Parasitic infections don’t just happen to people in third-world countries. As world-famous parasitologist and owner of Parasitology Center, Inc. Dr. Omar Amin said to me in an interview for the Alternative Cancer Research Institute, “Parasites don’t need a passport or airline ticket to come to the US.” In other words, many people bring parasites back home with them when they travel overseas, but parasites also visit us from foreign nations when they travel on imported produce. And we get infected by them through unsafe food handling practices and other means.
Parasitic Infection and Chronic Lyme Disease
Many people with chronic Lyme disease also have parasitic infections. And according to Dr. Amin, up to 50% of the US population has some type of parasitic infection (although not everyone has symptoms from these infections).
Parasites can cause a diverse array of symptoms. I was amazed when Dr. Amin shared with me in my interview with him about how a certain type of tapeworm depletes vitamin B-12 in the body and causes dementia. He then shared with me how he was able to help reverse one woman’s dementia in a matter of just weeks, by removing the parasite and giving her B-12 supplementation.
In my 2012 book, Beyond Lyme Disease, I write that parasites are a major cause of chronic illness in people with Borrelia and coinfections, but are often missed by Lyme-literate doctors who may focus more upon the tick-borne infections than the other causes of symptoms. But parasites besides Babesia can make a person with Lyme sicker than Borrelia and the common coinfections. For this reason, it’s worthwhile to do a parasite test with Dr. Amin’s lab, or another reputable company, and follow it up with some type of bioenergetic testing, since labs can’t always detect all parasites 100% of the time.
It’s essential to avoid getting parasites in the first place though, especially if you know that your immune system is compromised; as otherwise, if you treat them but don’t know how to avoid getting re-infected, chances are, they will come back. Following are some simple tips to avoid parasitic infection:
How to Avoid Parasitic Infections:
1. Be mindful of your pets. Don’t let your pets sleep with you or lick you, especially your face. I love animals too, but dogs and cats carry parasites and parasite eggs in their fur and saliva. If you know that you are susceptible to parasitic infection, you may want to have your pets sleep elsewhere.
2. Thoroughly wash all produce. Fruits and vegetables should be soaked for 15 minutes in vinegar or in 1 teaspoon of bleach mixed with a gallon of water. If you use bleach, you’ll want to make sure to thoroughly rinse the produce afterward. Much organic produce in the US is imported from Mexico, where human waste is used as fertilizer, so even organic produce needs to be disinfected.
3. Practice good bathroom hygiene. Wash your hands after using the bathroom, cleaning the litter box, or changing your baby’s diaper. Parasites hang out everywhere on toilets, so it goes without saying that you should also clean your toilets frequently.
Subscribe to the World's Most Popular Lyme Disease Newsletter (it's free!)
4. Thoroughly cook all meats, especially pork. Cook meet until there is no pink color left in the middle. Some researchers argue that when you cook meat well, you destroy some of the beneficial amino acids in it, but in the end, I guess you have to decide what’s most important to you. Personally, I think there are other ways to get your amino acids, such as through protein drinks and supplements. Besides, cooking meat well doesn’t entirely destroy the amino acid content, it just reduces it.
5. Drink purified water. Don’t drink tap water, which nowadays, is laden with microbes such as giardia and cryptosporidium. Purchase a high-quality water filter with a sub-micron pore structure. Multipure makes some good filters.
6. Dress for your surroundings. Don’t walk barefoot on soil, and use gardening gloves when working in the garden. Avoid swimming in rivers and lakes, especially those where the water is stagnant and does not flow continually.
Parasitic infections can be difficult to treat, and I’ve personally found that the best of herbal formulas are sometimes inadequate for addressing stubborn infections. On the other hand, pharmaceutical drugs, while more effective, can be harsh on the body, especially the liver.
Interestingly, Dr. Amin has developed an herbal parasite protocol that he has found to effectively remove a wide variety of parasites; from worms to protozoa, and even fungi and bacteria. If this protocol works as well as Dr. Amin contends, it would be great news if you haven’t had luck getting rid of the infections with drugs or other herbal remedies. Dr. Amin always advocates getting tested so that you can receive the most tailored protocol to your needs, but his basic Freedom-Cleanse-Restore protocol may be helpful for some people. It contains a wide variety of anti-parasitic herbs; the only drawback may be that you may need a different dose of some of the herbs or not all of the herbs that are contained within the formula.
MMS, or Miracle Mineral Supplement (sodium chlorite), mixed with citric acid or lemon juice, is another remedy that can be used to remove parasites. However, I recommend taking this supplement only under physician supervision; first of all, to find out whether it would be personally helpful for you, and secondly, because it is very powerful and can be toxic if it is prepared improperly or taken in the wrong doses.
By effectively preventing and/or treating parasites, you will help to support your immune system in the battle against chronic Lyme, and may find that in doing so, your journey to recovery will be faster and smoother.
This article was first published on ProHealth.com on November 6, 2015 and was updated on August 17, 2020.
Connie Strasheim is the author of multiple wellness books, including three on Lyme disease. She is also a medical copywriter, editor and healing prayer minister. Her passion is to help people with complex chronic illnesses find freedom from disease and soul-spirit sickness using whole body medicine and prayer, and she collaborates with some of the world’s best integrative doctors to do this. In addition to Lyme disease, Connie’s books focus on cancer, nutrition, detoxification and spiritual healing. You can learn more about her work at: ConnieStrasheim.