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Doctor insights on: Parasites

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Dr. Douglas McNeill Dr. McNeill
Family Medicine
45 years in practice
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
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Are all parasites bad?

Are all parasites bad?

Usually yes: A parasite by definition gets needed food or support at the expense of the host. This is different from symbiotic relationship where two organisms each benefit (see lichen for an example).

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Dr. Gregory Hines Dr. Hines
Family Medicine
20 years in practice
Saba University School of Medicine (coursework from 1/1/02 to present)
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What are signs of a parasite?

What are signs of a parasite?

It depends: Parasites can affect where they infect. They can affect the bowel, liver, or even the brain, and depending on where they infect, cause symptoms based on that.

Dr. Martin Raff Dr. Raff
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
52 years in practice
University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine
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How to tell if I have parasites?

How to tell if I have parasites?

Parasites: If you mean intestinal parasites, the best thing to do is to see a doctor with a list of all symptoms and then have your stool examined by an expert in this area.

Dr. Bahman Omrani Dr. Omrani
Pain Management
13 years in practice
Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine
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Medication to treat parasites?

Medication to treat parasites?

Anti-parasitics: Depends on what type of parasite it is...Nematode, cestode, amoeba, protozoa, and others. Would generally not treat a parasite infection without knowing what it is, unless type of parasite infection present based on symptoms, geography, epidemiology, risk factors, exposure....

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Dr. Claude Parola Dr. Parola
Internal Medicine
36 years in practice
Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine
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How can I tell if I have parasites?

How can I tell if I have parasites?

Test: Some symptoms may be indicative of parasites, such as diarrhea, peri-anal itch, elevated level of certain blood cell type (eosinophil) etc..., but to definitely know if you have parasite is to identify it by specific tests (stool for ova and parasites, scotch tape test, anti body test and so on), if you think you may be infested with a parasites, tell your doctor about it.

Dr. Joel Gallant Dr. Gallant
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
32 years in practice
UC San Francisco School of Medicine
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How to determine if I have parasites?

How to determine if I have parasites?

Stool sample: If you are referring to intestinal parasites, you submit stool samples to the lab for ova and parasite (o&p) exam.

Dr. Heidi Fowler Dr. Fowler
Psychiatry
21 years in practice
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine
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How can I find the cause of parasites?

Parasites: Each parasite has a different mode of transmission. Identification of the actual organism should shed light on how it might have been transmitted. Take care.

Dr. Ed Friedlander Dr. Friedlander
Pathology
40 years in practice
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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What are common parasites to worry about?

Why worry?: Wear shoes, cook your food. Much internet talk about "parasites" is just made up to scare you.

Dr. Heidi Fowler Dr. Fowler
Psychiatry
21 years in practice
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine
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What to do if I think I have parasites!!?

Seek: Medical evaluation. Parasitic infections should be treated.

Dr. Martin Raff Dr. Raff
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
52 years in practice
University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine
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Is garlic good against the bowl parasite?

Parasites: There are suggestions that large amounts of garlic may have some antiparasitic effects but am unaware of any definitive clinical studies other than a shorting of duration of infeciton in children with some tapeworms.

Dr. Tony Ho Dr. Ho
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
10 years in practice
Texas Tech University School of Medicine
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How can you find out if you have parasites?

Depends: Why do you think you have parasites? If you came from a place were intestinal parasites are common, you can get a stool o&p exam; there are other blood tests and exams that can be done, but the core question remains why you think you have parasites, and where are these parasites located?

Dr. Gurmukh Singh Dr. Singh
Pathology
45 years in practice
University of Pune, Armed Forces Medical College
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What are the symptoms of internal parasites?

Depends on parasite: There are many different types of parasites that may live in the intestine. With a light parasite burden, there may be no symptoms. With a heavier burden there may be vague abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, anemia, allergic symptoms, peri-anal itching, biliary and intestinal obstruction etc.

Dr. Joshua Batt Dr. Batt
Emergency Medicine
5 years in practice
Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine
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Can I get parasites from uncooked vegetables?

Yes: It is generally advised that you rinse all fresh produce before eating it. If you are still concerned that it may be contaminated, cooking the food item can kill possible parasites and bacteria. Do not contaminate foods by using knives, counters or cutting boards that may have come in contact with other infectious sources such as raw meat or poultry.

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Dr. Ed Friedlander Dr. Friedlander
Pathology
40 years in practice
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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What diet is best for someone with parasites?

Treat the parasites: Generally, eat sensibly, avoiding the very greasy, salty, and sugary stuff, as anyone would. Real parasites once diagnosed (malaria, babesia, helminths) are best handled with specific medications. I hope that the person on whose behalf you are asking isn't the victim of a scam like "Live Cell Analysis" in which they're told they harbor innumerable horrid little creatures. Best wishes.

Dr. Robert Kwok Dr. Kwok
Pediatrics
29 years in practice
Baylor College of Medicine
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Are there safe home remedies to treat parasites?

Are there safe home remedies to treat parasites?

Not in the U.S.: Vermox is the medication for pinworms. In the U.S., vermox is by prescription only. I have heard that in some other countries, pinworm medication is over-the-counter. For other types of worms, blood parasites, and skin parasites, testing is needed and can be ordered by the doctor. Then treatment is with prescription medicines.

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Dr. Gurmukh Singh Dr. Singh
Pathology
45 years in practice
University of Pune, Armed Forces Medical College
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Does taking garlic really work against parasites?

Unlikely: Garlic, despite all the claims, is only good for keeping people away from you.

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Dr. Heidi Fowler Dr. Fowler
Psychiatry
21 years in practice
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine
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Can you tell me how are human parasites detected?

Parasites: Visually, stool sample analysis, testing blood for antibodies & sometimes radiologic imaging.

Dr. Michael Ein Dr. Ein
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
44 years in practice
McGill University Faculty of Medicine
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How can you most effectively eradicate parasites?

Anti-parasitic med: Take the appropriate anti-parasitic drug for the infecting pathogen.

Dr. Kay Nelson Dr. Nelson
Family Medicine
years in practice
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How would one know if one has parasites present?

Stool: If you are talking about intestinal worms, check your stool. For pinworms, place scotch tape sticky side out near your anus at bedtime and check tape in AM. For other types of parasites, see PCP

Dr. Bac Nguyen Dr. Nguyen
Family Medicine
19 years in practice
Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
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Is there a test to determine if I have a parasite?

Is there a test to determine if I have a parasite?

Just few examples..: Intestinal parasitic infections can often be diagnosed by examining the stool for eggs and parasites under a scope. Other parasitic infections i.e. Cutaneous larvae migran as pictured here--no testing needed! Trichinosis is an infection with larvae of a roundworm trichinella spiralis from infected-uncooked pork. This needs muscle biopsy. If u have trouble/concern, consult doc. Good luck.