What are Internal Parasites and How Do We Get Them?
What are Internal Parasites?
Internal parasites can wreak havoc on the body if not treated. Tapeworms, pinworms, roundworms, and protozoa are some of the most common internal parasites people get, and these are all intestinal parasites. The ways you get internal parasites are very clear cut and easily avoidable, but it does require awareness.
Parasites live in expected places, such as poorly sanitized food and water and areas that consistently have poor sanitization. Therefore, you can easily acquire tenants in your intestines by visiting or living in these areas, or by having poor hygiene yourself. If you have pets, you also are at risk for picking up parasites. It is important to keep an eye on your pets to ensure they do not get an internal parasite because if they do get infected not only will they suffer, but you could get the parasite as well if you forget to wash your hands after petting or cleaning up after them. One type of parasite, called a fluke, is so small that they can float right through your skin if you swim in a pond infested with them. There are even parasites that float in the air. Needless to say, parasites are everywhere.
While children and the elderly are more likely to contract internal parasites due to their typically lower immune systems, anyone can get internal parasites if they aren’t careful. The good news? With a strong immune system, your body can fight off some parasites. The bad news? Most times you’ll need some sort of help. (That’s where we come in!) Unfortunately, it is possible to have internal parasites, sometimes for years, without even knowing you have them. One researcher estimates that 75% of the world’s population has internal parasites and most do not even realize it. As years pass, their population can continue to grow in your intestines and cause problems that you may not even realize you have until you find you’re in severe abdominal pain.
While some internal parasites cannot reproduce in the human body, many parasites can and unless they are stopped they could take over. If you suspect you may have internal parasites, take a look at our symptoms and diagnosis article to learn more.