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Parasites

Also indexed as:Giardia, Pinworms, Worms
Food and water: sources of life--but also possible sources of parasites. Rid yourself of these intestinal pests and the infections they cause. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
Parasites: Main Image

About This Condition

Parasites are organisms larger than yeast or bacteria that can cause infection, usually in the intestines. The most common parasites to infect humans in the United States and Canada are giardia (Giardia lamblia), Entamoeba histolytica, cryptosporidium (Cryptosporidium spp.), roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides), hookworm (Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus), pinworm (Enterobius vermicularis), and tapeworm (Taenia spp.).

Infection with parasites can be life-threatening in people with severe impairment of immune function. People should consult a physician if they suspect a parasitic infection.

Caution: Any herb potent enough to kill parasites could potentially harm the person taking it. Although some herbs have antiparasitic actions in test tubes, none has been adequately tested for efficacy or safety in humans. Safe and proper use requires the skills of an experienced practitioner.

Symptoms

Parasite infections can lead to a variety of symptoms, including gas, bloating, diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal cramping and pain, constipation, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fever, rash, cough, itching anus, and bloody or foul-smelling stools.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.