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Parasites and Your Health: Symptoms, Prevention, and Cleansing Techniques

As a naturopathic doctor and functional medicine expert, I want to talk to you today about parasites and parasite detoxification. It’s something really important that we should discuss. Some of what you may be seeing on social media might have you wondering what’s really true.


Can parasites make you really sick? Absolutely. They can absolutely be a huge problem in your health. Some symptoms can include: brain fog, fatigue, stomach bloating, they can exacerbate food sensitivities and food allergies, skin issues, rectal itching and moodiness, especially in kids. It messes with their hormone levels, which can cause mood fluctuation. 

All of these I would consider what are called sub clinical symptoms, you can live with those.  Clinical symptoms would be nausea, vomiting, unable to keep food down, migraines, and really terrible stomach pain. 


There are different types of parasites. Just one of the types are called Blood flukes, and they are small enough to go up through the portal vein system up into the liver, or pancreas, and those can cause serious problems. And there are some that are more rare that can get into our joint spaces, our nervous system like our spinal cord and our brain and those are really problematic. They’re going to be pretty rare, but I do find those on occasion and there is a way to detox from those. Those can sometimes mimic multiple sclerosis symptoms, where we can have some serious issues with cognition, and weakness. 


So there are a couple of introductory things about parasites but where do they come from? 

Well, they’re part of being human to be honest with you. You really can’t wash your food or cook your food enough, you’re gonna get some traces of parasites no matter how hard you try. 

The idea is that we want them to be transient, if they’re going to come in the body, we want them to be in a small enough number that they can be eliminated. Being transient, what does that really mean? Let’s say you consume a salad and it’s been washed and everything, you’re still potentially gonna get some larva from parasites. What we want to do is a couple things, one: chew your food really thoroughly. We’re gonna really masticate, break down those foodstuffs, at least 30 chews per bite of food is super important. 

Why chew your food so much? If you had that food pass to our bowel, and there are parasites left over, after our meals you actually just gave them food, like a meal, kind of think of it like giving fish, fish food. You don’t want to give them any fuel once they get to the bowel if they make it that far. We need to be chewing your food really well. It needs to be oatmeal texture or liquid before you swallow it. Guess what that means? You got to slow down. The average meal length in America is 5 or 6 minutes. That’s too fast. First of all, you should be eating whole food. And it needs to be a 15 to 20 minute meal because you have to actually chew your food. 

Number two: don’t dilute stomach acid. When we chew our food we are going to stimulate stomach acid. But most folks that I deal with are about 80 to 90% deficient in stomach acid. Why is that so important? Well if our stomach acid is low, we’re going to pass undigested food to our colon. But, if you have sufficient stomach acid, we’re going to be able to break down those microbes in the stomach and somewhat sterilize our stomach contents as we digest our food. 

Those parasites should perish mostly in our stomach with sufficient levels of stomach acid. Without sufficient levels that means even with good chewing, we’re still passing some microbes down into our rest of our bodies. So what can we do to help this? Well one important thing is to not dilute your meal with tons of water. Big mistake. I know we’re all busy and we may forget to drink and say “I just ate a meal. I’m going to chug a whole bunch of water”. Stop doing that. 

Try to drink your water in between your meals. Why? Again you dilute your stomach acid. We can’t break down our food. We also can’t sterilize the stomach contents like parasites and they continue throughout the rest of your body. 

So some of the tips I would suggest are to chew food very thoroughly, minimize water with meals and work with someone to assess your stomach acid. There are a number of things you can do to assess it. I don’t want to get into those because we have to be careful about if you have an ulcer, if you have a pylori infection, damage in the esophagus called Barrett’s esophagus. All these things we want to be careful about and rule out. So work with a professional to assess your stomach acid appropriately.

And then from there, you’re gonna have much better digestion, some people don’t even need a parasite detox, if we’re able to do those things and get our bowels working properly. 

As far as detoxing from parasites, be careful. I would not trust just anything that you hear out there on social media or on the Internet. Also be careful (not going to name names) when you buy certain products. There have been studies on a major retailer of foods and goods 

who have been found to have some of the top rated supplements to not meet the label claim. So a lot of those things you’re taking are not what you think they are. You gotta be careful. I work with a professional to know that you’re getting the right detoxification for that issue and also that you’re consuming things that are going to target the right parasites. Some of them won’t respond to certain medicines or certain foods. So just some things to keep in mind. I want you to make sure you keep getting educated, work with a professional on this topic. Hope this was helpful. 

Dr. Jason

Naturopathic doctor in Lansing, MI

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