Ask most people about parasite contamination, and they’ll likely think about foreign countries and uncooked food—but the reality is that parasites occur because of more reasons than that. What a lot of us don’t realize is that there are many different types of parasites, from the well-known round worm to less common varieties. “Parasites can range from tiny organisms, visible only by microscope to long tapeworms (several feet long),” says Wellness Mama. “They can enter the body through food, drink, contact with animals or infected person, or even just skin contact, and parasite infections can last for years.” What’s more, there are some parasites and yeast organisms that are just naturally occurring in the body, usually kept in check by the immune system but occasionally allowed to grow because of what a person eats and/or is exposed to. Whether you’ve been diagnosed with parasites or just think you may have them, are you wondering where they came from? How do people get contaminated in the first place? To help answer these questions, here’s a look at some top causes of parasite infection:
- Travel: Visit an area known to have parasites and/or poor sanitation conditions, and you’re more likely to get them yourself.
- Poor Sanitation: Food and/or water that aren’t properly sanitized are ripe breeding ground for parasites. They can easily end up having things like dust particles, fecal matter or other contaminants on their surfaces, making it easy for you to be infected when you ingest those materials.
- GMOs: Another potential cause of parasitic infection is less about exposure and more about what you’re eating. Consider GMOs, for example, which are prevalent in many different food products today. “Rope worms may be a byproduct of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) present in food,” says Global Healing Center. “Perhaps the altered DNA from GMOS have combined with human intestinal cells and bacteria to form a new life form.” If this is indeed a cause of parasitic damage, sticking to an organic diet is more important than expected.
- Weakened Immunity: While a weak immune system doesn’t cause parasites, it does make it easier to contract one.
- Insects: Insects can act as a vector and transmit parasites once they bite a human. Malaria is one such protozoa that is often spread by mosquitoes.
As you can see parasites can be spread in multiple ways. Hopefully you are more aware of the ways they can be transmitted—whether from food, water, waste, fecal matter, sexual contact, blood, or insects—and can take steps to minimize their impact on your health. Parasites are a real threat and it seems most are unaware of their existence or doubt that they may be infected, when in reality almost everyone is or has been.