Since the effects of infection reach far beyond the gastrointestinal tract, we need to be on the alert for the wide array of bodily symptoms that signal the presence of parasites. Signs and symptoms may come about during initial exposure, shortly after that exposure, or many months later.
While many of our unexpected visitors may be invisible, their symptoms can be very apparent. For this reason, parasitic infections are often misdiagnosed and ensuing treatment does not result in the alleviation of symptoms or disease. The following are warning signs for parasites: constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, joint and muscle aches and pains, anemia, allergy, skin conditions, granulomas, nervousness, sleep disturbances, teeth grinding, chronic fatigue, and immune dysfunction.
Signs and Symptoms
CONSTIPATION: Some worms, because of their shape and large size can physically obstruct certain organs. Heavy worm infections can block the common bile duct and the intestinal tract, making elimination infrequent and difficult.
DIARRHEA: Certain parasites, primarily protozoa, produce a prostaglandin (hormonelike substances found in various human tissues) which creates a sodium and chloride loss that leads to frequent watery stools. The diarrhea process in parasite infection is, therefore, a function of the parasite, not the body’s attempt to rid itself of an infectious organism.
GAS AND BLOATING: Some parasites live in the upper small intestine where the inflammation they produce causes both gas and bloating. This situation can be magnified when hard-to-digest foods such as beans and raw fruits and vegetables are eaten. Persistent abdominal distention is a frequent sign of hidden invaders. These gastrointestinal symptoms can persist intermittently for many months or years if the parasites are not eliminated from the body.
IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME: Parasites can irritate, inflame, and coat the intestinal cell wall, leading to a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms and malabsorption of vital nutrients, particularly fatty and steatorrhea (excess fat in feces).
JOINT AND MUSCLE ACHES AND PAINS: Parasites are known to migrate and encyst (become enclosed in a sac) in joint fluids, and worms can encyst in muscles. Once this happens, pain becomes evident and is often assumed to be caused by arthritis. Joint and muscle pains and inflammation are also the result of tissue damage caused by some parasites or the body’s ongoing immune response to their presence. This list can go on and on, hopefully you are getting the picture.
Parasites can also infest the skin, as with scabies and lice, or can enter the bloodstream through insect bites, as with malaria and yellow fever parasites. They can also deplete the body of essential nutrients, taxing and overwhelming the immune system, which can lead to serious illness and even death.
ANEMIA: Some varieties of intestinal worms attach themselves to the mucosal lining of the intestines and then leach nutrients from the human host. If they are present in large enough numbers, they can create enough blood loss to cause a type of iron deficiency or pernicious anemia.
ALLERGY: Parasites can irritate and sometimes perforate the intestinal lining, increasing bowel permeability to large undigested molecules. This can activate the body’s immune response to produce increased levels of eosinophils, one type of the body’s fighter cells. The eosinophils can inflame body tissue, resulting in an allergic reaction. Like allergy, parasites also trigger an increase in the production of immunoglobulin E (IgE).
SKIN CONDITIONS: Intestinal worms can cause hives, rashes, weeping eczema, and other allergic-type skin reactions. Cutaneous ulcers, swellings and sores, papular lesions, and itchy dermatitis can all result from protozoan invasion.
GRANULOMAS: Granulomas are tumor-like masses that encase destroyed larva or parasitic eggs. They also develop most often in the colon or rectal walls but can also be found in the lungs, liver, peritoneum, and uterus.
NERVOUSNESS: Parasitic metabolic wastes and toxic substances can serve as irritants to the central nervous system. Restlessness and anxiety are often the result often the result of systemic parasite infestation.
SLEEP DISTURBANCES: Multiple awakenings during the night, particularly between 2 and 3 A.M., are possibly caused by the body’s attempts to eliminate toxic waste via the liver. According to Chinese medicine, these hours are governed by the liver. Sleep disturbances are also caused by nocturnal exits of certain parasites through the anus, creating intense discomfort and itching.
TEETH GRINDING: Bruxism—abnormal grinding, clenching, and gnashing of the teeth—has been observed in cases of parasitic infection. These symptoms are most noticeable among sleeping children. Bruxism may be a nervous response to the internal foreign irritant. It is interesting to note that in the medical literature, the etiology of bruxism remains controversial.
IMMUNE DYSFUNCTION: Parasites depress immune system functioning by decreasing the secretion of immunoglobulin A (IgA). Their presence continuously stimulates the immune system response and over time can exhaust this vital defense system, leaving the body open to bacterial and viral infections.
Because the signs and symptoms of intestinal parasitic infections are often vague and confusing and because many physicians in this country are not familiar with them, a victim can suffer for weeks or months and undergo many needless tests and treatments before the proper diagnosis is made.
Therefore if you are suffering any of the above symptoms take care to consider whether or not you are harboring microscopic single-celled protozans or worms.
When nerve energy is dissipated from any cause, physical, mental, or bad habits the body becomes enervated. When enervated elimination is checked, slowed or stopped, it causes a retention of toxins in the blood, or toxemia.
This accumulation of toxins when once established will continue until nerve energy is restored by removing the causes. So-called “disease” is nature’s effort to eliminate toxins from the blood and body.
Some of the hindrances to normal flow of toxins from the blood, causing nerve enervation, are as follows:
1. Stress. Stress may come from many different directions, but the seven major NEGATIVE emotions are a powerful influence in producing toxemia. The subconscious mind is more susceptible to influence by impulses of thought mixed with “feeling” or emotion, than by those originating solely in the reasoning portion of the mind. In fact, there is much evidence to support the theory that only emotionalized thoughts have any action influence upon the subconscious mind. It is a well-known fact that emotions or feelings rule the majority of people. There are seven major positive emotions and seven major negative emotions. The positive thoughts and feelings have to be injected or implanted to combat the effects of negative emotions upon the body.
The seven major NEGATIVE emotions, which should be avoided are:
1. The emotion of fear.
2. The emotion of jealousy.
3. The emotion of hatred.
4. The emotion of revenge.
5. The emotion of greed.
6. The emotion of superstition.
7. The emotion of anger.
The first emotion deals with fear and can be classified under six basic categories:
1. The fear of poverty.
2. The fear of criticism.
3. The fear of ill health.
4. The fear of loss of love of someone.
5. The fear of old age.
6. The fear of death.
Fears are negative states of mind and are not of God. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” A sound mind is a stable, balanced mind; and a stable, balanced mind results in a healthy constitution.
The Bible also says in Proverbs 17:22 “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” When the Bible speaks of “heart” it is referring to the “mind” connected with the “feelings” or “emotions”. Therefore if your mind (thoughts and feelings) is sound and happy it has a positive effect upon the body. However the opposite is true, if the spirit or emotions are broken, depressed or sad, it has an effect on the bones, or the entire system.
The first three fears listed above are at the root of most people’s worries. Worry is negative and can definitely play havoc with the body’s chemistry.
Meals, especially family meals, should be a time of relaxation, joy and of course should never be hurried. One is far better off health-wise if one skipped a meal rather than indulge under stress, because stress will lead only to indigestion and ultimately toxemia.
2. Nutrition. In addition to the emotional stress situations mentioned above, there are other stresses common to all of us that can bring about “nerve enervation” and ultimately toxemia. They are: · Overeating. This of course taxes the entire digestive system and shows up in various ways such as obesity, high blood pressure, fatigue, hypo-glycemia or diabetes, etc.
· High Stress Foods. Foods that require too much energy from the body for the value received. More importantly, virtually everyone on the American diet is mineral deficient and because of this it is rare to find a person who is digesting proteins efficiently. Most Americans, including children are loaded with urea’s or undigested proteins in the form of Nitrate and Ammonia Nitrogen’s. It is claimed by some that there is no other cause for Pectoris heart attacks except an excessive amount of urea.
· Mineral Deficiencies. A well-known Bio-chemist from the East Coast stated many years ago that the chief cause of degenerative disease is mineral deficiency. If you were to study the nutritional habits of the world and observe what has happened in this country since the mid-forties when chemical fertilizers became so prominent, and the vast increase in cancer and other degenerative diseases in spite of the billions of dollars spent in medical research, one has to stop and reconsider.
· Wrong Food Combinations. Another tremendous factor in creating toxins within the body is wrong combinations of foods which tends to fermentation (the production of CO2, acetic acid and alcohol causing heartburn and/or sour stomach). It also tends to putrefaction of proteins and the production of toxins in the system.
Anyone suffering from nerve enervation and any of its accompanying symptoms, should work out a detoxification program which might include some type of fast or periodic fasts. Also hunt for a source of organically grown foods, or better still, grow your own!
For so many years man has covered his skin and has become pale, unhealthy and unaccustomed to the sun's action. In getting back to the sun it will therefore be necessary to use judgment and proceed intelligently. This word of precaution is directed particularly to those who have fair and delicate skin. For them as well as to the others who have not accustomed their skin to full exposure to the sun, it is best to begin by taking the first sunbath either in the early hours of the morning or in the late afternoon. The first bath should be for two minutes. The second bath which is to be taken the next day should be four minutes. The third bath which is taken the third day will last six minutes and so the duration of the sunbath should be increased each day by two minutes.
With this procedure the skin gradually takes on a coat of a tan. This is a sign that the body is reacting nicely. In time the sunbath may be extended to last for longer periods of time. It is very important to guard against sunburn. Just as soon as you feel any sensation of burning you should immediately get out of the sunshine and retire to a cool and shady place. Some persons will become accustomed to the sun's rays very quickly and be able to bathe in it for hours with great benefit. Others with light and delicate skin will have to proceed very slowly ad gradually. What you are feeling once in the sun will act as a good guide.
During the sunbath you should feel good. If as a result of exposure to the sun you feel weak, too warm or signs of a headache, it is best to stop at once and cool the body by taking a neutral bath. In the wintertime and in the early hours of the morning and in the late afternoon there is little danger of over-exposure but in the midday sun of the summer it is best to avoid the sun. If you adhere to a natural diet you will find the sunshine much more welcome. As you begin to feed the body properly you develop a very strong attraction for the sunshine. Those living on the ordinary conventional diet or the Standard American Diet have a constant state of fever. They feel the heat much more and the sun has a tendency to increase this state of fever and in that way interferes with the normal beneficial action of the sun. Take a sunbath, then a natural water bath or a swim and you will experience that rare delight of truly living.
When to Avoid the Sun
In spite of the fact that the sun is healing, there are times when it should be avoided. During the hot summer days it is contrary tot he dictates of hygiene and health to expose the body to the sun during the middle of the day. If you want to learn when to get into the sun and when to avoid it, just watch your cat or dog. You will notice that when the weather is hot the cat always chooses the coolest spot but when it is cool the cat will follow the sunshine EVERY MINUTE OF THE DAY. This is in accord with nature's law, and it is important that you remember this fact: the cool sun is soothing, exhilarating and stimulating. The hot sun is depressing and enervating.
Sunshine is made up of various forms of rays, such as Ultra Violet Rays, Infra Red Rays and others. The Ultra Violet Rays are the light rays of the sun but the Infra Red Rays are the heat rays. Although the heat rays have a definite purpose it is the Ultra Violet, light rays which are the most valuable. Therefore, remember that it is the LIGHT of the sun which is most valuable and NOT the heat. That is why, in hot weather, all animals instinctively seek the shade; while in the winter time they always welcome and follow the sun. The heat may feel good, but its the light you are after.
Sunlight in Cases of Wounds and Fractures
There are some natural therapist that believe that there is nothing in the entire realm of therapeutics that will promote the healing of wounds, sores, ulcerations, and fractured bones, more than sunlight.
No doubt most of us remember what it was like to sleep together with our spouse in the old double bed. You were so close you could almost hear your spouse's heart beat and were awakened every time he/she would roll over.
Crawl into a double bed with your spouse now and you'll wonder how you ever did it. As uncomfortable as it may seem now, back in the day, it was all we had and, therefore, all we knew. We adjusted well to the closeness.
Then came the time that we mutually agreed to upgrade to a queen size. The luxury of this larger bed was really nice. More room equals more comfort. I could stretch out, roll over and focus on relaxation. I was becoming very comfortable in my queen size kingdom when my wife announced one day that she had made a deal with a friend to trade our nice queen size for a king size.
I hated this change and was even a bit disgruntled that she had rooted me out of my nice queen size sleep domain. The king size mattress was hard and the first night I slept horribly. I expressed my displeasure with her choice and she assured me she had plans to make this newest luxury a "great experience." She purchased some memory foam and a nice pillow-top pad to put over that, as well as four new white pillows. Two for each of us, so that now we could put the extra pillows between us and snuggle with it. It was so comfortable; together we named our new condo "the cloud".
While we both have come to love this new addition, I have discovered one problem. If I want to be close to my wife, I have to invite her to my side of the bed, to which she responds, "no you come over here." What a difference from the double bed where we didn't have that choice. The sad part is that sometimes we are so tired and the effort seems so great that we drift off to sleep on our individual cozy clouds and never touch. We can come and go in this new bed and never know the other has left for a few hours in the wee hours of the night. I wake up in the morning and have to squint to see if my wife is still with me. We have to be intentional if we want to be close.
Marriage relationships are like that. We start out close and we are in love; then, as life happens, we feel the need to create emotional space between us in order to be comfortable. Doubles are no longer adequate and we need queens and kings. We stop talking, touching, and seeing each other. We pass like ships in the night. We wake up and it seems like it takes too much energy to connect because the distance has become so great. We drift apart and become "comfortable" in our own worlds while longing for that closeness and connection. We stop learning about our spouse's likes and dislikes. We no longer talk about feelings. It's in these places that the crazy things begin to happen. We trade the closeness of hearts with pillows that come between us and create walls. We no longer feel loved or capable of giving love. We quit being intentional. Our hearts die and along with them, the relationship dies.
I recently sat with a young husband and father who just discovered his wife was in a secret affair and had left his king size bed. It had happened so gradually. As he reflected, he began recognizing the little changes in their relationship that created distance between them. They had moved from a double to a queen to a king size bed. Included in some of these changes were his own secrets that he had kept from his wife. He had lost his focus on creating the closeness a double bed offers.
Sometimes it's not even the large things that begin to make a couple feel distant but rather the simple, elementary things that we begin to minimize. The non-sexual, physical touch that comes from holding hands, or an intentional eye contact, or simply speaking to each other about what is going on inside. The importance of intentionally moving close is forgotten in the normal run of life and we forget the emotional needs of our spouse. We do so at our own peril. Just recently I learned that my wife likes to go to sleep holding my hand. I will often simply slip my hand under her pillow and she connects there. 1 Peter 4:8 says, "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins."
(This article was posted by permission from "Haven of Hope Ministries" www.havenofhopes.com. Haven of Hope is a faith-based, non-profit ministry committed to helping those who are hurting from their life experiences of the past, as well as, the present.)