Usually when I tell clients their test results have shown gut parasites they’re mortified! But it’s not generally as bad as you first think. Read on to discover whether or not parasites may be behind your digestive symptoms, and what to do if you suspect they may be.


What are parasites exactly?

A parasite is an organism that attaches itself to a host and benefits from living there. It will sustain itself by living off the host, sometimes at their expense. However this isn’t as bad as it sounds. Some parasites live on your skin (don’t worry they’re so tiny you won’t know they’re there!) They eat dead skin cells, so in this respect are actually quite helpful. Others, however, live off the food you eat so are not really so helpful.

Sometimes parasites can cause severe disease in humans – malaria for example, is caused by a parasite.

Other examples are –

  • Giardia lamblia
  • Entamoeba histolytica
  • Threadworms
  • Tapeworms
  • Hookworms


Are gut parasites causing your symptoms?

Parasitic infections can happen to anyone. This is regardless of their health status, and happens if they come into contact with infected food or water.

If your gut test results come back showing you have parasites, your immediate reaction is going to be to get rid as soon as possible!

But there’s really no need to panic, as the likelihood is they may have been living with you for a long time, and may or may not be playing a part in your digestive symptoms.


If you’re worried your diet is impacting your gut health, I’d highly recommend downloading my online course The Ultimate Gut Health Programme to help support both your digestive sysem and hormone health, whilst avoiding triggering symptoms.

It’d be impossible to include all you need to know in one blog, but the programme will have all you need to know to ensure you’re soothing your digestive system, whilst eating delicious and filling foods.

Gut parasites and Your Gut Environment

Like other pathogenic bacterial species, whether or not parasites are causing you harm is highly dependent on your overall gut environment.

There are a few species however that are always going to be highly problematic – that’s why it’s always advisable to seek advice from your GP if you experience suspicious symptoms, for instance after travel.

It is estimated that around 80% of us have parasites living in our guts, and these are generally acquired through consuming contaminated food or drink. However if you have ‘dysbiosis’, in other words, imbalanced gut flora, leaky gut syndrome, or compromised immunity you may be more susceptible.

As much as dysbiosis may be caused by parasites, it may be that you had dysbiosis first, which has paved the way for the parasites to flourish. This is why it’s always important to look at the overall health of the gut environment, and take a closer look at what’s going on.


Testing for gut parasites

The only way to tell for sure whether or not parasites may be behind your symptoms is to test. Two species that often crop up when we test are

  • Blastocystis hominis
  • Dientamoeba fragilis

These tend to show up as part of a larger dysbiotic picture. Therefore supporting digestive, and overall health, is key.


Supporting gut health and minimising gut parasites


Sometimes a targeted herbal approach is required to restore balance to the gut, using antimicrobial supplements such as

  • Oregano
  • Berberine
  • Grapefruit seed extract


However, I wouldn’t recommend going straight in with these without testing first, and without guidance from an experienced practitioner. These antimicrobials are potent and may eventually end up negatively impacting your beneficial bacterial colonies.

Supporting the overall health of your gut is key to restoring balance, and consuming the following foods will help you achieve that –


Garlic and onions,  These both contain sulphur compounds which have anti-parasitic properties.

Ginger has antibacterial and antiparasitic effects.


  • Papaya and pineapple are fabulous for gut health and have anti-parasitic effects.


  • Coconut oil is a great gut health all rounder.
  • Probiotic-rich foods such as kefir, natural yogurt and sauerkraut help maintain a healthy balance in the gut.


  • Apple cider vinegar is superb for digestion (however be careful of your teeth).

So, in summary having a parasitic infection is highly likely to be part of a bigger picture of digestive health imbalance, requiring an overall approach to restoring digestive, and general health.


If you would like to speak to me about any aspect of your gut health, then please use this link to book into my diary for a FREE 30 minute chat so I can find out more about what is going on for you.  Alternatively please use the ‘Learn More’ link below.

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