Parasites are organisms that are unable to produce their own food. They need a host to survive. In many cases, that host is the human body. As unwilling hosts, we will feel the effects of these unwanted guests in the form of illness, death, and many other unpleasant symptoms. Parasites will rob our body of the nutrients it needs. Some are also toxic, and they will damage our cells and tissue. It is important to get rid of these thieves of nature to be able to bounce back to health.
Sometimes, the number of parasite infestation can reach epidemic proportions. This may happen in countries where technology and methods of hygiene and sterilization may not be too advanced. However, human parasites are also present in technologically developed countries and can be carried in human bodies, back and forth, as we travel around the world, on either business or vacation.
Parasites spread to humans in many other ways. Sometimes it is because they are found in the feces of animals; even our loving pets may have parasites in them. Many times, we take our pets for a walk, or a hike on the country or park. Our pets are exposed since they do not wear gear as we do. Parasites are also commonly transmitted through sexual activities and consuming Sushi.
On other occasions, people can be exposed to parasites in the meat of the animals they hunt and consume. Another way in which we can come in contact with these parasites is thru the food that we consume, either from our vegetable gardens, or food that has not been cooked well in restaurants, or handled with improper hygiene methods in food processing plants. This is due to improper cleaning and hygiene methods used by cleaning staff. Kids will handle food, get sick, and play with many objects, inside and out, and if the premises are not well kept and well disinfected kids are at risk of getting sick.
An individual may have a parasite in their body and not have any symptoms. Other people will develop symptoms. Parasites like warm and moist environments where they can thrive. It is not uncommon to see more high incidences of these infections in more warm and humid areas. The fact is that these organisms are part of nature and they can be found all around us. It is up to us to take the necessary precautions to avoid becoming their hosts.
However, sometimes even when we take the necessary precautions and live healthy lives, clean our environment, and consume healthy foods, we fall prey to these parasites. Many times this can be due to our daily routine and work environment. People that travel as part of their job can easily become infested with parasites.
Other jobs that may be in contact with these organisms are sewer workers and plumbers, since they work in a humid, moist, and dark environments and can be exposed to waste material. Missionaries, who work in poor and underdeveloped areas, soldiers serving in other countries under difficult conditions, people who work in zoos or handling animals, people who work with crops or gardening, and many similar occupations can also be exposed.
There are certain things that we may do that without our knowledge, that may contribute to being exposed to parasites. Potential exposure can come from: walking without shoes, consuming rare meats or undercook foods, improper handling of foods when preparing meals, not wearing protection when handling the waste from our pets, drinking water from a spring during a hike through the woods, and not wearing protection during mosquito season, and even through human contact.
Types of Common Human Parasites
There are many types of these parasites, and some can be seen thru a microscope. Others, which are larger, can be seen with the naked eye. The ones that cannot be spotted easily are the most dangerous as they can even be airborne. Some parasites that are ingested may travel through the intestines to the blood stream, and attaching themselves in your body, muscles, vital organs, and intestines. Once there, they can do a lot of damage, if not treated. Parasites can also be inhaled.
Human Parasitic Diseases
Many diseases have been associated or linked to parasite infestation – arthritis, cancer, asthma, multiple sclerosis … and many others.
Some of these parasites are pinworms, hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms, and liver fluke. Other smaller parasites are Toxoplasma gondii (attacks the nervous system), Cryptosporidium, Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia Lamblia. Each one of these parasites attacks the body differently, making it important we create a parasite removal program as fast as possible.
Parasite Symptoms in Humans
Symptoms from parasite infestation can be difficult to identify but include: