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Parasitic infections & Pathogenic bacteria

This is when a parasite lives in your intestines and eats your food.

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What is it?

A parasite is an organism that feeds off another organism. Unlike friendly bacteria, parasites are harmful to your health. They challenge your immune system, eat the food you consume and damage your gut.   

There are lots of different parasites, including both protozoa and worms. It’s true that dirty water is a common source of parasites, but they can also be found in undercooked meat or on contaminated food.

Symptoms of parasitic infection can show up in the digestive system, leading to constipation, diarrhoea, gas and bloating. They can also cause symptoms outside the gut, such as skin issues, fatigue and aching muscles.

Why does it happen?

Parasitic infections can occur for a few reasons:

Drinking contaminated water.

This typically happens when people travel to developing countries. People avoid tap water, but forget that ice cubes can also carry parasites.

Eating contaminated food.

Parasites have been found on fruits and vegetables. They’ve also been found in raw meat, and can survive if the meat isn’t cooked thoroughly.

By cross-contamination.

If a person has a parasite, it’s easy to pass them along. If they don’t wash their hands after using the loo, for example, they can transfer microscopic eggs onto anything they touch.

Think you have a parasite? Talk to our experts.

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What can I do about it?

If you have a parasitic infection, you’ll likely need help from an expert to get rid of it. Here’s where to start:


Take a stool test.

This can identify whether you’re carrying parasites, and what kind they are.

Looking at a sample of stool

Eat anti-parasitic foods.

Certain foods can help fight back against parasites. These include garlic, onion, pumpkin seeds and herbs such as oregano and thyme.

Anti-parasitic foods

Eat probiotic foods.

An imbalanced gut microbiome is more susceptible to parasitic infection. Support your microbial diversity by eating probiotic foods daily.

Taking probiotics

Associated symptoms of parasites

Weight loss
Increased appetite
Abdominal pain

Or take with our free online symptom survey:

Healthpath can help you to identify what’s going on:

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