Nutritionist, Herbalist, Ayurvedic practitioner, Closed Colonic Hydrotherapist, Lecturer, Speaker, Author, Registered Nurse - helping the community for over 30 years.

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By Michèle Wolff B.H.Sc Naturopathy, Dip. Colonics and Author of ‘Digestive Solutions’

Not only is our intestine 150cm long but it’s also home to several hundred species of good bacteria. These good bacteria account for 30-50% of the volume of our poo! Fun facts aside, when bad bacteria disrupt this healthy balance, illness can develop and build a nest for parasites and fungus to grow in.

A lack of good bugs or an increase of bad bugs can negatively impact our physical and emotional wellbeing with parasites living in our bodies for up to 25 years.

What are good bugs?

Surprisingly, there are such things as good bugs living in us. Live beneficial micro-organisms, the good bugs, are known as probiotics can produce B vitamins which have a profound effect on healthy nerves. Prebiotics stimulate the growth and activity of the healthy probiotics.

Prebiotic foods that promote healthy probiotics include Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus, chicory root, dandelion greens, onion, garlic, leek, unrefined barley and Peruvian yacon syrup.

The good micro-organisms prevent bad bacteria, nasty parasites and fungus from overtaking the gut which is where 70% of our immune system lives.

What are the bad bugs?

A parasite is an organism that can live off and reproduce in you. Parasites can survive for years in the human body and not only invade the intestines but penetrate your organs, lymph and even your brain! These bad bugs deplete vital nutrients in our body and produce toxins that require great amounts of energy from our organs to eliminate.

Parasites can range in size from microscopic to 10m long tapeworms that are often undetected. Our body tries very hard to adapt to their toxins and the waste that is excreted by them.

What causes a parasite?

  • Travel – most often through contaminated water
  • Poor diet
  • Stress
  • Poor hygiene
  • Exposure to infected people or pets
  • History of antibiotic use
  • Excessive consumption of undercooked meat or raw fish
  • Walking barefoot on contaminated soil

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • Upset gut: chronic constipation, gas and bloating, diarrhoea, nausea and tummy pain
  • Allergy: Parasites can irritate the intestine and trigger the body’s immune system to inflame and cause allergic reaction
  • Tiredness: Toxins caused by parasites exhausts our organs and nervous system leading to fatigue. Iron stores are also depleted impacting our blood levels
  • Poor hair & skin: Itching, sores, swelling and skin rashes. Dry, brittle and loss of hair
  • Moods: Anxiety, depression and lack of focus prompted by toxins
  • Muscle & joint problems: Parasites travel to soft tissue including our joints and muscles where they can manifest cysts and inflammation

Parasites can cause a variety of symptoms or no symptoms at all. Usually the first symptoms are abdominal symptoms like tummy pain, gas, diarrhoea and bloating. A professional diagnosis is best to treat them.

How to manage parasites?

  • Eat fresh whole foods and keep carbohydrates low
  • Avoid refined and processed food, sugar, soft drinks, caffeine, dairy and fruit juice
  • Consuming fermented foods that promote probiotics
  • Minimise stress
  • Consume protein at every meal
  • Deworm pets
  • Practice good hygiene

Often antibiotics are used to elminate parasites; however, antibiotics kill off the good bugs as well as the bad. When you take antibiotics it can take six months of having probiotic supplements to restore and replenish an initial healthy gut. Bad bugs are on the increase and are very detrimental to our health if not detected. Integrating a healthy diet of fresh, unrefined and fermented cultures to our diet can help maintain a healthy gut and avoid the invasion of parasites.

Michèle Wolff is a leading health practitioner and a qualified naturopath, nutritionist, herbalist and nurse. Her new book ‘Digestive Solutions – 101 Proven Methods to Solve Your Tummy Problems Naturally’ is available from bookstores and good online booksellers.

Visit RRP $39.95

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