Parasites are more common than you may think.
Many of us on the Body Ecology Diet know that some of these organisms living naturally in our bodies can actually be extremely beneficial to our health. This is one of the reasons why we eat fermented foods that are brimming with these beneficial microorganisms.
Other organisms are not so beneficial. In fact, parasites ranging from tapeworms to Candida albicans, which can become a fungal parasite, have been associated with chronic disorders ranging from mental confusion and neurodegeneration to autoimmune diseases like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Reactive Arthritis.
If you are living in an industrialized country, you may think that parasites are horror stories from developing countries. Or, that the closest you would come to a parasitic infection is traveler’s diarrhea. In the United States, for example, you can pick up a parasite from a restaurant or a tick bite.
Other ways to acquire a parasite include:
- Eating unwashed fruits and vegetables.
- Eating sushi.
- Kissing your pet.
- Sharing a bed with your pet.
- Drinking tap water.
- Drinking untested well-water.
“Parasites are actually a sign of an intact, unstressed ecosystem, and the opposite, as strange as it may sound, is true: if the parasites disappear from a habitat, it’s probably in trouble.”(1) Bugs, whether bacteria, viruses, fungi, and even larger, creepy crawly critters are naturally a part of every living system.
Many times, carriers are asymptomatic, meaning they show no signs of infestation.
Other times, a person can become dramatically ill from a bout with a pathogenic bug, whether a parasitic worm, bacteria, protozoa, virus, or fungus. Infection can range from weeks to years.
Strong, anti-parasitic drugs may be successful in removing the bulk of a parasitic infestation from the digestive tract. However, these drugs are so strong that they can also force single-celled parasites into deeper, more systemic levels within the body. This moves parasites from the digestive system to internal organ tissue.
One of the greatest dangers of parasites is the inflammatory effect that they have on the intestinal walls. Inflammation creates permeability. When the intestinal wall becomes inflamed and permeable, any kind of large food particle or pathogen can enter the bloodstream.
- This why we see such a strong correlation between parasitic infection and autoimmune disorders.
- This is why parasitic infection often co-exists with allergies.
- Parasitic gut infection oftentimes deeply affects a person’s mental peace of mind, showing up as depression, anxiety, and even schizophrenia.
- Inflammation in the digestive tract will eventually lead to inflammation of the brain.
Changing the Biofilm
Bugs within the body will create something called a biofilm around them. This biofilm is a slimy matrix.
- Many microorganisms will embed themselves into this biofilm.
- The biofilm is a barrier that protects microorganisms from the immune system.
- The biofilm also helps bugs evade the effects of anti-parasitic substances.
One way to change and control a pathogenic biofilm within the digestive tract is to populate the digestive tract with beneficial bacteria. Good bacteria create their own healthy biofilm around themselves, which actually heals intestinal inflammation.
Excessive toxins circulating in the large intestine will eventually circulate throughout the body.
- Parasites can travel through the mesenteric artery and end up in the liver. From this point, they can circulate through the entire organ system, traveling to the pancreas, heart, kidneys, and other organs within the body.
- Parasites are constantly defecating and excreting their own waste into your bloodstream.
- Parasites can activate an inflammatory cascade and wreak havoc on your immune and endocrine health.
- While we never want to try and live in a sterile environment, it is good to clean house.
Periodically cleansing your internal environment with an herbal parasite cleanse keeps your body functioning at optimal levels. Because parasites are so common and naturally a part of a healthy environmental ecosystem, it is a good idea to go through a parasite cleanse at least twice a year. At the same time, making lifestyle choices, such as eating fermented foods and practicing stress-reduction exercises, can vastly improve the quality and health of your immune system.
What to Remember Most About This Article:
Parasites are more common than you may think and can be easily acquired by eating sushi, kissing your pet, or drinking tap water. Our lifestyle choices naturally weaken our immune systems, making us even more vulnerable to a parasitic infection. One of the greatest dangers that parasites pose is the inflammation they create in the digestive system, making the gut permeable to trigger autoimmune disorders.
- Zimmer, Carl (2000-09-21). Parasite Rex (Kindle Locations 3853-3855). Free Press. Kindle Edition.
- Henrik, O. B, et al. “Anthelmintic usage of extracts of Embelia schimperi from Tanzania.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology. Jan 1996, Vol. 50; 1, 35-42.
- Roshni Solanki et al. Journal of Pharmacy Research 2011,4(6),1760-1761.
- Vishnu Agarwal, et al. “Prevention of Candida albicans biofilm by plant oils.” MYCOPATHOLOGIA. Vol.165; 1, 13-19, DOI: 10.1007/s11046-007-9077-9.