Parasites: Everything You Need to Know

September 27, 2023
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

When parasites come to mind, you probably think about your pets or an exotic vacation where everyone ended up with a stomach bug.

It’s easy to dismiss parasites as a third-world concern, but they are far more prevalent here in the US than you might imagine:

In fact, a study in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene found that 1 in 3 people tested positive for parasitic infections (based on a nationally representative sample of over 2,800 subjects).

I’ve been championing this cause for decades – since my book Guess What Came to Dinner? Parasites and Your Health came out in 1991 – and I’ve only become more and more convinced of the enormous panorama of human health problems that can be traced back to parasites. 

Within our bodies, these organisms consume food and nutrients, produce toxic waste and eventually destroy our tissues and cells. As the most immunosuppressive agent in the human body, parasites produce indole catabolities that push the kidneys and liver to work overtime to excrete them. They acidify the body and slow down metabolism for the excess acids to be stored in fat cells, making weight loss a challenge. In addition, the immune system can go into overdrive, emitting cytokines that can trigger a variety of immune responses, negatively impact neurotransmitters in the brain and contribute to autoimmune concerns. 

So how do you know if you’ve got a parasite problem? The acute symptoms that probably come to mind – diarrhea, digestive upset, fatigue and fever – are often just the tip of the iceberg. Parasites can stick around long after any initial symptoms are gone, wreaking havoc in your body as they multiply. The signs can mimic many other common ailments and parasites often aren’t suspected – take these, for example: fatigue, sleeplessness, weight gain, sugar cravings, hair loss, dark circles under the eyes, skin conditions, joint and muscle aches and pain, food allergies, anxiety.

In this article, you’ll find a comprehensive collection of resources to help you learn more about parasites, the damage they cause, how they’re spread, and what signs to look for. I’ve also included practical tips and advice to parasite-proof your body, diet and lifestyle!

Featured Articles

Take The Parasite Quiz!

Your favorite salad bar may be a breeding ground for parasites that make you fat, sick and tired. Catherine Z. knew her size made her look older, but she struggled to keep the weight off, no matter...

Are Parasites Your Missing Diagnosis?

Are Parasites Your Missing Diagnosis?

The hidden epidemic that can trigger weight gain, increase anxiety, destroy digestion and fuel sugar cravings. Over 25 years ago, the Chief of Pathobiology at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research,...

Radical Health Tip

If you’re battling tiredness, brain fog, and bloat, parasites could be to blame.

Women over 50 are most at risk since levels of parasite-destroying stomach acid drop with age. My Verma-Plus formula contains black walnut, cloves and a combination of time-tested herbs for optimum elimination.

Featured Video

Are Parasites Your Missing Diagnosis?

In this informative video, find out if parasites are YOUR missing diagnosis and what to do about it:

Free Masterclass

Parasites 101

Join my FREE online ‘Parasites 101’ Masterclass to learn how these great “masqueraders” can mimic many other common ailments, impeding weight loss and overall health.

In this Masterclass, I share three decades of research and experience in hopes that it will help others gain more awareness about parasites and get to the root of unresolved health issues.

Featured Product

30-Day Parasite Cleanse

Based on over 80 years of combined experience and research, these products are the “gold standard” in natural parasite elimination.

The herbal formulas featured time-honored ingredients designed to target unwanted organisms, accumulated waste and toxins for increased energy, nutrient absorption and overall intestinal health. Going a step further, the probiotics help recolonize your gut with friendly flora, creating an inhospitable environment for all types of uninvited guests.

If you’re ready to serve an “eviction notice”, this is truly the best tool for the job. It’s the only parasite cleanse I recommend!

Bill F. says, “I feel like a new person! No more of any of the symptoms I was experiencing and my energy is now at a new level! I have shown my doctor and he agrees that the products contain the best ingredients to help get rid of the parasites – once and for all!”

Featured Book

Guess What Came to Dinner? Parasites and Your Health

Considered to be one of the most authoritative books on parasites, Guess What Came to Dinner? is an indispensable guide to protecting yourself and your loved ones from this hidden epidemic.

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Jennifer

    Can it be the cause of crohns disease

    • Web Admin

      yes, parasites can absolutely play a role in some cases.

    • Marlene

      I have had an ascariasis infestation twice over 2 years. Docs gave me a 1 to 3 day treatment both times. Now I am having ileus attacks. They don’t think its s reinfestation. I am not so sure.

  2. Yvonne Lee

    Worms not only cause weight gain but also weight loss. I (a 5’7″ woman), actually got down to 97 pounds and was continuing to lose before I went on a parasite cleanse, including rectal ozone, herbal medicine, careful diet, and more. The tapeworms and other worms in various sizes and shapes were shocking to see as they came out of my body, but I am starting to gain a little weight though I know I have a long way to go. They have been there for many, many years. Thanks for what you do to bring this knowledge to public awareness. It can be very difficult to convince even the best naturopaths around that you are not just imagining things. I am now armed with pictures and will see if I can gross out my doctor next time I see him. 🙂

    • Web Admin

      So happy to hear that you are finding health!

  3. lisa

    how do i sign up for the parasite videos airing soon? will you please sign me up and email me the link of when it starts etc. i am very ill. thank you.


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