Why Worry about Parasites?
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We don’t think about parasites, but we should.
Parasites—what do they mean to you? For many of us, we think of repulsive creatures found in unsanitary conditions. We may think that we don’t have to worry about them, but maybe we should.
That parasites are a worry was a surprise to Carol Cover, an AIM Royal Emerald Director from Northfield, Minnesota. Although Carol had exhibited some of the symptoms of a parasitic infection—diarrhea, headaches, and general digestive malaise—she did not link them to parasites. After all, she had called herself a “health seeker” for several years and kept current on health and nutrition.
But Carol had had a history of suffering from chronic diarrhea, arthritis, food allergies, and migraine headaches. She had found some relief using AIM products. However, her food allergies and migraines persisted. At an AIM training event, Chairman’s Club Member Teresa Schumacher told her she might have parasites. Carol didn’t buy it. “I didn’t feel my symptoms were related to parasites,” Carol remembers, “I was in denial, so I ignored her advice.”
This changed a year later. At another AIM training event, Carol met up with AIM co-owner Ron Wright and his wife, Opal. Carol was again told that some of her health challenges may be due to parasites, and this time, she agreed to take a test-market product that would later become AIMPara 90™.
“I started taking the product and did not experience instant results,” Carol recalls. “But in about a month, I actually saw my first parasite in a stool. In the next month, I saw about three more, and they just kept coming. I actually started taking pictures of them! I saw roundworms—some, inches long—and clumps of them in a ‘nest.’ It was both repulsive and fascinating to see what was coming out of me.”
Carol began reading up on parasites and soon discovered that parasites could be contributing to some of her health challenges. What she discovered, although news to her, was nothing new to Dr. Skye Weintraub, a naturopathic physician who specializes in digestive problems, food and environmental allergies, and parasites.
Dr. Weintraub knows parasites well. She has been studying them for more than five years and is the author of The Parasite Menace.
“Unfortunately, most doctors do not make parasites part of a medical evaluation,” Weintraub says, “and they should, especially with digestive problems. Many parasites go undetected because they are not producing serious symptoms, or only produce symptoms at one stage in their lives. It is easy to attribute feeling ill to other causes because parasitic infections can look like a hundred other conditions. I have found that many people who have inflammatory bowel diseases such as colitis also have parasites. Whenever anyone comes to my office with any type of colitis or irritable bowel syndrome, I check for parasites.”
It’s also easy to ignore potential parasite indicators. Dr. Weintraub notes that many of the signs of parasites—and of serious digestive problems—are often ignored.
“It is amazing that so many people think that having diarrhea, gas, constipation, bloating, stomach pain, weight gain or weight loss, or other digestive problems, as well as skin rashes, fatigue, and other vague symptoms are just things to live with. These very diverse symptoms could be due to parasites because parasites can occur anywhere.”
Why it happens
Such tiny creatures wreak such havoc on us because of what they do. For starters, parasites are thieves. They steal the nutrients we consume before we can use them. Different types of parasites can cause a deficiency of vitamin A, vitamin B12, and iron. When in your intestinal tract, they can cause diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain, and weight gain or weight loss.
When parasites leave the intestinal tract, they cause other problems. They can get into joints and eat the calcium linings of your bones, resulting in arthritic tendencies; eat the protein coating on your nerves, causing a disruption in the nerve signals from the brain; put pressure on body organs, causing organ obstructions; produce toxic substances, possibly resulting in allergic reactions; and depress immune system function while activating immune system response. Weintraub notes that parasites may be involved in Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and arthritis symptoms, and could also be linked to food or environmental allergies that develop for no apparent reason.
“Why me?” This is perhaps the most-asked question when people discover they have parasites. But being a host to parasites is the rule, not the exception.
Dr. Weintraub cautions that “parasites live everywhere. They are easily transmitted to us through insect bites, drinking bad water, eating undercooked or uncooked fish and meat, close contact with the family pet—any of these methods can pass on parasites.
“Even such healthy foods as raw fruits and vegetables deserve a warning. If we do not wash them, they can harbor parasites. Raw fruits and vegetables may actually be one of the biggest parasite transmitters because in today’s world, where these foods often come long distances and are handled by many different people, it is not always possible to control ‘quality assurance.’
“Finally, we pass them around ourselves. You can get parasites by touching an unwashed hand to the mouth, by shaking hands, by sharing drinks, by kissing, or even by inhaling dust.”
What to do
When fighting parasites, you need to be proactive and reactive. Be proactive by washing raw foods thoroughly and by cooking well all meat and fish. Make sure pets are parasite-free, and refrain from “kissing” them. Be reactive by accepting that parasites exist and that you probably have them. This means adopting an ongoing parasite cleansing program, not a one-time only cleansing program.
What kind of program should you use? Although natural and herbal remedies abounded in earlier times, drugs are now generally prescribed for parasites. Unfortunately, many drugs are not as effective as they once were. According to Louis Parrish, M.D., Flagyl, a first-line killer of protozoa, is only 5 percent effective. Most drugs also come with a long list of side effects.
A more natural way to combat parasites is to use an herbal remedy. Dr. Weintraub agrees. “Herbs have been used for centuries to treat parasites. Endogenous people have always used something local to help with whatever was bothering them. Some of these herbs include garlic, wormwood, yellow gentian, grapefruit seed extract, butternut, and black walnut.”
This is what Carol Cover did. She tried a number of herbal formulas, but always returned to AIMPara 90™. This is because she found it effective and safe.
“I did see parasites come out, so I know it works. I also know it is safe. I used the amount recommended on the bottle, but also, when working with a health professional, took more. If someone as small as I am can take it, I feel most anyone can.”
Carol is not alone in her assessment. Tonya Barger, an AIM Star Sapphire Director and colon hydrotherapist from Iona, California, also had parasites.
“Although I grew up on a ranch,” Tonya says, “and worming animals was part of the job, I never made the connection. I was as surprised as anyone when I saw parasites coming out of me.”
Today, Tonya keeps parasites in mind in her practice and often recommends a parasite cleaning as part of a general detoxification program.
Tonya also agrees that it is an ongoing battle. “I really think that everyone has parasites,” she says. “I see them continually in my practice. It’s no surprise, as they are easy to get and hard to get rid off. They can be at different stages and lay eggs. I do my own cleansing twice a year, and always find them. I really feel that doing so is wise. A regular cleansing helps keep your digestive system in shape, ensures that you are getting all your nutrients, and just makes you feel better.”
Parasites, then, are a worry, but one that can be relieved through awareness of the problem and regular parasite cleansings.