Worms, Weasels, and Strange Diseases?
By Dr. Patrick Giammarise, DC, IHS
Justin went camping with his family this summer and everyone had a blast. Soon after their return, however, he, his wife, and their two children began to feel fatigued and started having watery diarrhea.
Brittany and Jake had just gotten married and decided to get a new puppy. They named her Pickles, and she just loved giving kisses. After awhile, Brittany noticed she started to lose weight, as she said, “for no reason.” Then a little while later, Jake developed some vague abdominal pain, again for no reason he could explain.
After much research, Melissa carefully selected a day-care center for her 2-year-old son, Mason. Mason adjusted well, but a few months later, Mom noticed that Mason had developed an unusual amount of flatulence, unexplained rectal itching, and persistent diarrhea. Then Mom and his sister developed similar digestive symptoms.
What do these three families have in common?
No one wants to think, or even know, if he or she has parasites, but we can get them very easily just living everyday life. Eating or drinking contaminated food or water, kissing our pets, traveling, working in unsanitary workplaces, and having sex are all activities that can become potential sources for acquiring parasites. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 60 million people have parasites!
What Are Parasites?
Parasites are microscopic organisms that live in or on humans and animals. They survive because they feed and shelter off you—“their host”—making themselves at home and helping themselves to your food. As with any mooch, parasites benefit at your expense. They rob you of nutrients, cause inflammation, and eventually can drain your immune system—leaving the body depleted enough to be susceptible to even more serious infections and toxicity.
There are two types of parasites. Helminthes are worms with many cells, and protozoan parasites have only one cell. Both types can and do multiply inside our bodies.
You may have heard of some of the more common parasites: Giardia, which is what Justin’s family contracted on their camping trip; roundworms, which Pickles gave to her owners; and pinworms, which Mason contracted at day care and passed along to his siblings and parents.
How Do I Know If I Have Parasites?
Many doctors are unfamiliar with diagnosing parasites, so much so that the CDC has targeted five common but “neglected” parasitic infections (known as NPIs) for more research. Symptoms from parasites can go unnoticed because they are the same or similar to other symptoms for intestinal problems. For example, chronic diarrhea has many causes, so is it because I have parasites or is it caused by a food intolerance? In our clinic, we have patients who have done their own research, come in and say, “I think I have parasites,” and we often find that they are right!
Because there are more than 1,000 different types of parasites, the best way to find out if you have parasites is to get tested. Common ways to be tested include a stool analysis or blood test. The results can be less than accurate, however, because timing is crucial. That’s because parasites, like many other organisms, have life cycles that go through several developmental stages. As parasites live and move through their host(s), they can cycle between being dormant and being active, and being immature and mature. Thus testing is only a sample “snapshot” in time and can be inaccurate. Even multiple samples may not capture the parasite at the most “fertile” time for a diagnosis.
So If I Have Them, How Do I Treat the Buggers?
While identifying your symptoms may point in a certain direction, symptoms (and even a diagnosis) are not enough. Traditional medical treatments include antiparasitic drugs or antibiotics, both filled with unnatural chemicals. As with most drugs, antiparasitics are hard on the liver and antibiotics are hard on the gastrointestinal tract. In the name of solving one problem, drugs may create more problems. But the biggest reason these types of treatments do not work well is that they do not get to the underlying cause and reinfestation may occur.
A Missing Key We Offer to Treating Parasites
Our specialty in restoring digestive function provides us with a more comprehensive approach to treating parasites than you may have found elsewhere. We know that simply eliminating parasites is usually not enough to rid your body of these uninvited guests for long. Quite frankly, “mooches” can be hard to get rid of!
Most parasite elimination programs will not work unless you can digest all of your food properly. That means all—not just some—of the fats, carbohydrates, and proteins you eat at each meal. To eliminate parasites we need to first take away their food supply.
Second, our approach stimulates the body’s own immune system to amp up its defenses against parasites. This is important because parasites invade our body’s defenses via skin, our blood, our digestive tract and may affect other organs such as our liver, lungs, and heart.
Third, after we clean out the undigested food from the digestive tract and recolonize it with the right mix of bacteria, we administer supplements we have found to be an effective, yet gentle, approach to removing the parasites.
Finally, we propose preventive steps to avoid reinfection, as needed, such as modifying the diet and eliminating environmental or lifestyle risk factors. For parasite prevention tips and a more complete description of Dr. Patrick’s Parasitic Recovery Program, check out “10 Tips for Preventing Parasites” at http://www.digestionreliefcenter.com/resources/articles/about-parasites/10-tips-for-preventing.html.
If you think you have parasites, you might be right! To find out, call our office at 530-899-8741 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Patrick to share your concerns and receive a preliminary test and exam. Here you can learn about our approach and see if it’s right for you.
© 2017. Dr. Patrick Giammarise, DC, IHS. All Rights Reserved.
Since 1999, Dr. Patrick Giammarise, DC, has helped North State residents by using a whole-body systems approach to health. He specializes in providing natural relief for food and environmental sensitivities, intolerances, and digestive problems. For more information contact Dr. Patrick at 530-899-8741 or visit www.DigestionReliefCenter.com.