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Parasites are organisms that survive by stealing nutrients from their hosts. Whenever the story about these microorganisms is told, many people freak out. It sounds like a story that exists only in sci-fi movies. Some parasites can live without causing any symptoms in their host. But, others trigger severe illnesses. The illnesses occur when the parasites reproduce, grow, or interfere with an organ system that can make one ill.
Without saying much, here are five things that you should know about parasites.
1. How common are parasites
Many individuals still don’t believe that they may have parasites in their system. The truth is, parasites are a lot more common in human beings. Some even insist that the parasites can only be found in third world countries. It’s not true. They are everywhere. Not long ago, a study showed that malaria, for example, a parasitic infection, kills more than 600000 people every year globally.
Also, a country like Japan records a high number of illnesses caused by parasitic attacks. Recently, a case study showed that four in every six patients are infected with at least one or more parasites. The fact that some parasites can exist and bring no side effects makes it hard for individuals to realize that they’re carrying some. Most people think that every parasite can be seen. In reality, some parasites are microscopic. Flukes and amoebas, for example, can never be seen with bare eyes but are common, especially in the summer.
2. How parasitic infections spread
The chances of a human spreading the parasites are high. More often than not, one is usually exposed to parasites. The tiny organisms can be contracted in many situations. Say, for example, eating. You need food to live. Unfortunately, the same meals can contain plenty of parasites. Consuming raw or undercooked food is the leading cause of parasite infections today. Seafood, for example, may include parasite larvae.
Therefore, if not cooked properly, it can lead to parasitic infections. Also, walking barefoot has seen many people become victims of parasite infections. Pets also carry a lot of parasites. So, if not cleaned regularly, they may end up contracting the parasites to the owner. Also, the consumption of raw vegetables can cause a parasite infection. These vegetables may contain animal or human feces. Therefore, if not washed or cooked properly, the plants can end up causing more harm than good.
Also, cases of parasitic infections have been reported in restaurants where workers practice poor hygiene. Such workers are likely to contaminate the meals with feces and hence a rise in the cases of parasitic infections.
3. Meals that contain parasitic infections
The number of parasitic infections passed on through the consumption of contaminated food is high. Parasites such as protozoa and helminths are common and can be transmitted through food. Currently, the most common foodborne parasites include roundworms, protozoa, and tapeworms among many others.
Although these parasites can be transmitted through other means, food is the most common agent.
Foods that contain most parasitic infections
- Undercooked fish
- Undercooked meat
- Raw aquatic plants
- Raw vegetables that have been contaminated
- Foods that have been infected by workers that don’t practice proper hygiene
As stated earlier, some parasites are likely to cause severe consequences while others may not. The effects of a parasitic infection are dependent on the type of parasite invading the body.
Below are some of the symptoms to tell you that you may be having parasitic infections
- Weight loss
- Stomach upsets
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Aches and pain
- Flu-like symptoms
After observing the listed signs, the next step is usually to see a physician. There are different types of parasites. Therefore, a doctor has to take a sample of your stool to determine the kind of parasites you may be carrying. Some parasites don’t necessarily require any treatment. They disappear on their own, mainly if you eat a healthy diet and your immune system is strong.
However, most parasites don’t go away on their own. Thus, they require a prescription which is often oral medication. Usually, the medicine works effectively. Also, some people prefer using natural remedies to cleanse their bodies on a regular basis. It’s advisable to cleanse the body at least once a year. However, health experts advocate for the use of herbal supplements such as; clove oil, curled mint, barberry, anise, black walnut, oregano oil and grape among many
Once the medication is administered, one may start experiencing the side effects of parasite die off. Some of the side effects include; fatigue, headaches, skin sores, digestion problems, cravings, weakness, and crawling sensations. The best way to fight the effects is to take a rest, drink plenty of water, exercise and take green juices and smoothies.
Many people assume that parasitic infections only happen in third world countries. It’s not the case. Parasites are common even in the first world countries. The info provided in this article can help understand everything about parasites. Read through all the five tips to understand how you can keep yourself free from the infections.