It’s critical to comprehend what a parasite is before self-diagnosing your symptoms as parasitic. An organism that lives on or inside a host organism and obtains nutrition from or at the expense of the host is referred to as a parasite.
based on the CDC. Three categories of parasites exist: helminths, which are parasitic worms like tapeworms, are small, one-celled creatures that typically dwell in the blood, tissue, and protozoa.
Ectoparasites are ticks, fleas, lice, and mites that attach to or burrow into the skin, as well as roundworms, thorny-headed worms, and other parasites. Despite the fact that parasites can cause illness and even death, if discovered early enough, the diseases can typically be cured with medication. (And occasionally, like with head lice, they are merely obnoxious and nasty but not necessarily life-threatening.)
Here are several parasite symptoms and silent signals that could indicate you are harboring one of these microscopic invaders, including the parasite that millions of Americans carry without realizing it.
You consumed dubious water or swam in it.
According to Daliah Wachs, MD, a board-certified family physician in Las Vegas, swallowing polluted water is one of the most frequent sources of parasites, whether you were traveling and drank from the tap or went to the lake nearby and swam around for a while. In fact, before you sip on your next glass of water, consider the following information to determine whether or not your tap water is secure.
You like rare steak.
Do you tend to favor rarer cuisines? If you’re trying to stay away from parasites, it might not be the ideal choice. The Taenia variety of intestinal tapeworms can be contracted by consuming raw or undercooked beef or pork, according to Dana Hawkinson, MD, an assistant professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. “Eating some uncooked fish can result in diphyllobothrium infection, a form of intestinal tapeworm. Furthermore, consuming tainted food or water might cause an Ascaris infection. You should absolutely stay away from Ascaris intestinal roundworms because they can grow up to 35 centimeters long and obstruct your intestines.
You’re shedding pounds.
Losing weight is one of the main parasite symptoms for some of these freeloaders, though there are many conditions that can cause it as well. The former medical director and state epidemiologist for the Iowa Department of Public Health, Patricia Quinlisk, MD, MPH, claimed in an email newsletter she delivers to medical professionals, “Tapeworms will cause you to lose weight because you have this giant worm in your intestines devouring your food. An upset stomach and loss of appetite are frequently present in conjunction with weight loss. However, there are more health factors that could explain why you might be losing weight quickly.
You suffer from a weakened immune system.
Your body’s capacity to expel a parasite may be hindered by a damaged immune system. The most vulnerable people, according to Dr. Wachs, are those who have diabetes, HIV, are receiving transplants, and are on immunosuppressants.
You are frequently using the restroom.
This is another one of the symptoms of a parasite that hosts are more likely to recognize. Giardia infection is one of the most prevalent intestinal parasitic diseases affecting people in the United States, according to the CDC. You can catch it by swimming in giardia-infested water, eating raw food that has the parasite, or drinking water that has been tainted with the parasite.
rivers, streams, or lakes. Additionally, it can be spread via the fecal-oral pathway through careless hand washing, childcare facilities, and oral-anal intercourse. If you have it, you’ll be able to spot problems right away. Within one to three weeks of exposure, the infection is known to cause dehydration, gas, watery, stinky, and greasy diarrhea, stomach cramps, and gas.