immunity. Increased sexual promiscuity and homosexuality increases exposure. And certain modern medical practices increase the probability of parasitic infection by compromising the patient’s natural immune defenses. Examples are surgery, blood transfusions, incubation, and prolonged hospitalization. 

Parasites can be transferred from one individual to another by direct contact between the host and a potential host, by cysts or eggs, which can live for some time outside the host before infecting a second host. Some are carried by an arthropod vector, which may itself be a host, if the parasite develops within it. Many have complex life cycles, requiring two or more species of hosts to complete their cycles. 

Parasites can be ingested through the mouth, inhaled through the nose, or by skin contact. They can also be transmitted via body fluids. Insects and animals can also transmit them to humans. 

Common sources of parasites are contaminated soil, fruits, vegetables, raw or rare meats, pets, mosquitos and flys, feces, polluted water, and contact with another person who is infected. 

Factors that contribute to the growing parasite epidemic include the widespread use of drugs that suppress our immune systems. An imbalance of good to bad bacteria in the colon is also a contributing factor. Some other factors include wide use of antibiotics, eating refined carbohydrates, steroid drugs, X-rays and radiation therapy, chlorinated water, stress, low fiber diet, pollution, poor digestions and elimination, and mercury toxicity from dental fillings. 

Today it is apparent that 95% of all diseases are caused by parasites and/or toxins. They can affect tissue anywhere in the body. Because they can get into the blood and travel to any organ, parasites cause problems that are not often recognized as parasite-related. For example, a roundworm infestation in the stomach can give the appearance of a peptic ulcer. And chronic Giardia lamblia can be an undetected element in both candidiasis and chronic fatigue syndrome. It is not only the parasites that can cause damage to the body, but also the waste they excrete. These waste products poison the body, forcing the organs to work overtime. Processing these wastes also stresses the immune system. As the detox mechanism becomes overwhelmed, nutritional reserves are depleted and the immune system weakens, resulting in disease development. 

Some symptoms caused by parasites: 

Hair loss and scalp rashes
Mental confusion and poor learning ability such as ADD and ADHD or hyperactivity
Memory loss, forgetfulness or chronic depression
Sleeping problems
Nutrient deficiencies and anemia
Headaches or migraine headaches
Loss of coordination, seizures, general weakness or lack of energy
Loss of hearing or itchy ears
Cloudy or distorted vision, blindness and crossed eyes, floaters and double vision
Skin rashes, Psoriasis, jaundice, or itchy skin
Loss of balance
Horseness, coughing and loss of voice
Over or under active thyroid
Lowered immunity or immune system problems
Chronic lung infections, or breathing difficulty
Rapid or irregular heartbeat, Mitral Valve prolapse
Excessive hiccupping
Pains in the abdomen, neck, shoulder, back, or inflamed joints
Painful or weak muscles, loss of motor skills, numbness or tremors
Loss of appetite
Poor digestion, bloating and gas, indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation, irritable bowel syndrome
Malnutrition due to poor absorption
Crohn’s disease
Hiatal hernia
Acid reflux, heartburn
Weight loss or gain, eating more than normal, but not gaining weight or still being hungry
Teeth grinding or clenching
Hemorrhoids or rectal itching
Swelling in legs or feet
Prostate problems
Frequent or difficult urination, incontinence, burning or itching, or bedwetting or chronic uninary tract infections
Painful intercourse, poor sperm count and viability, infertility
PMS, period problems, menopausal problems, miscarriage, endometriosis
Unexplained fevers
Blood clots
Bone pain or deformity
Chronic infections
Tumor formation
Excessive nose picking or itchiness
Chronic yeast infections
Chronic fungus infections of toenails and/or fingernails 

These are but a few of the problems that can be associated with parasites. Most health care providers, whether allopathic or natural, tend to miss a large percentage of parasitic infestations and end up merely treating the symptoms the parasites cause. No one is immune from parasitic infection. 

Doctors usually use a stool analysis or a blood analysis to detect parasites. However, they can be very difficult to detect since they tend to hide in various parts of the body. There are no specific tests for certain kinds of parasites. Tests are only available for 40 to 50 types of the more than thousands that can live in your body. Thus, a negative lab test is no assurance that a person does not have parasites. The most reliable test is kinesiology or muscle testing, but only if done very specifically by someone who knows how to detect them. And then there is no assurance that some may have been missed. But, it is better to detect what you can and treat them, than to do nothing at all. 

In treating parasites, the natural health community has come up with several steps: 

Identify what types and species you have 

Dissolve the cysts they create, and open the cells they are hiding in to be able to kill them. 

Kill the parasites, with both a “zapper” and the use of herbs. 

Clean up their toxins. 

Rebuild the tissues. 

Realign the energy fields to help prevent further problems. 

How can you avoid parasitic infections? Since total avoidance is impossible, you can help yourself by following these instructions as well as you can: 

Avoid eating raw fruit and vegetables that have not been thoroughly washed. 

Avoid eating all meats that are not thoroughly cooked. 

Avoid eating meats cooked in a microwave. The temperature varies from one place to another inside the food, and it does not reliably kill parasites. 

Precook poultry before cooking it on a grill. 

Avoid eating in restaurants as much as you can. 

Don’t keep animals in your house. If you must have a pet, keep it outdoors. 

Don’t let animals lick your skin or kiss you. 

Keep all pets and farm animals wormed with weekly or daily doses of herbal formulations. De-wormers given by veterinarians are inadequate since the pet will get re-contaminated as soon as it goes outside. 

Don’t wear other people’s clothing, especially if they have Psoriasis or eczema. Such clothing likely contains Strongyloides worm eggs, which hatch on contact with skin. 

Drink only safe water and milk. (Zap it if it is not pure)  

Always wash hands after going to the bathroom and before eating or food preparation. 

Avoid breathing dusty or moldy air.

Make sure all household members are parasite free so you don’t keep transferring parasites to each other. 

Make sure all dishes are either washed in a dishwasher or scalded with very hot water. 

Keep all open food packages, including bread, in the refrigerator. 

Store bread in a paper bag instead of plastic, to delay the growth of mold. 

Keep your fingers away from your nose and mouth. 

Use a clean dish cloth daily – cook it in the microwave before using. 

When new symptoms appear, recheck for parasites. Kill them before they do extensive damage. 

By Dr. Elizabeth Laskonis, ND, MH, CNC, CNHP