We treat our animals for parasites but yet we often forget that humans can also get parasites too. While it may make you a bit squeamish, you should know that there are few parasites that jump from animal to human, or vice versa. Perhaps some of the most common types are tapeworms and pinworms. The good news is that most of these parasites are simple to get rid of, not requiring expensive antibiotic treatments.
Many people erroneously seem to think that the more often you bathe, the fewer chances you’ll be infected with worms. But the truth is that parasites won’t stay away because you’re clean. In fact, they love healthy happy hosts where they can comfortably live.
Most of the parasites that trouble us in Canada or the USA are ones that live in the intestinal tract. This is the perfect spot for them to consume the food we eat. There are other types of parasites that can infest the eyes, heart, and other organs, but they are most commonly found in South America or Africa.
Unless you travel around the world a lot, your average parasites are going to cause some discomfort, but not be life-threatening.
Pinworms or threadworms are the most common intestinal infection in the USA and also in the world. They’re thin and white, and about as long as a staple. They commonly affect children, and are passed directly from feces to mouth. Adults may also get them too. Pinworm eggs are so small. They can be present on surfaces in the bathroom, school desks, and even on bedding. The eggs can live for up to three weeks before dying. They aren’t joking when they say “wash your hands after using the bathroom”!
Unlike tapeworms, pinworms live lower down in the colon and rectum. At nighttime, pinworm females will lay eggs near the outside of the anus. When you scratch the region, this can also spread the eggs.
Tapeworms are caused by improperly cooked meats, most commonly beef or pork. These are flat worms that look like long ribbons. Their bodies have segments, each about the length of a grain of rice. Due to stringent food processing guidelines in USA and Canada, they are rare in these countries, but more common in others. A tapeworm can reach a length of about 30 feet long. It’s at this point that it can cause serious malnutrition. Often surgery is the only option to remove it.
There are also other types of parasites that can affect the intestinal and digestive tracts of humans.
If you’re experiencing pain in your intestines, or eat well but are becoming thin and malnourished, these can be signs that you may have parasites in your body. If you’re itchy around your anus at night, it could indicate a pinworm infection.
As soon as you suspect you or a family member may have a parasite problem then it’s time to begin treatment. There are many herbal detoxes that you can take to help cleanse the body of any uninvited guests.