Human intestinal parasites - facts.
What are Human Intestinal Parasites?
The word “parasite”comes from the Greek para, meaning “bedside,”and sitos, meaning “food.”This means “an animal or plant that lives on or in another organism from which it obtains nutrients.”Some parasites are larger than bacteria and viruses, but they are usually so small that you cannot see them without a microscope. Others, such as worms, can grow quite large, and can be seen with the eye. Four major groups of parasites includes Protozoa (amoebas, giardia), Nematoda (round, pin, and hook-worms), Cestoda (tapeworms), and Trematoda (flukes).
Parasites enter your body in one of four ways: through food and water intake, through a transmitting agent, such as as a mosquito; through sexual contact, and through the nose and skin.Intestinal parasites are often harmful. Any number of them can infect your gastrointestinal tract. Most parasites produce similar symptoms.
How can Gastrointestinal Parasites hurt you?
- Parasites can damage the host’s body in a number of ways. They can:
- Destroy cells faster than cells can be regenerated.
- Produce toxic substances.
- Irritate body tissue.
- Invade body tissue, including the skin and intestinal lining.
- Put pressure on body organs.
- Depress immune system function while activating immune system response.
- Cause nutrient malabsorptoin.
How do I know if I have parasites?
According to Skye Weintraub, a naturopathic physician and author of The Parasite Menace, a parasitic infection can be manifested by any number of signs. These include constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, joint and muscle aches and pains, anemia, allergies, skin conditions, nervousness, sleep disturbances, teeth grinding, and chronic fatigue.
Many health practitioners believe not only that human intestinal parasite infestations result in symptoms such as those listed above, but also that they may be responsible for a number of other health problems. Weintraub says, “Many human intestinal parasites go undetected because they are not producing serious symptoms. It is easy to attribute feeling ill to other causes because parasitic infections look like lots of other conditions I have seen other health problems disappear once the body has become parasite free.“