What are parasites?
Parasites are organisms that utilize their host for nutrition and survival. You may be thinking — we live in a first-world country where parasites aren’t a thing, but let me tell you why that thinking is primarily wrong.
- It is estimated that upwards of 70% of people might have parasitic infestations and they can manifest as various symptoms.
- There are thousands of different types and species, but 30% are microscopic.
- If you have viral issues or suspect heavy metals, you likely have parasites based on the science.
- If your symptoms ramp up around a full moon cyclically, you likely have a parasitic infestation.
Unfortunately, modern science has forgotten what our ancestors and many indigenous tribes have known for centuries: parasite cleansing is necessary for optimal health. It’s commonplace to deworm pets, cattle, and horses regularly, but not humans. Parasites are extremely stealthy and are experts at hiding in the body. Interestingly, most parasites do not hang out in our bloodstream and therefore, blood work is not accurate. Most modern stool tests give us false positives, including stool for ova and parasites. Unfortunately, there is not a full-proof or even accurate test for parasites.
It is estimated that parasites have evolved with us and not all of them are bad news. It is when the body is weakened that they do have the potential to push the immune system into an imbalanced state, and once that happens, many people have trouble overcoming the parasitic infection.
While it sounds like “woo woo bro science,” it is true that many people’s symptoms ramp up around the full moon. This is due to the parasites’ life cycle in which they are more active and reproducing during full moons.
These circadian rhythms affect all of us. During the full moon, we naturally produce less melatonin and more serotonin, which these pesky pathogens are attracted to.
There are serotonin receptors on human cells and parasites as well. Parasitic worms use serotonin to help them move. When they have access to higher serotonin levels during the moon’s full phase, they can move around more freely.
There are three categories of parasites:
- Protozoa: These parasites are single-cell microscopic organisms that can multiply or divide within the host. They are transmitted from person to person through fecal matter, or through blood or insect bites. An example is the parasite Plasmodium which causes malaria or Babesia that causes babesiosis.
- Helminths: These are worm parasites that have been found to be able to activate herpes viral infections. They are larger, multi-celled organisms that may be visible to the naked eye. Examples are roundworms, pinworms, trichinella spiralis, tapeworms, and flukes. It is estimated that HALF of the world’s population (over 3 billion people) are infected with at least one of three worms: roundworm, hookworm, and whipworm.
- Ectoparasites: These live on, rather than in, their hosts. Ectoparasites are also described as “blood-sucking arthropods.” Examples are lice, bed bugs, mosquitoes, and fleas.
Interestingly, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has targeted five neglected parasite infections (NPIs) in America as priorities for public health action. The CDC considers these neglected because relatively little attention is given to them by textbooks or clinicians.
These five parasites are:
- Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease: More than 300,000 people in the US are infected and more than 300 infected babies are born every year. It feeds off blood and lymph and is found mostly in warm, tropical climates.
- Taenia solium, the tapeworm whose larval cysts come from pork and cause cysticercosis: There are at least 1,000 hospitalizations for symptomatic cysticercosis per year in the US. How many more go undetected
- Toxocara, the parasite that causes toxocariasis: At least 14% of the US population has been exposed to this parasite which comes from the intestines of dogs and less commonly, cats.
- Toxoplasma gondii, the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis: More than 60 million people in the US are chronically infected. This parasite is found in the feces of cats so human transmission is often through cleaning litter boxes.
- Trichomonas parasite — causes trichomoniasis: This parasite affects 3.7 million people in the US and is easily treatable with Flagyl. It is a known sexually transmitted infection.
How do you know if you have parasites?
Since testing is lacking, it’s really difficult to pinpoint. If you struggle with chronic bloating, fatigue, anxiety, low energy, and other “mystery” symptoms, you may need to dig deeper than just the title of irritable bowel syndrome.
Symptomatology is relied upon by many practitioners, myself included. Moreover, many of the symptoms may be labeled as an autoimmune condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or mast cell activation syndrome. Remember these are just a constellation of symptoms labeled as a diagnosis for billing or medication purposes. Your body does not lie. In fact, it is usually appropriately reacting to what is inside of it. It is APPROPRIATELY releasing histamine causing you to itch or inflammation causing you to gain weight or feel pain.
Many of the diseases have parasites as the root cause:
- Skin rashes such as eczema or hives
- Bruxism, or nighttime teeth grinding
- Dairy sensitivity or lactose intolerance
- Migraines or chronic headaches
- Sleep issues such as insomnia and poor sleeping habits
- Postural orthostatic tachycardic syndrome or POTS especially increasing at night
- Aches and pain; sore joints for no reason
- Weight loss, increased appetite, or both
- Abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting
- Weakness and feeling unwell
- Deficiencies in nutrients, especially iron (see below)
- Mitochondrial toxicity and fatigue
- Leaky gut and IBS
- Food cravings especially for sugar, insatiable hunger
- Low blood sugar or difficulty fasting
- Brain fog, anxiety, mood swings or depression
- Rectal or anal itching
Here are some of the more common nutritional deficiencies parasites might cause:
- Vitamin A: Needed for eye and immune system health
- Vitamin B12: Required for energy, brain function, and DNA production
- Iron: Helps transport oxygen as part of hemoglobin in red blood cells
- Copper: Required for mitochondrial function, as well as bone and collagen strength
- Magnesium: Crucial for over 300 biochemical reactions in your body
- Zinc: Necessary for enzyme function, immune health, and wound healing
You may be asking, if we all have them, how do we get rid of them or prevent infections later?
Great question! There are a few take-home points about how to avoid parasitic infections. The main point to remember is that if your immune system is suffering, you may be more vulnerable than most people. Contaminated tap water, undercooked meat, raw foods, pet kisses, and sushi are great ways to contract parasites. Imbalances in the gut microbiome, poor diet, chronic stress, negative sleeping habits, unnecessary use of antibiotics, and other factors can weaken your immune system and predispose you to parasites. For example, having mold in your body imbalances the immune system so much that it makes you more of a “sitting duck” if you happen to have a parasite exposure.
In some studies, the parasites had the ability to reactivate retroviruses. When Leishmania parasites are infected with LRV (retrovirus), the parasite replicates more abundantly and causes a more severe disease process. Parasitic worms, called helminths, can reactivate dormant herpes-like viral infections. Strongyloides, a parasite that can make women’s cycles horrid, interacts with HTLV which can make the strongyloides infection more difficult to eradicate.
Heavy metals also make one vulnerable as parasites are “holding tanks” of heavy metals. In animal studies, fish tissue can hold 6-8x the number of heavy metals due to the presence of parasites!
Many parasites have a full or partial life cycle within an animal or even human. Many can hide for years escaping modern laboratory techniques. They are not found in biopsies, colonoscopies, endoscopies, or stool tests.
For these reasons, parasite cleanses can have positive benefits on health by helping to pull out heavy metals and problematic viruses as well.
How to parasite cleanse properly:
Dr. Jess recommends a full moon parasite cleanse through a company that gets to the root cause of disease. This is either:
- Microbe Formulas: If you do not have a practitioner and do not plan on joining Dr. Jess’s subscription plan (this is the layperson retail company), click the link here.
- Cellcore Biosciences: If you do have a practitioner or plan on joining Dr. Jess’s upcoming subscription plan (this is the practitioner brand), click the link here. You must be in my app here to receive my practitioner code to order.
If you do plan on joining, be sure to sign up for my email and newsletter so that you will be the first to know when it launches and be up first for the discount!
Both of these companies are the same company with one of the best biochemists in the world, who got death threats from Monsanto in 2008. I cannot find a company with better ethics, people, science, and results! The reason for the difference is that if you join my plan, I will be guiding you through troubleshooting and how to use the products correctly so Cellcore Biosciences would be the correct choice. However, if you do not plan on joining, you will not have practitioner support through me and should opt to use Microbe Formulas, which has a large support team that can help to troubleshoot with you since I won’t be there to help out.
First and foremost, you want to ensure that all your drainage pathways are open prior to any cleanse with binders, which pull out toxic chemicals and pathogens with ease. Here is the drainage pathway from Microbe and Cellcore so that you can understand that the body must be open so that it can dump toxins once we start killing.
You must have energy, be able to sweat well, go to the bathroom, and have normal bowel movements, and have proper bile movement prior to starting a detox, including a full moon parasite detox.
Drainage pathways include:
- Cells and mitochondria
- Brain and glymphatic system
- Lymphatics and fascia
- Liver and bile, lungs, kidneys
- Colon and bowel movements
Here are some screening questions:
- Can you sustain decent energy throughout the day? Do you feel heavy and suffer with brain fog (difficulty with clarity of thought)?
- Can you go to the bathroom, without seeing undigested food in your stool or without incomplete evacuation, twice per day?
- Can you tolerate alcohol, caffeine, or skipping meals?
- Do you sleep well?
- Do you have chronic pain or feel like you have sore muscles and need a massage in the evenings?
- Is your mood stabilized? Or do you have mood swings, anxiety, and depression?
If you said yes to three or more of these questions, I would suggest that you start with the foundational or comprehensive phase one protocol of Microbe Formulas or Cellcore Biosciences. The purpose of phase one is to prep your body for the cleanse and “unstick” those drainage pathways where you are not able to release toxins from the body. Preparing and opening your drainage pathways for a cleanse ensures that it is seamless and a much less painful parasite cleanse, which is included in their phase two protocol. This way you do not experience uncomfortable Herxheimer symptoms or healing detox reactions. it ensures the cleanse is pleasant and doable for you!
If you feel your drainage pathways are open, I suggest the full moon cleanse which includes:
- Microbe Formulas: Mimosa Pudica, Formula 1, Formula 2, and Biotox binder
- Cellcore Biosciences: Para 1, Para 2, Para 3, Biotoxin binder (see example below for intermediate challenge)
Be sure to eat an anti-inflammatory diet that excludes any processed foods, but especially gluten, sugar, dairy, soy, and often eggs, for many. Try your best to get 7-9 hours of sleep and avoid alcohol on the cleanse since we are focusing on the liver. Drinking plenty of distilled or filtered water helps the kidneys flush toxins. Sunshine in the morning helps give life to sluggish mitochondria, which provide energy for you.
For many of my patients, adding sweating in an infrared sauna is a game-changer for various reasons! This activates heat shock proteins which are vital for health and have been shown to halt the progression of neurodegenerative conditions. It is also an excellent way to release heavy metals, PCBs, and other endocrine disruptors. Coffee enemas and colonics are also a staple during my cleanses for my patients. Although they sound daunting, they are another secret game changer for those struggling with constipation or a stagnant liver.
This article is syndicated and was first published on Dr. Jess MD. Full credit is given to its author.
Dr. Jess is a leading professional in Functional Medicine with a passion for uncovering the root cause behind chronic illness — whether that be related to stealth inflections, stress, heavy metals, or other kinds of environmental toxicities — Dr. Jess is committed to learning the “why” behind the illness.