Signs of Parasites: The Top Signs You Have a Parasite in Your Stomach

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Your stomach’s acting up and you think it might be the stomach flu. With 19 to 21 million cases of (1) it each year in America, you might be right.

The idea that intestinal parasites only exist in underdeveloped countries is a myth.

But maybe this time it feels slightly different. Or perhaps you’ve recently been exposed to contaminated food or water.

Although it’s not common, there still may be situations where you may have picked up parasites. If you’re worried, then read on. In this article, we discuss signs of parasites in your stomach and what to do.

How Do You Get Parasites?

When people think of parasites, they usually think you have to travel to some exotic, third-world country to catch them. There’s a misconception that you’re safe as long as you stay within America.

But the truth is, there are plenty of parasites (2) you can get from within the country. Some you can get from coming into contact with contaminated water or soil. If you go swimming or do water sports somewhere other than a pool, you’ll want to check that the waters are safe.

Others you can get from eating or drinking contaminated foods or water. This is why it’s extremely important that you thoroughly cook your food and only drink water that you know is 100% safe.

Once a person is infected with an intestinal parasite, it is easy to pass it along. If you have an intestinal parasite and do not wash your hands after using the restroom, you can easily pass tiny parasite eggs onto anything you touch — the door handle, the salt shaker, your phone, or other people.

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Pets can carry parasites and pass parasites to people. Proper handwashing can greatly reduce risk. (3)

Signs of Parasites

Think you have stomach parasites? There’s over 1,000 that exist in the world, so signs will vary from organism to organism. However, here’s a list of some of the more common symptoms:

  • Abdominal cramping and pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

Most, if not all of the symptoms on this list are identical to the ones from having the stomach flu, so it can be impossible to tell on your own if you have a parasite or not. Needless to say, you’ll need a professional diagnosis to figure out what’s going on with your body.

What to Do

If you’re ill, the first thing you need to do is make an appointment with your doctor. They can pinpoint exactly what’s making you sick and prescribe you medication to not only make you feel better but to also get rid of the parasites if you have any.

In the meantime, you can take some herbs to try and kill the parasites naturally. This article will tell you more – In addition to killing the parasites, these herbs also have some extra health benefits you can reap.

Take Action Promptly

If you feel like you have any of the above signs of parasites, the key thing is to make an appointment with a doctor promptly. While having parasites is rarely fatal, it can still cause a myriad of health problems for you. Whether or not you have one, it’s still a good idea to get a thorough examination from your doctor so you can get a proper diagnosis and treatment.

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Do parasites go away on their own?

Some parasites go away on their own, especially if you have a healthy immune system and maintain a balanced diet. However, talk to a healthcare provider if you have signs of a parasitic infection. They can make an official diagnosis and help prevent the spread of the parasite to others.

For more information on other health issues, please read our articles in the condition spotlight section.


(1) Definition & Facts for Viral Gastroenteritis (“Stomach Flu”) 
(2) Parasites – Parasitic Infections in the United States
(3) CDC – Parasites – Parasitic Transmission

Caralin Walsh

InnoVision Health Media reports on health content that is supported by our editorial advisory board and content published in our group of peer reviewed medical journals.

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