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Tag: parasites

What You Might See From a Parasite Cleanse

Spoiler alert: If you have a weak stomach, you may not want to view the pictures in this post.

Following are some photos sent by my clients of parasites they have found from doing an herbal parasite cleanse and/or a bentonite clay protocol:

These parasites are what one mom found in her toddler's diaper after giving her bentonite clay.
These parasites are what one mom found in her toddler’s diaper after giving her bentonite clay.
These were found in the stool of a young woman seriously infested with parasites.
These were found in the stool of a young woman seriously infested with parasites.

Of course, not all parasites are visible to the human eye or live in the digestive tract. Some can live in your heart, brain, spinal fluid, muscles… really, anywhere in the body.

An herbal parasite cleanse is the safest, most effective way to eradicate parasites and their eggs from your body whatever kind they happen to be.

Parasites Cause Obesity, Mental Illness, Autoimmunity, and More

I am a firm believer that hidden parasitic infection is at the root of many if not most chronic ailments, and now a study has just been released showing a link between parasites and obesity.

Researchers at several universities around the world teamed up to examine the incidence of obesity with the presence of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii (T.gondii). T.gondii is thought to affect at least 30% of the population in both the developed and undeveloped world.

Microscopic Toxoplasma gondii parasite in brain tissue.

That means that in any group of three people, at least one is likely infected with this particular parasite. If you suffer from a chronic condition that has inflammation at its base, this could be you.

Parasites and Obesity

The CDC calls T.gondii one of the top “Five Neglected Parasitic Infections” based on its high prevalence in the US, severity of illness, and potential for prevention (; accessed 9-25-2013).

Latent T. gondii infection has been previously associated with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and personality disorder, and it causes significant activity of T-cells, the ones that are responsible for inflammation. Since obesity is a chronic stage of inflammation and irrational thought can be due to inflamed brain tissue (read Brain Rules to see how this works), all of this makes sense to me.

Even more, this new research has now proved a relationship between parasitic infection and obesity. What other conditions might a hidden parasitic infection affect? Plenty.

T-Cells and Parasites

Here’s what happens in your body when you have a parasitic infection regardless of if the parasite is active or already encapsulated into a cyst.

The T-cells, a subset of white blood cells that are responsible for determining the threat rating of foreign substances in the body, determine the parasite presence is a threat and prime the immune system to fight it off. The immune system releases mediators, or inflammatory activators, to start off the battle strategy. This works pretty well when fighting viral and bacterial invaders but not at all with parasites.

The T-cells notice that the threat is still there and continue their inflammatory assault, sometimes for decades. The body remains in a chronically inflamed state with no resolution until other interventions are taken to kill off the parasites. An inflamed state could manifest as anything from migraines to fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, sinusitis, or even autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis.

Chronic inflammation, as we are finally starting to realize, is bad, bad, bad.

Chronic inflammation damages tissues and disrupts systems, like the integrity of the myelin sheaths of the nervous system (resulting in MS), the elasticity of the veins and arteries (heart disease), and of course, our front line of defense, the digestive system.

When the digestive system is subjected to chronic inflammation, it no longer does its job well and new food sensitivities emerge, triggering more T-cell activity and bringing inflammation in the body on a constant basis.

The parasitic infection that is at the root must be addressed for complete healing to occur.

Should You Test for Parasites?

The problem with using Western medicine to test for parasites is that it doesn’t necessarily look for the critters in the right places. The standard is to look for parasites in a stool sample or two. Unfortunately, parasites like T.gondii, for example, take up residence in the brain and will not show up in a stool sample.

Even blood testing won’t tell us everything. Advanced blood testing for the parasite Chagas, which we know lives in the blood, involves surveying a blood sample using a high tech medium designed to illuminate this microscopic parasite, but the sophisticated test won’t show the presence of a liver fluke in the liver.

This is why all parasite testing is notorious for false negatives. The danger is that the patient believes they don’t actually have a parasite based on the lab report so does not take steps to eradicate the parasite and continues to see his or her health deteriorate.

When I suspect parasites in a client (more than 75% of the time), I never recommend wasting money on testing but instead suggest starting an herbal parasite cleanse immediately.

How Do You Get Rid of Parasites?

The pharmaceutical drugs of choice for parasite eradication, Flagyl and Ivermectin among others, can be effective though they only kill off adults and do not affect the eggs or protected cysts. They are also brutal on the body. Using Flagyl to kill a parasite, as one G.I. doc told me, is like using a shotgun to kill a mosquito; there’s a lot of collateral damage in the process.

In my personal experience, Flagyl leaves your body feeling fragile, like an empty eggshell, because it is so toxic that it has killed off everything, both the good and the bad, in your body. As a result, the course of drugs leaves your digestive system in bad shape. Worse, because it leaves the eggs and cysts behind to repopulate, symptoms often return within months or years.

Better to use a gentle combination of anti-parasitic herbs for several weeks to address all of the stages of a parasite life cycle without destroying your body in the process. Most people don’t feel anything different while going through the herbal regimen I advocate, but eliminating the source of constant inflammation brings immeasurable relief from symptoms of all kinds.

Will Eradicating Parasites Cure My Ailments?

It depends on how much damage has already been done in your body as to how much healing needs to happen once the parasites are out of the way. It’s likely that digestive system damage has lowered your tolerance thresholds and you are now a hypersensitive person who needs to learn how to avoid personal inflammatory triggers during the post-parasite healing phase.

Healing can only happen in the absence of inflammation. 

I work with my clients to design customized anti-inflammatory diets to quickly reduce inflammation and supplement with supportive digestive enzymes to speed healing.

The one thing I know for sure is that if you have a parasitic infection and you don’t address it, there is only so much better you will ever get. You can medically suppress T-cell activity and become immuno-compromised, but you can’t convince the T-cells to ignore the presence of a parasite for long.

Where Can I Find A Parasite Cleanse?

Contact me and I’d be happy to tell you all about the regimens to get rid of parasites and end your chronic inflammatory issues once and for all.



The Cyclospora Lesson: It’s Easy to Get Parasites

What we’re learning from the current outbreak of cyclospora parasites in the U.S. is that even if we live in a western, modern society, we are still susceptible to parasitic infections.

cyclospora parasite
The microscopic Cyclospora parasite.

Of course, foreign travel, especially if you visit remote or under-developed areas, is a common source of parasites in Westerners, though not the only one.

This time the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) believes the parasites are coming from unwashed fruit and vegetables, but parasites can get into your body from eating sushi, pork, or other foods; swimming in lakes or rivers; cleaning a cat’s litter box; contact with pets; gardening; or even sometimes, just from drinking a glass of water from the tap (in 1993, the city of Milwaukee was infected with Cryptosporidium through the municipal water supply).

As someone who has been infested with parasites no fewer than five times (!), including positive stool samples containing both cyclospora and cryptosporidium among other parasites, I do consider myself somewhat of a parasite expert. In fact, herbal parasite cleanses comprise a large part of my naturopathic dietary clinic. I firmly believe that if you have an undiagnosed parasitic infection and it is not treated appropriately, there is only so much better your health will ever get. And, I do think that most people dealing with chronic inflammatory conditions probably have an underlying parasitic infestation.

What are the symptoms of parasites?

For the current outbreak of cyclospora, the CDC suggests that if you have stomach distress that lasts beyond 24 hours, you may be infected with cyclospora parasites. Cyclospora can cause both diarrhea and constipation, as well as bloating, gas, and discomfort.

Parasitic infection often begins with an acute phase which may include violent gastro-intestinal distress (explosive diarrhea, painful gas, cramping), vomiting, fever, dehydration, chills, sweats, shaking, and delirium. Sounds fun, huh? Some people may experience this mildly while others become terribly ill and debilitated.

Then the parasites settle into a chronic phase. This phase may last months, decades, or longer as the goal of a parasite is not to kill the host. The parasite settles in, lays eggs, and populates.

Your body, on the other hand, has difficulty forgetting that the parasite is there and really doesn’t want to be a landlord. As a result, you may experience chronic or occasional symptoms including diarrhea, constipation, bloating, swelling, vomiting, fainting, difficulty gaining or losing weight, lethargy, fatigue, or even autoimmune disorders.

How can you avoid getting parasites?

Always wash all fruits and vegetables with a veggie rinse before cutting through the skin and serving. This applies even to organic produce.

Wash your hands well with soap whenever you enter your house, and particularly after handling unwashed produce.

How can you treat and recover from cyclospora and other parasites?

Although there are western anti-parasitic medications, they are non-discriminatory and you will feel like a fragile, hollow shell after a course. As one G.I. doctor told me, treating parasites with the drug Flagyl is like killing a mosquito with a shot gun: there are unintentional casualties along the way.

Even worse, these toxic drugs will not necessarily eradicate all the stages of the parasite life-cycle (egg-larvae-adult), nor will they always kill off every kind of parasite that might be present in your body (protozoans, worms, or what have you).

In my practice, I advocate completing a three-week herbal anti-parasite regimen to eradicate any suspected parasitic infection. I do not recommend wasting money on testing as many parasites are microscopic and parasite tests are notorious for false negatives.

If you feel like you’re doing everything right –eating healthily, reducing stress, exercising regularly– yet you’re still suffering from chronic physical distress (gastro-intestinal, inflammatory, or otherwise), it would be worth your while to complete an herbal parasite cleanse under the guidance of a qualified natural health practitioner.

Do You Have IBS?

The term Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, gets tossed around so frequently that I find many who think it means something profound about their condition.

I hate to break it to you, but a diagnosis of IBS doesn’t mean much in the medical world.

For starters, anything that is called a “syndrome” is by definitiona group of signs and symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality”. If the signs and symptoms don’t appear to be related to a clear cause, a condition is called a “syndrome” rather than a “disease”. The signs and symptoms of IBS could include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation.

So, when you receive a diagnosis of IBS from a doctor, what he or she is really telling you is that they simply don’t know what is causing you to experience these signs and symptoms, but they’re going to group them together and call them “IBS”.

In my humble opinion, IBS is a cop-out diagnosis that does not identify the cause of the IBS symptoms in the first place. If you don’t know the cause of the distress, then how can you heal the body so that the symptoms disappear?

A few common causes of IBS symptoms:

Food and chemical sensitivities. We accept that there are people who are lactose intolerant or allergic to wheat, but did you know that you yourself may be sensitive to such seemingly harmless foods such as broccoli, chicken, rice, or honey? IBS symptoms may appear up to four days after you’ve eaten a food, which can make identifying the culprits difficult to impossible. MRT food sensitivity testing and following a LEAP diet is a fast and easy method of finding relief from IBS symptoms.

Parasites. You can be infected by parasites during foreign travel, camping, swimming in lakes or rivers, or simply from eating sushi or drinking water. At one point the city of Milwaukee was infected with cryptosporidium through the municipal water supply. Luckily, a good herbal parasite cleanse can get rid of most of these buggers and then your bowels will be happy again.

Bacterial imbalance. A course of antibiotics can destroy your natural gut biome and replenishing the good bacteria will help your digestion. The trick can be finding the right pro-biotic supplement for your body.

Digestive enzyme deficiencies. Chronic inflammation can lead to a desensitization of the villi whose job it is to analyze the contents of your stomach and call for the correct formula of digestive enzymes to break it down. The intestinal lining cannot absorb nutrients from food that is not broken down enough by the stomach. An enzyme urinalysis can pinpoint exactly what’s being digested or not in your bowels, and then you can supplement accordingly with the right plant-based digestive enzymes.

Infections Can Affect Your Personality

It took a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis for me to fully understand that your physical state can affect your mental state. Struggling through the fatigue, mental fogginess, and physical pain of those early years gave me increased compassion for a friend’s mother who had passed away after a long battle with kidney failure during our high school years. Perhaps its not until your own health falters that you can truly understand how feeling crummy and in pain all the time can turn someone with a sunny disposition into an irrational shrew.

So, it shouldn’t be surprising that depression goes hand-in-hand with multiple sclerosis. How you physically feel can affect your mood and drain your joy for life. When living hurts, it’s easy to snap at loved ones, assign blame, or lash out in other ways.

The Boston globe reported this week that infections can affect your personality, too. We are reminded of how syphilis causes dementia/madness and that Lyme disease has been linked to suicide.

The Washington Post also noted the importance of microbes in shaping our personalities. “The freakiest of the behavior-warping microbes,” reporter Ben Harper writes, “may be Toxoplasma gondii, the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis.”

Yes, that’s the one you can get from cleaning cat litter boxes.

Researchers have found that people infected with this parasite — but who have no symptoms of infection — tend to become more apprehensive and insecure. Infected men tend to become more stubborn and jealous, while women become more conscientious and concerned about others.

You can protect yourself from this parasite by wearing a dust filter mask from a hardware store when you are handling kitty litter. Pregnant women should never handle kitty litter, of course. If you believe you may be infected, a parasite cleanse is a gentle and painless way to eradicate the infection.

You’ll feel better once the parasite is gone, and your personality may just change, too.