Published by the editorial team
As unpleasant as it sounds, parasitic infections are more common than you might think. Often they are to blame for our various health problems. From digestive problems to post-traumatic stress disorder, parasitic infections can take a toll on your physical and mental health.
Parasitic infections are not limited to underdeveloped countries, but are present in many developing and developed countries of the world. It can affect anyone of any gender, race, social or economic status. If you eat exotic foods or have pets, you may be at higher risk of contracting this type of infection.
Many people are unaware that they have a parasitic infection, which can lead to many chronic health problems. If you have a parasitic infection, it is better to pay attention to the main symptoms to start treatment.
A parasite is an organism that feeds on another organism, usually called a host. Parasites can harm their host by feeding on them or eating certain foods, causing a variety of unpleasant symptoms and health conditions.
How do you know if you have parasites?
Parasites release toxins into your bloodstream that can cause symptoms similar to various gastrointestinal illnesses.
If you experience certain symptoms after swimming or returning from an international trip to the tropics, you may have parasites.
In addition, some intestinal parasites are large enough to be seen with the naked eye and can look like white stringy creatures in the stool.
Some parasites do not cause noticeable symptoms, while others can grow, multiply, invade healthy functioning systems, make the host sick, and cause parasitic infections. For example, some parasites eat your food and become unable to gain weight due to starvation after eating. Others feed on your red blood cells, causing anemia or egg-laying, which can cause itching, irritability, and even insomnia.
Anyone can get a parasitic infection, and some people are at higher risk for certain reasons. One of the most common ways to contract this type of disease is through contaminated food, such as undercooked meat or dirty water.
You’re also at risk of contracting the parasite by handling contaminated feces, which can be caused by poor hygiene habits like not washing your hands after using the bathroom.
If you have an imbalanced microbiome (gut bacteria) or a weakened immune system, you are more likely to develop parasitic infections. It weakens the immune system and causes severe intestinal disorders.
Travel to tropical and subtropical regions of the world, swimming in lakes, rivers, and ponds, working in childcare facilities, and frequent contact with soil are risk factors for parasite infection.
The signs and symptoms of a parasitic infection vary depending on the organism that resides in your body. Some of the most common symptoms of parasitic infections include:
Stomach cramps and pain
Nausea and vomiting
Swollen lymph nodes
Digestive problems such as unexplained constipation, diarrhea, or persistent gas
skin problems such as rashes, eczema, urticaria, and itching
Constant muscle and joint pain
Fatigue despite adequate sleep
Depression or apathy
Even after eating a large meal, you never feel full
Constant hunger, even if you eat enough
Iron deficiency / anemia
Grinding of teeth during sleep
Feelings of unexplained anxiety
Recurrent yeast infections
Itching in the anus or vagina
Itching, redness, irritation, unusual discharge from the genital area
Trouble falling asleep or waking up frequently at night
These symptoms can be similar to those of other diseases of the digestive system. Therefore, it is important that you confirm your condition with a diagnosis.
Symptoms such as sleepiness, skin irritation, mood swings, and muscle aches are all caused by toxins released by the parasite into your bloodstream. These toxins can cause anxiety, which manifests itself in irregular sleep patterns and teeth grinding. When these toxins interact with neurotransmitters or blood cells in your body, you may experience mood swings or skin irritation.
Ask for more information about the symptoms and treatment options for parasitic infections
Parasitic infections can lead to many health problems that cause a number of uncomfortable and painful symptoms. If you experience any of the above symptoms, it’s best to talk to your doctor about the possibility of a parasitic infection.
Symptoms and diagnosis