These organisms are usually very small and reproduce at a faster rate. As such they are not a disease, but they can spread diseases.
A parasite is an organism that lives in another organism , called a host, and often damages it. It depends on your host for survival. Without a host, a parasite can not live, grow and multiply. For this reason, it rarely kills the host, but it can spread diseases, and some of them can be fatal.
The parasites vary in microscopic size to more than 30 meters in length. The parasites vary in microscopic size to more than 30 meters in length.
Parasites vary widely. About 70% are not visible to the human eye, such as the malaria parasite, but some parasites can reach more than 30 meters in length.
Many types of parasites can affect humans. Here are some examples of parasites and the diseases they can cause.
This small amoeba can affect the eye, skin and brain. It exists throughout the world in water and soil. People can become infected if they clean contact lenses with tap water.
This disease comes from parasites that are spread by ticks. It affects red blood cells. The risk is highest in summer in the Northeast and Upper Midwest of the United States.
This is transmitted by Balatidium coli, a unicellular parasite that usually infects pigs but can, in rare cases, cause intestinal infection in humans. It can be spread through direct contact with pigs or drinking contaminated water, usually in tropical regions.
This affects the intestines. Blastocystis enters humans through the fecal-oral route. A person can contract it by eating food or drinks contaminated with human feces or animals where the parasite is present.
This affects the intestines. Coccidia are transmitted through the fecal-oral route and are found throughout the world . It can also affect dogs and cats, but these are different types. Dogs, cats and humans usually can not infect each other.
This is caused by the parasite Entamoeba histolytica. It affects the intestines, it is more likely in tropical regions and in areas with high population density and poor sanitary conditions. It is transmitted through the fecal-oral route .
Also called “beaver fever”, it affects the light of the small intestine. If humans ingest food or water contaminated with feces, inactive cysts can infect the body.
Isosporiasis or cistosporiasis:
This disease is caused by Cystoisospora belli, formerly known as Isospora belli. It affects the epithelial cells of the small intestine . It exists throughout the world and is treatable and preventable, but it is transmitted through the fecal-oral route .
This is a disease transmitted by parasites of the Leishmania family. It can affect the skin, the viscera or the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth and throat, it can be fatal. The parasite is transmitted by sandfly types .
Primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM):
It is transmitted through a free-living amoeba known as Naegleria fowleri. It affects the brain and nervous system, and is almost always fatal in 1 to 18 days.
It is transmitted through breathing in contaminated soils, swimming pools and contaminated water, but not through drinking water. It exists in tropical regions and is transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito.
This is caused by Rhinosporidium seeberi. It mainly affects the mucous membranes of the nose, conjunctiva and urethra .
It is more common in India and Sri Lanka, but it can occur anywhere else. Polyps produce nasal masses that must be removed by surgery. Bathing in common ponds can expose the nasal mucosa to the parasite.
This is a parasitic pneumonia caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. It affects the liver, heart, eyes and brain.
It happens all over the world . People can get infected after eating pork, lamb, goat or milk raw or undercooked, or if they come into contact with food or soil that is contaminated with cat feces.
A person with a healthy immune system will usually have no symptoms, but may pose a risk during pregnancy and for those with a weakened immune system.
Signs and symptoms
Parasites can live in the intestines for years without causing symptoms . When they do, the symptoms include the following:
- Abdominal pain.
- Gases or swelling
- Dysentery (soft stools containing blood and mucus).
- Rash or itching around the rectum or vulva.
- Stomach ache.
- Feeling tired.
- Skin bumps or rashes (allergies).
What causes it?
These things increase the risk of getting intestinal parasites:
- Live or visit an area known to have parasites.
- International travel.
- Poor sanitation (for both food and water).
- Poor hygiene.
Children and the elderly are more likely to become infected.
Also having an immune system weakened by HIV or AIDS increases the risk of contracting parasites.
What to expect in your doctor’s office
Your doctor will ask if you have recently traveled outside of the country and if you have recently lost weight. If your doctor thinks you have an intestinal parasite, you probably have several types of tests.
Faecal tests (examination of your stool) can identify both helminths and protozoa. Fecal samples should be taken before taking medications or antibiotics for diarrhea, or before taking barium x-rays.
Several stool samples may be needed to find the parasite. The “Scotch Tape” test identifies the worms by taping the tape on the anus several times, then observes the tape under the microscope for eggs.
Your doctor may use barium x-rays to diagnose more serious problems caused by parasites, although this test is usually not necessary.
How to treat parasites?
Herbs are a way to strengthen and tone the body’s systems. As with any therapy, you should work with your doctor to diagnose your problem before starting treatment.
You can use herbs like dry extracts (capsules, powders or teas), glycerins (glycerin extracts) or tinctures (alcohol extracts). People with a history of alcoholism should not take tinctures.
Many of the natural remedies that are used to treat intestinal parasites have toxic side effects or interfere with other medications . Use them only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner .
Your health care provider should treat you with the mildest herb that is effective for the type of parasite you have. Some of the herbs your provider might consider include:
- (Allium sativum).
- Agracejo (Berberis vulgaris).
- Golden seal (Hydrastis canadensis).
- Uva de Oregon (Berberis aquifolium).
- Anise (Pimpinella anisum).
- Wormwood (Artemisia annua).
- Curled mint (Mentha crispa).
- Black walnuts (Juglans nigra).
As with other treatments, your health care provider must first diagnose the type of parasite you have. Before prescribing a remedy, homeopaths take into account the constitutional type of a person, including their physical, emotional and intellectual makeup.
An experienced homeopath evaluates all of these factors, as well as any current symptoms, in determining the most appropriate remedy for a particular individual. The following remedies can be used: