Parasite Infections: Functional Lab Analysis To Identify Parasites
Parasites are organisms that live inside another organism called a host. A human body can become a host to certain parasites. Parasites in your body can cause parasitic infections that can lead to a long list of serious symptoms and health issues, including digestive issues, fatigue, brain fog, headaches, iron deficiency anemia, nutrient deficiency, weakness, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, adrenal fatigue, liver problems, leaky gut syndrome, and more.
The good news is that you can kill and remove parasites from your body with the help of some powerful herbs and other natural support strategies. What’s more fascinating is that you can use the power of the moon to do this. The phases of the moon influence parasite activity in your body. During the full moon, parasite activity is higher and you can use this to your advantage by doing a Full Moon Parasite Protocol to support your recovery.
In this article, you will learn about what parasites are and the types of parasites you need to know about. You will understand how you may get a parasite infection. You will learn about the symptoms of parasite infections. I will share the top blood and stool functional lab analyses I recommend for parasite infections. You will learn more about parasitic activity during the full moon. I will share my Full Moon Parasite Protocol to help to remove parasite infections and support your health and well-being.
Types of Parasites
Parasites are organisms that live inside or on another organism referred to as the host. They feed on the host. Parasites use their host’s resources to fuel their life cycle and maintain their life. While most parasites are not visible to our human eyes, including microscopic amoeba and malarial parasites, others can grow very big, such as 10-foot-long tapeworms.
While parasites are not a disease, the problem is that they can cause and spread disease. They can enter your circulation and get into your organs. They can cause issues, including liver, lung, brain, joint, muscle, skin, and other problems and related diseases. For example, a 1994 study published in Nihon Rinsho explored how certain parasites may lead to cirrhosis in the liver and a 2006 study published in Parasite Immunology has found that parasitic worms may lead to inflammatory diseases (1, 2).
Parasites may be:
- Endoparasites: Endoparasites live inside their host. They may include tapeworms, flatworms, and heartworms. Endoparasites may need a carrier or vector to transmit them to their host. In the case of malaria, the mosquito is this third organism carrier.
- Epiparasites: Epiparasites feed on other parasites. This is called hyperparasitism. For example, your dog’s fleas may have a protozoan or hyperparasite in their digestive tract.
There are three main types of parasites that you need to be aware of:
Protozoa are single-celled organisms. They have two stages: the trophozoite stage when they are metabolically active and invasive, and the cyst stage where they are inactive. Some of the most common intestinal protozoans include Giardia intestinalis (giardiasis), Entamoeba histolytica (amoebiasis), Cyclospora Cayetanensis (cyclosporiasis), Cryptosporidium spp (cryptosporidiosis), and Blastocystis hominis (blastocysts).
Protozoa parasite infections are hard to remove because they move back into a cyst stage when they feel threatened and they have adapted survival techniques. Some of the main symptoms associated with these parasite infections include diarrhea, constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, bloating, dehydration, weakness, low energy, and joint pain.
Helminths are large, multicellular worms. They are generally large enough to see with the human eye in their adult stage. Some of the main types of helminths include nematodes (roundworms), cestodes (tapeworms), and trematodes (flatworms and schistosomes).
Helminths are typically unable to reproduce in the human gut. However, they have long life spans and they consume a lot of the nutrients we need to support our bodies. These parasite infections can impact us quickly and severely.
Ectoparasites, instead of living inside their host, they live on them. Ectoparasites include fleas and lice. While it’s certainly possible to experience lice as a human and it’s actually common in younger children, it is also easy to notice and treat.
Parasites and parasitic infections that target your intestines and other organs are more problematic and despite chronic symptoms, they are often missed and misdiagnosed. This article is not focusing on ectoparasites, but parasites inside your body causing parasitic infections.
How Do You Get Parasite Infections?
Parasite infections are more common than you think. According to a 2014 cooperative study published in Hindawi, about 85 percent of the population is infected with parasites (3). According to data from UNICEF, about 1.5 billion people in the world have roundworms making it the world’s most common infection (4). Additionally, 1.3 billion people have hookworm infections and 265 million have schistosome parasite infections (4).
While the risk of parasitic infections is certainly higher in areas of the world with contaminated, non-drinkable water and with less sanitary conditions, parasite infections are very prevalent in the Western world, including the US as well. According to the Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention (CDC), about 300,000 people are living with Tripanosoma Cruzi (5).
According to the CDC and a 2014 study published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, neglected parasitic infections are a problem in the United States (6, 7). While they may be more prevalent among those living in poverty, they can affect anyone regardless of race or economic status.
Who Gets Parasite Infections?
Parasites inside your body can become a serious concern and may lead to serious symptoms and health issues. To prevent and identify parasite infections, it is important that you understand how you get them in the first place.
Parasites may enter your body through exposure to contaminated food, contaminated water, pets, mosquitos, fleas, daycare centers, and sexual transmission. If you travel a lot internationally to regions with contaminated water and food, your risk of parasitic infections is higher.
Pork, shellfish, and scavenger fish are particularly high in heat-tolerant parasites. Poor sleep, poor diet, antibiotic use, chronic stress, and poor lifestyle habits can compromise your immune health and body’s resistance and may increase your risk of parasite infections and make your symptoms worse.
Symptoms of Parasite Infections
The top symptoms of parasite infections may include:
- Chronic digestive issues (diarrhea, vomiting, etc)
- Changes in appetite
- Teeth grinding
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Skin problems
- Abdominal pain
- Aches and pains
- Chronic pain
- Poor memory
- Brain fog
- Unintentional weight loss
- Rashes or skin problems
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Adrenal fatigue
- Leaky gut syndrome
If you are dealing with symptoms of parasite infections, it is very important that you test for parasites and identify potential underlying parasites issues. These are the tests that I recommend to my patients and help me to recommend the correct personalized treatment protocol for them in case of a parasite infection.
If you suspect parasites and parasite infection, I recommend the following blood tests:
Eosinophils are a disease-fighting white blood cell type that often occurs in your body if you have a parasitic infection, allergic reaction, or cancer. 3 or higher may indicate a parasitic infection. If you have high eosinophils, it is important to check for parasites as a potential underlying reason.
Parasite infections may lead to liver issues and inflammation (1, 2). C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein created by your liver. Increased CRP levels over 1.0 indicate inflammation that may be caused by parasite infections.
There are many reasons why CRP levels may be high but gut infections are a common cause. If you have high CRP, it is important to check for parasites as a potential underlying reason.
High Liver Enzymes
To check your liver function and if it’s compromised by parasites, it is important to check your liver enzyme levels. Enzymes AST, ALT, GGT over 26, and Alkaline Phos over 100 may indicate liver inflammation, parasite issues, or alcoholic hepatitis, autoimmune hepatitis, or Celiac disease.
Parasites can get into the liver and cause inflammation and tissue damage which leads to high liver enzymes. If you have high liver enzymes, it is important to check for parasites as a potential underlying reason.
Low Iron/Ferritin and Anemic issues
It is important that you get your iron and ferritin levels looked at and checked for anemia. Ferritin is a protein that stores iron while serum iron is the free iron in the blood stream. Certain parasitic infections, including hookworm, whipworm, and schistosomiasis infections, can result in blood loss and consequent iron-deficiency anemia. Many parasites also use iron and look to steal it from their host which can result in low iron, low ferritin and low red blood cell counts.
Additionally, the body will often respond to parasite infections by reducing the conversion of stored iron (ferritin) to serum iron in order to reduce the available iron for the parasites. This can result in high serum ferritin but normal or low serum iron levels and anemic red blood cell characteristics. A trained functional health practitioner should be able to read these patterns on your blood work.
Complete Blood Analysis
To look at some important markers of health, I recommend a Complete Blood Analysis (CBA). Getting this complete blood analysis on an annual or semi-annual basis is one of the best ways to pick up any underlying health issues and help your functional health doctor to recommend personalized natural strategies that support your health.
This comprehensive test measures markers of your immune system function, liver and kidney health, blood sugar and insulin levels, inflammatory markers, red blood cells, iron status, thyroid hormone levels, mineral and electrolyte balance, levels of vitamin A, D, B12, and folate, zinc and copper levels, cardiovascular risk factors, lipid panel, urinary tract health, and parathyroid status. It helps us understand your overall health and see what issues parasite infections might have contributed to.
Along with these blood tests, I also recommend a GI Map Stool Analysis, a stool test that can identify the presence of multiple pathogenic microorganisms, including parasites, fungi, and bacteria. Specific parasitic pathogens this test is looking for include Cryptosporidium, Entamoeba histolytica, and Giardia.
Normal results are below 1.00e6 for Cryptosporidium and Entamoeba histolytica, and below 5.00e3 for Giardia. Anything higher needs your attention and natural support strategies. Besides specific infections, this test can reveal the overall health of your gut with digestive, gastrointestinal, Secretory and Anti-gliadin IgA, and calprotectin inflammation markers.
Parasite Activity During The Full Moon
As a 2017 study published in the Journal of Biological Rhythms explains, parasites show certain biological rhythms (8). According to a 2019 study published in the National Ecological Evolution, disrupting parasite rhythms may be beneficial for fighting and eliminating parasites (9).
The full moon may be a great time for this. Your body’s circadian rhythm responds to the moon’s cycle. The activity and reproductivity of parasites also coincide with your circadian rhythm. During the full moon, there is increased parasite activity in your body. During the full moon, your body also produces less melatonin and more serotonin.
Melatonin helps you sleep and supports your immune system. According to a 2012 study published in Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology, low levels of melatonin helps the immune system to fight parasites (10). Serotonin is a feel-good neurotransmitter. According to a 2014 research published in PLoS Pathology, parasites also have serotonin receptors that help them to move. More serotonin leads to more movement (11). Combining less melatonin and more serotonin makes a perfect combination to move out parasites from your body.
Full Moon Parasite Protocol
If you have a parasitic infection, I recommend a Full Moon Parasite Protocol. This protocol uses a number of anti-microbial herbs that can help your body to kill parasites and cleanse from unwanted pathogens. Depending on how your individual body responds, we may rotate various herbs in and out of the protocol.
First I will share the top parasite-fighting herbal supplements I recommend. Then I will explain how to use them during the full moon. I will also share my top natural strategies to further support your parasite cleanse. Here is what I recommend:
Mimosa Pudica Seed
Mimosa Pudica Seed is a powerful herb known for its antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties (12). It is referred to as a ‘gut scrubber’ because as a gooey, fat-soluble substance, it can adhere to anything to support your intestinal tract.
I recommend two capsules twice a day for parasite cleansing. During your Full Moon Parasite Protocol, you may increase the dose temporarily. To learn more about Mimosa Pudica Seed, I recommend reading this article.
Formula 1 is a great supplement that combines the power of organic herbs renowned for their gut enhancing and anti-parasitic benefits in Ayurvedic medicine. This includes neem, vidanga, triphala, holarrhena and clove. This combination is very effective for killing parasites and their eggs.
It helps to support your digestion, immune system, and detoxification. I recommend two capsules twice a day for parasite cleansing. During your Full Moon Parasite Protocol, you may increase the dose temporarily.
BioActive Carbon BioTox
BioActive Carbon BioTox is a binder that grabs up parasitic endotoxins such as gliotoxin, acetylaldehyde, mycotoxins, mold and mold spores. This product is very important to prevent die-off reactions as you kill off the parasites, yeast and bad bacteria.
It contains wild-crafted yucca root and fulvic acid to bind and remove toxins from your gut. I recommend one capsule three times a day. During your Full Moon Parasite Protocol, you may increase the dose temporarily. Increasing this can help you respond better if you aren’t feeling well when you begin the protocol.
Parasite Support Pack
Parasite activity is the highest during the full moon, so I recommend a Full Moon Parasite Protocol around the full moon using the three supplements you’ve just learned about. Here is how to complete a Full Moon Parasite Protocol:
Choose The Length of the Protocol
You can do it for 3, 5, or 7 days. The length of the protocol is based on individual tolerance. If you are a highly sensitive individual, you may just want to start with a 3-day protocol and see how you do with that.
When To Begin
If you are doing the 3-day protocol, start one day before the full moon and end one day after. If you are doing the 5-day protocol, begin two days before the full moon and end two days after. If you are doing the 7-day protocol, start three days before the full moon and end three days after.
Dosage During the Protocol
- Mimosa Pudica Seed: Take 4 capsules twice daily away from meals.
- Formula 1: Take 4 capsules twice daily away from meals.
- BioActive Carbon BioTox: Take 2 capsules three times daily with or without food.
To make these parasite supplements more affordable, I recommend our Full Moon Parasite Pack to save $15 for the same supplements.
Bowel Support During Parasite Cleanse
If you are dealing with constipation or incomplete bowel movement during your parasite cleanse you are not going to feel well. It is really important to move your bowels at least 2 times each day during this period to make sure you are eliminating all the endotoxins and dead parasites.
If you are struggling to move your bowels, try drinking more water throughout the day and consider using a good magnesium supplement. I also recommend that you take Intestinal Mover or Oxy-Powder to stimulate your colon and expel the parasites as they die.
Tips for Success During a Parasite Cleanse
Besides using these herbs and trying a Full Moon Parasite Protocol, there are various healthy lifestyle and dietary strategies that you can incorporate to support detoxification and overall health.
Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Following a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet is critical as it can help to support your digestion, reduce cravings and hunger, stabilize your blood sugar and appetite, and support your energy. Remove inflammatory foods, such as refined sugar, refined oils, conventional meat and dairy, processed foods, artificial ingredients, and junk food.
Load up on greens, vegetables, herbs, spices, low-glycemic index fruits, healthy fats, clean animal protein, and fermented foods. To learn more about the anti-inflammatory ketogenic diet I recommend, read this article.
Intermittent fasting is a form of fasting that involves cycling between a period of fasting and feasting during the day. The most popular intermittent fasting method involves 16 hours of fasting including your overnight sleep and an 8-hour window to eat your meals.
If you are experienced with intermittent fasting, you may try an extended fast, which is several days or weeks without eating anything just drinking water and sometimes herbal tea. Both methods support detoxification, metabolic flexibility, healthy blood sugar levels, digestion, energy levels, and cellular repair.
To learn more about intermittent fasting, I recommend reading this article. To learn more about extended fasting, I recommend this article. If you are not reading for an extended fast, you may try some other cleansing and partial fasting strategies. Bone broth fasting, green juice fasting, fat fasting, keto fasting, and the fasting-mimicking diet are examples of these fasting approaches.
Hydration is essential for your health. It also helps to remove toxins from your body. Start your day with 16 to 32 oz of clean purified water and drink throughout the day at least every hour.
Additionally, I recommend that you eat hydrating vegetables and fermented vegetables and drink bone broth, herbal tea, green juice, kombucha, and coconut water to support your body with minerals, enzymes, and probiotics along with hydration.
Prioritize Sleep and Rest
Sleep and rest are incredibly important if you are doing any sort of detox or cleanse. It helps to support cellular repair and healing. I recommend that you try meditation, journaling, breathwork, time in nature, Epsom salt baths, diffusing essential oils, disconnecting from social media, and simply slowing down.
Make sure to get at least 7 to 9 hours of restful sleep at night. Talk to your family and friends before your parasite detox, so they can support you during this resting and healing time.
Move Your Body
Moving your body is essential for your health. I recommend that you avoid high-intensity and hard workouts during your parasite cleanse, but support your healing with low-intensity and easier movements 20 to 30 minutes a day. I recommend yoga, walking, TaiChi, light elliptical workouts, or easy swimming.
Stay active throughout the day by taking a stroll in the park, going for a walk during lunch, taking a bike ride, walking or biking for short distances instead of driving, playing with your kids and pets, playing backyard games, gardening, dancing to your favorite song, using a standing or treadmill desk, getting up from your chair and stretching regularly, and opting for the stairs instead of the elevator.
Support Daily Bowel Movements
Daily bowel movements are critical in your everyday life but are particularly important during your parasite cleanse to eliminate waste and toxins. Good bowel movements eliminate endotoxins, toxic bile and bad bacteria and parasitic debris.
Constipation will cause an increase in toxic compounds and promote further growth of parasites and bad bacteria and yeast. If you are experiencing constipation or need a little support, I recommend trying Intestinal Mover or Oxy-Powder.
Consider Doing Enemas
Enemas can help to remove putrefied waste that is encased on your colon walls. You may try a variety of enemas, including water enemas, wheatgrass enemas, probiotic enemas, and organic coffee enemas.
Coffee enemas are a great choice during a parasite cleanse as they stimulate your liver as well. You may learn more about coffee enemas by reading this article.
Dry brushing is a great way to support your lymphatic system, remove dead skin cells, support your nervous system, and remove excess fluid from your body. Dry brushing is simple to do and doesn’t cost anything other than the cost of a good brush and most people enjoy how it feels.
To perform dry brushing, get a soft bristle brush and stroke your skin from the extremities towards your heart. To learn more about dry brushing, I recommend reading this article.
Infrared Saunas and Sunbathing
Infrared saunas support detoxification and the release of toxins through sweating and support cellular repair. To learn more about infrared sauna, I recommend reading this article. Sunbathing also enhances detoxification through sweating, enhances immunity through a boost of vitamin D, and stimulates deeper cellular cleansing.
Make sure to get at least 15 minutes of sunshine in as long as the weather allows it. Additionally or on a gloomy day, you may also try red light therapy, which you can learn more about by reading this article.
Parasites in your body can become a serious problem. Parasitic infections can cause serious symptoms and health issues, including digestive issues, fatigue, brain fog, headaches, iron deficiency anemia, nutrient deficiency, weakness, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, adrenal fatigue, liver problems, leaky gut syndrome, and more.
Cleansing your body from parasite infections is critical. During the full moon, parasite activity is higher than normal. I recommend that you use this to your advantage by doing a Full Moon Parasite Protocol. Follow my tips and try a Full Moon Parasite Protocol to support your health and well-being.
If you want to work with a functional health coach, I recommend this article with tips on how to find a great coach. At my clinic, we offer long-distance functional health coaching programs to help you achieve your health goals.