Who (or What) Is Living Off You?
According to National Geographic Magazine, “Parasites have killed more humans than all the wars in history.” These unfriendly guests residing in our bodies have been rummaging around for millions of years. Any organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host’s expense, for part or all of its life cycle, is a parasite. Roundworms, tapeworms, pinworms are parasites, to name a few.
Parasites can be found in contaminated fruits, vegetables, undercooked meat and water. One square inch of raw fish can contain 10,000 parasite eggs and larvae that begin hatching the minute you consume it. Parasites are easily acquired from traveling, pets, door handles, shopping carts or walking barefoot on grass. A single handshake can transfer over half a million organisms.
Parasites may be influencing our urges, emotions and thoughts. Unexplained constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, digestive problems, trouble falling asleep, exhaustion, depression, frequent feelings of apathy, unexplained rashes, hives, eczema, aching muscles or joints, never feeling satisfied or full after eating and craving sweet foods and carbs may be symptoms of parasites.
Parasites fluctuate between dormant and living stages, therefore the conventional stool test method is not the most accurate or comprehensive, leading to false negative test results. A more accurate test for parasites is through a functional medicine comprehensive stool test, because it uses Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology, which amplifies the DNA of a parasite if present, regardless if dead or alive. Many cultures around the world practice regular parasitic cleansing protocols to rid their bodies of unwanted residents. Once parasites are tested and identified, they are numerous herbal remedies to treat them.
Dr. Isabel Sharkar is a licensed naturopathic physician and co-owner of Indigo Integrative Health Clinic, in Georgetown.
For more information, visit IndigoHealthClinic.com.