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  • Writer's pictureDr. Kari Young

Facts About Parasites and Autoimmune Disease

Most people do not consider parasites as a potential problem as they navigate their own health challenges. The truth is that many (if not all) people have parasites living in their bodies, while others are suffering from parasitic infection.

Parasites are often overlooked as a potential cause of chronic illnesses, including autoimmune disease. Most medical doctors do not address parasites at all, let alone test for them.

Parasites affect people globally in both developed and undeveloped countries. They are commonly undiagnosed, are difficult to accurately test, and they take a toll on the immune system. Toxins in our environment can exacerbate the parasite problem. Many clients with IBS or autoimmune often also suffer from a parasite overload.

Parasites steal your nutrients and thrive off of the foods you consume. They range in size from microscopic all the way up to a massive 50 feet. Parasites are pathogens, and they are found both on or inside other organisms. They feed on their host and depend on them for nourishment and sustainability.

Parasites are the number one cause of stress on the immune system.

9 Common Symptoms of Parasites

The list of symptoms of parasites is quite vast, and would be impossible to list here.

The most common symptoms include:

  1. Fatigue

  2. Anal itching

  3. Teeth grinding

  4. Gut issues

  5. Seizures

  6. Weak immune system

  7. Food intolerances

  8. Skin issues

  9. Achy joints

Parasites can exist in almost any part of your body, including the brain, gut, liver, kidney, lung, lymph, muscles, organs, and any tissues. Parasites are most active at night and during the full moon, and people experience heightened symptoms during these times.

Parasites are just one of the many toxins and interferences in our bodies that cause cellular inflammation. Cellular inflammation is the root cause of all chronic diseases and autoimmune disorders.

3 Types of Parasites

Parasites are organisms that live in or on a host and feed on that host organism as a direct source of food.

Certain types of parasites can live at the cellular level, and actually inside of blood and fat cells. They can also invade any organ and cause disruption of organ function. This may occur in the brain, gut, liver, or any other organ.

There are three main types of parasites that can cause disease: ectoparasites, helminths, and protozoans.


Ectoparasites are a type of parasite that include blood-sucking arthoposts. These include mosquitoes, bed bugs, fleas, lice, and mites. These parasites can both attach to and burrow under the skin, and are known to cause serious disease.

Some of these parasites are polite enough to leave after just a temporary stay to get their blood meal; while others can only be eradicated with proactive effort, such as lice.


Helminths are parasitic worms that are visible to the human eye. Some are quite large and can grow to over 12 inches in length, while others are small, such as pinworms.

The 3 main types of helminths include:


Roundworms also include hookworms and pinworms. In addition to invading the liver, skin, and lungs, they can also attack the muscles.

Thorny-Headed Worms

Thorny-headed worms are often found in the gastrointestinal tract, lymphatic system and in the bloodstream.


These include the common tapeworms, and they specifically attack certain human organs. They are found in the intestines, lungs and liver. In serious cases of liver invasion, they can cause severe damage to the bile ducts. If you eat raw fish or undercooked pork or beef, you may be exposing yourself to flatworms.

Protozoan Parasites

Protozoan parasites are microscopic organisms that are able to reproduce within the body. This type of parasite is often passed from human to human, and can occur through a fecal-oral route. It can also be transmitted through foods or insects such as mosquitoes.

Protozoan parasites can cause serious disease and symptoms, such as Lyme co-infection, leaky gut, malaria, enlarged spleen and liver, and many more.

How to Prevent Parasites

There are proactive steps you can take to avoid and mitigate exposure to parasites.

Here are 6 of my top tips:

  1. Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat, fish, or poultry.

  2. Avoid cross contamination when preparing food by keeping meat separate from other foods, and keeping cutting boards and utensils clean.

  3. Don’t walk barefoot where the ground may contain feces.

  4. Be cautious when caring for pets. Parasites can be passed through cat litter and from pet fur.

  5. Use toilet seat covers - pinworms love to stick to toilet seats.

  6. Do not drink or bathe in contaminated water.

Clear the Drainage Pathways

If you suspect you have parasites, or have seen them, you can take action to remove parasites within your body. Before starting any detox, it is important to first prepare the body and cells, so that the detox is effective at a cellular level. This is also important to ensure that parasites, their eggs, and body parts can completely clear out of the liver, gut and kidneys.

Getting the drainage pathways cleared is essential. When your body is prepared, you may then implement a safe and effective parasite cleanse.

Establish Healthy Habits

Living with healthy epigenetic lifestyle habits is a great way to begin the healing process.

  • Eat organic grass-fed protein, organic cooked vegetables, and, seasonal fruits

  • Consume plenty of good fats

  • Avoid or completely eliminate sugar (parasites thrive on blood rich in glucose)

  • Stay hydrated by drinking only pure clean water with plenty of electrolytes

  • Get movement in the form of exercise you enjoy in order to stimulate the lymphatic system

  • Get daily sunshine

  • Get plenty of restorative sleep

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