Parasites as a Root Cause
RESOURCES AND LINKS MENTIONED Episode 156:
- Drainage and Energy Class
- Join the Wellness Circle
- Mitochondria Episode
- Drainage 101 Episode
- Ashwaghanda Study
Say HI and join the conversation on social:
Creepy crawling parasites – only about 100% of people have them, but not everyone has symptoms. And those that do often don’t realize they are connected to parasites. Wild right?
Parasites are organisms that live on or in a host organism and get their food from or at the expense of their host. What is even wilder is that they don’t just live in your gut.
Today we are talking about parasites, what are they, where do you get them, and can you test for them?
Let’s dig in.
Welcome! If this is your first time listening – I’m Audrey Christie – I’m a functional and integrative nurse nutritionist and energy medicine practitioner who helps women heal from chronic illness and autoimmune disease. Helping you stop chasing symptoms, find your root causes, and recover your body from autoimmune and chronic illness.
Okay, be honest…are you super grossed out right now? It’s okay. Most people are at the thought of having a parasite or 2. You likely have more than that. We all do. And while you can’t get them to go away, you CAN work on aspects of your health to keep them in check so that you have fewer to almost none and so that they don’t cause symptoms.
What are Parasites?
As I mentioned, these pesky little critters officially are “an organism that lives on or in a host organism and gets its food from or at the expense of its host.” That is the official definition.
There are three main categories of parasites, protozoa, which are tiny, one-celled organisms that typically live in the intestines, blood, or tissue; helminths, which are parasitic worms such as tapeworms, roundworms, and thorny-headed worms; and ectoparasites, which are ticks, fleas, lice, and mites that attach or burrow into the skin.
Do I have them?
The short answer here is yes. Research shows us that 99.9% of Americans have parasites. That breaks down to about 1 billion people with roundworms, 1 billion people have protozoa (like amoebas – perfect for that summertime dip in the lake), ½ billion people have arthropod infections, about 300 million have tapeworms, and 300 million or so have liver flukes (those look like tomato skins in your bowel movements).
Parasitic infections are not isolated to 3rd world countries.
They tend to go unnoticed unless there is an obvious issue (like a tapeworm poking out of your bum or severe itching in the bum region) because, much like any other problem in the body, the signs and symptoms of being infected with a parasite really mimic other illnesses or health issues. Parasites mimic IBS, blood sugar dysregulation, SIBO, candida, adrenal fatigue, thyroid disorders, autoimmunity, etc.
Are you ready for a real kicker? Autopsies have proven that parasites can invade every signal tissue in your body. Nice right? I have personally had people in my practice have parasites come out of their noses during a detox. Fun, huh? They can live in all the tissues in the body.
How to Test for Parasites?
There is a running joke in my industry – where a person comes into the practice and says, “Hey, can you test me for parasites?” The response is, “sure! Give me your arm!” And the practitioner places their two fingers over the inside of the wrist and begins to feel for a pulse…
You might be thinking, “oooh, Audrey is about to tell me some cool Chinese Medicine trick for checking for parasites with pulses!” Sorry to disappoint, but the punch line is “if you have a pulse, you have parasites.”
Stool Test for Parasites
In reality, there are some lab tests directed specifically at parasites. There is a stool test; it tends to be cost-prohibitive and comes with some major limitations. The main problem is that it is only conditionally successful. It requires three separate stool samples that must be sent to the lab for the pathologist to view under a microscope. In order for it to be identified as a parasite, the parasite must remain alive as the sample ships to the lab.
This test can be used for some, but it cannot identify dormant parasites or parasites living in tissues outside of the digestive tract. This test gives off a high number of false negatives.
Blood Test for Parasites
You can look for some key markers in a standard blood test. You are primarily going to look at the Complete Blood Count and Complete Metabolic Profile. These are two tests that I recommend having run 1 per year at a minimum and having them checked functionally, not just conventionally.
Remember that functional values are different. They aren’t what you see on your sheet from the labs. Functional values tell us what we are heading for, trends, and blips in the radar that point to root causes of issues we are having or will have soon, and conventional lab values tell us whether or not something is acutely wrong in our body.
For parasites, you are looking at the Eosinophils and the Basophils. Eosinophils is a white blood cell that is primarily involved in fighting allergies and parasites. Numbers in the functionally high range indicate an allergy or parasite causing illness.
The second number to look at on that CBC is Basophils. Basophils are white blood cells that can be seen in certain parasitic infections.
Other labs to look at in correlation because parasites can cause nutrient deficiencies to include Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, Copper, B12, and vitamin A.
What symptoms do parasites cause?
As I mentioned earlier, parasites can look like several diseases. Think of all of the disease processes caused by just the labs and nutritional deficiencies mentioned? There’s a ton! Here are a few more parasite infection symptoms:
- Digestive problems, including unexplained constipation, diarrhea, or persistent gas
- Skin issues, including unexplained rashes, eczema, hives, and itching
- Muscle and joint pain
- Fatigue, even when you get enough sleep
- Never feeling full, even after eating a big meal
- Constant hunger, even when you are eating enough
- Iron deficiency anemia (lab tests show abnormally low iron level)
- Grinding your teeth during sleep
- Unexplained feelings of anxiety
- Recurrent yeast infections
- Itching of the anus or vagina
How did I get parasites?
Parasites are in the soil, you can get them from swimming, they can enter through your skin or, more commonly, through your mouth, eyes, nose, and ears. You can get them from your drinking water. You can get them if you live on a farm, and especially if you have animals that are indoor animals, get up on furniture, lick you, or sleep in your bed.
How do I get rid of parasites?
There are a couple of options. There are anti-parasitic medications that your conventional doctor can give you, BUT I have seen time after time in my practice that they aren’t successful in ridding the patient of all the symptoms causing parasites, AND they have so many uncomfortable consequences.
The second aspect of anti-parasitic medications is also a problem when well-meaning practitioners sell you a “parasite cleanse,” and that is the drainage pathways aren’t open, the body’s energy centers (mitochondria) aren’t open, and therefore you end up stagnant, sick and in more trouble physically than you were when you started. Your metabolism is in the dumps.
The strategy to get rid of parasites isn’t to eradicate them. That always backfires. You must strengthen the host (YOUR BODY) and make the environment inhospitable to the little buggers, and THEN you can do the work to eradicate anything that is hanging on.
Steps to Get Rid of Parasites
- Open your drainage pathways.
If your drainage pathways are not functioning properly or, worse, are blocked, then all of those parasites you just worked so hard to detox and paid a lot to detox too don’t have anywhere to go, so they are recirculated and resorbed. And that makes you feel so much worse. You have to support and open the drainage pathways FIRST because stagnation breeds sickness.
- Strengthen the body’s energy powerhouses, your mitochondria.
This allows your body to fight off parasites naturally, upregulate your detoxification, perform apoptosis of damaged cells, repair DNA, and many more functions.
- THEN and only then do you go after parasites with a plethora of herbal remedies. Otherwise, you end up even sicker.
Since I have been sharing more about these healing steps, I have had many of you reach out to me and ask about a class on this – so I have scheduled a class on Drainage and Energy, the first phase of healing. (just like the class on getting off of heartburn medications). It is free to attend, and the replay is less than a copay. Just click here to register – if you have missed the live class, the replay will be there for you.
This class is on energy and drainage, the first phase of any healing journey. You will learn what it is, why it matters, and what you can do via lifestyle and nutrition to ensure that you are thriving in these areas and not allowing stagnation to cause sickness in your body. You will also get the Supplement When Needed handout with a specific healing supplement protocol. Once you get those drainage pathways moving, you will be all set to start working towards getting rid of parasites.
You might be thinking, “but Audrey, I have SIBO or candida or Lyme or heavy metal toxicity…” and it’s true you might, but in order to return your body back to wellness, in order to heal the root cause, you have to follow the order of operations.
Think back to elementary school PEMDAS right, Parentheses, Exponents, Multiply, Divide, Add, Subtract? If you don’t follow those steps in solving a math problem, then you won’t get the right answer.
It is the same with healing your body. If you don’t follow the order of operations, then you don’t release dis-ease from the body. You end up further wrecking it and constantly starting over. You have to tackle Drainage, Energy, Parasites, AND THEN move on to the other stuff like SIBO, Candida, Metals, Lyme, etc. because these little buggers hold on to and hide these in your body. If you skip a step, you have to circle back and start over.
More questions about parasites?
If you have more questions about parasites and healing from the root cause of what you are going through I would love to have join us in the Wellness Circle, my exclusive and free community to help women pursuing holistic wellness, body, mind, and spirit and discussions around the Root Cause Revolution Podcast and even some free office hours on Fridays to get your private questions answered – friends chronic disease is a preventable and autoimmune disease is capable of being healed or put in remission (and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise you deserve to feel good!) You can get the direct link on the show notes page or at audreychristie.com/facebook
To wrap this up – parasites, yuck right? But we all have them, I hope I haven’t totally grossed you out here and instead inspired you to get your drainage inline, get your energetic health on point, and then go after these buggers so you can finally heal.
Remember that I am always rooting for you, friend and I am so grateful for you listening! See you next time!