How Common Can Parasites Really Be?

Riley Coules
August 25, 2016

The search “how common are parasites?” on Google effectuates a vast number of articles, some credible and some source-less, questioning the prevalence of foreign bodies in the stomachs of First World inhabitants. Some articles provide figures; the CDC states that up to 50% of “children under 18, people who take care of infected children, and people who are institutionalized” are infected with pinworm, largely considered the most common type of parasite in the United States (4). Questionable websites throw out numbers like 60%, 70%, 85%, but none of them present any sources- and why is that? Likely because their authors cannot substantiate their claims with evidence, but also because no (accurate) evidence exists and thus must be falsified.

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We- as in me, you, and the rest of America- have been shown time and time again that our government, and health-based subsets within it, do not always conduct themselves with the utmost integrity. The USDA allows the shit-food industry to poison us, when plant-based medicine- real medicine- exists. The FDA allows drug companies to poison us, when homeopathy- real medicine- exists. Even the media actively works to dispel holistic medicine as quackery (who’s working for who?), when those who have utilized it to cure serious ailments know it’s everything but (like me). It’s easy to claim that institutions meant to keep us as well- and as informed- as possible neglect their duty solely in the name of profit, but surely nature’s offerings cost just as much to sell unaltered as they do when synthesized into something else (if only Big Pharma allowed it to be so). From this premise, I urge you to consider the lower self and its usage as a method of control by the elite. 

 


I write quite a bit throughout this website about the exacerbation of negative qualities due to disharmony- that is, the absence of homeostasis- in most Americans, a condition ranging from mild to severe. Trauma, whether mental/emotional or physical in nature, causes illness in one sphere, which is inevitably reflected within the other. Allergies, insomnia, acne, heart conditions, digestive distress, anxiety, depression, and fatigue are all examples of disharmony, and can all be linked to a traumatic event, or string of events, in an individual’s past. When disorder is present from birth, homeopathy can encourage the fruition of homeostatic mechanisms, those that would otherwise remain faulty. In both congenital disorders and those that manifest over time, homeopathy abides by the notion that genetics predispose one to certain ailments (a premise compatible with Western medicine); homeopathy differs from Western medicine, however, in that it recognizes the role experience plays in encouraging the development of ill health.

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In the practice of homeopathy, parasites are considered common (13). I have written extensively on why this is in my article Signs, Symptoms, and Triggers of Pathogenic Overgrowth, Both Mental and Physical, but for now I will state this: parasites are a natural part of the ecosystem- in both “dirty”, “barbaric” third world countries, and the “clean”, “civilized” First World; they just don’t cause problems until an individual’s homeostatic mechanisms have been compromised. Pathogenic overgrowth is secondary to digestive distress, not the origin. 

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Before I get into the thick of my argumentation, I want to guide you into a mindset free of all preconceived notions, and perhaps raise some questions you may have neglected to consider prior to reading this article:

  1. Why would inhabitants of first-world countries be any less exempt from acquiring parasites than those of third world countries? Hint: we’re no better at washing our hands ( 😉 ).
  2. Why do you think people crave foods that do not benefit them? When the totality of the being is in a state of harmony, the body will not incite the mind to consume foods that will prevent it from flourishing. We know the body and mind are connected; illness in one front in always reflected within the other. Thus, the body is designed to accommodate the mind, and vice versa. Processed foods, oily foods, foods high in refined sugars, and dairy products require excess work to assimilate- and often incite inflammation. Take them away, heal the body with homeopathy, and the mind does not crave them. What made the mind crave them in the first place? It is not enough to say humans desire sugary and oily foods because they aid in survival; the body will ask for what benefits it most. Whole fats and fruit sugars serve the totality of the being; the body would much rather have them over vanilla cupcakes and french fries. Trauma (which can be mental or physical in nature) may have thrown homeostatic mechanisms off in the first place, but certainly a bad gallbladder does not yearn for foods that will only hinder the digestive system further. Sure, it may incite the mind to desire fatty foods in earlier stages of the disease process, or to forgo them later on- but what incites the mind to crave foods that will not properly fulfill the body’s needs, those that require excess energy to assimilate? Pathogenic overgrowth, which results out of faulty mechanisms within the GI tract. 

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Consider the possibility of rampant gut flora imbalances within the population from a sociological standpoint:

When Americans get acutely sick with a digestive ailment, most will attribute their symptoms to a “stomach bug”, “the flu”, or “food poisoning”. While these conditions certainly exist, and may in fact perpetuate the symptoms they are believed to cause, manifestations of disorder can also be explained by other disturbances to GI tract. The invisible force of standardized “knowledge” promotes the idea that parasites only exist in third-world countries; television shows like Monsters Inside Me highlight this exoticism, insinuating that infection presupposes near-death (common gastrointestinal disorders excluded). Within this context, humans and their gut invaders cannot coexist without one causing great harm to the other through the deterioration of the affected or the eradication of their dependents; yet, the definition of parasitism necessitates a parasite keep its host alive for nutrition- and in most cases, without detection. Acute infection, when left untreated, will turn chronic; in fact, physical disturbances of any kind can affect the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis long-term, through which mental symptoms further oppress the individual that holds them. Falsehoods regarding the prevalence of parasites are largely perpetuated by the fact that rarely, rarely if one seeks help for an acute, or even chronic digestive ailment, will parasites be considered as the root cause of their struggle. Most are more likely to be labeled with IBS like the other 15% of America (5), and this number does not include those who never go to the doctor to obtain a diagnosis, those who do not realize their digestion functions sub-parly, or people with other gastrointestinal-related disorders that do not fall under the umbrella of IBS. Aboutibs.org lists some of these afflictions (affecting people who are equally likely to endure parasitic infection, Candida overgrowth, SIBO, or a combination of the three), increasing the above-mentioned figure to an even greater percentage. The stricken may suffer because pathogens have caused their digestive issues, or because these digestive issues magnify the chance of overgrowth. Here are some irregularities of the digestive tract aboutibs.org considers:

  • Celiac Disease
  • Diverticulosis/Diverticulitis
  • Food Allergies
  • Gastrointestinal Infections (e.g., Giardia, Yersinia)
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Malabsorption
 (source: aboutibs.org)

 

Notice some parasites are listed on this account. But could parasites (or Candida or SIBO; remember the domino-effect of stress and digestive dysfunction) be the root cause of other listed assimilation abnormalities, such as malabsorption, lactose intolerance, or food allergies? Yes, yes, and yes. Giardia causes lactose intolerance when damage to the intestinal lining leads to a lack of the enzyme lactase (6). Giardia is most often recognized in its acute stage, but it can become chronic if left untreated, especially if the immune system is already compromised (so is the case with many parasitic infections that “come out” after periods of intense stress, as well as the proliferation of yeast overgrowth). The root cause of this enzyme deficiency is damage to the intestinal lining. All parasites that live in the digestive tract cause damage to the intestinal lining, for they would otherwise exit the stomach and intestines with the food their host consumes. Parasites take up space on our intestinal walls, leading to malabsorption. Giardia can live in the small intestine, the site of fat absorption, causing serious vitamin deficiencies (which I experienced to the nth degree). Absorption of vitamins A, E, D, K, as well as B6 and B12 occurs in the small intestine; less surface area to utilize these vitamins equates to the increased risk of deficiency, which can cause nerve damage, anemia, insomnia, fatigue, as well as a wide array of mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression (10). No wonder a happy gut equals a happy mind. Keep in mind that SIBO causes these very same problems, but may incur as a result of stress placed on the body due to parasitic infection or Candida overgrowth, all of which arises out of lowered defenses- disharmony, that is. The development of leaky gut due to dysbiosis or pathogenic overgrowth further damages the immune system, allowing toxins to enter the bloodstream with the degradation of its protective lining; this premise places more stress on the body, promoting the self-fulfilling prophecy of chronic digestive illness.

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 STOOL ANALYSES ARE NOT ENOUGH

The CDC asserts that 15,223 cases of Giardia were reported in 2011 of the 44 states that provided information (6). This figure does not include the many who never receive a diagnosis (often in chronic cases, of which IBS may be attributed), or whose stool samples are not collected properly. In the case of chronic infection, catching the presence of parasites proves difficult, and the quality of mechanisms used to identify them varies. Parasites go through complex life cycles, alternating between activity and dormancy; in order to achieve a proper diagnosis, the slew of parasites living inside a host must have reproduced at just the right time if their offspring is to inhabit in an individual’s stool. This scenario is less likely to occur if an infestation is relatively under control by a healthy immune system. Furthermore, even if samples are sent to a reputable testing facility such as Genova Diagnostics, an individual must host a parasite that can live outside the body for the number of weeks it takes for their stool to reach the testing facility of their choice. Parasitologists are looking for live organisms, not the the alarming dead matter a host may witness in their stool upon cleansing. All of these factors contribute to an unfavorable outcome in terms of diagnosing the illness that may be causing someone great harm. So those statistics made by the CDC? I’m going to go out on the limb here, as an experienced sufferer of the phantom illness that likely plagues many, and claim that the figures purported by the CDC are inaccurate. Otherwise, how do so many of us have inherent digestive issues? It’s absurd to think that we all just can’t properly digest food. The body’s ability to maintain homeostasis must have been disturbed at some point- by trauma of any kind.

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 IBS IS NOT A SPECIFIED DISEASE

IBS is not a disease researchers are attempting to find a “cure” for; rather, this diagnosis defines a collection of symptoms typically without any known roots. Sure, certain diets eradicate many symptoms IBS-sufferers combat by correcting dysbiosis in the small intestine, like the low-FODMAP diet (a study conducted in Italy, a microcosm for the group as a whole, suggests 56% of people who suffer from IBS have SIBO (12)), but even this notion does not identify the root cause of SIBO, or further what issues it coexists with. Attempts to manage SIBO with a low-fermentation diet should be met with one question: why did this overgrowth occur in the first place? The answer to this in part lies in insufficient secretion of stomach acid, which itself arises out of prolonged periods of intense stress- i.e. trauma done to the body, via physical or mental means. Stomach acid serves as an antiseptic, destroying unwanted pathogens and keeping bacteria within the small intestine in check when it matriculates at healthy levels; a deficiency in this mechanism will result in overgrowth. The cycle of stress caused by extrinsic factors, continued suppression of stomach acid secretion due to the internal stress of a disharmonized system, and consequent green-light for undesirable organisms to proliferate will prevent one from ever fully amending their symptoms. While a simple HCL plus Pepsin supplement will make the world of a difference for most suffering with SIBO, it will not completely eradicate symptoms if the body is never restored. Homeopathy treats the totality of the being, and thus should be sought to rectify chronic digestive ailments.

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 INHERENT ALLERGENS, OR REACTIONS TO FEEDING YOUR GUT PREDATORS?

A word on the above-mentioned food allergies, which includes the allergy to gluten as evident in Celiac disease:

Food allergies cause inflammation (2). When one consumes foods that the parasites, yeast overgrowth, or dysbiosis within them favor, cortisol will inflame the lining of the digestive tract as the immune system responds to the constant colonization (which is inflammatory itself) and toxic by-products of these creatures (11). This inflammation will also occur during cleansing due to their extraction from the intestinal walls as well as the by-products of their death. Before utilizing homeopathy, I faced constant, oppressive anxiety- my biggest complaint- in addition to insomnia, severe hypoglycemia, depression, all of my digestive issues, insurmountable fatigue, and, of course, a complete alteration in my personality. I experienced some relief from my physical symptoms (never my mental symptoms, really) when I stopped consuming foods I was “sensitive” to, but not without the initial consequences of a stressful healing crisis. Every step my body took to repair itself- that is, to clear away dead matter when I stopped feeding pathogens within- incited an overwhelmingly-stressful bout of “healing” because it lacked the wherewithal to do so (homeopathy stimulates the body to heal itself, killing pathogens in the process, while herbs directly kill pathogens, forcing the body to work overdrive). I kept fainting, and my stools were clay-colored- a.k.a. “acholic”; I passed the worst of these stools the days after a few fainting spells, suggesting my body did not produce any bile when I did. When I saw my naturopath, she explained clay-colored stools often occur after an anaphylactic attack, a reaction to a food allergy. A light bulb went off in my head… my body was responding to the intensity of my healing crisis, causing similar symptoms to food-related reactions such as those that occur with gluten intolerance. My body was literally purging itself of allergens (pathogens), substances that cause inflammation. I’ve never been gluten intolerant, yet I could not consume bread without my symptoms worsening; testing at Beaumont Hospital in December confirmed I do not have Celiac Disease (since utilizing homeopathy, I can consume whatever I want). What does this experience indicate, then? Common “food allergies” may actually be the body’s response to inflammation caused by feeding its unwanted inhabitants. Soy is not allowed on the low-FODMAP or anti-Candida diet, another huge allergen in America. Neither are peanuts. Interesting, isn’t it… this opens up the doorway for another fascinating concept: perhaps we can link some other diseases to parasites; “cleansing”, then- or better yet, restoring the body with homeopathy– may alleviate allergies to certain foods.

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 HOW IS THERE SO MUCH INNATE SUFFERING?

IBS has many autoimmune-related symptoms, in addition to other disorders such as Celiac Disease and Crohn’s Disease, from which I question: 15% (and counting) of the nation’s population just naturally can’t digest a wide range of whole foods, even with diet modification and elimination of food allergens? I already mentioned that parasites, Candida overgrowth, and SIBO can mimic Celiac Disease due to the inflammation they cause with certain “trigger” foods. What if 15-plus percent of us were born without an arm, or any other somewhat-essential component to proper functioning? An absent limb isn’t even a fair analogy; digestion is essential to life, to physical and mental well-being. Dysfunction of this tract, especially when severe, can alter the course of one’s life and furthermore how they perceive it. This notion brings about another idea: I suffered so much last year mentally, before any of my physical symptoms manifested heavily. How many people are in the same boat, suffering from anxiety or depression but without constipation or diarrhea to clue them in on the potential cause of their melancholia? Those suffering from minor bloating, indigestion, gas, or fatigue, especially if minute, may have accepted the abnormal as their norm. These ailments will surely lead to graver illness down the line if left untreated; attention to digestion, then, could transform the physical and mental vitality of humankind. Consider the possibilities.

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DON’T TRUST BIG PHARMA

Of course I tend to speculate on the lack of evidence made public to the people as a systematic wrong… our nation’s leaders aren’t stupid. Tell me this, how much money do you think there is to be made in the perpetually-drug-hooked IBS sufferers (not counting those afflicted by malabsorption, food intolerances, etc.)? Your suffering will never outweigh the profit of Big Pharma, and I am not referring to your local doctors that genuinely aim to heal. Even these professionals are victims of a corruptive education in which truth is hidden from them; the push for prescription meds as a means of “healing” always coincides with what is referred to as career “obstipation” in homeopathy- when Western medical professionals fail to think for themselves. Big Pharma doesn’t want you dead; just sick enough to keep you buying into the system. The medical field has proven its intent to profit unethically before, as evident in the vast number of unnecessary gallbladder surgeries Americans undergo yearly, a condition holistic care and time could otherwise alleviate. Lobbyist-promoted laws highlight the propensity of the American government to loophole the Constitution in order to make a few bucks; the government also regulates the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and in turn the output of the CDC. These practices are well-documented and completely open to the public; what about the transactions that aren’t? What about knowledge kept from the people in order to keep them feeding into the system that suppresses them?  The role digestive distress plays in chronic physical and mental illness does not reflect uncharted territory- rather, a cover-up. The corruption of this schema not only proves profitable, but spiritually-deafening, as physical ailments affect the mind significantly. Unhappy people are selfish people, unmotivated people, disconnected people- with themselves, and others. I consider myself “lost” in 2015 for this very reason. Ignorant people are compliant people, just like our doctors- believing what is told to them due to sheer faith. If we were all a little more driven to evolve and connect with nature as a means of restoring the being in totality, neglecting the crutch of pharmaceuticals in the process, we may question some of the foundations of society we hold so dear, such as our trust in the major institutions meant to heal us. The body is affiliated with the earth as a product of nature itself, and so it would like to work with nature, not against it.

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 HYPOGLYCEMIA DOES NOT STAND ALONE

My naturopath saw me when I was 88 pounds, struggling with severe hypoglycemia, and full of anxiety; even she did not consider parasites as the source of my newfound troubles. I review this topic over and over in my head: how could I spend all of 2015 on a complete downward spiral and do nothing to help myself before my conditioned worsened? It’s simple: I trusted the ability of modern medicine to heal, to cure, to recognize the amiss; I also was out of my mind and didn’t recognize how truly off my personality was that year. I attributed my moodiness to Fordham, my hypoglycemia to some ridiculous chance that I always had it but didn’t recognize it until I went vegan and began eating a high-carb diet, and my weight loss to this hypoglycemia. I knew I wasn’t starving myself, but no one in their right mind should attribute a 40-pound weight drop to an intrinsic digestive disorder. Hypogylcemia is a product of inner tension, the body’s inability to function without impediment; the adrenals cannot maintain blood sugar when they constantly play a role in immunity. Hypyoglycemia must be caused by some other digestive dysfunction, such as pathogenic overgrowth, which once again, arises out of disordered mechanisms within.

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 UNDERCOOKED MEAT, UNWASHED FRUITS AND VEGGIES, SUSHI AND SASHIMI

Enough said.


 OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

If we don’t believe parasites are at the root cause of digestive ailments, perpetuating little research regarding the matter, then we would remain equally unaware of how many different species exist. Isn’t it possible a greater variety of them affect the population than we have taken the time to identify? 

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Household pets commonly carry parasites; combined with the notion that more species may exist than we’re aware of, perhaps we’re opening ourselves up to a whole world of zoonotic disease (spread between animals and people) every time we pet or kiss our animals.

The CDC acknowledges that hookworms and roundworms are easily passed from pets to their owners; no statistic is offered regarding the matter. Think of how many of us have animals in our homes that travel outdoors and indoors multiple times a day, sleep on our couches and in our beds, lick our faces after licking their bodies (flees often have parasites), and offer countless opportunities for us to spread their pathogens after we pet them? While we’re eating we may absentmindedly pet them. We may groom them and touch our phones, later rub our mouths or eat while checking our email. The possibilities are endless…

 

The most common route of infection is fecal-oral. How many people fail to wash their hands after using the bathroom again?

A CBS news article reports: “Michigan State University researchers camped out in public restrooms, and found only 5 percent of people properly washed their hands long enough to kill infection-causing germs and bacteria… They observed more than 3,700 people using public restrooms, and found 95 percent of them were cutting corners. Thirty-three percent of people didn’t use soap, while 10 percent skipped hand-washing entirely. The average hand-washing time was 6 seconds” (9).

And those that do: consider the door handle of the stall, the door handle of the bathroom itself, and the fact that if these people don’t wash their hands in public restrooms, how many do in their “clean” homes, of which they pose no threat to? That’s right- be very cautious when visiting your friends. While you certainly can walk around in a quarantined suit like the bubble boy, you would dually bar yourself from life experience… attention to diet, stress management, and proper healing will do, then. And remember: do not fear what you cannot control, for in your readiness to surrender to the unknown, you gain control over your mind… 🙂

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Resources:

  1. “Animals (Zoonotic).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12 Aug. 2016. Web. 08 Sept. 2016.
  2. Barbara, G., et al. “A role for inflammation in irritable bowel syndrome?.” Gut, vol. 51, issue suppl 1, 2002, pp. i41-i44.
  3. Browne, Steven A. “The Constitutionality of Lobby Reform: Implicating Associational Privacy and the Right to Petition the Government.” William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, vol. 4, no. 2, 1995, pp. 717.
  4. “Epidemiology & Risk Factors.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 Jan. 2013. Web. 06 Sept. 2016.
  5. “Facts About IBS.” Facts About IBS. About IBS, 22 June 2016. Web. 06 Sept. 2016.
  6. “Giardiasis Surveillance — United States, 2011–2012.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 01 May 2015. Web. 06 Sept. 2016.
  7. Hagopian, Joachim. “The Evils of Big Pharma Exposed.” Globalresearch.org. Global Research, 18 Jan. 2015. Web. 24 Aug. 2016.
  8. Henderson, Roger, and Michelle Wright. “Giardia | Health | Patient.” Patient.info. Patient, 25 May 2016. Web. 06 Sept. 2016.
  9. Jaslow, Ryan. “95 Percent of People Wash Their Hands Improperly: Are You One of Them?” CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 12 June 2013. Web. 08 Sept. 2016.
  10. Kim, Min‐Soo, et al. “Strict vegetarian diet improves the risk factors associated with metabolic diseases by modulating gut microbiota and reducing intestinal inflammation.” Environmental microbiology reports, vol. 5, no. 5, 2013, pp. 765-775.
  11. Kumamoto, Carol A. “Inflammation and Gastrointestinal Candida Colonization.” Current opinion in microbiology, vol. 14, no. 4, 2011, pp. 386–391.
  12. Leonard, Brian, and Michael Maes. “Mechanistic explanations how cell-mediated immune activation, inflammation and oxidative and nitrosative stress pathways and their sequels and concomitants play a role in the pathophysiology of unipolar depression.” Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, vol. 36, no. 2, 2012, pp. 764-785.
  13. Owen, David K., Bob Leckridge, and Peter Fisher. Principles and Practice of Homeopathy: The Therapeutic and Healing Process. London: Singing Dragon, 2015. Print.
  14. Peralta, Sergio et al. “Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth and Irritable Bowel Syndrome-Related Symptoms: Experience with Rifaximin.” World Journal of Gastroenterology, vol. 15, no. 21, 2009, pp. 2628–2631.
  15. Personal Experience.