Hookworms are a type of roundworm parasite that invade the body and live in the small intestine. It’s believed that more than 600 million people in the world are infected with a hookworm parasite. Humans can contract hookworm by oral consumption or through the skin.

The size of a hookworm varies, but the one trait they all share is a mouth and teeth. They use their mouth and teeth to latch on the intestinal wall where they will suck nutrients from the host. For this reason, the number one condition hookworms cause is anemia. Anemia is an iron deficiency.

Anemia often causes symptoms like dizziness, fatigue, rapid heart rate, leg cramps, and insomnia. When a person who is not infected by a parasite has anemia, they can remedy the situation with iron supplements and a balanced diet. Supplements and diets will not help a person who has a parasite-related form of anemia.

Other symptoms that can arise thanks to hookworms include gastrointestinal disturbances like gas, bloating, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. You may feel a sense of unease, restlessness, or nervousness. It may be hard to sleep when you have a hookworm infection. The body tends to try and fight off parasites overnight which can leave you feeling exhausted.

While not common, hookworm infections in children can lead to growth retardation and disrupt their development. There are also reported cases of hookworm larvae hatching in the lungs which caused respiratory problems like chronic coughing and pneumonia. It’s even possible for hookworms to circulate through the blood and end up lying dormant in muscle fibers and other organs.

Hookworms tend to be medication resistant and reinfection occurs at a high rate. It’s also notable that a hookworm can survive as long as fifteen years once they reach the intestines. An effective parasite cleanse can flush out the otherwise hard to remove hookworms.

It’s not easy to determine if you have a hookworm infection, but if you are experiencing some of the above symptoms and have ruled out other illnesses, then your best option may be a parasite cleanse. It’s a good idea to treat the entire family at the same time to avoid spreading the parasite and prevent recontamination.