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Could You Have Worms?

You’re going to love this one! When was the last time you were de-wormed? No, not your dog or cat but you personally? And how about your kids? Have you ever been dewormed? My mother used to de-worm us twice a year and I did the same for my children, although I must say I kinda fell down on the job in the last few years they were all at home. The thing is, people need to be de-wormed just as often as their pets. The world is full of parasites and the chances of acquiring them, however clean you are, are high. For instance, a simple lick from your pet, a barefoot walk on your lawn, a swim in a reservoir or a pool with untreated water or negligence on your part to wash hands thoroughly before eating/preparing food after gardening or unwashed salad or untreated drinking water/milk/fluids or under cooked meat can bring about worms. Not to mention your children going to school!

Now the pertinent question arises; how often should I deworm my family and myself? A quick or thorough search on the Internet may not bring you the answer to your question. There are thousands of sites to guide you through deworming schedules of horses and pets, but you won’t be able to find a definite answer for the deworming interval or schedule to be adopted for the human being. Now, the answer to the question is that in most cases, deworming once every six months is sufficient.

Mebendazole/albendazole in suspension or chewable tablet form is the conventional drug of choice and the side effects are few and those side effects that there are, are usually caused by dead worms being expelled from the body, rather than by the drug itself. (OMG!)

For more accurate information, consult with your primary physician to know the prevalence of the parasites in your area, the deworming interval that should be adopted, the deworming medicine that should be taken and its dosage needed to keep the parasites at bay. Inform the physician about the allergies and existing diseases/pregnancy that you have, before your physician charts down the prescription.

If you are wondering about the possiblity of whether or not you have worms, ask yourself these questions: Have you ever eaten undercooked meat? Dairy? Beef from a fast food restaurant? How about raw food such as a salad that you did not clean yourself? Have you ever had sushi without the wasabi? Ever had raw eggs? Ever had cooked eggs (even though the eggs are cooked, there is still egg on the utensil you used that is undercooked)? Do you eat pork, which, like chicken and their eggs, are a huge parasite carrier? The same can be said for ground beef. Have you ever eaten at a buffet? Have you ever eaten dirt? Does your child, or have you, ever attended daycare? Did you suck your thumb as a child? Do you own a dog or a cat? Have you ever played with a kitten or puppy that hadn't been 'wormed'? Changed diapers, or washed someone else’s rear end without washing your hands? Do you have a ferocious appetite, or always just never seem to get enough to eat? Have you ever had digestion problems? Circulation problems? How many times have you eaten a meal without properly washing your hands? Did you even wash your hands? Do you eat while driving at the same time? The more "yesses" you answer to these questions, the higher the probably that you have some breadsnatchers living within you.

Where do worms live in humans? If we are lucky, they live in the intestines in small numbers and stay there without causing much harm. However, in a good number of us, for whatever reason, the worms will leave the intestines and begin to crawl around in the body, get into the lymph system, or their eggs will get carried somewhere else in your body by your bloodstream. Note that if you have parasites in the lymph system, it'll make every disease much worse because now you cannot defend yourself properly and it will also cause inflammation as the antibodies are constantly trying to kill off a bacteria or virus that is actually living on something much bigger - a worm. Additionally, for someone with cancer or a dysfunctional immune system, you especially want to keep the lymph system clear, or else you will be prone to infection. In the case of a parasite infection, the worms can go to the lungs causing problems, the heart and cause distress, endocrine organs and make them malfunction, and even the brain, causing mental symptoms. At any rate, since worms live in just about all of us, why not purge the little boogers?

Most doctors, and most parents for that matter, are not trained on how to properly treat worms, and many wrongly assume that it’s only something to be concerned with in other countries, or in children. Remember, we were all children at one time. If you picked up worms as a child and were never treated, the chances are extremely high that they are still in you.

Many infections are picked up while we were children, only to give us major problems later when we become adults.


Herbs can be used to treat worms; black walnut, wormwood (the prima donna of worm killers), garlic, sage (yes, the same herb used in your Thanksgiving dressing), ginger, castor oil, pau d' arco, thyme (another herb found in your cabinet), bitter lemon (actually, this is a vegetable found in Indian markets that looks like an ugly cucumber), milk thistle herb to support the liver (but doesn't kill anything but can protect the liver during a killoff), ginger, peppermint, and the list goes on. Some people simply take a tablespoon of castor oil each month and don't bother to go beyond. There should be no harm, however, in occasionally including some herbs like thyme, garlic, ginger, or peppermint, pau d' arco, or taking a tablespoon of castor oil, etc. in your diet.

What are the symptoms of a worm or parasite infection? People with a persistent parasite/worm infestation tend to have blood problems, especially anemia, muscle and joint complaints, mood problems, bloating, itchy anus at times, digestive complaints, heart and lung problems if it has spread, discomfort in the stomach or liver area, or they may not have any symptoms at all. They strongly resemble the symptoms of allergies. Stomach acid, which is suppose to kill worm eggs, will set you up for it if it is low, and can also give you asthma symptoms. Know that the symptoms of having too much stomach acid are exactly the same as not having enough. When it comes to a major worm problem, I suggest to really paying attention to the symptoms at night, which can include tooth grinding and clenching, and lots of drooling. The latter are also symptoms of being under stress while sleeping, but if they coincide with digestive complaints, beware.

I’m suddenly feeling itchy all over and a bit nervous; or is that nauseous?! I promise I will never ever – ever – eat anything again before washing my hands. Teach your children well; there are all sorts of little creatures and bugs in the world and it seems they like to live inside all of us, and hey, a spoonfull of castor oil never killed anyone (except worms).

Author: Kathryn Hartwell


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