Do you have parasites in your stool? How to find out and what to do about it
What does it mean if I have parasites – in my stool? How did I get these?
University of Maryland Medical Center explains that there are two basic forms of intestinal parasites, which are helminths and protozoa. While helminths cannot multiply once they reach full adulthood, protozoa can multiply once inside the body, potentially causing serious infections. Most often transmitted during contact with fecal matter in the water, food, or soil systems, a person’s risk of exposure increases by visiting regions where such infected areas are likely to exist, or by utilizing poor sanitation systems or practicing poor hygiene. Always wash your hands frequently with soap and water when you suspect parasites are possible, and be sure to ask about drinking water and food safety before ingesting anything through the mouth. Those with weaker immune systems, like young children, those with HIV or AIDS, and the elderly, should avoid these areas whenever possible, and are particularly at risk if living in institutional care centers or enrolled in child care centers.
What are the symptoms of intestinal parasites?
Staying aware of the symptoms and treatment of parasitic invasions helps us become better able at managing what they bring with them and taking our health back. (The symptoms range considerably depending on the type of parasite and severity of the infection. Symptoms can include: diarrhea and vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain or soreness, dysentery, a rash or itching/irritation around the vulva or rectum, bloating or gassiness, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, a worm visibly passing your stool, repeated illness, repeated yeast infections, recurrent bladder infections, sores on the lips/mouth, white spots inside the mouth, rashes or itching/irritation around the genitals of either gender, intestinal cramps, endometriosis, eczema or psoriasis, toe fungus, athlete’s foot, sensitivity to food, smells or chemicals, allergies, strange cravings for sweet or starchy foods, brain fog, menstrual irregularities, anxiety or depression, spots or “floaters” over the eyes, a history of antibiotic, steroid or contraceptive use, muscle or joint aches, or constipation)
Testing for parasites (and their resulting damage) can be done in several different ways
In order to determine with certainty if you have parasites, stool samples, the Scotch tape test (touching tape to the anus several times and then checking the tape for parasitic eggs under a microscope), or blood tests may be necessary. Xrays may also be used with barium to help understand more serious problems caused by the parasites, if any.
In the case of finding visible parasites in your stool, there are four top common types of culprits which may be at fault. They are:
pinworms: These are small worms that wiggle, and according to Web MD, “can infect the intestines and cause intense itching around the anus.”
ascaris worms: These are roundworms which can be seen in the stool visibly and also cause respiratory problems.
lice: These are tiny, visible insects which infest the scalp and hair resulting in itching and skin bumps. They can be very difficult to eliminate due to widespread resistance to common treatment chemicals.
and crabs: These six-legged menaces are limited to the pubic skin area and pubic hair, causing intense itching until effectively treated.
Interestingly, around 30 percent of all parasites are visible to the naked eye, while the remaining 70 percent are only detected under a microscope – and the smaller ones are much more dangerous. Therefore, ridding yourself of parasites may not always be reflected visibly in the stool, especially considering the 3000 potential typesof parasites that may infect the human body at any given time.
Other, lesser known worms which can be found in the stool include:
tapeworms: These can be obtained from eating raw or undercooked infected fish, pork or beef. Although rumored to be able to grow quite large, the normally expected size is around 1/2 to one inch long.
white worms: These resemble angel hair pasta and come in all sizes.
red worms: These resemble the average earthworm and come out of the colon wrapped in balls.
inch worms: These are about the width of a pencil, bumpy, black and usually around two inches long.
black worms: These are anywhere between one to twelve inches in length and can nest deeply in the colon walls.
hook worms: Around six inches long and curved, these are grayish-colored worms which grip the inside of the intestinal wall and suck blood. These are common worldwide.
threadworms: These are small, cream-colored worms thin like sewing thread. They can exit the colon by the hundreds.
Little Fish: These are around a half inch long with fish-like heads and tails. They may “swim” out of the colon in “schools.”
Fuzzballs: These are round and yellow with furry exteriors, which grow to between 1/4 and 3/4 inch in diameter.
Spiders: These are usually an inch long, resemble spiders and are brown.
Stickpin worms: With heads like peas, these are about an inch long. Adults are black and smaller, younger ones are white.
What are the best forms of treatment for parasite elimination?
Treatment usually involves a process that first tests to see if someone has parasites, then kills the worms (through prescribed medications or alternative remedies/herbs, Epsom baths, etc.), and simultaneously limiting or avoiding certain foods to prevent any left alive from feeding or growing. While undergoing treatment for parasites, people should keep healthy sleep patterns, eat a balanced diet of recommended foods, drink plenty of water and exercise daily.
*As with all my articles, please consult your physician before trying any activity or diet strategy discussed here.