Parasites

Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Are Parasites Controlling You?

20th June 2017
Invasion of the Body Snatchers Are Parasites Controlling You (1)

The thought of parasites taking control of your body conjures some fairly horrific imagery: the gaping mouths and pointing hands of terrified 1950s actors…or perhaps that iconic scene from Alien; a chestburster ripping John Hurt to shreds…

But parasites aren’t merely the province of science fiction and horror. They are very real, and it’s a lot more common than you might imagine to inadvertently play host to these little blighters.

The good new is, they’re nothing like they appear in the movies…

Let’s Bust A Few Parasite Myths…

Parasites only exist in third world, or underdeveloped countries… FALSE

You can’t catch parasites from another person…. FALSE

You can’t get parasites if you’re a vegetarian/vegan… FALSE

Parasites don’t exist in British waterways… FALSE

What Are Parasites?

Parasites exist all around the world. They are microscopic organisms that feed on you, or more specifically, your nutrition. The most common forms of parasite are intestinal parasites, are usually in the form of worms – tapeworms, roundworms, pinworms, hookworms, and whipworms, to name but a few.

How Do You Catch Parasites?

Just as parasites themselves are numerous and varied, there are a number of ways you can catch them. It’s very possible to catch a parasite from a person, especially if they don’t wash their hands well after using the bathroom. Undercooked meat is a common source of parasites, but fruits and vegetables that are contaminated, or haven’t been properly washed, can also carry them.

One of the most well-known sources is contaminated water, particularly in underdeveloped countries. But ponds, lakes, and even streams can contain parasites – even in good old Blighty! That being said, if you’ve ever suffered from traveller’s diarrhea while abroad, parasites in the local water may have been the culprit.

In addition, if you’re prone to walking barefoot, it may surprise you to learn that parasites can enter the body through the soles of your feet.

How Do You Know If You Have Parasites?

The wide variation of parasites mean they cause various problems. Some consume the food you eat, leaving you constantly hungry, even if you’re eating plenty. Others feed off the nutrients in your blood, your red blood cells, causing you to become anemic. Still others cause itching, irritability, and even insomnia, as a result of the eggs they lay.

If you’ve been experiencing digestive symptoms with no apparent cause, or if you have unexplained anemia that doesn’t respond to treatment (such as supplements) you may have a parasite. Handling animals that carry parasites can also lead to you picking them up yourself. If you have pets, be sure to keep them well wormed!

Digestive Issues…

If you have inexplicable IBS, constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, cramps, and/or excessive amounts of gas, you may well be dealing with a parasite. Digestive issues relating to parasites are particularly pronounced when you eat gluten, dairy, yeast, or sugar. If you’re eating well but constantly hungry, even after a large meal, this is another warning sign – especially if you also struggle to gain weight.

If you have had food poisoning in the past, and have been unable to recover a healthy digestive rhythm since, it’s possible you contracted a parasite during the incident and it’s festering…

Itching…

Parasites can cause unexplained rashes, skin irritation, eczema, rosacea, and hives. If you are experiencing itching, particularly around the anus at night, inside your ears, or to your scalp, it’s worth exploring whether or not you have a parasite.

Adrenal Fatigue…

Adrenal Fatigue is characterised by feeling exhausted from the moment you wake, all through the day, only to be wired and restless when it’s time to go to bed. You might experience also experience fatigue, and regular feelings of apathy and depression.

For more information on Adrenal Fatigue check out my recent blog post: 4 Ways Adrenal Fatigue Is Sabotaging Your Energy…

Insomnia…

One of the symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue is insomnia. Even if this presents itself as a sole symptom, it can be caused by parasites. If you’re struggling to fall asleep at night, or are restless and wake repeatedly, a parasite may be keeping you up. Another night-time symptom is grinding your teeth in your sleep.

Nutrient Deficiencies…

You’ve got a great diet but you’re still anemic, and you can’t figure out why.

If you’re worried about parasites, check out our Tummy Troubles packages.