Parasites: how do you know if you have worms and what to do with them?

I had a client a while ago who asked me this question: “I’ve noticed that I have menstrual cramps in the last few months and I don’t usually have them. Can you tell me what you think it is?”

It was determined, strangely or not so strangely, that the cause of those menstrual cramps was parasites! And this is not the only disease caused, in part, by parasites. keep reading…

I recommend for her, and for you, that you deworm both your pets and yourself about twice a year.

I have tried natural dewormers over the years, actually A LOT of natural dewormers like: Garlic, Cloves, Black Walnut, Coriander, Wormwood, Pumpkin Seed, Pomegranate, Diatomaceous Earth, Rascal, Zymex, Vermifuge, various other dewormer formulas natural and homeopathy, but nothing seems so effective. I even tried Hulda Clarke’s “Zapper” (which, by the way, doesn’t work, because the device’s voltage isn’t strong enough to penetrate fecal matter into the intestines – save your money and don’t buy or build one !) I am sorry to report (as a naturopath) that studies show that these herbal treatments are only 20% effective. The certified organic organization says when all else fails, use ivermectin (which is not organic by any means), but have you seen the list of side effects for that particular product? three pages!

I will say that when a customer comes to me, I ask if they have any cravings. A sure sign that they have “worms” is when they tell me they have a craving for cloves. Clove oil has been shown to penetrate the egg and kill it, while the other herbs only kill the adults. Herbs that kill parasites are often found in herbal formulas for cancer because parasites are often a primary cause of that particular disease.

One of the reasons I push so hard for routine deworming is that the medical field often overlooks this diagnosis, especially if you don’t have a history of travel outside of the United States, where parasites are often a big problem. I love working in my garden and I often breathe with my mouth open when I am working in the dirt. We also live in a windy area and the dirt from the wheat and grass fields is often in the air. I try to wash my hands frequently, but anyone who works on the land knows that it’s nearly impossible to keep from getting it on you.

Another reason I stay on top of the worm situation is that worms carry viruses into our bodies. Some of these viruses can cause cancer, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and many other horrible diseases.

In my opinion, the safest, cheapest, easiest, and most effective way to deworm yourself and your pets from the most common roundworms (roundworms, also called strongyles, pinworms, roundworms) is to go to your local feed store and get a bottle of roundworm for horses or dogs: Equi-Phar, ProTal, Strongid-T, and Nemex are trade names for Pyrantel Pamoate. I say this because when you ask your doctor for a dewormer, he usually tells you that you don’t need to get dewormed. Make sure it says Pyrantel Pamoate on the label and nothing else is added. Combination dewormers are not always necessary and are not always safe.

Dosage: Use the dose of 5-10 mg/kilogram of body weight (about 1 ml/5 to 10 pounds of a 50 mg/ml solution) of body weight for dogs and humans and 1 ½ ml/5 to 10 pounds for cats A teaspoon is 5 ml or cc (ml and cc are the same unit of volume). If you’re not good at math, you’ll want to double check that you’re taking the correct dosage. Although this dewormer is so safe that you can take 40 times the amount without any harmful side effects, you don’t want to cut back on the dosage. And, “If a little is good, A LOT is not necessarily better.” The most common side effect is nausea, so take this product with something in your stomach, such as a small meal or a few crackers.

One dose is all that is needed, but you may need to give a second dose 7 to 10 days after the first dose for initial deworming or if the number of worms is quite large. I now use this once a year for myself as I have a history of heart palpitations (another symptom associated with parasites). The worms will be dead in 20 minutes. You won’t feel a thing and you shouldn’t have any side effects. As a rule, you won’t see anything going on in the toilet, but if you’re wondering what’s going on, a photo often helps. People often mistake intestinal fragments for flatworms or tapeworms and undigested food for parasites. This dewormer will not kill those types of parasites. Every once in a while I see a pet gag on an overdose, but in 30 years, I’ve never seen any other side effects.

Will store-bought dewormer work the same? No. Many stores still carry the dewormer Piperazine which has been so overused that it is no longer an effective dewormer. Piperazine is often marketed as a “monthly” dewormer in pet sections. I once saw a litter of eight puppies in full throttle that had just been dewormed with piperazine that week. Imagine eight cute Golden Retreiver puppies lying on their sides shivering. It was horrible! I immediately dewormed them with Pyrantel and the worms came out of their little rectums and the seizures stopped within 20 minutes. It was amazing to see!

If the product you buy contains a tapeworm medication (such as chlorpyrifos, which is an organophosphate), that can cause some serious side effects. Never use these store-bought dewormers on pregnant animals. The animal’s guts can contract so forcefully to expel the worms that they can rupture the uterus and die. Always get tapeworm medications from your doctor or veterinarian, as we carry much safer brands than grocery or food stores. The tobacco stopper is also not safe. Do not use it.

How do you get worms? We pick up worms from some of the things we eat, from the soil, and from the dust we breathe. Eating dirt is a sign of iron deficiency. We should talk if you’re doing that… I got pinworms as a kid from eating a mud pie (my friend said she’d give me a nickel if I did!) Pinworms are the equivalent of cat and dog roundworms, just they are a different species of worm, so they are not transmitted from us to them and vice versa. See more on that below.

Most adults (pets and people) have enough enzymes in their mouths to break down most of the eggs that enter through the mouth and nose, our stomach acids break down even more, but some eggs go through both backup systems where they hatch, find a home, and become adults in about 10 to 14 days in our small intestine. After 14 days, these adult parasites are producing more eggs, millions of them during their lifetime. Yuck!

We see worms more often in baby animals and humans because their salivary enzymes aren’t as strong, the hydrochloric acids in their stomach aren’t fully developed yet, and because they have oral fixations and take a lot of stuff into their mouths – they ingest more dirt. than adults. Their immune systems can’t keep up with it. The “load” (number of worms) is so great in the small intestine that it spills over into the large intestine and stomach. That’s why it’s so common to see babies throw up worms or poop. Because adults have a better immune system, the load is controlled, and the worms like the environment of the small intestine, so that’s where they stay. We may still have worms, but it’s not as obvious as when we were young children (or pets under the age of one).

How do you know if you should take an antiparasitic?

Signs of pinworms include fever, cough, wheezing, stomach problems, diarrhoea, constipation, abdominal cramps, appendicitis, gas, bloating, increased (menstrual) cramps, heart palpitations, intermittent right lower quadrant pain the ileocecal valve), itchy anus, dry, dull hair with split ends, seizures, itchy appetite (often from sugar), clear mucous strings in stool (yes, you should look at it every time you go! And yes, I’ll ask you what it looks like if you ever ask me.) People and animals with a lot of parasites also have big bellies and a lot of diameter below the navel because the intestines lose their tone. Most of the time, worms can be diagnosed by looking at the intestinal contents under a microscope or by doing a blood test, but not always. Protozoan parasites like giardia are often overlooked.

Can I get roundworms and tapeworms from my pets?

Good question, and I understand a lot. If you deworm your pets regularly, you won’t have this problem. Dog and cat worms are different from most human worms. There are only a few species of worms that are zoonotic (passed from your dogs and cats to you), one of which is Toxoplasma cati, which is transmitted to humans through cat feces and causes blindness in cats. the children. But, pyrantel pamoate kills that and if you clean the litter box every day, the chance of it happening is slim to none. Giardia lamblia, an intestinal protozoan parasite, can also be transmitted through your pet, but most humans contract Giardia by drinking contaminated water or eating contaminated lettuce or water chestnuts. Scabies is NOT spread from animals to humans and neither are head lice or public lice. Tapeworms are not spread from dogs and cats to people (but they are from fish and some farm animals). Tapeworms are treated with different medications than roundworms.

Ringworm is not actually a parasitic worm. It is really a fungus and that can also be passed from your pets to you. We have fantastic homeopathic drops for that, but cleaning the area and applying iodine can help. It also helps to keep your immune system and your pet’s healthy with good quality food.

Well, that’s worms in a nutshell (or in this case, an intestine!) Tasty, huh?