Humans can play host to more than 400 different types of parasites. Yes, you read that right. Four hundred types of creepy critters ranging from single cell amoeba to long, meaty worms! Parasites, by definition, feed off of another organism, often causing the hosting organism some type of harm.

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The numbers describing how wide-spread parasitic infections are can be quite staggering. The famed Dr. Oz has estimated that 90% of the population has some sort of parasite inside of them. The Center for Disease Control estimates that one third of the people on earth are affected by a parasitic organism in their intestines. Some 50 million American children have worm-type parasites.

Here is a list of parasites with links to more information about each. Feel free to share this page with your friends and family.

It’s believed that so many parasitic infections occur because the parasites and their eggs are so easily spread. A parasite can be found in water, in food, on surfaces, even in the air. Humans can ingest them, breathe them in, or even contract them via sexual contact.

It’s been estimated that one in three people do not wash their hands after using a public bathroom. Fecal matter can then be spread to public surfaces like door handles, faucets, and paper towel dispensers. This same fecal matter is a breeding ground for bacteria and parasites.

The intestines are a common area for parasites to congregate. Everything we ingest has to pass through the intestines after going through the stomach on its way to the anus for elimination. Considering that every human has to consume food to survive, it’s no wonder 1/3 of us is believed to have an intestinal parasite.

The two types of parasites that can be found in the intestines are either single-celled organisms known as protozoa or the multi-cellular creatures called helminthes. Helminthes are better known as worms. You may already be familiar with some of the worm parasites.

Flukes, which are also known as flatworms, are the number one parasite that is found in humans. They can occur in many organs including the kidneys, liver, lungs, intestines, and even the heart. They can also be found in the blood where they can exist for years undetected. Some affected people will have symptoms like feeling lethargic, coughing, or swollen glands.

Flukes can exist in the mucus lining in the small intestine for up to a year. They are able to easily spread to other organs wreaking havoc along the way. Flatworms are responsible for deadly diseases like malaria and Schistosomiasis. They have also been known to enter into the central nervous system where they have caused people to have seizures. Continue reading about flatworms here.

One of the largest types of worm parasites is the tapeworms. There are reports of tapeworms in a human digestive track that were thirty three feet long! These segmented worms can release up to a million of their eggs in a single day. The eggs can exist anywhere in the body and cause damage to organs and cause a great amount of conditions.

Tapeworms are contracted by ingesting their eggs. Eggs can be found in human or animal fecal matter and also in undercooked meats and fish. Once you ingest a tapeworm, it will bury its head in your intestines and feed off of the nutrients from the foods that pass through. A tapeworm can survive more than 25 years in a human intestine if they go undetected. A person with tapeworm may have abdominal swelling, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, and may even become malnourished. You can read about other tapeworm facts here.

Some other types of roundworms that are commonly found in humans are hookworms, pinworms, and whipworms. These are all species of nematodes which are an incredibly diverse organism. These parasites can cause diseases like trichinosis. Humans generally contract trichinosis by ingesting undercooked pork which contained a trichina worm.

Hookworms are ingested either in water or contaminated produce. The ingested eggs nest inside the intestines where they feed off the blood there. This can cause a damaging form of anemia to the host. A person with hookworm may feel pain in their stomach, have nausea, or feel uncharacteristically weak due to the lack of iron.

Whipworms are ingested and are usually found on produce that contained traces of contaminated soil. These will make themselves comfortable in your large intestine. They can cause a wide range of unpleasant symptoms like fecal incontinence, bloody stools, anemia, and pain in the stomach area. Whipworms are prevalent amongst children. You can read even more about whipworms here.

The most common intestinal parasitic infection is caused by pinworms. These are typically small, not more than a half inch long and very thin. They carry the nickname of threadworms. The female pinworm waits until the host is asleep before exiting the anus and laying her eggs. This parasite is spread by ingesting those eggs. Remember the hand washing statistic? If one of those people who failed to lather up happens to have pinworm eggs in their anal area they are very likely going to spread those microscopic eggs to all sorts of surfaces. For this reason, pinworms are prevalent in children as they do not always practice the proper hygiene skills. The most telling symptom of a pinworm infection is itching, mainly in the anus. Find out even more about the pinworm parasite here.

The second most common intestinal parasite is called giardia. It is found in contaminated water. Once a person drinks the water, this single-celled parasite will find its way to the small intestine and begin reproducing. A person infected with giardia can experience nausea, diarrhea, belching with a foul aftertaste, stomach pain, and weight loss.

Filaria is a type of roundworm that is not ingested by humans, but rather injected into the bloodstream thanks to pesky mosquitos carrying the parasite. These are more common in tropical regions and are responsible for the disease aptly named filariasis. Other symptoms include a fever and skin infections.

Many people are under the false impression that ringworm is caused by a worm. While ringworm is a parasitic infection, it’s caused by a fungus, not a worm. This fungus affects the skin and leaves lesions that are ring-shaped, often slightly raised, and reddish brown in color. Ringworm is more likely to occur in areas on the body that have moisture such as behind the knees, in the elbows, and in the genital regions. Studies have shown that nearly 20% of the population is affected by ringworm or a similar fungal parasite.

Considering how easy it is to contract parasites and how unpleasant their symptoms can be, it’s not a bad idea to consider a parasite cleanse. Many medical professionals and scientists have conducted studies and firmly believe that some of these parasites play a large role in many diseases we humans are affected with, including cancer. Ridding your body of parasites with a natural cleansing product can be very beneficial to your overall health.