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Parasitic Infection and Your Body

Parasitic Infection are more common than we think. This happens due to the absence of symptoms of their invasion into the body and a lack of knowledge in this area. It may seem that this problem exists only in developing countries. However, different parasites are around us and we need to stay alert and informed about their presence, diagnostics and treatment.

What is a Parasitic Infection in Humans

Parasites are relatively small organisms that are always looking for a host to live in. They utilize the resources of the host for development and reproduction.

Sometimes these processes go unnoticed, while in other cases the life of parasites ruin the body of the host causing major health issues.

Types of Parasitic Infections

Humans are exposed to various parasites that are transmitted via food and drinks, items of personal hygiene, blood, sexual and other contacts, etc. Children are the most vulnerable group. However, among adults, parasites also happen quite often.


This group is represented by various one-cell organisms that can attack different organs and systems of humans. Thus, among the most common types are giardiasis that is caused by Giardia protozoa, malaria, toxoplasmosis, trichomoniasis, amebiasis, etc.


Helminths or worms are quite large organisms that often live in the intestines but may also affect other tissues and organs. Scientists classify them as flatworms, tapeworms, thorny-headed and roundworms.


One more types of parasite live on the skin of humans and include insects and other creatures, such as mosquitos, ticks, fleas and mites. They are especially hard to notice and diagnose.

Common Parasitic Infection Symptoms

What signs and disturbing symptoms are telling us about the presence of some undesired guests in the body? Actually, they are numerous but not very specific. For instance, constant fatigue may not be associated with this issue.

Thus, it is worth knowing all basic symptoms and paying attention to their combinations. If you have more than one and other diseases are not diagnosed, then it is high time to check for parasites.

Gastrointestinal issues

The majority of parasites, namely helminths, attack the digestive system. Therefore, it suffers the most and the person may experience constipation or diarrhea, pain of different localization and changes in appetite.

Fatigue and weakness

This symptom is one of the most common and challenging for the diagnostics. As parasites stole the valuable nutrients and energy from your body, you start to feel exhausted without any obvious reason. In addition, the body tries to get rid of them, activating the immune system and inflammatory response. This also contributes to the feeling of weakness and fatigue.

Weight loss

Usually, infected people experience abrupt weight loss even when their diet and everyday activity stay the same. It may be felt as a positive change. However, if there were no attempts to lose weight, this requires attention and finding a reason.

Skin issues

On the one hand, there are so-called ectoparasites that live on the skin and damage it. Their presence is usually associated with different types of rash, pimples, itching, etc. On the other hand, other aliens badly influence the digestive system and the body as a whole. Loss of vitamins and minerals due to their presence also affects the skin badly.

Respiratory symptoms

Sometimes parasites can invade the respiratory system or spend in its organs some period of their development. This may cause cough, sneezing and other symptoms that are not readily associated with this type of health issue. Still, if the condition persists, it is better to check up.

Neurological symptoms

Moreover, there are cases when parasites affect the brain and cause anxiety, depression and other neurological symptoms. This may be caused by their presence directly in the brain or by the wastes that they produce while staying inside the body for a long time.

What Happens to Your Body During a Parasitic Infection

Even when the infected person does not feel any changes and unpleasant symptoms, the body still reacts to the presence of an alien. The longer the latter stays inside, the more pronounced the reaction and later different symptoms appear.

Immune Response

The immune system is the first to react as it is its main task. It tries to kill undesired guests with special cells. The results of these attempts can be later found in the blood of the patients as antigens to the specific parasite. However, the attacks are not always successful and depend on many conditions.

How parasites can damage tissues and organs

The systems and organs where the parasites live are damaged the most. They badly influence the normal metabolic process and work of the body part. The larger the population, the worse the state of the given organ or tissue.

How parasites can affect nutrient absorption and cause malnutrition

Living in the intestines and other parts of the body, parasites stole all the valuable nutrients, especially vitamins and minerals. After a long period of time, this causes malnutrition and related health issues such as anemia, problems with skin and nails, etc.

Diagnosis for Parasitic Infections

As the presence of parasites in the body often goes unnoticed, early diagnostics is more than important. To do it, one should visit the doctor and get both consultation and advice on further actions.

Imaging Tests

When the results of preliminary diagnostics are not clear, a healthcare provider recommends one of the following methods:

  • Endoscopy or colonoscopy. These techniques utilize a thin flexible tube for examination of the digestive system through the mouth or rectum.
  • X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging or computerized axial tomography give the chance to identify lesions or injuries inside the body that may be caused by different parasites.

These methods are used in case of serious invasions and unclear results of laboratory tests.

Laboratory Tests

At the first stage of diagnostics, doctors usually start with the next methods:

  • A blood test reveals antigens for the most common parasites.
  • A fecal test reveals mostly helminths, their eggs and sometimes parts of their bodies.

Usually, the doctor prescribes them both after the first examination. They are done in the laboratory and the results are obtained very quickly, in a few days or even hours.

You might find this helpful: Stromectol (ivermectin)


In conclusion, parasites are quite more common than we can assume. They are all around us in nature and look for chances to find a host. That is why we require both protection and early diagnostics. Do not neglect any disturbing symptoms and do regular checkups to prevent serious health issues caused by these minor organisms.


What are 3 symptoms of a parasite infection?

The most common symptoms include different digestive issues, abrupt changes in body weight and constant fatigue that occurs without any obvious reason.

What is the most common parasitic infection?

Among the most widespread infections, we should mention Giardia, toxoplasmosis and malaria. The exact common type depends on the country and region.

What are the 3 types of parasitic infection?

Humans can be infected by helminths or worms, different ectoparasites (insects and arthropods) and protozoa or small single-cell parasites.

How to treat parasitic infection?

It is crucial to get the proper diagnostics and the prescription from the physician. The exact treatment depends on the type of invasion, its localization and the overall health condition of the patient.