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Could I possibly have a parasite?

By August 15, 2015 - 12:40pm
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During the past two and a half weeks, I've been in India. I felt completely fine until a few days before our departure day. My stomach was completely upset and I was having the runs at least twice a day. On the day of our departure, I used the bathroom three times before boarding the plane. At first, I wondered if all this constant diarrhea was just because my stomach wasn't able to handle the exotic spices and oil. I went to India six years ago and the same thing happened, the only difference being the timing. But then I started noticing some other things.

Parts of my body began to ache such as my legs and back. I blamed it on my bed because the Indian mattresses were different. When I got to India and slept on the bed, the first few days were difficult. The mattress was hard and my legs and back hurt from the stiffness until I got accustomed to it. So I assumed that the transition from stiff to soft was, once again, causing some aching.

Next, I had this dry patch of skin on the side of my face that would normally never get dried. I blamed it on the sun thinking I didn't moisturize correctly. But today my suspicions were swayed dramatically.

I just finished using the bathroom in the morning. The constant diarrhea finally stopped and I got back on a normal track again. When I looked down, I saw something thready and white in my stool (I don't mean the seat). I debated that perhaps I could possibly have a parasite and searched online. Many websites said that some of the symptoms for a parasitic infection were aching limbs, abdomen pain, dry patches of skin, diarrhea, and constipation. It also stated that bits of white can show up in stools as it is infective bugs covered with inflammatory exudate.

My stomach doesn't hurt much anymore, maybe once or twice and that's it. My diarrhea problem is nearly gone and no other part of my body is dry except for my face. Yet I can't shake the thought of a parasite. Do I have one or am I dramatizing the situation? I really hope to god that it's all just in my head. A doctor appointment won't be possible until two days from now and I can't go that long without an answer. It would be great if I could get some opinion on this. Whether good or bad, it'll put my mind at a little more ease.

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Hello scarletoak,
You do indeed have symptoms pointing to having a parasite. The fact that you were traveling in India makes the situation more serious. The danger of parasites is that although your symptoms are going away it is still possible for the parasite to still be present because in some cases people do not have any symptoms for years. So, you need to know for sure and the only way to know for sure is to be diagnosed by a doctor. I strongly suggest that you see a doctor soon. There are many holistic treatments if you do not want to take strong medication.
There is more information at the link below:

August 15, 2015 - 11:20pm
(reply to fchacon)

Thank you for responding. If you don't mind, I do have one more question. I wanted to know how long it takes for parasites to grow and what the symptoms are for the next stage of growth. Suppose I do have a parasite and it's getting bigger and bigger. I'm assuming all that diarrhea must have been one stage of growth. Does that mean there are other things I should look out for in a second stage of growth? I know this should've been a question for my doctor but I forgot to ask :/.

August 17, 2015 - 10:02am
Guide (reply to scarletoak)

There are two types of intestinal parasites: helminths and protozoa. Helminth parasites (ringworm, pinworms and tapeworms) do not multiply and can be eliminated through your stool. Protozoa parasites (giardia and cryptosporidium) are more dangerous because they do multiply and can cause serious infections.
So the symptoms are have will be directly related to which kind of parasite you have. But like I said you can have a parasite for years without any symptoms at all. One of the more serious symptoms, however, is dramatic weight loss. Other symptoms will include: diarrhea, gas, bloating, itchy skin, vomiting, fatigue, stools containing blood and abdominal pain.

August 17, 2015 - 10:41am
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