Here are a few gems to keep you informed and grossed out:
- It is estimated that 85% of Americans will have intestinal parasites at some time in their life.
- Children are notorious carriers and spreaders of intestinal parasites. Just think of how many times a kid's fingers go in their mouth.
- You can get intestinal parasites from your dog licking your hands or face and by cleaning a cat's litter box.
- Organic fruits and veggies need to be washed carefully and should even get a dip in a mild water and bleach solution to kill parasites.
- Parasites can enter the body through your mouth, your nose, a cut or sore, even through your ears.
- The eggs of parasites can be air born and will survive on surfaces such as a door handle, a computer key board, or a phone for two weeks.
- Good hand washing also requires that you use a nail brush to scrub under your finger nails where parasites and their eggs can hide.
- Intestinal parasites can cause hives, skin rashes, and eczema from the release of waste products and toxins into the blood stream which in turn is carried to the skin as the body tries to clear it from the bloodstream.
- Intestinal parasites can leech important vitamins and minerals out of your bloodstream rendering you vitamin deficient and anemic.
- Sheets, towels, undergarments, and any other clothing that comes in contact with the body near the rectum such as running shorts with a liner, should be washed in hot water to reduce the spread of parasites. Sheets should be changed at least once a week and towels should not be shared with other family members or friends.
- Intestinal parasites can be hard to detect because they cause symptoms that are similar to other ailments such as fatigue, lack of concentration, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, fungal infections such as athlete's foot or jock itch, skin rashes, bad breath, dandruff, yeast infections, anemia, nausea, headaches, asthma, food allergies, nasal congestion, muscle and joint pain, stunted growth in children, weight gain, weight loss, loss of appetite, night sweats, chills, and vitamin deficiencies.
- Our western diets of processed and enriched foods with low levels of fiber help to make it easier for parasites to thrive in the intestines.
On a happier note, my Team in Training tri group started their practices this weekend and I just got back from their first swim workout. How many of you are swimming in an outdoor pool at this time of year? We have our first bike ride this weekend and they get a lesson on how to change a flat tire. I must say that I have a pretty good lot of swimmers. There are only a small handful that are going to need extra work in the pool to get comfortable with putting their face in the water or with learning how to swim at all. I know that they can do it and I know that I an help them make it to the finish line!
Ok, off to bed so I can teach my early spin class in the morning. Later Gators!