What Are Intestinal Parasites?
Intestinal parasites are either one-cell organisms or intestinal worms that live in the human intestines (small or large) and use the stool or blood from intestinal wall as a source of the food.
1. One-Cell Parasites – Protozoa
One cell organisms like Giardia lamblia, also called Giardia duodenale, cryptosporidium and cyclospora utilize nutrients from the stool. They may cause inflammation of the small intestine, reducing its absorption capacity. Entamoeba hystolytica predominantly lives in the colon.
2. Intestinal Worms (Helminths)
Intestinal worms (helminths) are common cause of diarrhea, bloating and malnutrition. They may cause severe infection (infestation), predominantly in children in areas with hot climates, bad hygiene and poor sewage disposal: in rural parts of Africa, Middle East, South Asia, Indonesia, and Central and South America. In Europe and North America, infestations are more sporadic.
Sources of Worm Infection
Eggs, shed in the stool of human or animals infected with adult worms, contaminate soil or water. Once outside the body, eggs need several days or weeks to develop into the infective stage – cysts or immature worms (larvae) that may be ingested when eating with soil-contaminated hands or with raw unwashed vegetables. Larvae may also penetrate a person’s skin during swimming or walking barefoot. When they reach the small or large intestine they grow into adult worms. Another source of intestinal worms is undercooked infected meat of domestic pig, freshwater fish or wild animals (bear, walrus etc). One can also be infected from ingesting dog’s fleas that have ingested parasitic eggs. Children may contract infection from sandboxes contaminated with pet’s stool.
Pathology of Intestinal Worms
Adult worms (from 1 millimeter to several meters long) invade the bowel wall and suck the blood from it or live freely in the intestine and utilize nutrients from the bowel content. The result are small intestinal or colonic inflammation and ulcers, anemia, protein, iron and vitamin (mainly A, C, B12) deficiency. Intestinal obstruction may occur in severe cases. Larvae may migrate to other organs (liver, spleen, bladder, muscles, lungs, brain) where they form cysts and trigger allergic inflammation.
Worms Commonly Causing Diarrhea in Human:
-The large roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides) is about 30 cm long and found worldwide
-Hookworms (Necator americanus, Ancylostoma duodenale) are about 1 cm long; they suck blood from the intestinal wall
-Whipworm (Trichuris trichiura)
-Threadworms (Strongyloides stercoralis)
-Schistosoma mansoni. Symptoms after invasion into other organs may include enlarged liver and spleen, jaundice, abdominal swelling (ascites), urinary bleeding, coughing blood, muscular aches and seizures.
-Fish (broad) tapeworm (Diphyllobothrium latum) is contracted by infected freshwater fish, may exceed 10 m, it appears in Europe, Russia and US.
-Beef tapeworm (Taenia saginata) and pork tapeworm (Taenia solium) are contracted by undercooked beef or pork in rural areas, worldwide; adult worms may be over 20 m long
How do you get Parasites?
Parasites are found in human or animal wastes, contaminated food or drinking water, recreational water (lakes, pools), our pets
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How do you know if you have Parasites?
Do you own pets?
Ever been licked by an animal?
Have you ever been bitten by mosquitos?
Have you ever drank water from a stream or river?
Are you bloated or have gas after meals?
Are you always hungry?
Do you have pains in the abdomen?
Do you crave sugar and/or sweets?
Do you eat lots of bread?
Ever eaten Sushi?
Ever eaten at a salad bar?
Abdominal, uterine or leg cramps?
Ever experienced anal itching?
Have you had frequent yeast infections?
Do you have Sinus problems?
Do you have Constipation or diarrhea?
Ever swam in the ocean or lake?
Ever had Parasites before?
Chances are you have parasites!
Studies show that the average American is carrying around approximately 2 pounds of parasites!
It's rarely a question of DO YOU HAVE PARASITES?
It's mostly HOW BAD ARE THEY AFFECTING YOU?
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