It's not common to have intestinal parasites if you don't travel outside of the States often. But even so, the CDC says approximately 13-14% of all Americans have at least one intestinal parasite. That equates to about 46 million Americans living with a parasite inside them and may not even know it!
So, how do you know if you have one?
You could have an intestinal parasite, or several types of parasites if you experience 3 or more of these things:
Constipation, Diarrhea, or Gas
Diarrhea while outside of the country
What you believed was just food poisoning, but your digestive tract and not felt the same since
Unexplained eczema, psoriasis, or other red or bumpy blemishes in patches on your body
Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
Frequent aches and muscle pains not related to exercise
Feeling exhausted often
Teeth Grinding while sleeping
Having diagnosed IBS, Crohn's Disease, or Ulcerative Colitis
Iron-Deficiency or Anemia
Unexplained rash that doesn't seem to completely go away
When I first started looking into intestinal parasites and parasitic infections, you could imagine my dismay when I started checking off all those boxes for myself...
rash and bumps on upper arm and shoulders
frequent soreness and muscle pains
waking up every 2-3 hours each night
feeling lethargic throughout the day
constipation and bloating or bad gas that just smelled worse than one should
what I thought was food poisoning or just too much of something but happened every month almost
I had way more than 3 symptoms. I was convinced I had a parasite living inside me in that instant; that was enough for me to start exploring safe and healthy ways to find and expel them if I did have a parasite.
As a nutritionist, I know the food we eat plays a large role in our body's immunity and ability to fight off infections. I understand the risks of not properly washing your produce, eating foods in the "danger zone" and consuming raw meats. I have a fairly clean and healthy diet, even before my parasite research took birth. I had been Vegetarian for 5 years, at that point, and was very conscious of what I put in my body. I haven't traveled outside of the US yet, unfortunately. But having seen all the "signs and symptoms" I had just checked off from the CDC's symptoms list, I was convinced somehow I had a parasitic infection or a monstrous tape worm inside me at the very least. I was not going to take risks with this.
I learned about this cleanse that you can do at home, that not only helps rid intestinal parasites, but it's also really good for your liver, kidneys, and digestive tract. Plus, it could be taken daily as an addition to my multi-vitamin and other supplements, or just be used for the 10 to 30-day cleanse, as needed and stored for later.
This worked well for me because I didn't want to worry about any negative affects of taking this herbal supplement, past the cleanse phase, if I saw results and liked it.
Having worked in the vitamin and supplement industry for 2 years prior to trying this cleanse, I really valued quality ingredients, natural herbs, and no synthetics or chemical additives in my supplements.
I want to know exactly what I am ingesting, as well as where the ingredients are derived from - earth or lab. And of course, before I try it, it will have many reviews and trials so I can decide for my own based off that info.
I am not the risk taker when it comes to supplements or anything I put in my body really.
I like my herbs, vitamins and minerals to be clean and whole, just like I like my food. And that can be a little more challenging to find these days...
This is why I share my experience here, in case there is someone else out there, like me, who really values true ingredients that are whole, clean, natural, and effective. This blog post is for those who think they may have a parasite, or just want to be sure they don't, and could use a good colon cleanse. If you are like me, and don't just jump on the bandwagon as soon as the product is fresh on the market - you like to wait and watch first, then this blog is for you!
I keep it real and honest here in the hopes that my review helps someone find what they are looking for and get all of their questions answered.
So, you might be wondering, well.....did she have a parasite or not?
The short answer, no, I didn't have any parasites exit my body that I noticed. Which I found is scientifically called "helminths" or protozoa. Very anti-climactic, I know.
I will admit that I was not super thorough in my search for live or dead parasites in my fecal matter. I didn't have the time, patience, or PPE to assist with that. I did, however, take a solid and long look at it all in the bowl each time. :)
Hey, I told you I would be real and honest here....maybe a little raw too, but sometimes you got to know the nitty-gritty for it to make sense.
And according to the Mayo Clinic, you will not always see the parasite(s) leave the body, although often times you do. So, I can neither confirm nor deny I actually had a parasite or parasitic infection in my gut. But I can say, I have never felt better with my gut and digestive health in over a year since I first started taking these liquid drops!
I rotate on and off Paraguard drops every 2 months or so, and take 4-6 weeks "off" from it at a time. I'm not very religious with it, but I do like to keep it in my rolodex of supplements.
I have not had ANY constipation or diarrhea since my first month of starting these drops. Literally, not one rough day on the john, outside a nasty hangover I caused upon myself back in January 2023. Since starting this cleansing journey early last year, I have learned so much more about my gut health and have continued on the path to maintaining my good gut health.
So, I'm not saying that these drops changed everything for me and that I can only thank this one supplement for all my success - far from that actually. But what I am saying is that these drops were a starting point that opened up a new way of life for me, specifically, in taking a leap in learning more about internal health and starting my gut health journey.
Since then, I've been more in tune to how I feel and with what my gut is feeling, including being more passionate about total body healing.
I'm also way less worried about parasites, because I know I'm taking care of my body now, and taking the right precautions as well.
Anyone can get parasites. We all can get sick and there are many ways to find yourself with an unbalanced flora (aka: gut). There is no one-size-fits-all for gut health, but there are ways to help improve and maintain the healthy flora in your body. Paraguard aids in that.
Overall, it's about how well your body functions to maintain your health.
The symptoms I mentioned that I had "checked off" earlier, well, they were ALL gone. Not right away of course, but most stopped or noticeably decreased in just the first month of taking these drops daily. By the end of the first year, I had virtually none of those issues in or on my body any longer. I still don't have any of those issues, nor do I have any bowel discomfort. My bowel movements are frequent and regular with no pain or uncomfortable bloating either!
It's almost like we're not supposed to hurt after we eat, poop, or sleep.
So, do you NEED to do a parasite cleanse? No, not unless you feel like something is 'off' or you have multiple of the symptoms listed above (..and in that case, you might want to just go see a doctor), but it doesn't hurt anything to try..... and then see how you feel afterwards.
You never know if you've just gotten use to feeling the way you feel.
Feeling better, less bloated, less irritable, more 'regular' if ya know what I mean ;), and more familiar with your own body could be just around the corner for you.
So How Can You Have and Maintain a Healthy Gut?
Rather than trying to continually purge your body of parasites, that may or may not exist, every month of the year, take breaks and cleanse or detoxify quarterly, or as you see potential symptoms increase.
To maintain a healthy flora, you should increase your leafy greens and consume a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. You can also include a probiotic supplement or live cultures in yogurts, some cheeses, fermented foods, and kombucha.
What's Inside Paraguard Liquid Drops?
A proprietary Blend 77mg, extracts of fennel seed, marshmallow root, black walnut hull, pumpkin seed, slippery elm bark, wormwood herb, clove bud, garlic bulb, oregano leaf oil and peppermint leaf oil, vegetable glycerin, water, natural flavor.
It is certified Vegan and Kosher.
Disclaimer: ParaGuard contains high and powerful doses of strong herbal ingredients and may cause initial discomfort. Please consult with a doctor before taking ParaGuard.
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Eleanor Campbell, CEO of Body by Elle, Nutritionist, Trainer and Mother