Updated: Jun 2, 2020
Low-grade, persistent symptoms are the ones most likely to be dismissed as insignificant.
This is unfortunate, as long term symptoms like dairy sensitivity, anxiety, frequent headaches and overall tiredness are frequently the only symptoms of a parasitic infection.
Most people only think of gastrointestinal symptoms as being the only possible symptom of a parasite infection - this is not true.
Parasite infections can cause many systemic symptoms and in some cases digestive symptoms are not experienced.
It is only when the infection is correctly identified and successfully treated that these symptoms disappear and the patient can enjoy more energy, better digestive health and overall improved health.
In this article we will be focusing on a particular kind of parasitic infection. Strongyloides (also called 'threadworm') is a common, yet treatable infection that causes many symptoms.
A Strongyloides or 'Threadworm' Infection
Transmission can result from walking barefoot on contaminated soil, not washing your hands after you use the bathroom (fecal oral transmission) or ingesting food with parasite eggs. (5)
Symptoms of a Threadworm Infection
tired all the time
dairy allergy or dairy intolerance
coughing unrelated unrelated to cold or flu
asthma or asthma-like symptoms
rectal or vaginal itching (especially at night)
threadworms in stool (they look like little threads)
weight loss or difficulty losing weight
bedwetting (especially in children)
The Life Cycle Of Threadworm
Threadworm is one of the only helminths (worms) to have its entire life cycle inside humans. This means that parasites can reproduce and create a cycle of constant infection and reinfection.
Once the infective larvae has penetrated into your body, it can travel through your blood stream and into your lymphatic system.
From there, they can travel into your lungs and bronchial tree where you then swallow these larvae to have them hatch and then migrate to the intestines.
From the large intestine they can then penetrate the intestinal wall and then start the whole cycle again. Adult worms can live in the body for up to five years.
Low grade infection can persist for decades and cause symptoms long after initial infection. (6)
In one instance, a World War II ex prisoner of war was shown to have symptoms of threadworm from an initial infection 40 years prior. (7)
Risk Factors For A Threadworm Infection (8)
history of taking long term steroid medications like prednisone
taking biologic therapies