8 Tips to Deal with Parasites
How to Stay Healthy this Holiday Season and Ditch the Hitchhikers.
By Karlene Georgiadis – Biomedical Naturopath
It is likely, like me, you will do Christmas differently this year. Maybe even your usual holiday plans will have changed for 2021 due to all things COVID?
If you do have the chance to get-away over the festive season, this is a gentle reminder to check that you’re not bringing home a stowaway in your gut…a pesky, pervasive parasite that is!
When we think of parasites, typically, people think of the hygiene dangers of travelling to foreign lands and drinking the local water supply. For most of us this ‘covid’ year, travelling overseas is not possible, so there’s minimal risk of picking up one of these parasite hitchhikers, right?
Risks are at home too.
Here’s the thing, we don’t often realise that the risk of picking up a parasite is as possible at home as it is overseas. As the Poo Queen, I’m sending you a gentle reminder to take good care of you and the family this season and take a little extra care of your gut too.
For many of us, it’s been an interesting year, an unexpected and challenging year, so this holiday season, let your hair down and have fun but remember to eat mindfully and not over-consume alcohol. Minimise the risk of picking up any additional travellers – and I am not talking about a long-lost aunt who invites herself to dinner. I am talking parasites, worms, and fungi (oh my!!)
The use of the word parasite evokes the image of one thing living off another at the host’s expense. This definition is accurate. You can pick up a pesky parasite from your water supply (beware of tank water that is not monitored.) From pets such as dogs and cats living in the house, or eating uncooked meat, fish, and even some raw vegetables. Of course, poor hygiene in the company of other parasite-infected people is a high risk too.
I refer to those parasites categorised as protozoa, worms, yeasts, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Once they enter the body, these unwanted stowaways can proliferate in the mucus laden digestive tract. We can pick these up in our water supply, from our pets, and many other places, even at home.
Watch for the following symptoms associated with parasite infection:
- General weakness
- Voracious appetite
- Cravings for sweets, dried food, raw rice, and dirt
- Stomach cramps
- Fretful sleep
So far, except for the bizarre cravings for dirt, this kind of sounds like a typical post-Christmas food coma, yes? But when you consider these other symptoms, it’s a little less like a food coma.
- Facial pallor
- White coin size blotches on the face
- Bluish or purplish specks in the whites of the eyes
- Withered yellow look
- Anal itching, especially at night
- Nose picking
- Teeth grinding at night while sleeping
Untreated, parasites can contribute to a broad spectrum of health disorders due to the weakening of the immune system. They include eczema, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, and depression, to name a few.
Parasitic infections often play a role in degeneration at every stage of illness. It is the toxic waste products that parasites excrete that stress the body and contribute to optimal organ functioning disruption.
What can be done? My top 8 tips to prevent parasites.
Of course, prevention is the best cure.
- Cook foods thoroughly. Please note that microwaving food is not enough to heat and thoroughly cook food. Sorry even on holiday, you do need to turn on the stovetop, slow cooker, or oven (lol!)
- Boil water. Boiling water is sufficient to kill parasites, so if travelling be sure to boil the water – including when you brush your teeth.
- Wash raw food in apple cider vinegar. If consuming raw food, wash everything with a dash of apple cider vinegar (e.g., fruit, salads)
- Stay on top of worming pets. Ensure your pets are regularly wormed.
- Garlic for pets. It’s a must to add a little garlic to your pet’s food too. This helps keep them parasite free (and you too.)
- Regularly wash your hands. Since covid, we are especially good at that now, aren’t we? Remember, it might not be your hygiene, that is the problem; you can never be sure that others have washed their hands. So wash yours more; the prevention of spreading parasites is the best cure.
- Probiotic when travelling. If you wish to be supported by extra protection while travelling, I recommend the probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii 2 x daily as a prophylactic.
- Eat these eight anti-microbials. Consume garlic, cloves, cinnamon, thyme, rosemary, horseradish, wasabi, and apple cider vinegar in water. These are all good anti-microbials and help with prevention.
PCR Parasite Test.
I am so glad I got that off my chest, phew! I do care about you and your gut! If you are concerned that you or a loved one might already have parasites – do ask your doctor for a PCR Parasite Test.
I can help with treatment, and it is good to know which specific stowaway you’ve got on board to get the right treatment plan for you. To treat parasites effectively, I recommend doing both naturopathic and medical treatments. Systematically follow the recommendations to ensure you drop your hitchhiker to the curb, don’t cut corners. Diligence is necessary for treatment to be 100% effective.
I hope I haven’t scared you off your Christmas ham or turkey! (Hah! Just make sure it’s all cooked properly.
It is the holiday season, and I want you to have a great rest and enjoy yourself after such a crazy and weird year. As the Poo Queen who cares about you and your gut health, it is also essential that you are ‘in the know’ too. To be healthy, we need to be aware of what to look out for, then go and have fun.
Take Care and if you are taking a break, enjoy!
The Poo Queen – Karlene xx
Biomedical Naturopath and upcoming author of Your Poo Matters!