Migraine may be an early warning sign of worms.
Do you get migraine or sinus headaches? If you also have a cat, you may have picked up Toxoplasma gondii, a dangerous parasite from your pet.
At least two recent studies suggest that headaches are an early warning sign of this inflammatory infection that—if unchecked—can lead to more serious neurological and immunological problems. While abdominal pain, anemia, fatigue, watery diarrhea, and even constipation are common signals of a parasitic infection, headaches can be another important clue in discovering and eliminating these “unwanted guests.”
Originally considered a non-pathogenic yeast, blastocystis has now been recognized as a type of protozoa, a microscopic, single-cell parasite that infects the GI tract where the small intestine meets the colon. Causing abdominal pain, diarrhea, gas, nausea, and overall flu-like symptoms, this parasite can live for up to two years within a human host—even after treatment.
Now that at least half of all Americans have “unwanted guests,” it’s hard for mainstream medicine to ignore parasites. Increased international travel and immigration, polluted soil and water, exotic foods from all over the world, inadequate hygiene (particularly in daycare and senior centers), as well as our far-flung armed forces all contribute to the spread of parasites.
Since first writing Guess What Came to Dinner? Parasites and Your Health back in the early ’90s, however, I’ve successfully counseled countless clients on effective ways to discover and eliminate these pests—or better yet, to prevent them in the first place.
Just because researchers are studying parasitic infections doesn’t mean it’s gotten any easier to diagnose them. Since parasites go through various stages of development, it’s important to test every 2 to 3 months.
To test within the privacy of your own home, use the Parasite Flexi-Test, which screens for a variety of parasitic protozoa and worms. Increasingly, we’re finding that many people can have 3 to 4 different parasites at the same time.
Unable to survive without a host, parasites can live for years within humans, our pets, and the livestock that comprise much of our food supply. Within our bodies, these critters consume our food and nutrients, producing toxic wastes, and eventually even destroying our tissues and cells. Overall, they can make us very sick!
Here are some other parasites that are easily transmitted today—and how they can masquerade as other problems:
• Pinworms - one of the most common parasites (especially in children), come from contaminated food, water, bedding, and house dust. While anal itching is one signal, these worms also produce a number of behavioral and neurological symptoms including hyperactivity and vision problems.
• Giardia - a parasitic protozoa almost as common as pinworms, is spread by contaminated water (even if chlorinated), unpeeled and unwashed raw produce, and even unsafe sex. In addition to abdominal pain and diarrhea, giardia leads to food sensitivity and nutrient deficiency.
• Hookworm – a parasitic nematode worm that can cause anemia, bronchitis, fatigue, and itchy blistery skin as well as GI symptoms. Hookworms actually have teeth that allow them to attach themselves eventually to the intestines. Spread by contact with pets as well as contaminated water and produce, this worm can live for up to 15 years in humans.
• Roundworm - inflicting about 1 billion worldwide (particularly children), spread by pet contact plus contaminated soil and produce. Its parasitic eggs can find their way from the intestines to various organs, causing infection, pain, weakness, and weight loss.
• Tapeworm - spread by kissing your dog and eating undercooked meat or fish, is the largest of intestinal parasites, stealing valuable nutrients. While this parasite doesn’t always produce symptoms, allergies, bloating and gas, dizziness, “fuzzy” thinking, hunger pains, mineral imbalance, and sensitivity to touch can signal this worm.
• Liver fluke - a flat worm that can live in its human host for 30 years, is spread by swimming in (and drinking) contaminated water plus eating undercooked fish and contaminated produce. Symptoms include depression, edema, enlarged liver, pain on the right side, vertigo, and even cancer.
Avoid “Unwanted Guests”
Obviously, washing your hands (before preparing and eating food, after changing diapers, playing with pets, and going to the bathroom) is hard to overemphasize. Because microscopic parasites can hide under fingernails, also scrub your nails with a brush and soapy water frequently.
Wear gloves when you garden and change cat litter—the latter is something pregnant women should not do! And wear shoes outdoors, especially where the soil is moist and warm.
Drink only filtered water, and wash any food you plan to eat raw in Clorox (1 half teaspoon bleach to 1 gallon water) before placing in filtered water for a 10-minute rinse. Cook all food—particularly fish, pork, poultry, and meat—to its correct internal temperature.
Cleanse Parasites Away
The good news is that parasites do respond to a number of time-tested elimination strategies. For example, cranberry juice, raw garlic, and papaya, pomegranate, and pumpkin seeds are traditional anti-parasitic foods. A number of herbs—butternut, cloves, and wormwood—help, too.
Over the decades, I have researched, experimented with, and written about various anti-parasite protocols. My clients and readers have reported very satisfactory results with several products that are included in My Colon Cleansing Kit.
Designed to get rid of “uninvited guests” while recolonizing the GI tract with beneficial bacteria (probiotics) to cleanse the colon while improving immunity and digestion, Flora-Key, Para-Key, and Verma-Plus help relieve abdominal pain and GI problems, allergies, overall fatigue, and other parasite-related problems, whether taken alone or in combination with what you doctor prescribes.
Guess What Came to Dinner?