What is a Parasite Infection?
A parasite infection is an organism that lives off another organism. Parasites will not only rob you of energy and nutrition but also produce biotoxins that can disrupt digestion. These toxins come from the defecation of the parasites as well as the dead debris of the parasites.
When we deal with parasites, we have ones that are bigger, like worms: hookworms, roundworms, pinworms, tapeworms, nematodes, protozoa, and more. These are infections that are typically big enough to be seen by the human eye.
We have small parasites that are microscopic and can only be seen under a microscope with specific stains: Giardia, Entamoeba histolytica, Blastocystis hominis, Cryptosporidium, Dientamoeba fragilis, Entamoeba coli, Yersinia enterocolitica, Entamoeba hartmanni, and Toxoplasma to name only a few. Most people aren’t aware of this hidden stressor as they go from doctor to doctor looking for answers to what’s causing their health issues. There is almost always an infection connection at play.
Chronic infections deplete your body’s ability to produce regenerative hormones, like DHEA, testosterone, progesterone, thyroid hormone, and growth hormone. Infections will also take a toll on our adrenal health causing an HPA axis dysregulation further worsening how one feels.
Parasites as a Hidden Stressor
Our immune, lymphatic, and detoxification systems are put in overdrive when parasite infections are active. Our lymphatic system is busy trying to move toxins out of the tissues and commonly gets backed up and stagnant when inflammation is elevated.
Our detoxification system has to filter out the blood and run our cytochrome P450 oxidase enzymes (phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification pathways) so clean blood can then be recirculated.
Our immune system is revved up and produces antibodies and specific white blood cells known as eosinophils to help attack the various critters. Our immune system also stimulates various cytokines and interleukins to mobilize the attack against these foreign invaders.
Parasite Infections Make Us Feel Dumb!
Essentially, when inside our bodies, parasites can produce biotoxins that decrease our mental performance. You may be eating nutrient dense food, but parasite infestation can impact the absorption of these nutrients. This really impacts what’s available to the body thru assimilation and absorption to then be utilized as nourishment for the body.
Studies have associated poor performance with parasite infestation and evidence that the more parasites you have the more they have an effect on your attention/cognition. Decreasing your parasite load (i.e., getting rid of your parasites) can make you more intelligent.
One of the first places I look when chronic brain fog and memory issues occur outside of diet and lifestyle is at the potential of chronic infections.
Some other areas of deficiencies you might see would be Anemia (iron deficiency) and possibly also a vitamin-B-deficiency, which can be devastating on your body’s ability to produce energy! It’s possible for a parasite infection to cause chronic fatigue.
Our bodies utilize B vitamins, especially B12 and folate, to make healthy red blood cells so we can carry oxygen and nutrition to all of our cells. Without healthy B12 levels, it is nearly impossible for our thyroid and adrenals to work optimally.
Without enough iron our bodies won’t be able to carry enough oxygen. Oxygen is needed for the creation of ATP, which is the main currency of energy in our bodies. Iron is an essential nutrient in the production of thyroid hormone If your thyroid doesn’t have enough iron, there is a good chance you will suffer from hypothyroidism and all of the symptoms that come with it, like weight gain, fatigue, depression, and digestive problems.
As you can see, parasite infections can cascade into other problems when they are not taken care of or identified properly. Leaving the hidden root cause to perpetuate symptomatology and unanswered questions.
Parasite infections can cause many symptoms, however most of the symptoms they cause are not even gastrointestinal related, making it difficult to decipher. This means you may not experience some of the obvious symptoms of gas, bloating, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, or acid reflux which are hallmarks of gut infections. It is very possible that if you have these symptoms, you more than likely have some type of gut infection. The real question is what if you don’t have any of these symptoms?
It’s easy to make the connection between gut symptoms and gut infections pretty naturally, but when symptoms don’t involve the gut it leaves people scratching their head.
So lets take a look at some obvious and not so obvious symptoms of parasite infections:
The Not-So-Obvious Symptoms of Parasite Infections
- Brain fog
- Sweet cravings
- Mood disturbances (anxiety or depression)
- Skin issues
- Nutrient deficiencies (anemia)
- Crawling sensation under your skin
The More Obvious Symptoms of Parasite Infections
- GERD or acid reflux
- Crohn’s Disease
- Ulcerative colitis
Take the next step in understanding your obvious or not so obvious symptoms and schedule a consult now. Together we can uncover the stressors you are dealing with.