There is a new topic trending on Tik Tok, Facebook, and other social media talking about internal parasites and the importance of getting dewormed. One lady on Tik Tok who has over 5 million views claimed she saw worms in her stool after deworming herself. Is it possible that you are infested with worms or other internal parasites and have no idea? Unfortunately, the answer is YES! I used to think this was just a third-world problem but I was wrong. I’m a person who loves to garden, has pets, spends time around children, has traveled the world and loves sushi. All of those factors put me at high risk so I decided to educate myself and so should you. Sushi parasites’ alone have increased 283-fold in the past 40 years!
If you are infested with internal parasites how would you know and more importantly what can be done? Read on and I will give you all the info you need to live parasite-free. Use the Table of Contents to skip ahead if you just want recommendations on treatments.
Is the Tik Tok lady telling the truth or just a shill for Paraguard? And even if she had worms, would Paraguard even work to remove them? Are there better treatments available? Well, I decided to do some research about parasites and save you some time. Suffice it to say that I think there are better and cheaper alternatives to Paraguard.
Are you at risk of worms or other internal parasites?
According to the CDC, everyone is at risk. Anyone, regardless of race or economic status, can become infected, although minorities, immigrants, and people living in poor or disadvantaged communities appear to be most at risk. The good news is that most of these infections can be prevented, and many are treatable. However, these infections are often undetected and untreated. Why? Most people do not know they are infected or at risk, or don’t have access to appropriate care. And often, health care providers are unfamiliar with these parasitic infections, and may not diagnose or treat them appropriately.
All of these various parasites have their own unique lists of symptoms and some may have no symptoms at all. Others still may lie dormant for years. Obviously, your first line of defense is to seek professional medical advice from your doctor. Make a detailed list of all your symptoms and they can run diagnostical tests to determine the cause. Chances are your intestinal issues are not related to a parasite at all but regardless of the cause, getting treatment earlier rather than later is always the best cause of action for any malady.
How to Tell If You Have Intestinal Parasites
The signs and symptoms of infections caused by a parasite vary depending on the organism that’s residing in your body. Some of the most common signs of parasitic infection include:
- Stomach cramps and pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Weight loss
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Digestive problems including unexplained constipation, diarrhea or persistent gas
- Skin issues such as rashes, eczema, hives, and itching
- Continuous muscle and joint pain
- Fatigue, even when you get enough sleep
- Depression or feeling of apathetic
- Never feeling full, even after a big meal
- Constant hunger, even when you’re eating enough
- Iron deficiency/anemia
- Grinding your teeth during sleep
- Unexplained feelings of anxiety
- Recurrent yeast infections
- Itching of the anus or vagina
- Itching, redness, irritation, and an unusual discharge from the genital area
- Trouble falling asleep or waking up multiple times during the night
These symptoms may look similar to the signs and symptoms of other digestive diseases. Therefore, it’s essential that you confirm your condition with a diagnosis.
Symptoms such as sleeping irregularities, skin irritation, mood changes, and muscle pain can all be caused by the toxins released by the parasites into your bloodstream. These toxins could even cause anxiety, which tends to manifest itself in irregular sleeping patterns or teeth grinding. You may also experience mood swings or skin irritation when these toxins interact with the neurotransmitters or blood cells in your body.
Millions of Americans Don’t Realize They Have Parasites
There are five in the US that you probably haven’t heard of, which the Centers for Disease Control calls the neglected parasitic infections: Chagas disease, cysticercosis, toxocariasis, toxoplasmosis, and trichomoniasis. They aren’t household names, they’re much more serious than an itch, and according to the CDC, there are more than 100 million cases of these five in Americans right now.
“The CDC targeted these five diseases for public health action based on the number of people infected, the severity of illnesses, and the ability to prevent and treat them,” says Monica Parise, director of the CDC’s Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria. “We know much less than we would like to about the health and economic burden of these infections in the US.”
With the topics of worms and parasites trending on Tik Tok with stories of someone pooping out a five-foot-long tapeworm, you may wonder how 100 million people could not know they’ve become human hotels to creatures wiggling through their bodies. One reason is that monster parasites—like those five-footers—are outliers. Most are sneaky and very small. “Some of these parasites have evolved along with us for millennia,” says Bobbi Pritt, director of the Mayo Clinic’s Clinical Parasitology Laboratory. “They don’t cause symptoms or they cause very minimal symptoms, so they’re not likely to come to medical attention until it’s too late.”
Toxocariasis is one such parasite you can catch in the US. It’s a roundworm that lives in the intestines of dogs and cats, and it thrives when owners don’t get their pets de-wormed on a regular basis, Pritt says. “To put it bluntly, the parasite doesn’t really know what to do in our bodies,” she says. It knows it’s not inside a dog or a cat, where it’d rather be, so it spends its life in a continual larval phase roaming through the body, boring holes in any organ it runs into, including eyeballs and brain matter, as it looks for a place to settle down.
Once it cuts tunnels through your eyeballs, the damage is irreparable and you can lose your vision, Pritt says. If it goes to the brain, it can be fatal. Forty-six million people—14 percent of the US—have toxocariasis, although the CDC says true numbers are higher because people rarely connect eventual blindness with roundworms slithering undetected through the body. Treatment Link and More Info
Trichomoniasis, [a sexually transmitted parasite], is more common than chlamydia, syphilis, or gonorrhea.” Every year, 1.1 million Americans contract trich, but hardly anyone knows because 70 percent of the people with it show no symptoms, according to the CDC.Women who contract it are more susceptible to contracting other viruses, such as HIV. If she becomes pregnant, she’s more likely to give premature delivery to an underweight baby. Treatment Link and More Info
If you remember the “brain controlling” cat parasite that had a media publicity run a few years ago, you’ve heard of toxoplasmosis, which is common not just in cats, but also in many other animals, such as mice. You have probably seen the examples of mice attacking cats, this is likely the cause. About 800,000 Americans catch toxoplasmosis every year, Pritt says, and more than 60 million have it currently, according to the CDC. That’s 18 percent of the US population. Treatment Link and More Info
Chagas disease is not often caught in the US. Rather, it’s mostly found in immigrants from Latin American countries who lived in poor-quality housing. It comes from the kissing bug, named because it’s attracted to the carbon dioxide you exhale. The kissing bug creeps up to your mouth as you sleep and bites you. It creates an open wound on your mouth and then defecates into it, and the parasite in its feces drops straight into your bloodstream. More than 300,000 Americans have caught the parasite trypanosoma cruzifrom the kissing bug, says the CDC and it can be fatal especially if it gets to the heart. Treatment Link and More Info
Cysticercosis is also called the pork tapeworm and is also more common in Latin America. In countries with a less secure supply of pork, people eat adult tapeworm in a meal. As it lives in them, they keep excreting the tapeworm’s eggs in their stool like a walking parasite factory, and then the eggs make it back into peoples’ food supply and drinking water. The Food and Drug Administration ensures that the US pork supply is safe and we don’t have to worry about it here. The CDC doesn’t know how many people in the US have cysticercosis, but at least 1,000 people are hospitalized each year in the US because it’s spread into their brains. Treatment Link and More Info
Worms: Other Common Human Intestinal Parasites
Helminths are worms with many cells. Nematodes (roundworms), cestodes (tapeworms), and trematodes (flatworms) are among the most common helminths that inhabit the human gut. Usually, helminths cannot multiply in the human body.
- Tapeworm You can get a tapeworm, which is a type of flatworm, by drinking water contaminated with tapeworm eggs or larvae. Raw or undercooked meat is another way tapeworms can find their way into people. Tapeworms embed their heads into the intestinal wall and remain there. From there, certain types of tapeworms can produce eggs that mature into larvae that migrate to other parts of the body. A tapeworm looks like a long, white ribbon. They can grow up to 80 feet long and live in a human for up to 30 years.
- Flukes are a type of flatworm. People are less likely than animals to contract flukes. Raw watercress and other freshwater plants are the main sources of flukes in humans. You can also get them when you drink contaminated water. They make their home in your intestines, blood, or tissues. There are many varieties of flukes. None reach more than a few inches in length.
- Hookworms are transmitted through feces and contaminated soil. The most common way to make contact with this type of roundworm is to walk barefoot on soil infested with hookworm larvae. They can pierce through the skin. Hookworms live in the small intestine, where they attach themselves to the intestinal wall with a “hook.” They’re usually less than half an inch long.
- Pinworms (threadworms) are tiny, fairly harmless worms. They’re more common in children. These roundworms, when fully matured, live in the colon and rectum. The female lays eggs around the anus, usually during the night. The eggs can survive on bedding, clothing, and other materials. People contract them when they touch the eggs and end up putting them in their mouths. The eggs are so small you can even breathe them in if they become airborne. They’re easily passed among children and caregivers or in institutions.
- Trichinosis roundworms are passed among animals. The most common way humans get trichinosis is by eating undercooked meat that contains larvae. The larvae mature in your intestines. As they reproduce, those larvae can travel outside the intestines into muscle and other tissue.
That is by no means a complete list. Protozoan parasites that have only one cell can multiply inside the human body. There are four species of intestinal helminthic parasites, also known as geohelminths and soil-transmitted helminths: Ascaris lumbricoides (roundworm), Trichiuris trichiuria (whipworm), Ancylostoma duodenale, and Necator americanicus (hookworms). These infections are most prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions of the developing world where adequate water and sanitation facilities are lacking (1,2). Recent estimates suggest that A. lumbricoides can infect over a billion, T. trichiura 795 million, and hookworms 740 million people (3).
Soil-transmitted helminth infections are invariably more prevalent in the poorest sections of the populations in endemic areas of developing countries but that doesn’t mean that Americans need not worry.
Treatments that require a prescription from your Doctor
Some common medications for parasites include Albendazole, Mebendazole, Ivermectin, and Pyrantel pamoate. Though the specific medication is determined by the type of parasite.
If you are seriously concerned you may be infected with an internal parasite and especially if you are exhibiting symptoms make an appointment with your doctor. Do not attempt to self-medicate or look for solutions from natural remedies. Your doctor will probably listen to you and then if needed perform a fecal (stool) exam, also called an ova and parasite test (O&P) This test is used to find parasites that cause diarrhea, loose or watery stools, cramping, flatulence (gas), and other abdominal illnesses.
They might also do a blood test or an endoscopy. Blood tests look for a specific parasite infection. Unfortunately, there is no blood test that will look for all parasitic infections. X-rays, MRIs, and CAT scans are also ways that doctors can look for damage to tissue caused by parasites.
Best Non-Prescription Option is Flubendazole
Zelcom Tablets Flubendazole 500mg Anthelmintic Dewormer Flubendazole is an anthelmintic. Its brand name is Flutelmium. It is also used by veterinarians for protection against internal parasites and worms in dogs and cats. Other brand names are Flubenol, Biovermin, and Flumoxal . It is also available for human use to treat worm infections. It is available OTC (without prescription) in Europe and many Asian countries. The product I linked is shipped from South Korea from a very reputable pharmaceutical company.
You only need to take one single dose and then wait around 15 days and take a second dose to avoid reinfestation by the eggs which were not destroyed by the medicine with your first dosage. It is in a class of drugs called Benzimidazole which is approved for the treatment of gastrointestinal nematodes in humans and has been shown to be active also against the pathogens that cause onchocerciasis.
You may have also read that scientists are looking at Flubendazole, which is an FDA-approved anthelmintic, as a possible therapy to target cancer cells.
Natural Remedies that include Wormwood
As I said before if you have symptoms go and see your doctor! But what if you just want to take some safe preventive measures? Are there effective remedies available? Luckily there are many safe and effective options. Many of the videos on Tik Tok seem to be shills for a product called Paraguard which immediately makes me skeptical. Here is another Tik Tokker pushing Paraguard if you want to listen to her story.
I did my own research and I think there are better and cheaper alternatives to Paraguard. Paraguard is a liquid and costs around $30 but it does contain Wormwood.
Is wormwood effective? A recent study in the Journal of HelminthologyTrusted Source showed that wormwood reduced dwarf tapeworm levels in a similar way as a leading antiparasitic medication in animal studies. These results are promising, but the researchers call for more tests before recommending wormwood as a treatment.
In the study, 800 participants with schistosomiasis received either the standard medical treatment (praziquantel) or one of two types of wormwood tea. If you want to give wormwood a try then I highly recommend WORMWOOD COMBINATION by Kroeger herbs which is a highly respected brand. This comes in capsule form, unlike Paraguard which is liquid. It also includes other anti-parasitic ingredients like Black Walnut, Cloves, Male Fern Root, and Quassia. This will also provide you a lot more bang for your buck because you get 200 capsules which will last you a long time and also allow you to treat your whole family, unlike Paraguard. But I would not but use a product with wormwood as my only option. It works much better in combination with Zelcom
Nutrition and Supplements
Eat more raw garlic, pumpkin seeds, pomegranates, beets, and carrots, all of which have been used traditionally to kill parasites. In one study, researchers found that a mixture of honey and papaya seeds cleared stools of parasites in 23 out of 30 subjects. Drink a lot of water to help flush out your system.
Eat more fiber, which may help get rid of worms.
Probiotics (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacilus plantarum, Saccharomyces boulardii, and bifidobacteria). Help keep your digestive tract healthy. Probiotics may not be appropriate in some severely immune-compromised patients. Talk to your doctor. I have tried a multitude of supplements and many different probiotics over the years. The Physician’s Choice probiotic is the first one that actually made a difference. When I first started taking it I thought it was going to be just like all the others because I didn’t notice any difference but after a week it began to make a huge difference. Probiotics are also known to help boost your immune system to help fight invasive parasites. Shortly before I began taking this probiotic I often would wake up in the night with heartburn and acid reflux in the throat. This probiotic has also gotten rid of that. This is really a great probiotic and I am very thankful to have found it!!!
Digestive enzymes will help restore your intestinal tract to its normal state, which makes it inhospitable to parasites. Papain is an enzyme from the papaya plant that may help kill worms when taken 30 minutes before or after meals. Papain may increase bleeding in people with clotting disorders, or in those taking blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin) among others.
Vitamin C supports the immune system. Lower the dose if diarrhea develops.
Zincsupports the immune system. Zinc may interact with certain medications, particularly some antibiotics, and it may not be appropriate for people with HIV/AIDS. Talk to your doctor.
Don’t forget to deworm your pets
Let me stress that I am not a medical doctor. I am not attempting to give you any medical advice. This article provides information and links to trusted resources like the CDC. You should ALWAYS consult your doctor for advice. Having said that, I feel if you are worried you might have parasites, there is little harm if you decide to try the Zelcom Flubendazole tablets which are very effective and seem to have no serious side effects for most people. After all, you only have one life to live, and I sure as hell would prefer to enjoy that life as worm-free as possible. I also am a person that prefers to be proactive rather than reactive.
Although less effective and slower acting you may prefer to go the natural remedy route. In that case, my recommendation would be to try WORMWOOD COMBINATION by Kroeger herbs. I have personally tried both of these products and will vouch that they were effective.