Parasitic infections affect at least an estimated 880 million children worldwide. For the most part, these health problems are more prevalent in developing nations.
However, people in the United States aren’t completely immune to these organisms. The parasite “Toxoplasma gondii”, for instance, infects at least 60 million people in the US. “Trichomonas”, another strain, also affects around 3.7 million of the nation’s people.
What’s even worse is that millions of folks in the US aren’t aware they have a parasitic infection. Until their health turns for the worse.
So, how to know if you have a parasite then? What symptoms do they cause?
We’ll answer all these questions in this post, so be sure to read on!
1. You’ve Been to the South of the US
If you’re asking, “Can parasites kill you?”, the answer is yes, some of them can. One such parasite that can kill is Trypanosoma cruzi. It’s responsible for Chagas disease, which can cause heart failure over time.
If you’ve recently visited Mexico or Central or South America, get a test for parasites. Trypanosoma cruzi is prevalent in these countries. You may also want to check out this article for more info on what you can do if you have parasitic infections.
Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and intestinal worms are among the top culprits of diarrhea. These live and thrive in human intestines. Their presence can trigger the immune system to “try” and flush them out, hence, an increase in stools.
3. Tummy Aches and Tiredness
Alcohol use, food allergies, and spoiled food can all cause diarrhea. Diabetes and medications can also trigger watery feces. So, how then do you know if you have intestinal worms causing your upset stomach?
If your diarrhea comes with tummy aches and fatigue, you likely have worms.
Checking your stool for blood is another way on how to know if you have parasites. Diarrhea that produces bloody or mucus-filled/covered stool is a symptom of dysentery. You may even notice a wiggler in your bloody stools.
5. Changes to Your Appetite
Diarrhea, regardless of cause, usually causes loss of or increase in hunger. However, some people with parasitic infections don’t get diarrhea. If you’ve seen a sudden drop in your appetite, or you always seem to be hungry, you may have parasites in your system.
6. Unexplained Weight Loss
Hookworms, Trichuris Trichiura, and Ascaris Lumbricoides are some parasites that can cause this. These parasites may also cause diarrhea and anorexia, but not always or not right away. They can cause weight loss by competing with your body by consuming what you eat instead.
As such, if you’re unsure how and why you’ve lost weight, take that as one of the signs you have worms.
Learn How to Know If You Have a Parasite to Protect Your Health
You need to learn exactly how to know if you have a parasite, considering that these organisms can be deadly. So, be on the lookout for these signs and symptoms, and if you’ve recently traveled, see your doctor. This way, they can test you for parasites and provide you with the right treatment ASAP.