Human Intestinal Parasites – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

What Are Intestinal Parasites?

The term parasite refers to organisms that infest another organism where it lives and feeds. Some of these parasites are microscopic and not visible to the naked eye whereas other parasites are relatively large. Human intestinal parasites are either one-cell organisms or intestinal worms that live in the small or large intestine and consume nutrients from the intestinal lumen or the blood flowing in the intestinal wall.

One-Cell Parasites – Protozoa

One-cell organisms, like Giardia lamblia, also called Giardia duodenale (Picture 1), Cryptosporidium (crypto) and Cyclospora, utilize nutrients from the stool. They belong to a living kingdom Protozoa (Gk. protos = first; zoa = animals). They may cause inflammation of the small intestine thus hampering absorption of nutrients. Entamoeba hystolytica lives predominantly in the colon.

Giardia under electron microscope

Picture 1. Parasite giardia from a stool sample,
as seen under the electron microscope (actual size:~0.01 mm)

Intestinal Worms (Helminths)

Intestinal worms (helminths), like roundworms (hookworms, whipworms, Ascaris and Trichinella), tapeworms and flukes, are few millimeters to several meters in size. These worms feed from the contents of the bowels or suck the blood from the intestinal wall and can cause about the similar symptoms as one-cell parasites. However, in most instances these intestinal worms cause little to no symptoms for months or years.

How Can One Contract Parasites?

Both protozoan and helminths (worms) are primarily contracted through ingesting contaminated food or water. The adult parasite or its eggs are shed in the stool of humans or animals. This can then contaminate water sources suahc as rivers and lakes as is the case with open sewage or poor water treatment practices. Drinking, bathing or irrigating crops with this contaminated water then allows the parasites to enter the body.

In some instances, parasites can be spread from person to person mainly when one person comes into contact with the fecal particles of a person who already has an infestation. This puts certain people at a greater risk. For example a caregiver changing diapers or cleaning soiled lined  of a person who already has an infestation or infection may therefore be at risk of contracting the infection.

Symptoms of Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal parasites can cause one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Mild diarrhea with waxing and waning course, appearing few days to several weeks after the travel into the country with poor hygiene, and lasting from several days to months (for comparison: bacterial diarrhea usually has a sudden and dramatic onset within some hours after a meal, and heals on its own in few days).
  • Mucus in the bowel movement
  • Bloating and flatulence
  • Weight loss is common.
  • Pale skin, tiredness, tingling (due to reduced absorption of minerals and vitamins).
  • Entamoeba histolytica may cause severe colitis with ulcers, abdominal cramps, blood in the stool with occasional pus – the disease is known as amebic dysentery (9). Entamoeba may invade liver, lung, brain, or other organs, where it forms cysts.
  • Worms, their parts or eggs can be sometimes found in the stool. Read more about intestinal worms.
  • Infection by either one-cell organisms or intestinal worms is often present without any symptoms.

Diagnosis of Intestinal Parasites

Diagnosis can be often suspected from history of prolonged bloating or diarrhea and can be confirmed by the following tests:

  • Ova and parasites (O&P) test of the stool. The test is often false negative so three stools from three different days (at least two days apart) should be tested.
  • Hemoccult test may reveal blood in the stool
  • Blood tests often reveal elevated eosinophils and IgE antibodies and lowered ferritin, hemoglobin or red cells
  • CT or biopsy are needed to find cysts in the liver, lungs or brain.

Treatment of Intestinal Parasites

Anti-parasitic drugs, like metronidazole, quinacrine, tinidazole and furazolidone are usually effective, but the exact treatment regime, as prescribed by your doctor, should be followed.

Paramomycin is not absorbed from the intestine into the blood, so it may be used in pregnancy (1). For cyclospora trimethoprim-sulfametoxazol can be used (2).

Intestinal parasites can be successfully eradicated, but may recur if the source of infection still exists. Delayed treatment can lead to a host of complications, some of which can be life threatening, as may be the case of severe dehydration in diseases like giardiasis.

Prevention of a Parasitic Infection

An infection by intestinal parasites can be prevented by:

  1. Hand washing with an antiseptic soap before eating and after using the toilet, particularly after a bowel movement, is imperative in preventing infections.
  2. Cooking food at high temperatures kills all parasites. Partially cooked meat or raw meat are high risk foods for passing on these parasites. Smoking or freezing does not destroy the parasites or eggs.
  3. Washing raw vegetables and fruits with a suitable disinfectant solution that is fit for consumption. Salt water may also be helpful to some extent. Clean running water should be used for rinsing.
  4. Consuming safe food and water is important to prevent infections. Travelers from western countries visiting Central or South America, Africa or South Asia should ingest only packaged, bottled or cooked foods and drinks and only fruits that they can peel by themselves.

Read more on food and water safety tips.

For How Long Is a Person with Parasitic Diarrhea Contagious?

Most parasites are transmitted through contact with the person’s feces and to a lesser extent with body fluids. It is usually not airborne so transmission cannot occur with droplets that become airborne from coughing or sneezing. A person may be infectious for prolonged periods of time, depending on the causative parasite.

Usually a person is contagious, or more specifically the stool contains the parasite, a short while after contracting the infection and for as long as the infection is active. Even without any symptoms being present a person may still be contagious. With some parasites like Entamoeba hystolitica a person can be contagious for months and even years thereafter.

Related Articles:


  1. Incidence of intestinal parasites in homosexual men (
  2. Intestinal protozoa (
About Jan Modric (249 Articles)
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  • katie

    hey- i have very irregular bowel i have dark and black poop regularly i’ve been anemic and really really tired – dont know whats up. i run a lot but when i race my arms go numb and i’m more “fuzzy” thinking than i should be. its like i’m bleeding but i dont know why…

  • Jan Modric

    Katie, what you’re describing is an urgent situation. Black stool is usually from the bleeding from the stomach or esophagus, maybe from duodenum. Anemia, tiredness, numbness, and fuzziness are all due to blood loss.

    The source of bleeding can be found by upper endoscopy, and may often be treated at the same time.

    Visit your primary doctor, and set an appointment with gastroenterologist as soon as possible.

  • simonbag


    I’ve had pale stools and mucus type elements on them for a few years, I’ve also felt alot of movement in the anus region and also in my scrotum – and more progressively started tingling in my hands, elbows when I’m stationery for periods of time. I was also ill recently and hadn;t eaten for a while and this triggered bloating in the top of my stomach and some real discomfort. I have taken a course of prepsin and from no movement at all, I have had more movement sensation ‘down below’ and the recurrence of beige coloured stools and mucus. I regularly get the movement sensations. Can you advise please?


  • Jan Modric

    To simonbag.

    Pale stools and feeling constant urge to defecation may be from unabsorbed fatty acids. It’s possible that your intestine doesn’t digest and absorb fats properly due to pancreas, gallbladder, liver or small intestinal disease. You may read about pale bowel movements here:

    Bloating may be from the gas that bacteria release after they “eat” unabsorbed fats.

    Tingling in hands/elbows may arise from “carpal tunnel syndrome”, or “cubital syndrome” which may be due swelling of wrists from water retention, or from your forearms resting on the table for prolonged time. Read more here:

    I suggest you to visit your primary doctor that may order a stool test for fats, and lead you according to results.

  • crappy

    I have for three to four days been fatigued with diarrhea and also very nauseas. in my stool i have noticed small red ??? they are about the size of this underScore _ tapering slightly at each end the first two i noticed where much larger with blunt ends still being slightly tapered and about 3/4 inch i have been taking a parisite tincture i cant even eat i have no appetite and no energy

  • Jan Modric

    To crappy.

    Parasite tincture? What exactly?
    Parasites can be sucessfully treated with appropriate “antihelmintic drugs”, prescribed by a doctor.

  • John John

    The reason I wanted to contact you is because I’m a in a bit of stump medically speaking and I hope you would give me some advise. I would be really grateful. I have been developing a very bad stomach and it is very bothersome. It started when I went to Honduras and I’m very convinced it happened after I ate wild raspberries in a farm there, there could have been something else I ate that might have caused it I’m not entirely sure. But I think it had something to do with the raspberries. After about a couple of days, I woke up one night with terrible diarrhea, I felt terrible the rest of the day going to the bathroom 4-5 times and in the evening I got a fever I took some Advil and it finally slowed down and I fell asleep. I woke up the next day only to be racked with body pain and fever once again. A doctor was visiting someone in the house staff and my mother decided to have him check me. He said he thought I either had a bacterial or parasitic infection. He told me to rest and see if I get better. The day after I felt better but still had a stomach ache. I got constipated for about a week. And since I was not terribly ill I just lived with it for a month and a half I just thought I had gotten a regular stomach bug. I Stared alternating from having lots of constipation to very loose stool that had a lot of white things covering it which later I was told was mucous. I would have constant stomach pain especially in the left side of my stomach. Colic, fatigue and gases. I would also have horrible flatulence which I never had before that smelled strange. After two months the pain became worse and decided to go a doctor that was a friend of my fathers. He thought I was suffering from a parasitic infection which is very common in Central America. He decided to do a blood test to see if I had some indication it came back fine but he said the symptoms where clear and he believed I had a parasitic of sorts most probably Giardia. So he gave me a dose of Albendazole 400 mg once and another dose of secindazole 2 grams once. I hate medicine a lot but I was very ill at this point and decided to do what he said to get better and took the albendazole and the next day the secindazole I only took 1.5 because my stomach hurt a lot. I felt better for about a week and stopped having flatulence and had a lot less mucous on my stool had hope I would get cured. I became very constipated but generally better but about 10 days later felt worse than before, I felt like I had a ulcer, my stomach acids churned like crazy. My stomach felt like it was going to burst I felt like vomiting all the time the doctor told me to take another 2 grams of secindole that because I had not taken the full dose some of the organism was still left. After that dose my stomach felt worse and had horrible constipation. I moved to the US 10 days later, and went to see a General practioner, he was convinced I had picked up either a parasite or H. pylori in the third world, he said by hearing my stomach that I was developing a ulcer. He ordered a blood test, and 2 stool tests. The blood test said I had something wrong with my white blood count I can’t remember what. I was very constipated and took a long time to do the stool sample which came back normal. He gave me an anti acid and said I had to do a conloscopy. I did not want to do something so extreme so I went to a gastroenterologist who also did a 2 stool test and breathe test for H. Pylori, which came back clean. He said that the stool test might be off because my stool was constipated and formed. Gave me some laxatives to stabilize and he thought I was recovering from an infection. I just felt worse and worse for about a month till he ordered a CT scan without contrast to see if I had abnormalities in my stomach. My left side hurt this whole period of time mostly the lower part. He found that I had a lot of stool in my colon and some in my appendix and said to eat more fiber in my diet, exercise and take a laxative. I was felling too bad to excerisise much but, put tried the effort. My left side pain just grew worse and took different form and got very bloated just on my left side till my muscles contracted in the back and near the rib cage the doctor got worried and order a ultra sound and x- ray which showed no kidney stones. And did another blood test which everything came back normal. He gave me a stool softener and told me to take twice a day which I have started taking which works sometimes. I asked him if it was possible if I still have bacteria or parasite and he said he thinks I have recovered from it and usually parasites come associated with direaha, although I have read otherwise He said I could do a colonoscopy if the pain keeps getting worse. Do you think I could have a parasite such as a worm of some sort im terrfied of something like this.

  • Jan Modric

    To John.

    Bloating and pains in lower left abdomen probably arise from the last part of the colon.

    “Something white” (probably mucus), bloating, diarrhea, and constipation lasting for several months strongly speak for parasites.

    Common one-cellular intestinal parasites:
    – giardia
    – Entameba hystolitica
    – cryptosporydium
    – cyclospora

    There could be bacteria, like:
    – shigella
    – Clostridium difficile

    There could be also intestinal worms, but these live mainly in small intestine…

    You need a good infectiologist who will make reliable stool tests for parasites and bacteria. Tests for parasites are often negative, and special test is needed for each species, so results are often false negative, but you should insist to find a cause.

    Strawberries themselves are not likely cause of chronic abdominal problems, if eaten only for a short time.

    Blood test for leukocytes maybe showed EOSINOPHILIA? It means increased amount of eosinophils, a type of leukocytes that regularly appear in intestinal parasites. If IgE antibodies were found, this furtherly speak for parasites.

    Take the full course of medicines you get, and maybe you’ll need some other medicide instead of Abendazole. Just get in contact with some good gastroenterologist or infectologist.

  • John John

    I went to a infectious disease doctor and he said since I don’t have direaha I can’t have a parasites and two since some of my earlier symptoms like mucus in my stool and flautlance have seized the the albendazole and secindazole worked or that I recovered naturally but I still have somethings like horrible constipation and still have stomach pain and other symptoms I have had 3 blood test only one tested for eosinophilia and it was fine, my were high and my neutrophils were low. Would a conloscopy work at bieng accurate. My honduran doctor thinks im fine even though I don’t feel great but he says to take a single dose of 400mg of albendazole would that kill all the potentially deadly worms. Also could the body naturally get rid of parasites on its own?

  • John John

    sorry for the writting errors I wrote this quickly and it was lymphs that were high

  • Jan Modric

    you don’t need to have diarrhea to have parasites, but I can’t tell you, if you have them or not.

    A single dose of albendazole is prescribed in intestinal worms, and can kill all worms. I can’t say, if it will, and if albendazole is the right one, but I guess it’s worth to try.

    Parasites can be cured naturally, but I’m not sure if this will happen in a reasonably short time in your case.

    If blood neutrophils are low, there is still somethinh wrong happening in your body.

  • john

    How accurate are stool tests for Ova & Parasite? Is it true your stool has to be loose?

  • Jan Modric

    Tests for Ova and Parasites are often false negative, it means, they often miss the infection. If blood test show increased eosinophils and IgE antibodies, this support infection with parasites, but it does not prove it.

    Stool is not necessary loose in intestinal parasites, but it often is.

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  • john

    Ok Thanks I will ask my docotor to check my eosinophils and Ige antibodies. My stool is very hard and constipated will this affect the ova & parasite test? And is there any other test I can request?

  • Jan Modric

    John, if you want, you can share what are your symptoms, and some medical history….so why parasites..are you bloated? Anything other beside constipation? Mucus in the stool? Have you traveled recently?

  • john 1

    I ate berries in a farm in honduras while living there for 5 months after a couple of days of the berries I got direha,fever and body pain which persisted for 3 days. After that I got a lot of wierd symptoms like foul smelling gas, mucous in my stool and from dysentery to constipation I decided to go to a docotor which gave me a course of anti parastics: albendazole 400 mg and secindazole(which is like flagyl) I felt better for one week and than worse so he gave me some more secindazole and I just felt even worse. I went to the United states again and was severly constipated I did 2 stool samples and a blood test than a month later 2 more stool samples and than after that I did another blood test and CT of my stomach because I was having horrible colics and stomach pain, Everything came back clean expect for with low netruphils and high lymps some symptoms left after getting treated with the medicines like mucous in my stool and dysentery but I still have colics and a lot of constipation I have to take stool softners my gasterenterologist thinks that I don’t have parasites anymore, but im skeptical

  • Jan Modric

    All I can say is that low neutrophils and high lymphocytes are not normal, and may be present in some infections that are, or are not connected with parasites you’ve supposedly had. It may be allergic reaction to parasites or to anti-parasitic drugs. It may be some new chronic infection like tuberculosis. Or it may be a disorder ow white cells themselves.

    So you may want to insist to have other tests to find a disorder that goes with a combination of neutropenia (low neutrophils) and lymphocytosis (high lymphocites).

  • YearsLater


    Many moons ago (1999?) I got an internal parasite in Cuba. A gastro doc told me to stay away from Dairy for upwards of a year but that was the only treatment. Everytime I ate dairy I would have a lot of cramping and time on a toilet. About 3 years later my B12 levels dropped to the point where I have to take shots.

    I’m curious, since I was never treated, is there a chance I’m still infected and that is the cause of the b-12 problems? Or is it also possible the infection cause enough damage to impact my body’s ability to absorb B-12?


  • Jan Modric


    have you got official diagnosis of parasitic infection, and if yes, what parasite was it? Parasites, when non-treated, may persist in the intestine for years, now, I can’t say is this likely in your case or not.

    Parasites cause inflammation of the small intestine, thus affecting the synthesis of enzyme lactase that is needed to digest lactose from dairy, and also affecting absorption of vit B12. Beside that parasites often consume vit B12 you’re getting with the food.

    To confirm/exclude parasites you need to have an “Ova and Parasites” stool test, and maybe repeat them few times, if they come out negative the first time (because these tests are often false negative). Eosinophils and IgE antibodies are also regularly increased in the blood, in parasitic infections.

    It is not likely that parasites would damage your small intestine (and then clear out) to the point where lactose and vit B12 absorption would be permanently affected.

    So, if no parasites will be found, then it’s possible you have an active small intestinal inflammation from other causes like:
    – celiac disease (blood test, upper endoscopy)
    – Crohn’s disease (blood/stool test, colonoscopy)
    – Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) (breath test)

    You can read about most of mentioned disorders in other articles on this site (just search).

  • YearsLater

    I was diagnosed based on symptoms and exposure (common ailment from travellers to Cuba at the time and severe cramping, constant diarrhea, blood in stool, dehydration – especially strong reaction to dairy). I don’t think anyone actually tested stool or blood to figure out which bug it was. I will of course get tested now! The lactose intolerance ended about a year and a half later, and the B-12 levels started dropping around the same time. As mentioned by 3 years into the infection, I was on shots.

    The main reason I’m questioning this is that my doctor has switched me to B12 pills due to recent studies that indicate shots are not the preferred method anymore. By unlike when on the shots, I’m still symptomatic. I’m sleeping 14 hours a day and still waking up tired. Either way, time to get tested. Thanks so much for the response 🙂

  • Jan Modric

    I guess you have a blood work from time to time? If there is a problem with absorption of vit B12, then you may also have deficiency of other vitamins, and iron.

  • YearsLater

    Funny you should mention 🙂 I had a blood test done last week before I switched to B12 pills and I just found out my Iron, serum ferritin, urea and red blood cells are all low. B12 is normal but I was on injections at the time so that would be expected.

  • YearsLater

    PS: When I say low iron, I mean single digit.

  • Jan Modric

    Any symptoms with other food, like wheat, or fruits?

    If I can suppose you have regular diet, then low iron is either from

    1. malabsorption (iron is mainly absorbed in the duodenum, that would therefore have to be affected (celiac or other inflammation…?)
    2. intestinal bleeding (Hemoccult test would show)

    Stool test for parasites and blood, blood test for celiac and Crohn’s disease…and then what’s needed from there…You could also discuss with gastro about small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and breath test for it.

  • YearsLater

    I have a pretty good diet for an average person and no special diet restrictions. I do notice that some foods (especially “bad foods”) tend to give me cramps and diarrhea. For example a glazed donut, toast with fried egg sandwich or practically anything from McDonalds will hit me pretty hard. So I’ve just avoided it. Fruits, wheat and vegetables don’t seem to bother me. Dairy is usually ok too.

    I’m confused why my B12 has been testing fine all these years (on the shots) yet suddenly I’m anemic? Anyway, I’ve an appointment in about a week and will discuss your points when there for sure. Thanks again!

  • john 1

    What tests can I do to test for parasite name all of them please I want to have a comphrensive panel of test I can do

  • Jan Modric

    Common one-cell parasites are:
    – giardia
    – Entameba hystolytica
    – cryptosporidium
    – cyclospora

    Tests for intestinal worms:
    – pinworms
    – hookworms

    Some medications can interfere with lab results, so, if you’re taking any antibiotics, anti-parasitic drugs, or anti-acid drugs, speak with the doctor, if you can drop them for 14 days before the test.

    Be sure to collect all notes of your previous visits to doctors regarding this matter.

    Main symptoms of intestinal parasitic infections are bloating, gas (flatulence), diarrhea, mucus and ocasional (red) blood in the stool. Eosinophils in blood may be elevated.

    If your main symptoms are burping, hearburn, burning pain in the upper stomach immediately after the meal, and occasional black stools, then this speaks for gastric (stomach) problems (not from parasites), rather than intestinal problems.

    If Albendazole helped the first time, it will likely help again, if there are the same parasites there. So, discuss with your doctor is it worth to get tested for all possible parasites, since the treatment for most is pretty much the same.

    Here’s one list of common parasites in Central America:

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  • Hi, i dont know whats going on, but for the past couple of months i have been feeling a strange movement like crawling in my upper life abdomen next to my heart and rib cage…it feel like somethin crwaling under my skin… i wen tto the dr and she did blood test and said i dont have parasite infection… bu i am feeling this crawling… also once or twice in last couple of montsh i have been seeing lbood in my stool not often though…. its bright read … i do have blothing and i do have an urge to go and then i pass Mucus…. i dont know what to do ……

  • john 1

    What I meant was what specific tests? Like ova & parasite, A blood test for eosophilia and Ige antibodies what other tests can test for parasites, I read something about a string test what other things can I use to test for parasites and also is brain foginess and slow thinkng related to a parasitic infection

  • Jan Modric

    To randi2160.

    All of symptoms you’ve listed suggest intestinal worms that are most likely in the left part of the colon. If blood and stool tests repeatedly show negative results, then a colonoscopy would be needed for diagnosis. Try to solve the problem soon, since bleeding may result in anemia.

  • Jan Modric

    To john1.

    When an O&P test is done, not all parasites are tested automatically, but only those that doctor orders them specifically. So speak with the doctor to order an O&P test for all main one-cell parasites and worms.

    In the blood, eosinophils and IgE antibodies are rised in most parasitic infections.

    In string test you swallow a string with a weighed capsule on the end, and the string is pulled out after some hours and examined under the microscope for parasites. This is to check for parasites in upper small intestine.

    The Scotch tape is placed on the anus several times to detect pinworm eggs.

    You can ask for stool test for Clostridium difficile. This bacterium sometimes ovegrowths after taking antibiotics. It gives barnyard smell to the gas and stool.

    Knowing what exactly was wrong with white blood cells can help a lot in identifying the cause.

    If nothing helps, a colonoscopy may reveal parasites.

  • just from africa

    I’m having some stomach issues and wondering if it’s possible that I may have a parasite. I just got back from 3 weeks in Rwanda (Eastern Africa). For most of the trip I’ve had very loose stools, and one day in particular I had to go to the bathroom about 3-4 times, though I never had diarrhea. That day in particular too, my stool was covered in white mucusy material. Since I’ve been back I’ve had bad flatulence, my stomach hurts (especially after I eat), and I’ve continued to have very loose stools which oftentimes have mucus. I just sent in stool for a lab test, but I’m also curious what you may have to say.

  • lenster

    I’m a 40 y.o. male. For the past 10 months, I have been having nausea (usually just dry heaves, but sometimes vomiting) primarily in the mornings when I first wake up. This is accompanied by sleeping problems (I wake up every morning after only about 4-5 hours of sleep and can’t fall back to sleep at all), as well as stomach gurgling, gas, bloated feeling, and a complete lack of appetite. Symptoms usually stop by the afternoon, and then I have an insatiable appetite the rest of the day. On a few occasions, symptoms have persisted all day or for a few days, and I even was hospitalized once for dehydration.
    I’ve had every GI test, blood test, stool test, CT scan, MRI, allergy test, X-ray, etc., imaginable and everything has been normal. My GI doc sent me two weeks ago for an ultrasound on my liver and gallbladder and they found gallstones, but the GI doc doesn’t seem to think they are the cause of my problem. Any thoughts as to what it could be? I’m really at my wit’s end here, and it’s affecting my job, family, friends, etc.

  • Jan Modric

    To just om africa.

    Loose stools with mucus, flatulence, and prolonged course of symptoms of moderate severity is typical for infection with intestinal parasites. Tests are often false negative, so insist in having additional tests if the first one will be negative.

  • Jan Modric

    To lenster.

    Gallstones are common finding and can be without symptoms.

    Have you been tested for H. pylori infection of the stomach and slow gastric emptying (gastroparesis)?

  • wonder09

    For the last couple of months I have been having movement in my lower stomach, at times I could hear my stomach churning and moving, that went away, now i just suffer with alot of gas, but the thing that is bothering me the most is that i have begun to have muscle spasms, I thought i was pregnant because it feels like something kicking me in my stomach, or like a jumping in my stomach, i’ve been pregnant before and it dosen’t feel like that i’ve also had my period normal and have taken pregnancy tests which came back normal, i had some bright red blood in my stool which my doctor said was due to hemmroids and anal fissures as well, now im starting to have muscle spasms in anus they dont hurt but im wondering what it could be, could this be a minor parasite i’ve looked online and cant find anything on it, sometimes i even have spasms in my leg as well. What could this be?

  • Jan Modric

    To wonder09.

    Are symptoms in the lower left, middle, or righ stomach, or you can’t say?

    Would you say that spasms are from abdominal WALL or “from inside”?

    Anal fissures and leg spasms are really not typical for hemorrhoids, also not for parasites, so first, doctor should do a “digital rectal examination” and then probably colonoscopy (maybe first rectoscopy or sigmoidoscopy) since it seems that your rectum is affected.

    I encourage you not to wait if it will heal on its own but ask for appointment with a gastrologist or proctologist.

  • Rebecca

    Okay, so I’m writing due to the fact that I’m hoping this is nothing serious. But here I go: So, I passed stool this afternoon and I noticed these… red/burgandy things in it. “Things” is the best way I can describe what it was. I was too terrified to take a closer look, but they were red and rather… almost twig like. Are there any parasites that can be transmitted through animals like cats or dogs? Because I recently got two puppies, and I don’t think they could have caused it so quickly because I got them on Friday, but I’m not sure.

  • Jan Modric

    To Rebecca.

    Have you eaten any red food like beets, tomato juice, artificially colored popsickles, drinks, sweets or the like?

    Read about blood in the stool:

    Intestinal worm would need at least a week to develop from an egg (that is usually ingested with the stool contaminated hands) into an adult worm.

    This doesn’t mean you haven’t contracted worms from some other source at some other occasion (with the food, water etc).

    Don’t eat anything what makes stool red and if it is from the food it should go away in 2-3 days. If not it’s likely that it is blood and this can be comfirmed by Hemoccult test.

  • HageMic

    I have had diarrhea for about 6 weeks now. I just assumed that it was a change in diet, so didn’t think anything of it. I have also had white “egg shaped” objects in my stool. I take gelcap pills as part of my medication plan so I thought that this is what it was, but I only take one a day and have now begun to find 2 to 3 “egg shaped” objects in my stool, which makes me think that maybe it is something serious. I’ve also lost 28 lbs in the last month, but once again attributed it to my new diet plan. Help?

  • wonder09

    The spasms are mostly in the left and right part of my stomach in the inside, just the other day on my side towards my back, sort of feels like something kicking at times or a real quick jump, i know it’s not pregnancy they feel like spasms with no pain, ive past blood in my stool on two occasions as well bright red, someone told me to them it sounded like ulcer’s, so yeah i think i am going to go see a gastrologist thank you so much!

  • sickoffeelingbad

    For the past few years I have experienced stomach problems. I had an colonoscopy done and was told I had H. pylori infection of the stomach and was given antibiotics and felt fine foe several months now all of problems are back and more. I stay sick to stomache 95% of most days, I am always constipated, my stomache feels bloated with gas all the time, I has a fluttery feeling like butterflies in my stomach alot, I have gained weight from 123lbs upto 141 pounds, I normally go to the gym 5 days a week but for the last 3 months I have quit going now I have no energy and feel depressed. I have no sex drive and feel like I’m getting depressed. But it all goes back to the stomach problem. Any suggestions. Before I got sick again I worked out and ate well now I feel like terrible. Please help.

  • sickoffeelingbad

    Opps, Sorry for the type O’s. I also have started having white mucus looking stuff in my stool. I have used a colon cleanser but I didn’t see any changes. I have never had a stomach and a tiny waist and now I have a hug bloated stomach and I’m carrying weight around my waste.

  • Jan Modric

    To HageMic.

    Diarrhea, white objects, losing weight, mucus in the stool, bloating and gas – these are main symptoms of intestinal parasites.
    It’s Ova nd Parasites stool test for this.

    Another possibility is fat malabsorption from small intestinal inflammation, gallstones or pancreatic disease. In this case your stool wouldbe foamy, pale, floating and sticky. It’s stool fats test for this.

    28 lbs in a month is a lot, I seriously recommend you to visit gastroenterologist as soon as possible.

  • Jan Modric

    To sickoffeelingbad.

    H. pylori affects the stomach and causes upper abdominal bloating, belching, nausea and early satiety, and eventually burning stomach and heartburn. If you have some of these symptoms it’s possible that H. pylori is back and another session with antibiotics would be needed.

    Beside parasites (test is with O&P stool test) there are several other causes of lower abdominal bloating with gas including celiac disease, lactose intolerance and fructose intolerance as you may read here:

    Mucus in the stool often appears in intestinal parasites – in this case your symptoms would be constant at day and night. Mucus also appears in IBS – in this case symptoms are often relieved by a bowel movement.
    Foods to avoid in IBS:

  • Trina

    I seen several small moving worms in my stool when i was in elementary school. my parents were away and i never told my cousin that was caring for me and never seen them in my stool since. could they go away on their own? I have unexplained health issues, i was watched for 4 years for ms with 12 MRI’s the first 9 showed new leissions each time, the last 3 showe no new leissions. I do feel movement in my limbs off and on at times, have had feels of my stomache jumping inside.

  • Jan Modric

    To Trina.

    Yes, it’s possible that intestinal worms heal on its own. It’s a stool test for ova and parasites (O&P test) that can show if you have parasites or not. Parasites also often cause bloating, mucus in the stool, anemia (pale skin) and elevated eosinophils and IgE antibodies in the blood.

    Movements in limbs are probably from neurological reasons (MS?). Stomach problems may be also from neurological reasons. If the disorder was arising from the gut that would cause some changes in the stool (O&P test, Hemoccult..) or in the blood.

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  • Skin

    Hi Jan,
    I have traveled in lots of developing countries, including Central America. I’m pretty convinced I have intestinal parasites and have tried lots of alternative methods, including herbs, rife machine, acupuncture, allergy treatments etc.(chiropractors etc) I’m ready to see a regular medical doctor but know that they don’t know anything about parasites. Which tests would you recommend? My symptoms are: skin rash that has ulcerating oor bleeding, open, not healing wounds,or dry not healing scabs, in face (mostly left side), back of legs, mostly calves, back of upper arms, neck, and spradic other parts of my body. Also arthritic symptoms (tested negative for rheumatism), deep dark rings under eyes, fatigue, loose stool, headaches, vaginal itch (this is going on since over 20 years, all kinds of tests done, nothing found) etc. Sometimes very hungry, sometimes no appetite at all, irritable, sleep badly etc. I guess I have any parasite symptom you can imagine. It appears things got worse in the last year since I moved to Florida, from New England. My feeling is, something is lodge in my body (blood? deep tissue?) that is not reached by herbals etc and my body is not able to heal itself. I eat a (very) healthy diet, very little sugar/sweets/ nearly vegetarian, no junk food etc. I’m thin (always have been) normal weight, active lifestyle.
    Any ideas what this could be? Which tests to request? The skin thing is the most disturbing at the moment, my face looks horrible… thanks a lot for any comment.

  • Jan Modric

    To Skin.

    Your symptoms are systemic – affecting the whole body – so it seems reasonable that you have your blood checked – an usual bloodwork to see if there is any inflammation, anemia, mineral (including iron) or vitamin deficiency. Vitamins are usually not checked routinely, so you should ask for this specifically. You can also ask to check IgE antibodies and eosinophils in the blood – they are often both elevated in parasitic infection. All this can be done by a primary-care doctor.

    The next is usually done by gastroenterologist:
    Parasites are checked in a stool sample – the test is called Ova and Parasites (O&P). To check bacteria in the stool, another test – stool culture – would be needed. Parasites often cause intestinal bleeding – so you can ask for Hemoccult – test for hidden blood ion the stool.

    They may be parasites or not, it can be a viral or bacterial infection or something other.

  • huvigo

    I really enjoyed this site, as it seems to be professional and informative. After Blastocystis Hominis and Entamoeba hystolytica were found in my stool I became very anxious, and the many sites (badbug, superbug etc.) only increased my anxiety- that i will not be able to erradicate my parasites… I finally took Tinidazole for three days and am now wondering in how long should I expect my stool to get back to normal? (it’s still not..and lots of small pieces seem to be coming out.. what is that?) i also still have lower abdominal pain- on the right lower side (ascending colon?) and wondering if as it says here in your article- I’m contagious for another year? or how long?? really would appreciate a repsonse!! cheers!

  • Jan Modric

    To huvigo.

    …”small pieces comming out” – pieces of stool or something other?

    What do you think where did you get parasites from? This is good to know, since you can get infected again from the same source…

    It is not clear if Blastomyces hominis itself causes any symptoms

    …but Entameba histolytica often does.

    Tinidazole is often given in a single doze. If after this symptoms don’t lessen in few days it means treatment was not effective. Like said, symptoms may appear again after a while, either from the same or new infection. In both cases treatment should be repeated maybe with some other medication like metronidazole or a combination of two anti-parasitic drugs as prescribed by a doctor. Actually this reputable site:

    …recommends treatment with another drug right after the imidazole, so you may want to speak with your doctor about it.

    It is important that on the end of the treatment you insist to have another stool test for parasites to see if it was effective.

  • huvigo

    Hi Jan. I had been traveling in India for 5 months until April 2008. I believe i picked it up there. (but not sure). Pieces- even after flushing the toilet, i would have to flush again. kind of dark small pieces – resemble cigarette ashes or so… (i had some sea-weed a few days ealier, so maybe it was waste from that?) It is too early to know if symptoms will be gone. still have lower ab pain(right side)- but it’s feeling less achey. And will definitely have a second stool test two weeks from the day i finished the anti-biotics.
    I hope i will not need a repeat treatment. Is it true that Blasto is very persistant and that in general once you’ve had parasites once they are more likely to appear again than to those who never had them?
    should i follow a certain diet now that my treatment is done? (ie. refrain from sugar/ grain?)
    thanks again!!!

  • Jan Modric

    it’s likely you’ve attracted parasites in India, probably by contaminated food – it happens really often.

    At this moment I don’t see the sense to think about statistics and what will be…It’s important that you get appropriate treatment and stick with it as long as prescribed. Entameba, as recommended by CDC site (link in previous comment) should be treated by two other antibiotics after tinidazole is stopped. So you may want to discuss with your doctor about this.

    I believe that parasytes often reoccur since they are often not cured completely and because many people get infected again. With proper treatment you should be completely treated.

    For blastomyces it’s not even clear how it is transmitted and if it causes any symptoms at all. You don’t need to believe any alarming warnings on any site, especially when they try to sell you something.

    About black parts – avoid eating seeds for some time to prevent confusion. Wait for some time and see if they will disappear. If they won’t disappear, include them in your stool sample for the next test.

    There’s no special diet needed for parasites; you only need to avoid unwashed fruits/vegetables or anything what was likely contaminated with human or animal stool, or what was kept outside refrigerator for several hours before serving.

    If you’ll be treated completely, your stool won’t be contagious any more. Stool may remain contagious after incomplete treatment or when there was no treatment at all but symptoms went away.

  • Michael

    hi my name is michael and i was wandering if worms can cause jaundice? cuz i have jaundice and the doctors r cofused they said i have giberts disease but i think i have a worm because i eat a lot and i am tired a lot and i havw had this jaundice 4 almost half this year and i just want 2 get rid of it…if u can help let me know thanks 😀

  • Jan Modric

    To Michael.

    Intestinal worms actually may invade and obstruct main bile duct throgh which the bile flows from the liver to the small intestine. If this was the cause of jaundice you would also probably have prominent diarrheaa and bloating and blood test would show vitamin deficiency and elevated liver enzymes. So, if there are no other abnormalities except slightly raised bilirubin then it is not likely that intestinal worms cause your symptoms. Worms could be additional disorder though – they would be comfirmed by ova & parastites test of the stool.

    Most of other causes of jaundice except Gilbert syndrome would be present with abnormal blood and stool tests.

  • Michael

    thank you that will help lol

    i am just sick of this jaundice i have had it 4 a while they said it ws mono and now gilberts disease i just cant wait 4 it 2 go

    thank you s much 4 helping 😀

  • Jan Modric

    liver enzymes, testing for hepatitis A,B,C), sedimentation rate, CRP, TNFa, white and red blood cells – these are some basic blood tests that may reveal eventual inflammation in the liver or anywhere in your body.

  • goddess1967

    I have been experiencing a fluttering and kicking movement in my abdominal area below my belly button right side. I may also feel the movement on my left side as well. I am not pregnant, complete hysterectomy done. Sometimes I have severe sharp shooting pain in my abdominal/anal area that really have me in tears and it only last for a few seconds. I have frequent gas, bloating, and heartburn also problems sleeping at night. Please do you have any suggestions on what this may be???

  • Jan Modric

    To goddess1967.

    Pains in anal area may be from the – rectum. Have you noticed any blood in the stool? Pain in the right and left side of the abdomen may be from the satrting and ending part of the colon.

    Parasites are possible but this pattern of symptoms also appear in Crohn’s disease.

    Heartburn is from excessive acid secretion, often due to Helycobacter pylori infection ofthe stomach or from gastric reflux due to hiatus hernia or other reasons.

    What to do?
    You would need some tests.
    1. Stool tests for: ova & parasites, occult blood
    2. Urea breath test for H. pylori
    3. X-ray of abdomen with barium enema and then probably
    4. Colonoscopy

  • goddess1967

    Thank you so much for responding back. I will make an appointment this week to have these things done and I will update you and anyone else who may be having the same symptoms.

    Thanks again for your help!!!

  • kim

    I have been suffering off & on for 6 weeks now with no diagnosis. I woke up 1st 2 nights with severe pelvic pain, assuming it was ovarian. Went to ER 2 days in a row, got CT scan, bloodwork, urine test, pelvic ultrasound – all results were normal except for diverticulosis in sigmoid colon. 6 weeks later I still have pain in the lower left abdomen occasionally but this weekend had red/mucous in my stool, then small white “chunks” in my stool. I am also experiencing what I can describe as a tickling sensation near my vagina, anus & around my c-section scar. It’s an annoying feeling! Stool sample was tested only for antigen and came back negative. I see a gastroenterologist this week for a consult but what do you think? Possible parasite? Would it cause severe pain all over the pelvic area for a few weeks and pain precisely in my lower left abdomen (colon)? I’ve visited docs and no one has even suggested parasites. 🙁

  • Jan Modric

    To kim.

    Diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease and parasites are my first three thoughts in your case.

    Stool test for parasites is often false negative. If white chunks will appear again, try to include them in your stool sample for lab analysis. In parasites, blood test often shows elevated eosinophils and IgE antibodies.

    Left lower abdominal pain with blood/mucus in the stool strongly suggests that the last part of the colon is affected. If stool test won’t confirm parasites then only colonoscopy (or sigmoidoscopy) can reveal changes inside the colon.

  • cvern

    I’ve read through the site here. Here is my problem:
    Frequent urgent loose stools, primarily in the am.
    Many times have been large fluffy stools.
    Many have a green tint to them.

    About one year ago I was tested for parasites and occult, both negative, and other blood tests showed nothing abnormal.
    One persistent symptom during the past year is acute skin itching (no rash or bumbs). Almost feels like a toxic reaction and does go away after a while (mainly experienced in the mornings, but sometimes at night).

    In the past month or so have had persistent cramping and many loose stools, often waking me up in the middle of the night. Skin still itches–generalized, often different places or just one place. (I’d describe it as a prickly itch)

    Will add I have a new pet of 3 months who has been diagnosed with Giardia.

  • Jan Modric

    To cvern.

    You have itchy skin for one year. For how long do you have lose stools?

    Does “acute” itch mean that it starts suddenly, last for some time and goes away – and this repeating daily(?) for a year?

    Both itch and loose stools appearing toward the morning could be caused by a delayed allergic reaction to something what you have eaten the previous day. An antihistamine pill taken before expected (or during) symptoms would shorten and lessen them.

    Giardia could be additional cause. There is often (not alwasy) some mucus in the stool in parasitic diarrhea..only a stool test for ova & parasites would confirm infection. Greenish stool may appear in any diarrhea – since green bile during increased peristalsis doesn’t have time to be changed to usual brown color.

  • Jedann

    I have a co-worker that has stomach complaints for the past 3-4 years. Now for the past yr. has had h-pylori and now is getting treatment for a parasitic condition with no name that we can get out of him. I am concerned with contagion because his cleanliness leaves a lot to be desired. Also, his condition has created tumor type growths in his colon. He originally told us the dr. thought he had colon cancer. His does tend to the hypochondria side.
    I just want to be sure he can’t pass these bugs on to others in the office.

  • Jan Modric

    To Jedann.

    The only proof of parasites is the stool Ova & Parasites test. The test should tell exact species of a parasite.

    Symptoms may range from no symptoms to bloating, gas, diarrhea, mucus/blood in the stool, losing weight, anemia…but it is not likely that a “third person” would recognise these symptoms when they are not typical.

    Parasites are spread via stool-to-mouth route – usually via the food or hand shaking..Effective prevention is by washing hands before meal. Actually, parasite infection usually occurs as a food poisoning.

    Treatment of parasites is usually effective in few days. Repeated test can show the effect of treatment.

  • Jedann

    Okay, let me say I am not unfairly picking on this guy. He tells us his Dr. is treating him for parasites, that for one of his tests, he blow into a tube and the parasites can be measured. Currently, he has been in treatment for over a month and on special diets, no meats and then only chicken etc. Last week his test showed no improvement and he still reports to us that he has rectal bleeding from ruptured cysts caused by the parasites.
    I am only telling you what he is telling us. What are we to believe?

  • Jan Modric

    intestinal parasites are usually diagnosed by a STOOL test – so by providing a sample of stool to the lab. Sample could be also taken during colonoscopy (from the colon) or upper endoscopy (from the small intestine).

    I guess that parasites could cause a cyst within intestinal wall and that the cyst could rupture and cause rectal bleeding. Such a cyst could be possibly hard to treat…

    I’m not aware how an intestinal cyst could be diagnosed with “blowing in a tube” – what blowing means here?

    Maybe he was tested for something other at the same time – like for lung capacity – where you actually blow in the tube…and then some confusion happened in all this discussion…

    Maybe, if this is becoming a big issue, you can find a doctor or even a high-grade medical student and – like to help this person – he/she can read his tests results – if he agrees. He/she should be able to explain what is going on then.

    Contacting his doctor would not be a good idea though since all health data are personal data and may be disclosed only by personal agreement.

  • sarah

    For three months now I have had terrible and never ending gas and my stool doesn’t look normal, it’s either light coloured or like rabbit droppings. After 2 months, the doctor sent me to a gastroenterologist and told me to avoid wheat. Well, I wasn’t wheat intolerant but three weeks later I had a fructose test to determine if I was intolerant to that, nothing showed up and then I asked for a stool and blood test. The doctor called me 2 days ago to tell me that the stool sample revealed a “bug” in my stool. I’m seeing the gastroenterologist in a few days, but now I’m back on all foods I’m finding the gas has gotten extremely worse, even though I thought it was bad before. What do you think this “bug” is, is it a parasite? And if so, what can be done to treat it? The doctor asked if I was allergic to anything, I’m not but does that have to do with my treatment? I hate not knowing and being in school and missing a lot of it is extremely difficult and embarrassing.

  • Jan Modric

    To sarah.

    Your doctor shoud really speak clear with you. A bug can be a parasite, yes. It could also be a bacterium, but doctor will tell you. In both cases, treatment is with antibiotics and you should be treated in few days.

    Avoid sugary foods including honey, fruits, fruit juices and soda. Avoid dairy since intestinal infection may temporarily cause fructose malabsorption or lactose intolerance.

    Doctor asked about allergy because food allergy can cause bowel problems and because you might be allergic to certain drugs used in treatment.

  • Ali

    Dear Jan – first off, a highly informative website, thank you very much for it.

    To my surprize, I found a worm in my stool today, which was probably 6cm long, and was probably, judging from white pale color, a roundworm Ascaris. There could be other worms as well, I am not sure, just found out all this today.

    At the same time, for the past few days, I did notice blood in my stool. I have had abdominal bloating, many sounds from intestines (lower abdominal area), a lot of urges of releasing gas (flatulence), some constipation and very mild occasional diarhea, some fatigue. Otherwise, no loss of weight, all the health tests such as blood tests (of course, none of them done specifically to detect parasites) were always very good. I am 31 year old male, weight 175 pounds (80-85 kg), in good sportive condition, who washes hands all the time, watches his diet (no uncooked/undercooked meat, very little sugar, wash all fruits, etc., but suspect I could have gotten it from frequent visits to restaurants, airlines, or hotel stays).

    As I will further tighten my diet, as well as try a host of simple home remedies (garlic, pineapple, papaya, etc.), will wash everything even more vigorously, and would schedule an O&P as well as visits to primary and specialist doctors, want to be pointed in the right direction in terms of both prescription and over-the-counter medication.

    Should I aim — after tests and consultations with doctors — to take just Mebendazole and pyrantel pamoate, or some other medecines as well? What are sideeffects for men in their 30s?

    Since it seems like preventing worms from unclean waiters/restaurants/etc. for a person of active lifestyle in terms of travel and going out is not possible, what should be consumed on a daily basis to minimize the risk of new infection?

  • Jan Modric

    To Ali.

    A single doze of mebendazole should do the job. It is safe even for pregnant women, and except eventual transient nausea or diarrhea, there should be no serious side effects like infertility or so. Check on .

    Pyrantel pamoate is not regularly used to treat parasites in humans as I know…

    About prevention of “traveler’s diarrhea”, you can read here:

    Foods that are cooked and served hot should be safe. You should PEEL all fruits. Never eat fresh vegetables or buy raw meat or fish. Drink only bottled water or other drinks. Hot tea, carbonateed drinks or alcohol should be safe when served, but glasses and bottles contaminated with dirty hands may be problematic. Consider to get a personal set of spoon, fork and knife (traveler’s flatware).

    In stores buy only canned or packaged-pasteurized foods.

  • Ali

    Thank you very much Jan. Indeed, I love raw vegetables, and the problem might be from that. But what disappoints me is that I actually watch what I eat and drink far more than most, and handwashing is done more than regularly, and still getting this. Also, as I said, it’s nearly impossible to cut out completely the usage of restaurants’ dishes and forks/spoons/glasses. Nor can all the vegetables, fruits, etc., be realistically cut out. So would you recommend any kind of supplements or anything to periodically take for prophylactics? Obviously, I don’t want to take any antibiotics periodically.

    One more issue — I noticed while doing research on this page and others that there could be some urinary tract infections or problems arising from worms. I’ve had some minor problems, like reduced pressure of the urine when it’s coming out, in the past year. I’ve visited two different specialists who’ve done blood and urine tests and said that it’s generally within a norm, there is nothing they could see. One prescribed some antibiotic just in case. As I said, I also tested blood, even tested for STDs twice in the past 2 years – nothing, all is clean. So my question would be: 1) which worm could most likely affect the urinary tract in a male, 2) which medicine(s) are best to deal with them, and 3) which test(s) are best in determining the problem and whether it has done away? Thank you once again Jan.

  • Jan Modric

    Prophylaxis with anti-helmintic drugs would be dangerous, noone would prescribe you this on a long term. I’m not aware of any effective prophylactic “supplements” but there are several ways how to disinfect food or water (link from previous post).

    It’s how “THEY” produce and package foods and how they wash their hands and dishes. The only effective way is to avoid raw and unpasteurized foods and drinks. “Salad” is a typical source of food poisoning. Try canned vegetables when on travel. In Western world these measures are usualy not necessary, though. Food poisoning on a travel is a rule rather than exception. “Cook it, peel it or don’t eat it”.

    Reduced pressure of the urine may be due to reduced tone of parasympathetic nerves responsible for the tension of the bladder wall. If this was the cause you would probably be constipated a bit.

    If your urine test for parasites was negative, it’s not likely you have urinary parasites. Anyway, they would probably be killed during treatment of intestinal parasites with mebendazole that is a broad spectrum antihelmintic drug.

    So, first treat intestinal parasites and then you’ll see what happens with your bladder. Anxiety, depression or certain drugs may lower parasympathetic tone and reduce pressure at urination.

  • Ali

    Thank you very much for all the advice and help!

  • Many questions!

    I was diagnosed with Entamoeba coli cysts about two weeks ago, and was prescribed Paromomycin (250 mg, qty 42), which I completed four days ago. (I took 500 mg 3x per day.) When I awoke this am, it seemed like it did when I first noticed it about 6 weeks ago…waking up to needing to go to the bathroom, some abdominal pain (like PMS), aching in my hips and lower back, etc… What is still causing these pains? Am I not giving things enough time to heal? Or should I pursue something else?

    Also, could my husband and children be carriers and will they later manifest the symptoms? I did not travel out of the country, but we do try and eat mostly organic foods and were drinking water from an artisan well. My husband had a stool sample (symptoms were a nervous stomach due to a big project coming up and paranoia on my part) but it came back negative. I am and have always been in Good Hygiene mode. Now, it may be even a little OCD! Do I need to avoid people? Avoid using bathrooms other than mine? Avoid eating meals with others? Should my other family members?

    We have stayed out of church ever since I was diagnosed, because the staff needs me to help out in the four year old class. Am I being hypocritical to go and participate in church but not work with small children? Should I be telling people I have it so they know why I have suddenly become an introvert, or is practicing good hygiene enough? There was a news report show that reported how a person still had many organisms on his hand even though he had washed thoroughly. So how long can these parasites live outside of the host? Will vinegar, salt or chlorine kill it? Will it stay on our towels after they are washed? Can I mix our laundry together when I wash? What should I wash with?

    There are two other variables in this drama. First, we got new puppies (outside dogs) from the Humane Shelter about 7 weeks ago and they did have round worms. My stool sample was negative for this. The other is I have MS but am asymptomatic, although I may have a suppressed immune system for healing.

    I read that the cysts can migrate to other organs. I’m having pains in my hip joints and lower back. Can it migrate there?

    My doctor doesn’t seem to know much about this. Should I go to another? What kind should I go to? How critical is it that I get in there quickly?

    Thank you for any answers you might have!

  • Jan Modric

    Answers to Many questions:

    1. Entameba coli is not pathogenic for human and does not cause any symptoms.

    It is Entameba hystolytica and some other species of entameba that may cause symptoms in humans. So, first, you would need to clear this out.

    “Cyst” has two meanings. In microbiology, a cyst is a stage or form of a microbe that has a thick capsule. So, as I understand, it was microbiologist who found “Entameba hystolytica cysts” in the sample of your stool under the microscope.

    Another meaning of a cyst, which has nothing with the first one, refers to a ball-like collection of fluid in a certain body organ from different causes. These cysts can be diagnosed only by ultrasound, CT, MRI or biopsy of affected tissue. It is true that some parasytes may cause these cysts in the body organs but not Entameba coli.

    If you did not have above mentioned investigations, you can’t say that you have cysts in any organ.

    Morning urgency can result from many causes, one of them are parasites but there are other common reasons like eating a lot of fruits high in fructose, anxiety and such.

    Roundworms may be cought from dogs but your stool sample may show a false negative result. In intestinal worms and in parasites in general, eosinophils (a type of white blood cells) and IgE antibodies are often elevated in the blood, so you may want to check this also.

    Parasites are transmited from human or animal stool via dirty hands to mouth or by contaminated food or water (food or water poisoning).

    Washing hands and raw vegetables and avoiding potentially undercooked meat (fast food) and suspicious water should be enough.

    With good hygiene it is really unlikely to catch or spread parasites with shaking hands and such. There is no need to avoid people, also you can use clean toilets. Usual washing of underware should be enough, no need to separate clothes…

    If your doctor(s) left you with so many questions then use your common sense will you ask some other doctor (gastroenterologist) for advice or not. From what you have posted here, situation doesn’t sound dangerous for your health or anyone’s health from eventual spread of microbes. But regarding you have dogs with parasites at home and you have symptoms that may be from parasites you may want to have tests done by someone you won’t have doubts in it.

    Intestinal parasites cause loose stools, in most cases more then one a day. Symptoms may disappear for some time and appear again. Sometimes more then one stool sample is required to detect parasites.

  • Searching for Answers

    I was trying to find some information on intestinal parasites and ran across your website. It’s got some great information on it, and thanks. However, I’m just curious, were you being rude when you said use your common sense in your last posting? The poster sounded scared and had some good questions. I hoped you weren’t being rude to someone in her position.

    Thanks, and thanks again for your work.

  • Jan Modric

    To Searching for Answers:

    When a doctor prescribes you a treatment for a non-pathogenic microbe you can then use a common sense (a combination of reasoning and feelings) to decide what to do – you can ask the doctor for explanation, or, if you don’t trust him, ask another doctor.

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  • riley38

    i ben trying to figer out what is wrong with me i get bad cramps in the morning i keep losing waght i feel weak and dizzy when i stand i had a colon oxdaby and down the throat in 2007 nothing my bones crack i had the same thing in 2007 it went away but now its back again could i have aparasite?

  • Jan Modric


    yes, losing weight and dizzines (probably from anemia) may be caused by parasites. You need blood test for iron and stool test for “ova & parasites”. These tests sometimes do catch parasites so you will maybe need to have repeated tests. If positive, doctor will prescribe you anti-parasitic drugs.

    Mucus in the stool and loose stools are common in parasites. In giardia sulphur smelling gas may appear.

    Be sure to drink enough fluid (water, tea, orange juice…) to avoid dehydration that may contribute to dizzines and weakness.

  • Ali

    Hi Jan! Thanks again for your comments back on Aug 20. As I saw a doctor, he prescribed Mebendazol, which I took for 5 days, twice a day, 100 mg tables each (the drug was actually called Vermazol). There is definitely no more worms or blood in stool, or anything else, but on one occasion on the 4th day of taking the tablets there was still mucus. If it has disappeared since then, may it be assumed that the problem is gone and resolved? Of course, within a 1,5 weeks, I will resume the treatment to make sure any eggs that might start developing into worms are gone, too. But still, do you think it would be a good idea to do such mebendazole treatments every 12 months or so (I do travel frequently, and can’t avoid restaurants and hotels).

    Thank you.

  • Jan Modric


    mucus and all symptoms should go away after successful treatment. Mucus may need some extra day to clear out.

    treatment with mebendazole is done when you have symptoms, or when you have positive result of a stool ova and parasites test. “Preventive” mebendazole would work only during taking and probably few days after that. I really do not recommending you to try taking metronidazole with each travel…these are strong drugs and may make real mess in your bowel on a long term.

    On travel, try to have foods that are served *hot* but not fast food, which often contains undercooked meat.

    – tap water
    – fast food (really a common cause of food poisoning)
    – salads and other raw vegetables
    – unpeeled fruits
    – icecream from the street and deserts
    after the meal

    If you like vegetables try foods with cooked vegetables like broths, chinese food and so.

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  • jon

    Can’t get rid of them! First treatment w/ Mebendazole in Feb., 2 treatments 2 wks apart. They came back, so I got another script in June. They’re back AGAIN. What can I do?

    I’m in very good health — I exercise & eat as healthfully as possible. I’m careful about washing my hands & not touching my face. I wash all fresh fruit/veggies thoroughly. I cook all meat well done.

    I eat a smoothie every a.m. of tofu, yogurt, raw almonds, banana, frozen blueberries, raspberries & strawberries. The frozen fruit comes in large bags from the big-box store. I also spend time in my garden. Could these be sources of the parasites?

    I’ve been taking a pro-biotic supplement & dietary enzymes — are these helpful or a waste of money? I also take a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement daily.

    What else can I do?

  • Jan Modric


    do you have any symptoms from these parasites? When you gaet them next time, your doctor should maybe try some other antibiotic or combination of antibiotics and a prplonged course should be maybe tried.

    Probiotics (especially Saccharomices boulardii capsules) are helpful during antibiotic treatment since they help to restore your intestinal flora killed by antibiotics.

    Probiotics, dietary enzimes, vitamins and minerals should be considered as supplements, meaning you take them when you have confirmed deficiency of one or more of them. Otherwise taking these supps has no sense.

    Garden can be a source of parasites, yes. Freezing does not necessary kill parasites. Raw food products could also be a source. Tofu/dairy should not be a problem if pasteurized. Now, the question is, do you get infected from the outside source or from non-complete treatment of existing intestinal parasites.

  • luis


    I traveled to the tropics two week ago and was diagnosed with entamoeba hystolytica. I was given nitazoxanide 500mg (x6, 3 days), one tablet of quintamide and then took secnidazole 500mg (x12,for 6 days). Had a second stool and blood test and the results for parasites were negative. Still feel a bit bloated and even though the diarrea has ceased don’t feel 100% right. The doctor gave me spasmoctyl 40 and digestive enzimes to aliviate the bloating, which I think it is helping, but when do you think I should feel OK again? Would you recommend further test/a different treatment? Thank you so much for your help!

  • Jan Modric


    except of bloating, is there anything other what’s wrong: nausea, stool still not as it was, abdominal cramping, pain?

    You say digestive enzymes help you. Which exact enzyme are you taking?

    Parasites has maybe affected production of enzyme lactase and if there is lactase included in your digestive enzymes it may help you to digest lactose in dairy products.

    Parasites might also triggered fructose malabsorption, meaning that fructose from fruits can’t be properly absorbed, so it stays in the small intestine and causes bloating.

    So, in case you have problem digesting lactose and absorbing fructose, avoiding dairy products (especially milk) and foods containing fructose (fruits), HFCS (some soda and certain packaged foods), and sorbitol (in some fruits like grapes, dates, figs, apples, pears, sugar-free chewing gum) could help you.

    All above foods are excluded in low-fodmap diet:

    This diet, if foods are culprit, should help you considerably within 4 days.

    If not, you may want to have another stool test for parasites, since these tesets are often false negative.

    If left lower abdominal pain, barnyard smell of gas and fever appear, you should consider to have stool test for Clostridium difficile toxin. Cl-diff bacteria sometimes overgrow in the colon after antibiotic treatment.

  • luis

    jan, many thank for your response, much apprecxiated. THe stool is not quite right yet I think, might have mucus and a bit of blood sort of floating if you see what I mean, will get a new stool test done for sure in London tomorrow

    The treatment that I have received, does it sound right to you? I have my doubts about this doctor I saw in the tropics. The digestive enzymes are called Digestal, from Acrobax Dominicana, thank you so much for your expert advice!

  • Jan Modric


    mucus may be produced by parasites and blood probably arises from the damage parasites has done in your intestinal wall. I can’t say from here if this means an active infection. At least blood (not sure about mucus) may appear in the stool, even after parasites were eradicated.

    There are several possible treatment regimes for Entameba hystolytica; it may be one or more antibiotics to take for few days; your new doctor should decide on the basis of tests.

    Digestal is a remedy containing some herbal extracts, which probably help to digest some fibers before gas producing intestinal bacteria do…and may thus prevent bloating realted to fiber-rich food…

    Having another stool test for parasites seems fine. Maybe ask a doctor, if a stool test for Clostridium difficile is also needed. If you get antibiotics, also ask for probiotic capsules containing Saccharomyces boulardii yeasts – these prevent antibiotic associated diarrhea.

  • Quinton


  • Quinton

    there was some type of mucas at one comes and goes

  • Quinton

    about two to three days with the itching/bowel movements and with the stomach and headaches ….it’s been awhile…long time now…about two months with the headaches…

  • Jan Modric


    do you have loose bowel movements (diarrhea) and is there any mucus (translucent, wtitish, viscous substance) in your stool?

    For how long do you have these symptoms?

  • Jan Modric


    intestinal parasites are possible. You will need to visit your doctor, who can order a stool test for parasites; if parasites will be proved, doctor will probably prescribe you anti-parasitic drugs.

    To help your doctor to make correct diagnosis, write down all symptoms from last months you can recall. Here is a questionnaire that may help you:

    There are other possible causes of your symptoms; doctor can tell you more after some investigations.

  • One miserable dude

    Doc, I’m 33, and about 50 pounds overweight. For a couple times a month for about three months, I was waking up in the morning with loose stool followed by diarrhea. It would generally hurt while it was trapped, but then when passed, I would get severe nausea for a couple hours. Later in the day, I would be not great, but able to work.

    About a month ago, I got a pretty sever cold, and two days later, I got severe abdominal pain. Same symptoms in morning as before, but it would also hurt after I ate for several hours(sever abdominal pain, but with no distinct origin). I went to my Family doctor, and I may have misled him, because for the last couple of months I had thought I had an ulcer, and was treating with highest count probiotic from GNC(some grassy drink you mix with water, tastes like dandelions). My doctor gave me H-Pylori, and upper GI scan, both came back negative. I did test positive for mild Gerd/acid reflux, so I’m on prescription purple pill. He also gave me Cyporil, but didn’t help. He said maybe its your gall bladder, and sent me too Gastrologist. Gastrologist said, he thought I got a parasite, and gave me 10 days of Flagyl (Metronidozol) 4 times a day. I didn’t really start getting relief until about 3-4 days into treatment. He also told me to take probiotics with the antibiotics, and I thought he said after antibiotics. I have been one week off of antibiotics that lasted 2.5 weeks. And there is no doubt that the Flagyl did help. After I finished antibiotics, and overwhelming pain subsided, I could definitely tell where pain was coming from, It was along my left side, horizontally under my rib cage, and along my right side(I think my lower/upper/middle colon). A week of diarrhea/sleepless nights later, it only hurts at the endpoints of where colon meets. Today, it only seems to hurt on the right side.. Is this normal healing process? I am one month after getting really sick, three weeks after getting diagnosed properly, and 1 week after stopping antibiotics. I still have loose stools and diarrhea in the night/ and mild pain/uncomfortable feeling through the day. I am relieved after a movement but it really doesn’t fix the uncomfortable feeling. I do not have the severe nausea/overwhelming pain anymore. Am I just being impatient? Or do I need to go back to Gastrologist? Thanks in advance.

  • Jan Modric

    Hi, miserable…

    On the end of a successful treatment of parasites, you should have no symptoms.In your case it is possible:
    – treatment was not successful or you got infected again: another stool test for parasites would be needed to confirm this
    – you’ve developed antibiotic associated diarrhea, caused by overgrowth of Clostridium difficile bacteria. In this case, you’d have barnyard smell of gas and stool. Diagnosis is with stool test for Cl-diff toxin.

    If you will get another antibiotic therapy, you should take probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii ALONG with antibiotics (few hours apart), not after antibiotics.

  • One miserable dude

    Thanks for your response, I know I’m an idiot, but I was so out of it when I was at the doctors office. If I had the money, I would have gone to the hospital. I was 1 week without solid foods before I actually got to the right doctor.
    I only have smelly fatulence when ocasionally since antibiotics usually when it is a really loose stool.
    Follow up questions:
    1) I tried to get another appointment with Gastrologist, they said a couple weeks. Is that too long to wait, if I got reinfected? Show I just go to family doctor instead?
    2) I wasnt taking the probiotic suplements during antibiotic, but was drinking probiotic yogart drinks and eating yogart. Would this have helped at all. If I have Cl-diff toxin am I screwed?
    3) My doctor didnt mention anything about diet except to eat easy to digest, non spicy, no caffein, and start to try to eat more solid foods towards the end of first week. (The two weeks prior to finding out that I had a parasite, I was eating nothing but fruits, juices, and cottage cheese, wich I have found out since was the worst thing for a parasite). Because of this diet, could I have killed the efectiveness of antibiotic? (I am vegetarian, hard to not eat high sugar/dairy diet)
    Thanks so much, I wish either of my doctors were this informative. They just said dont worry………..

  • Jan Modric


    I’m not a doctor, but I can answer you:
    1. About how long to wait – if your symptoms are bearable, a couple of weeks to wait for gastroenterologist may be acceptable.
    2. Probiotic yoghurts contain different microbes and their efficiency differ from brand to brand, so I can’t tell. To be sure, when taking antibiotics next time, obtain Saccharomyces boulardii capsules – from a doctor or in a pharmacy. Taking probiotics alone doesn’t seem to help.
    3. Diet. What about this: rice, bread, oatmeal, cornmeal, morning cereals, potatoes, pasta, green leafy vegetables (all these are long chain carbohydrates), cheese (not necessary cottage cheese; you can hardly kill parasites with food…) From fruits: citruses, berries, banana, kiwi. Avoid fruits high in fructose and sorbitol: cherries, peaches, plums/prunes, dried fruit in general (figs, dates..), apples, pears, also juices or jams from these fruits. Frutose and sorbitol may aggravate diarrhea. There is no need to have a liquid diet.

  • One miserable dude

    You just described my entire diet.. No wonder I didnt get rid of it the first time. If your not a doctor, you should be. Your info seems to correlate pretty well with other sites. Thanks.

  • Sick and no insurance

    I read all 108 of the posts because I too know that something is wrong with me. I was a type A personality with so much energy people wanted to know what I took, leagal or not. I took nothing..that WAS just me. Now I am depressed, constantly feeling badly with no energy. About 1 3/4 years ago, after losing my very active job, I noticed changes in my appetite, bowel movements and the overall feeling of tiredness. I attributed it to the quick change of daily habits. I had been in a stressfull,very physically challenging job for 3 years. Suddenly, after being let go, I found that I was not as active. So, I rationalized that all my symptoms were do to that. Maybe a little depression along the way. But as time went on, those symptoms continued as follows: I have night sweats with the feeling of tingling hot and cold skin..almost like you put ben gay on it, but while sweating. I am aware most of the morning of a pain right under my left ribcage, near the sternum. Feels kind of like a hunger pain, but I am not hungry. In fact, I am rarely hungry and get full when I do eat. As to my bowel movements. They range from what I call poo goo. Dark, mucusy,bubbly goop to normal and then to constipation. I have noticed mucus when I fist poop when I have constipation. When I have diairrhea, it looks like dark mucus floating around undigested small pieces of lettuce (only not green,but the same color) It floats and therefore I have to usually flush the toilet a few times to get it to go down) We have traveled quite a bit, but mainley cruises. I feel like I am running a slight fever, but when I take it, only occasionally it will be like 99. When I awake in the morning, I am awake because I have the urge to go to the bathroom immediately. When constipated, of course, I have the urge but can not go. When I have diarrhea, I go all morning, but in small amounts. When the poop is normal, I go 4-5 times in the morning and it is like it is trying to make up for all the other non going or going too much issues. Like I said, I have no health insurance and am unemployed at this time. What is the cheapest thing I can do to determine what is wrong with me? I also do not sleep well, am foggy brained and generally don’t want to do anything but get better and make the pain in my upper left stomach go away. I would like to eat a big dinner and not regret it too!!! Please help me as I do not want to live my life like this if I do not have to.

  • Sick and no insurance

    I forgot to say that most mornings I vomit, or at least feel like I want to. It is just clear mucus. I do have sinus problems. I have also noticed that I have trouble urinating to full speed as I used to. I do take muscle relaxants and oxycodone 5 mg for a back injury and I do drink a few alcoholic drinks…OK I fell like crap, so………..If this sounds like a parasite, please let me know how to make it go away!!!!!!

  • Sick and no insurance

    I am 56 years old, and female. I do not eat many REAL sugary foods like desserts or sweets, but do like starchy foods like breads, gravys,biskits, potatoes etc.I also do not eat many fruits as they irritate my stomach. Eat lots of chicken, veg., potatoes and wild rice. I take “senior”vitamins. I may eat 2 candy bars a year. I think that starchy foods break down into sugars though. I drink regular coke with my rum when I drink alcohol.(Found out years ago, diet coke gave me acid reflux. When I cut out the diet coke with aspertime, acid reflux stopped immediately. It was the aspertime) No, I am not burpy nor do I have acid reflux now, but have noticed I am more flagulant than I used to be. I also worked closely with my employee that was very very very flagulant and at 72 she said she had never been before.She travels abroad quite often and we did share food at lunch sometimes. Food made at her or my home and brought to work. We both are very diligent as to hand washing and even using hand sanitizers. As to the stools color, when it is diarahhea, it is very dark brown but not black and not like coffee grounds. When it is normal it is the color of a cardboard box. When constipated, like I said, the first piece out in the morning is medium dark brown, like little pebbles pushed together with a creamish mucus attached.I do not think that I have ever seen blood in the stools.
    I have taken the muscle relaxants and pain pills for a few years before these symptoms occured but realize the pain pills can cause constipation. I drink prune juice when I notice it coming on.
    As to whether the pain in the upper left quadrant goes away after a bowel movement the answer is not completely. It remains a knawing sinsation until mid day and food does not seem to lessen it but for a short while. I was allergic to mothers milk, and cows milk as an infant so I will try to cut out dairy, but that will be hard because I love it so. The Activia for breakfast seems to have helped the last few days. Maybe I can keep that?? I do not drink much milk at all and have fat free half and half in my coffee. I do eat cheese and sour cream alot.I will do without for how long to test? Thank you for your quick responce. This is the first time I have ever posted a comment and actually “talked to someone” online. Not sure how it worked. WORKS GREAT!!!

  • Jan Modric

    how old are you, male/female?

    Do you burp excessively, have a heartburn?
    Important: does pain in the upper left stomach goes away or lessen after a bowel movement?
    With dark stool you mean *black* stool?

    Getting full after few bites speaks for a disorder in the stomach or the upper part of the small intestine:
    – chronic gastritis caused by H. pylori bacteria. Dx is with breath or blood test, Rx is with antibiotics
    – small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)

    Mucus, dark stool (blood?), urgency, can be from parasites, but also from Crohn’s disease.

    What to do:
    1. Diet. No matter what’s the cause, you can maybe reduce bloating and lose stools with avoiding sugary foods, fruits, high in fructose and dairy.
    2. Low grade fever speaks for inflammation, maybe caused by intestinal parasites. Stool blood for parasites should not cost much. I’m not aware of any successful treatment of parasites except with prescribed anti-helmintic medications.

    There are several options to go from there, but maybe you try above two things first (diet alone probably won’t heal you).

    Muscle relaxant may aggravate constipation and oxycodon can cause or aggravate nausea and vomiting. When the bowel is irritated, alcohol may additionally irritate it.

  • deanna w

    I spent 6 months traveling between Germany, Czech Republic, Afghanistan, and Pakistan in 2007. I was treated twice for giardia. I believe I still have more parasites. I always feel tired. Did more stool tests and did a basic blood test. Everything came back “normal”. I went to a lady who does iridology. She looked at my eyes and told me I had a large infestation of parasites in my lungs, small intestine, other parts of my body, and possibly my brain. She told me I have pinworms, flukes, and round worms. My doctor told me that I have nothing wrong with me. And she will not refer me to a GI specialist. I have not lost weight but rather have gained 10-15 pounds in the last couple of years. I constantly get headaches and I am always tired. I also feel like I cannot fully concentrate and am never fully rested. I am 21. I also get sharp pains in my lungs.

    I am really frustrated. I know I don’t feel well and my doctor doesn’t seem to believe me because tests say otherwise. I am switching doctors but fear she will tell me the same thing. Can I do something for myself? Is there a way to get proof I am infected still? I am desperate for help!

  • Ali

    Hi Jan. I have asked for your guidance back in August, and you were extremely helpful — thank you very much. I wanted to share this news item I saw today with everyone, before I ask my question:

    My question — Mebendazole helped a lot (100mg tablets 2 times a day for 3 days, then repeated it 2 weeks later), but it seems the treatment was not enough, as I still have mucus in the stool, and still have a little bloating and flatulence. Still, it is much better than it was, and there is no pain of any kind, there is no diarhea, etc. But still, I am worried that the worms/parasites might be returning, even though I watch my diet and hygeine even more than I used to.

    I did the O and P test as well as urine test. The urine test was clear, the OandP said that there MIGHT have been some parasites, but didn’t find anything conclusive (it was performed AFTER I took mebendazole, which I started taking the next day after discovering the roundworm).

    While I will be doing another O and P test tomorrow, I am wondering if I should repeat the mebendazole treatment, but this time take the 100mg tablets 3 times a day for 3 days, instead of 2 times a day for 3 days. What do you think? I am an otherwise healthy 31-year old male. Thank you Jan.

  • Jan Modric


    dozing is doctor’s responsibility – he/she should know. But you can ask, if any other drug (albendazole, diethylcarbamazine, ivermectin or praziquanteltreat), or combination of drugs would be appropriate.

    Both parasites and antibiotics irritate the bowel, so you can expect some symptoms to persist after the end of the treatment; having an O&P test is always a good idea, though.

    Green vegetables, yes, they are risky to get parasites, not by themselves, but because they are hard to clean properly when in hurry. Salads, unpeeled fruits. sweet deserts (even if cooked), hamburgers and tap water are most problematic.

  • Jan Modric

    To sick and no insurance.

    You’ve said mucus is creamy – would you say greasy?

    I suggest you 4 DAY diet trial, which can lessen bowel irritation, but cannot treat parasites or other disease you might have. So, I still encourage you to have a stool test for parasites.

    Low-fodmap diet trial (if your problems are at least partly food-related it should take some effect within 4 days). You exclude:
    – fructose (honey, all fruits and fruit products, any food containing HFCS)
    – sorbitol (as sweetener in sugar free chewing gum, “low-calorie” foods, diet soda…)
    – dairy (exclude it completely in these 4 days – you might be still allergic, or you might have lactose intolerance)
    – galactans (legumes, cauliflower, artichokes)
    -fructans (wheat, onions)
    – alcohol

    I’m not sure, if pain under your left ribs is from gas from the transverse part of your colon (if yes, it might go away with above diet) or from your stomach. H. pylori infection of the stomach is quite often, may go with no or few symptoms, it stimulates acid secretion…

    I mean, they may be parasites, but also H. pylori infection + irritation from the food.

  • Jan Modric

    Hi, deanna.

    You can use this questionnaire:

    …to help you write down all of your symptoms.

    Where exactly are “pains in lungs” – under the breastbone or on the sides? Does breathing or coughing affects this pain? Do you cough out any phlegm?

    Parasites often cause raise of blood eosinophils and IgE antibodies – these are not routine tests, though. X-ray or MRI of the chest can be done in chest pain. Some parasites, like echinococcus, can form cysts in various organs, and MRI is often the only way to find them.

  • Monica

    Just got back from a trip to Mexico a week ago. 2 nights ago(around 10pm), I started feeling like I was having very strong period cramps, but was able to fall asleep.
    I woke up about 45 min. later due to very heavy cramping throughout my stomache and back along with extreme nausea. Pain finally subsided about 6 hours later, but was left feeling weak with no energy. The next night, the exact same thing happened(around 10pm again). I went to the ER (I thought maybe it was my galbladder). They ran a urine sample and all kinds of bloodwork, but everything checked out OK. Could I have a parasite? And if so, is there one that is more active when your body is at a state of rest? I’m afraid the same thing is going to happen again tonight. I have a visit with the family Dr. this Monday. Any suggestions on what she should look for or do?

  • Jan Modric


    intestinal parasites are possible; you should ask for “Ova nad Parasites” Stool test. In the case of a negative result, repeat the test, since O&P test is often false negative.

    Timing of your symptoms probaby relate to meals rather than rest.

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  • wessexguy

    Hello. Many years ago I found a worm in the toilet, that looked like a long white leech, I could see it moving and swimming like a leech in the toilet. It was about 5-6cm long. So I collected it and put it in a jar. I showed my mother, so she could take it to the doctor (normally she would be off like a shot), but she threw it away!. Ever since I’ve wondered if it had swam up the drain or been passed and if any of the family could be infected still?. Thanks

  • Jan Modric

    To wessexguy.

    It’s hard to say where did that worm come from. Anyway, such worms may live in human intestines for years without being noticed, disappear, appear again…they are mostly contracted by contaminated food or soil-contaminated hands. Worms may cause bloating, diarrhea, mucus in the stool, anemia, weight loss…If anyone is worried about having worms, he/she should have a stool test for “Ova and Parasites”.

  • Honolulu

    I’ve been experiencing intense abdominal pain with raging diarrhea. When I pass this diarrhea it’s like I’m vomiting. I’m exhausted and the lymph nodes in my neck are swollen & painful. Awaiting test results & I’m terrified they’ll say nothing is wrong. Have been feeling ill for some time now. Saw my Dr prior & she did nothing. I switched Dr’s.

  • Jan Modric


    where exactly you feel abdominal pain (which quadrant), is it related to meals or anything? Any other symptoms apart form swollen neck nodes?
    You may use this medical history form to recall eventual other symptoms:

  • Honolulu

    Jan Modric
    Thank-you. The pain is almost the entire abdominal area. Other symptoms are gas, diarrhea, pain & exhaustion. It comes and goes. Lately has worsened. Starts with gas & stool looking like food has been run through a blender. Then pain & stool looks like soup. Intense pain which varies in degree. Passing of stool is like vomiting with pain & sweat. If I stop eating the symptoms lessen but return after eating. I’m so tired caffeine has no affect.

  • Honolulu

    Today I get the test results.
    I hope they found something that can be treated. Will let you know. Aloha

  • Flustered

    Yesterday, as I was flushing the toilet, I noticed that although nearly all of my stool was together at the bottom of the bowl, one “piece” seemed to be swimming circles quite quickly on top of the water. The piece was about two inches long, and cylindrical. It was dark, and looked like a piece of stool, although it was more gray in color than the rest of my stool. It was a little thicker than a pencil, but not quite as thick as my little finger. On the back tip, it seemed to have a very thin “tail”, about 2mm wide and 4mm long.

    Although I was immediately surprised, I tried to convince myself that it was just an errant piece of stool, being carried by the flushing water. However, it motored very rapidly side-to-side as it moved forward, like a snake or a fish might in water, and seemed to travel faster than the flow of the flushing water.

    Can parasites grow to be that thick while still being that short? Or was my imagination running away with me? It didn’t “look” a parasite, except it was swimming! A week before this, we got together with friends, who cooked us a meal of ethnic food from the East African country of Djibouti. Is it possible I picked something up? I have had an unusual amount of gas, painful movements, and itchiness around my anus for the past several days.


  • Jan Modric


    the piece you’ve described was probably only one piece of a much longer intestinal worm. If you cut an apple worm, both halves will still move, right?

    Gas, painful movements, and itchiness are all possible symptoms of intestinal worms.
    I recommend you to see a doctor and ask for “Ova and Parasites” stool test. A short course of anti-parasitic medication will likely treat you.

  • Ali

    Hi Jan — I’ve done O&P, and then re-done it again. Both times were negative. As you might recall from August, I did have a round worm that I saw, and I treated it within a day to Mebendazole (3-day treatment) followed up by another 3-day treatment 2 weeks later, just as suggested. Since O&P was done AFTER the first batch of treatment, it is possible that it didn’t see it because of that. Likewise, the second O&P was also done after the second batch of treatment, so once again, maybe that’s why it didn’t detect anything.

    My doctor thinks there is nothing, but that’s obviously not saw, since I believe my own eyes over any doctor.

    I have since purchased also Albendazol (2 tablets 400mg each) and Biltricide (6 tablets 100mg each), since these drugs are also recommended in such cases. And I still have 4 tablets (100mg) of Mebendazole left.

    The reason I purchased these is because the mucus is back in the stool, and so are constant sounds coming from the whole stomach area (whether the stomach is empty or not), and gas buildup is again a problem. In other words, short of blood in stool, and actual worm(s), the symptoms that I witnessed in August are back.

    My thoughts are that I didn’t kill it off on the first treatment, and perhaps because I have, after a week, re-started a diet of milk, cereal, many different fruits, vegetables, Sturbucks latte, etc., it might have made it a little easier for the parasites to stay and re-proliferate.

    I want to stop this problem before it becomes bigger. When I took mebendazole, I didn’t have any side-effects, which tells me I do have a pretty strong immune system, and can subject myself to an increased dosage without much consequences. Also, even if I am somehow “paranoid” and wrong (which is impossible as I know what I saw back in August and know what I am experiencing right now), treating myself with these drugs won’t do much damage.

    My question is on the suggest dosage and sequence. From what I understand, Albendazole 400mg tablet is very powerful and one would suffice for about 2 days. Should I follow it up with a second tablet on day 3? And then when do I do the remaining Biltricide and Mebendazole tablets — two weeks later?

    Unfortunately, as it becomes obvious from this great website and the complaints from its visitors, it seems that standard medicine can’t fully diagnose and detect this condition until it becomes way too obvious, and basically sucks the person of his energy, nutrients and causes all kinds of problems. I don’t want to wait for that, I want to resolve it ASAP. I suspect a whole lot of people have this and simply don’t know, and even if they do know, their doctors are worthless or helpless. So please do give your opinion on this. Thank you very much for all your help to all the people.

  • Jan Modric

    I can not give a diagnosis or prescribe any kind of treatment online, especially not when it comes to powerful anti-parasitic drugs.

    So, you have gas and sounds, but no blood or worms?

    Ova and parasites are checked under the microscope, so if they are there, live or dead (from drugs), they can be detected. Not that they can 100% detect all worms and eggs; like said before, these tests are a bit limited but still have their worth.

    Now, mucus and bloating is not only from parasites, but also from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), hemorrhoids and other causes:

    IBS can result from certain irritating food (especially fruits and dairy) or from stress, in your case this stress could be recent, but not necessary active, parasitic infection. Mucus can be just a not-yet-settled reaction to already killed parasites. Well, this is one possibility, and you can test it by excluding first next likely cause of mucus – certain foods:

    So, I would recommend you to try this diet first. If it helps in 3-4 days, you can assume mucus was triggered by dropped foods. If nothing happens, I would go to the doctor again.

    You should be aware that antihelmintic drugs, like antibiotics, kill helpful bacteria in your gut and give opportunity to certain bacteria like Clostridium difficile to overgrow and cause dangerous infection.

  • Jan Modric

    Ali, about the product you’ve seen online. If there are only shopping and advertising sites in first 10 results in Google, and not even one serious health site or at least “medical trials” site, you can assume that something is missing there.

    Also, why would any big pharmaceutic company miss an opportunity to sell such a “nice” product. I do not recommend you taking that. When there is no reference about a product OUTSIDE of the advertising site, you can not rely on it.

  • Milkman

    How Can be Parasites Contracted?

    Parasites are shed in human or animal stool; the source of infection in poor countries is usually stool-contaminated food or drinking water, and in industrialized countries, recreational water (lakes, pools) or homosexual men.

    This really struck me as odd, would not anyone Homosexual or Heterosexual have the chance to contract a parasite from anal intercourse ?

  • Jan Modric


    it is a word “usually” that explains the sentence.


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  • Marko

    Hey Jan,

    I’m from the US but I’ve been living in South Korea for about 3 months now. A week and a half ago, I ate some soup at a restaurant that I soon found out had pig stomach and pig intestine in it. I had bad diahhrea that night. Since then, I’ve become constipated, and when I do pass stool there is often a long string sticking out of it. There are also spots of white in the stool…what do you think?

  • Jan Modric


    yes, parasites are posible; all your symptoms are characteristic and Ova and Parasites test can confirm that.

  • Concerned parent

    What is the remedy for children with confirmed threadworm that are under the age of two?

    We have been tols they should not take anything when they are so young, but i hate to leave it untreated.

  • Jan Modric

    Concerned parent,

    I’m not aware of any reliable, safe and effective remedy to treat child threadworms.

    I suggest you to contact a knowledgable pediatrist or infectologist to get advice about which drug and what dose to use. Worms can be easily spread among other family members, so I support you in finding an appropriate drug.

  • James

    After eating at a Mexican restaurant (which I’m not sure is even related), I have been struggling with bad gas, bloating, stomach ache after eating, and yellow loose stools. I did some research and started a Candida diet of mostly steamed veggies, chicken, some eggs and plain yogurt. This diet has eliminated the stomach ache and bloating but my stools are still rather loose and yellow.
    Although I show signs of candida, my doctor thinks it most likely IBS. Well, I have lost 15 lb. in 3 weeks, so I did some more research… I looked for worms in my stool and found them! Not alive (no more than 1.5″ long) along with a few odd “rolled-up” red tube things (flukes?). I suppose all the coconut oil and carrot juice I’ve been taking has been killing some of them off. I recently had a blood test and stool test done and they came back negative… but because of the lack of coordination between my doctor and the lab, they never actually looked for the worms which I know were in the samples! So, now I’m waiting to either do another stool test or find a good gastroenterologist. The type of worm I have doesn’t meet the description and symptoms of the common intestinal worms. They are definitely blocking my absorption and digestion ability.
    Do you have any idea what type of parasite worm I have contracted?
    Thanks, James

  • Jan Modric


    you can show a stool sample with worms to your doctor. When providing a sample for the lab, be sure that some worms will be included.

  • Cheermom2009

    About a month ago, we had to take our dog to the vet and he had hookworms, the vet said we could get them, but the chances were very unlikley. I have researched this alot, because it freaks me out, and because I have a 7 year old daughter. She recently (within the last week) has complained with a stomach ache. A couple of times she has had diarrhea, but other times not. I have read on numerous websites, a symptom of worms is diarrhea. How long does it take for symptoms to show? I am probably just being a paranoid mother, and it wouldn’t worry me so much, except the dog has had them.

  • Jan Modric


    incubation period (time from an infection to appearance of symptoms) in hookworms can vary a lot: from few weeks to several months.

    Yes, diarrhea is a common symptom in intestinal worms, but sometimes there are no symptoms. Bloating and mucus in the stool are also common (but not necessary). Diarrhea in parasites can have a waxing and wanning course. Parasites can clear by themselves, but if diarrhea will continue, you will probably want her to have a stool test for “ova and parasites”.

    Bacterial food poisoning and stomach flu (infection with Rotavirus) are two other common causes of acute diarrhea in children.

  • lexipro

    Interesting page! I am here because I recently tested negative for ova and parasites but positive for Ascaris lumbricoides SIgA in saliva and also positive for T. solium SIgA in saliva. I took the test because I kept having bad diarrhea which started on day 4 after antibiotics for surgery. I have had IBS off and on for many years. My bowel is doing great now. It took a while but is really doing well. Used S. boulaardii at first and lots of probiotics and digestive enzymes. My question is what’s up with these antibodies? Could they be from fighting off infections 30 years ago? I used an expensive but reliable private testing company and I don’t want to pay for another test if I don’t need one. My doc doesn’t know much about this. Thanks!

  • Jan Modric

    To lexipro.

    Antibiotics, killing normal bowel bacteria, thus allowing overgrowth of harmful bacteria, like Clostridium difficile, are a known cause of the so called “antibiotic associated diarrhea”:

    Saccharomyces boulardii probiotics typically prevent or help in this diarrhea.

    I didn’t find any information about reliability of salivary IgA results in Ascaris lumbricoides, but from the following results of testing intestinal Entameba hystolytica, test for IgA antibodies has high percent of false positive and negative results:

  • lexipro

    Thanks for your help! Yes, worry about C. Diff was the reason I took the test and also the S. Boulardii. My doc says standard lab tests are often false-negative, so she sent me to the special lab that checks their tests very carefully. My test was negative for C. Diff, and my symptoms and surgical history didn’t really seem to point clearly to C. Diff. I’m feeling better but still amazed I had so much trouble for so long after the antibiotics. I don’t think I had a worm parasite, though. I will print the article you sent me and I think I’ll assume the saliva tests were false-positive.

  • Jan Modric

    Lexipro, I’ve made an extensive search, and did not find any source even mentioning salivary IgA testing for Ascaris or Tenia worms. Salivary tests are used in Crohn’s disease and in some viral infections…but if you go searching for “Ascaris lumbricoides salivary IgA” there is no info, except for some “order this test” pages…

  • Sunny

    Hi Jan,

    I was diagnosed with nuerocysticercosis in Jan this year. Since then I have been under medication. I took a course of albendazol which my doc recommended.

    I could feel the benifit and was ok for a long time. I am consuming eptoin everyday. These days I feel that infection has found its way back and can feel the symptoms. I understand this may be due to a worm infection in my intestine again?

    Is there a way with which I can get rid of worms in the intestine. Can I consume Albendazol again?

    Thanks for all the help.

  • Jan Modric


    cysticercosis can recur; either in the intestine or in the nerve tissue. Repeated treatment is possible, but you should inform your doctor about this and also ask for probiotics Saccharomyces boulardii to prevent antibiotic associated diarrhea.

  • Sunny

    Thanks for your advice Jan. I guess I will see my doc again.

    Just another query. I feel that my craving for food has increased in last 2 weeks or so. I feel a little bloated with constant burping.

    It is about the same time for which I have been feeling the symptoms.

    Are the two associated?

  • Jan Modric


    food craving and bloating both commonly appear in intestinal parasites; burping less is common, but; I guess, possible. Weight loss, diarrhea, mucus or blood in the stool are additional symptoms that may appear or not.

    Apart from intestinal worms, infection with other parasites like giardia can result in about the same smptoms.

    I guess, you will want to have a stool test for “ova and parasites”.

    If tests will be negative, consider:
    – small intestinal bacterial overgrowth SIBO) – especially if you experience early satiety.

  • Sunny

    When I say Symptoms I mean seizures. I feel that health of my intestine/digestive system is directly associated with the frequency and timing of these seizures.

    The seizures necessarily occur when I am feeling unusual/bloated in the tummy area.

    I mentioned this to my doc and he does not seem to agree to this.

    Can you advise on this?

  • Jan Modric

    So, in your history of cysticercosis, abdominal symptoms and seizures are both present or both absent at the same time? It’s important that you put all your symptoms (old and new ones) in an exact time line to see what happens in about the same time. For you, it is then enough, if you see that symptoms are connected in time and reveal their exact time course to the doctor. Then, they’re only investigations of the brain and the bowel (stool) that can show what is an actual connection between the symptoms.

    Intestinal infection with Tenia solium, followed by neurocysticercosis are two phases of the same infection, which occur at different times, but could overlap…Another possibility is that the stress from abdominal symptoms trigger seizures. I think you should see your abdominal and neurological symptoms as two problems and have tests for both – then you will see, are they from the same cause or not.

  • Sunny

    Thanks a lot Jan!!

    A lot of things are falling in place for me now. I want to learn as much as possible about my condition. You have been of great help 🙂

  • lexipro

    I did get the gliadin test with the saliva, plus a few others. All negative except the two worms. I don’t currently plan to get the ova & parasites checked again. I’ll be seeing the gastroenterologist in a few months for my regular screening and I’ll ask about all this. I was close to going to a gastroenterologist, but I did this special lab’s test with my D.O. instead. Then I was able to get to feeling better via diet and supplements. Thanks for your help!

  • annie05

    hi, Not sure if you can help me. I am currently 19 weeks pregnant (may be irrelevent) and for the past 5 months i am having diarrhea exactly 27 days apart. Do you think this could be parasitic because of pregnancy or something else?

  • Jan Modric


    so, you have diarrhea every 27th day? Do you have any other symptoms on that day or other days (bloating, mucus in the stool, pale skin, lightheadedness…)?

    Regarding it occurs in a period-like pattern, I strongly recommend you to discuss this with your gynecologist.

  • James

    Hi, its James again…”the irritable living sanctuary of worms and flukes”

    Well, I thought I was beating this worm/fluke intestinal problem and just finished a 3-day run of Membendazole. The worms and yellow stool have gone, I was even starting to handle breads and sugars in my diet, until I ate a Larabar today… Man! it tore me up! the bloating, gas, terrible stomach ache, diarrhea and headache all came back just like that! Do you think there’s something to complex in the Larabars that I would still have trouble digesting? I am still finding the small fluke things in my stool, could they still be blocking my digestion like the worms? I am now taking ground clove, wormwood and black walnut hull tincture for the flukes… Do you know what medications are prescribed against flukes? Metronidazole?

    Thanks for your help,

  • Jan Modric


    I recommend you to go through the entire process: laboratory approval (stool test), and taking drugs as prescribed since doses and treating regime may vary a lot.

    Larabar may contain apples, dates, honey and other components containing *fructose* or *sorbitol* that cause diarrhea in fructose malabsorption (which is quite often) – or you are excessively sensitive to fructose during worms infestation.

  • James

    Hi Jan,

    My doctor called back with my latest stool sample results. The lab found vegetable casings? or something, I can’t remember exactly what he said, but the lab didn’t find worms or flukes. I’m thinking “what?” I still can’t believe after two different stool tests the worms and flukes that I know were there, were not detected by “experts.” My doctor has scheduled me for a GI specialist. From every photo I have seen of flukes found in stool, what I have certainly matches.
    Very frustrated here…

  • Jan Modric


    you can catch those flukes and show them to your doctor personally. Also, if procedure allows, to some lab guy.

    In meantime, read about fructose malabsorption. Larabar causing drama in your bowel may be from fructose malabsorption.

    Example of “vegetable casings” are corn and bean skin. These may normally appear in the stool, and when you have “increased peristalsis” they can appear in excess. I guess you eat a lot of vegetables.

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  • James

    Hi Jan,

    I do have a collection for show & tell, but I will take a photo, too!

    Since the worm/fluke attack (10/11) I have been eating lots of chicken, vegetables and yogurt (things that don’t hurt my stomach) but now, finally, I have been digesting breads and fruits.
    The foods in this diet are still normally what I eat and I have never seen those strange red flukes in my stool (I also chew my food well, so I don’t see how these things can all be roughly the same size).

    Also, I have not had a single intestinal cramp associated to the diarrhea.

    As for the Larabars, I had been eating them for over a year (one a day @ work) with no problems… They contain no artificial or added sugars, but probably a concentration of natural fructose? I’ll try eating the type of nuts used in the Larabars and see what happens.

    Thanks for helping me.

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  • Cuba

    I went to Cuba about 1 year ago. Before departing Cuba, I ate some meat, not sure if it was undercooked but tasted horrific so I only had a couple bites. About 4 days upon my return to the States, I started having pain, bloating, constipation in my right lower abdomen. I went to every specialist you could imagine include ID & GI. I hade 2 stool tests completed. Stool test came back normal, although I did have B12 & D deficiencies. After 2 weeks and a strong margarita, symptoms subsided. When I had sexual intercourse months later, I would get sharp pain in right lower abdomen. I was told my issues were either stress related or irritable bowel syndrome. Although, never had diarrhea. Given circumstances, I was/am convinced its parasitic. One year after symtpom onset, I was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia (right side)…had surgery repair. Also had surgeon check for possible Spigelian hernia while doing repair, reported no issues in the right lower abdomen area. The inguinal hernia caused groin pain which was not present one year ago. Could this type of hernia have cause my abdomen pain or could this just be a coincidence? Over the past several years, I’ve been to Mexico, Africa(safari), Venezuela, Brazil. I’m still convinced that I have a parasite, but having difficulty getting supporters. Any thoughts?

  • Cuba

    Also had colonoscopy & upper endoscopy, CT scan,etc…the million dollar work up, no issues, all normal.

  • Jan Modric


    what are your current symptoms, if any?
    Inguinal hernia may cause partial small intestinal obstruction, causing pain in the part of the intestine preceding herniated part – meaning above the inguinal region.

    Pain in intestinal parasites is mainly from bloating and cramping and is more generalized, not so localized. Maybe you had parasites at some time, I can’t say you have them or not now, but what is the current reason to make you think so? Classical symptoms are bloating, mucus in the stool, loose stools or constipation, excessive or more of these symptoms or no symptoms at all are possible.

    The only way to confirm parasites is the stool test. Blood test sometimes shows increased level of eosinophils and IgE antibodies. VitB12 deficiency also can occur in int. parasites, but vitD deficiency is not characteristic.

  • Cuba

    Thanks for the quick response. Symptoms come and go. When it’s acute, I have constipation, extreme bloating, pain isolated to the right lower abdomen area. Considering that I had a right inguinal hernia, as you stated, this could be the culprit. Although, I wouldn’t think the hernia would cause constipation or bloating, could be wrong. I was fixated on parasitic because the symptoms presented shortly after my tryp to Cuba and eating something that was not advisable. I never had a B12 deficiancy issue before, now taking sublingual B12 but haven’t had follow up to determine if still deficient or developing absorption issue. Have had 2 stool test, 1 of which was extensive…all negative althouh, as you point out, could be false negative. How many would you suggest getting before rulling out possibility? Shortly after 1st episode, developed shingles. Symptoms subsided after 3 weeks with no further episodes. Friend had same symtpoms with shingles & B12 deficiency and had parasite. This is why I’m probably so convinced. Your thoughts or suggestions are welcomed.

  • Jan Modric


    was that friend traveling with you? Bloating, constipation, vit B12 deficiency, waxing and waning course, symptoms appeared after travel – all this can speak for intestinal parasites.

    I recommend you this:
    Check medical history questionnaire and see if you can recall any other symptom. Then, when presenting symptoms to your doctor, do it in a short way, like you did it here, and put those speaking for parasites together. Also put all in a timeline. Mention your friend had parasites.

    Sometimes several tests are needed before one is positive. Take at least three samples from one stool **when you have symptoms**. Also ask your friend what exact type of parasites were discovered there. You can also ask for Hemoccult test (blood in stool), and blood tests for iron (anemia is common in parasites), eosinophils and IgE antibodies – abnormal levels can all support suspiction for parasites.

  • Cuba


    Thanks for the recommendations. The friend was not on the trip with me. They had an isolated case from drinking stream water here in the States. The similar symptoms (ie B12 deficiency, shingles, bloating constipation, pain) are leading my thoughts in this direction. You noted that you recommend stool test only when symptoms are acute. Is there a reason for this? Morel ilkely to get a false negative when no symptoms are present? I will follow through on all your recommendations. Thanks

  • Jan Modric


    yes, when symptoms are acute, it’s more likely eventual parasites are present in detectable amount. It would be even possible that parasites clear and you’re constantly re-infecting yourself, maybe from the same kind of source like your friend.

  • Deb

    I had laperascoby surgery 6 years ago on my ovaries and had internal bleeding so then had the bikini incision. Ever since then I’ve been constipated. Fiber and laxatives have not helped so far. I can’t get a Dr to do a colonoscopy. I have lots of pain on my left side and it gets tight and hard. I’ve felt like I’m slowly dying these past few years. I started colonics last year but cannot afford to continue right now. I felt extremely better even though it was always painful. At least I was able to eat again. The day after colonics if I was able to eliminate anything it would have all kinds of rubber band looking strings. I still have some dark stools if I haven’t been able to eliminate much. This went on until I stopped colonics. I started doing enemas this past week and the day after I get the same rubber band looking strings in my stool, some spirals. Could this be parasites? Is that my I keep feeling worse and worse? My tongue hurts when I eat when I’m not eliminating when I feel like I need to go. I’m a skinny person and don’t have much extra to lose. I’ve slowing been gaining back some of the weight I lost but still feel so tired and fatigued all the time.

  • Jan Modric


    intestinal worms may look like rubbers strings, yes. Take few samples and take them to the doctor. Constipation and fatigue both appear in worms.

  • cclark

    Since this summer my daugher, age 3, has had intermittent loose stools. At first we attributed it to the summer fruit she ate a lot of. We cut back and things seemed to improve. Then over a month ago she started to have tiny bowel movements about 10 times a day. Sometimes the stool was formed like a small ball and sometimes it was just a “splash” of stool as if she “passed gas” and it came out. We are waiting on the stool sample but in the meantime (the last few days) there is very little stool, only the “splashes” of stool. It is causing awful rashes and we have to bathe her to clean her out. Does this sound like a parasite/yeast/bacteria issue? I am worried that she is getting ‘backed up’ because there is no considerable stool coming out any more. However, we are still changing her diaper 10 times daily. Please help!

  • cclark

    I would also like to add that she occasionally suffers from stomachaches and sometimes her stool is a bit ‘grainy’.

  • Jan Modric

    To cclark.

    First, this sounds serious enough to see a doctor. If she eats normally, but not appropriate amount of stool is comming out, she could have an intestinal obstruction or heavy constipation. You can judge about this by checking her weight.

    Loose stools in the summer could be a “toddler diarrhea” caused by fructose overload.

    From symptoms, you’ve described, parasites are also possible. Rash could be from parasites, from certain normal food ingredients irritating her skin, or from food allergy.

    Yeast infection is not likely; bacterial infection is usually from food poisoning and more explosive; it also clears on its own within a week. An overgrowth of bacterium Clostridium difficile would be possible though (stool has a barnyard smell).

    if stool tests for parasites will be negative, consider a low-fructose diet, also read about fructose malabsorption.

    If she will be gaining weight rapidly and become restlesness, intestinal obstruction should be considered and treated promptly.

  • RP

    Great site and blog Jan. I’ve been looking for something like this for quite a while.

    Have you ever come across Strongyloides parasites? I have had all the symptoms of a long term infection (crohn’s-like colon discomfort but no blood, white fibrous mucous in stools, 20 year history of nasal infections, facial rash and weight loss) yet serum and stool tests for Strongyloides have all been negative as were a wide range of tests for other things. After acting on my hunch, at first I tried mebendazole on its own but it only helped a little bit however now I think I’ve managed to clear the symptoms with a combination of mebendazole, garlic, pepitas and a sugar-free diet. Here’s hoping it lasts.

    So I’m wondering if you’d have any idea of the lasting effects of a long term Strongyloides infection (and if you think I’m right!). Thanks.

  • Jan Modric

    To RP.

    If both “ova and parasites” stool test, and specific antibodies for Strongyloides were negative, I doubt if you are infected with it. Elevated blood eosinophils and IgE antibodies may be elevated in intestinal parasites – if not, parasite infection is even less likely.

    I strongly recommend you to check medical history questionnaire and write down all relevant issues: symptoms, positive and negative tests so far, medications and their effect, and so on.

    Low sugar diet helped you. There may be these sugars: fructose, HFCS, lactose and sorbitol that can aggravate your symptoms. Read about low-FODMAP diet.

    Strongyloides stercoralis:
    – appears in tropics and in south parts of US
    – is caught by walking barefoot, you would have a “ground itch” with a noticeable rash on the foot at the time of an infection.
    – gastrointestinal symptoms are – vague.
    – mucus and weight loss, also rash may all appear in intestinal parasites, but they may also appear in this combination in other conditions.

  • blondie

    I am 23 and have been experiencing these problems for about 3 years and don’t know what is causing them. I Am nauseous in the morning and usually vomit a thick bile. When ever i eat my stomach bloats. sometimes making me look 6mo pregnant. I have lower stomach cramps sometimes saver. I have become borderline anemic and milk and red meat intolerant. I have had am endoscopy and a colonoscopy. I have also had an ultrasound. All my woman parts are in perfect working condition. All the doctors are saying is that i have ibs and i know that is a diagnosis for i don’t know whats wrong.

  • blondie

    I also mostly have diarrhea with occasional constipation. Some times yellow slime is mixed in with the poo. It looks like a sausage skin.

  • Jan Modric

    To blondie.

    Nausea, vommiting and anemia are NOT symptoms of IBS.

    What you have, is called “biliary reflux”. Parasites (including intestinal worms) are one of the possible causes. The slime you’ve described, is actually suspicious for worms.

    Have you had these tests:
    – Stool test for “Ova and Parasites”
    – Blood test for common parasite antibodies

    Low-FODMAP diet can help to reduce bloating
    Be sure to write down your complete and exact medical history, because any detail can help the doctor to find a diagnosis.

  • Concerned

    I’ve been reading though all of these comments in attempt to match them to my own…
    when I was younger I did notice possible pinworms in my underwear but was too embarassed to go to my parents and eventually i assume it went away.

    When I was about 18 I noticed that jumpy feeling in my abdominal that others were describing where it felt as though it was a kicking sensation (which is impossible because i was not sexually active at the time). Eventually, that too went away, the following year my digestive system seemed to be very loud growling and making odd noises that got embarassing when i was with my boyfriend but now bowel abnormalties.

    Then, this past july I got intense itching sensations in the anal region that kept me up late at night, they come and go, but especially when I have spicy food or coffee. I have been grinding my teeth which is a new habbit it seems since the itching anal symptoms started. It’s hard for me to fall asleep sometimes, and i still feel weird sensations in my anus at random times of the day. Also, my stool has been abnormal, with a greenish color usually and white “things” in them, is that the mucus everyone keeps referring to?

    I need answers, please help!

  • Jan Modric


    I’m not aware of any other practical way to get diagnosis, than going to your primary doctor, tell him about your exact medical history, and ask him to order stool test for Ova & Parasites. Then, when you find “white things” in the stool, include them into your sample and take it to the lab. White things can be mucus, parts of parasites or their eggs, fat or parts of undigested food.

    Long term parasitic infection can result in anemia and mineral/vitamin deficiences, so you can also ask for appropriate blood tests.

  • Mary

    For a few months I have had trouble sleeping because itching of the anus has become so bothersome. It has subsided at night but I still feel tired a lot and the itching has moved slightly toward the vulva but not directly. Now it feels more like burning every so often and I squirm throughout the day. I’ve made a doctor’s appointment but would like to lead him in the rigth direction once i get there

  • Jan Modric


    doctor will probably:
    – ask you if itching is worse after bowel movements and is it related to type of food; any change in bowel habit or stool consistence; do you strain at defecation; do you have burning urination or vaginal discharge; do you take any medication; do you have any allergy
    – check your groin area for any rash, scaling

    Discoloring, scaling and cracks are mostly due to fungal infection – jock itch
    Constipation and straining can result in hemorrhoids or anal fissure – a crack in anal mucosa
    Pinworms lay eggs on anal mucosa – they can be catched by adhesive tape and checked under the microscope
    In intestinal parasites there is often some abdominal bloating and mucus in the stool. Doctor will maybe order a stool test for Ova & Parasites.
    Herpes genitalis forms small itchy/burning vesicles

  • Longtimetummyprobs

    Hi Jan,

    As many others have said, thank you for this site! I have a long history of stomach problems and have wondered since my Microbiology professor said that more Americans than we would ever think have parasites that I possibly could but was always too embarrased to check into it. Especially because of my trip to Mexico when I was in high school and the problems I was having.

    I am a 30 yo woman and fairly healthy. About 10 years ago I was struggling with depression, major headaches and stomach problems. I didn’t eat much because I was so miserable after I ate and I lived on Excedrin Migraine and Pepto. Oddly enough one of the only things that my stomach seemed to agree with was hot dogs. Is that bizarre? I had an upper GI which showed polyps then the endoscopy to examine those, which were actually tears in my stomach lining from the Excedrin. I was diagnosed with IBS and told to change my diet.

    As the years passed, the symptoms came and went with severity, but I still didn’t trust the diagnosis. Now that I’m putting all the pieces together and researching more and I’m still wondering if it could be parasites or something else altogether. I still have bad headaches, am lethargic and awake unrested, have dark circles under my eyes (which are also hereditary from my mom), get “miserable” after eating, am extremely gassy and odorous, occasionally have an itchy anus/vaginal area and pretty much stay constipated then often have loose/mucousy stool when I can eliminate. I actually wonder now if I could be impacted and what I should do about that. I read somwhere that bad breath could be caused by this. It seems I brush my teeth and floss and that then my breath stinks again in 5 minutes. My partner can’t stand it anymore and has pushed me to get help again because I just never feel good, but I have to pay out of pocket for my insurance deductible and don’t have a lot of money for tests and medicine right now. I know you mentioned the O and P quite a bit and said it’s not too expensive, but you also said it gives a lot of false positives.

    I have started eating 1-2 Activia yogurts and an apple daily and taking Psyllium husk and laxatives (even did an enema for the 1st time, which didn’t help much) to try to clean my system out. I am now getting a hard, pale, cardboard type substance, but not much at any one time. Is that impacted colon? I found a system tonight called Parastroy to create an unfriendly environment for parasites then rid the body of them. With traditional medicine, they want to confirm the type then treat it respectively. Do you think this herbal system could work and is it dangerous to do if I don’t have parasites?

    Thank you Jan…I look forward to your response and any takes you have on this ongoing situation.

  • Jan Modric

    To longtimetummyprobs.

    How exactly miserable you get after a meal?
    – burping?
    – early satiety?
    – dizziness, weakness?
    – urgency to have a bowel movement?

    What exact odor is it? Sulphur? Barnyard smell?

    Yes, I recommend you to have an O&P test. You can spare some money with stopping buying Activia, Psyllium husk, laxatives and – apples. All this can produce a lot of gas.

    Hot dog – some sausage and bread, right(?) being only acceptable food may mean, you have fructose malabsorption and you don’t tolerate well fruits: fructose, sorbitol, HFCS would cause bloating and diarrhea in this case.

    Hardened stool may be from Psyllium husk ingested with not sufficient amount of water.

    So, what you can do alone:
    – 4 day low-fructose diet trial
    – if this doesn’t help, try more rigorous low-FODMAP diet trial for the next 4 days:

  • OpenSky

    H Jan.

    I am experiencing some symptoms and i found this while searching.

    I found strikingly that i share the EXACT symptoms as “wonder09” described (see his message here): muscle spasms, gas, stomach hurning and moving,bright red blood stool.

    I wish i could contact “wonder09” so i can find out what his results were.

    Do you have any ideas of what could cause the symptoms.
    I also have a cat, could a parasitic infection be that cause ? I noticed that the cat also has muscle spasms.

    • Jan Modric

      To OpenSky.

      To confirm parasitic infection, you would need to have stool test for Ova & Parasites. Other disorders, like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis may have about the same symptoms. Knowing how old are you and when did your symptoms start, also where do you live, or have you traveled recently would help. You may also want to take the cat to the vet.

  • JWC


    I have a mystery illness. Let me run through the symptoms. I’m 29 year old male and very healthy. All of a sudden I started getting achy pains on my lower right side. The next thing I know I’m nauseas. The nausea is almost always just in the morning. Once I eat it goes away. I maybe vomit once every 3 years and I’ve vommitted 4 or 5 times over the last couple of weeks. It comes and goes. I got a blood test and my white blood cell count was 3.7. The doctor thinks I have a lingering virus. But that doesn’t make sense. This comes and goes and for the most part is only bad in the morning. I’ve also started to get chills and lack of energy. I have no other issues, no fever, no headache, no backpain. Any thoughts? Could it be a parasite?

    • Jan Modric

      To JWC.

      Do you have chills only during bowel movement or also at any other time? Do you burp in the morning or after a meal? Is the painful spot tender to touch? Which test have you had so far?

  • Frustrating

    Hi Jan

    I have a lot of flatulence and I can actually hear the gas churning and swooshing around in the stomach at times (worse at night). It is always at the lower left side of my abdomin (large intestine). I get diaarhea occassionally but usually my stool is always loose and of ‘fluffy’ texture.

    I also have nausea most mornings after waking up, but never to the point where I have to spew. I get lower back pain which usually goes hand in hand with my gut problems. When my lower back pain intensifies, I feel worse in the gut.

    I’ve been to the doctor and even had a colonoscopy but all they say ever say is that I have IBS. I’m not sure if I’ve been checked for parasites because of the numerous amounts of tests I’ve had but do you think I should consider requesting any specifically?

    I’m 20 and have had this problem for about 2-2.5 years.
    Any help pleaaaase!?

    • Jan Modric

      To Frustrating.

      Nausea and lower back pain are not characteristic for IBS. I mean, it could be IBS, but probably something more. Can you say more about your lower back pain – where exactly is it, is it cramping or other type of pain, does it spread somewhere, is it related to body position..?

      Check in your medical documentation, if you have had a stool test for ova and parasites (O&P test).

      Fructose malabsorption and lactose intolerance are two common causes of rumbling sounds and diarrhea – in these cases appropriate diet helps.

  • OpenSky

    To “Frustrating”.

    Again i have the exact same symptoms. I find it very weird that the back pain associates with the gut pain, i feel the same it’s hard to explain (feels like muscle pain).

    A doctor recommended that i take an antiinflamatory drug Aulin or Nurofen for the back pain and it works for revealing the pain.

    It’s the second year i experience this.
    Last year i have been diagnosed with parasites namely (ascaris), i’ve taken the treatment and confirmed that the parasites were cured but the symptoms continued for a while and resurfaced now after about a year.
    So i am not sure if the parasites were the cause of these symptoms or was just a coincidence and more symptoms overlapped.

    “Frustrating”, if you get a parasites test please let me know the results.

  • Frustrating


    The back pain is like a dull ache, with acute pain if I move into certain positions, such as bending over and pushing my hips away from me. After intense exercise this pain usually worsens.. And with that I get discomfort in the adominal area. The back pain is boardering on hip/back (probably more hip) area and is usually on one or the other side of my spine, but not on the spine. It is hard to explain.

    I have booked an appointment with the doctor and will check up on my medical history. I’ll also request an O&P test, fructose intolerance and lactose intolerance test.

    • Jan Modric


      you can have two diet trials one after one:
      1. Low fructose diet trial for 4 days, meaning no fruits and products containing fructose, HFCS or sorbitol). If you have fructose malabsorption, your symptoms should go away in this time
      2. Lactose-free diet for 4 days. No dairy and any product containing lactose. If you have lactose intolerance, symptoms should go away in 4 days.

      It’s possible your back/hip pains result from trapped gas, caused by abovementioned digestive disorders. NOTE: If your stools are whitish, float, have offensive smell and *stick to the toilet*, it’s possible you have fat malabsorption, which can be caused by gallbladder, liver or pancreatic disorder.

  • lala

    i have a problem of these cream white worms in the intestine since 2007. I have been using mebendazole since then but after some time, about 4 weeks, the worms kept coming back again. Nowadays mebendazole seems not to work since it does not make any difference. The worms are about 2cm long, sumtyms cause a lot of pain in the stomach and come through the anus. Please HELP!!! i want to get rid of these things out of my life beause nowards i cant even concentrate in class because of the movement feeling around the anus region. what can i use?

    • Jan Modric

      To lala.

      I recommend you to visit your primary doctor or gastroenterologist and ask for a stool test for parasites. Then collect some of the parasites, so they will be able to determine them exactly in the laboratory. On the basis of that you can get appropriate antiparasite drug. After knowing which type of worms you have, ask the doctor how to avoid infection in the future.

  • Playsson

    hi,im 21 yr old,im straight,not gay, never did anything to my anus.from the past 5 days, i feel a very discomfortable pressure in my anus,i have the urge to poop, but its not normal becausa theres nothing there and the urge is all the time,i feel like something really strange is wrong with it,its uncomfortable, all the time i feel like theres something inside,slime of poop comes without me noticing,very worried, can you help me out, give me any idea on what this might be?

    • Jan Modric

      To Playsson.

      Intestinal parasites/worms are certainly one possibility. You can have a stool test for parasites.

  • mello

    I am a 33 year old female. I lost my husband unexpectedly a year ago and I did not eat for a long time. That is when the diarrhea started. A few months later I developed extreme gas. Both flatulence and belching. Sometimes I think I may burst. The diarrhea is so bad I must always be near a toilet. It is like urinating out the wrong end. Sometimes mucus. My doc is sending me for a colonoscopy. He is not doing any blood work or stool samples. Should I insist on them or will the colonoscopy tell all? I have tried acidophilus, cutting out sugar, cutting dairy, with no avail. I also get some lightheadedness and am tired allot! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Jan Modric


      first, lightheadedness and tiredness can at least partly be caused by dehydration, since it seems you are losing a lot of water with diarrhea. Have a bottle of plain water at hand all the time…It’s also possible you have developed some nutrition (mineral, vitamin) deficiences and anemia (low iron), so ask for appropriate blood tests).

      Diarrhea: you can try a low-FODMAP diet. If your symptoms are food-related, this diet should help you in few days. Another possible cause for excessive gas and belching is overgrowth of otherwise normal bacteria in your colon and probably in the small intestine (SIBO – small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). This may be relieved by a mentioned diet, and if not, you can ask for stool test for parasites.

      So, you can try with the low-FODMAP diet first, if no relief, ask for a stool test for parasites, if negative, try the test again (it is sometimes false negative), if negative again, ask for a “breath test for SIBO”. It is not likely that a disorder confined to your colon would cause excessive belching, so try mentioned test before colonoscopy.

  • Playsson

    ok but this have to do nothing with the prostate right?

  • Jan Modric


    prostate infection would not likely result in slime in your stool. In a prostate infection you would probably have a tender spot (over the prostate) in the groin, and burning or frequent urination.

    If you are chronically constipated and strain during bowel movements, they could be hemorrhoids (not necessarly seen from outside, and hardly felt when checked by the finger).

    It could be food poisoning and resulting bacterial or parasitic infection, causing inflammation of your rectum/anus resulting in a constant urge. So, if your symptoms don’t start to lessen in a couple of days or so, I’d recommend you to see a gastroenterologist. It could be also diverticulitis. Colorectal cancer is extremely unlikely (usually appears after 50).

  • Playsson

    i have been like this for 6 days,sometimes it burns lightly,its just a pressure and urge to always go to the bathroom, but i guess ill need to see a doctor and have a stool test, sometimes when im sitting it feels like im hurting something, never had this, its weird

  • Baybeedawl

    Hello Jan,
    I’ve been having some issues within the past month. I’m 26 female. In late December in Taiwan, there were 2-4 days where I was feeling do nausaus to the point where I had to stay in bed. I went to 2 diff docs but they said it was due to exhaustion, that I wasn’t sick. I just dealt with it hoping things would get better. After coming back to California, I’ve been experiencing am imcrease of appetite, sleep distirbances (waking up around 2-3am), very gas-y, extra tired, and stool coming out in small pieces. At times I would feel really itchy all over, when I scratch, lump/bumps appear. Comes and goes. This feeling sucks! Did I catch something else other than parasites?
    Could I have gotten anything?

    Thank you for your time.

    • Jan Modric

      To Baybeedawl.

      All symptoms you’ve mentioned can be from intestinal parasites, so I recommend you to have a stool test and, if positive, get prescribed anti-parasitic medication. It could be something other, in this case you’d probably need some blood tests ordered by an infectologist, but stool test seems to be a good start.

  • RVanon

    Since you’re answering questions, I feel like I have to ask.

    I don’t know if I really have any typical symptoms of parasites- those that I do have are explainable by other things. I’ve had nausea and occasional diarrhea in the past, but those are common side effects of the anti-depressants I was taking and now that I’m on a lower dose, that has mostly subsided, although I still have occasional nausea. I haven’t had any diarrhea-like incidents in months. I’m very tired all the time and have low energy, but I have severe sleep apnea that I’m still in the process of treating. For a time I had hardly any appetite, but that was also a common side effect of my anti-depressants that went away when I went to a lower dosage.

    I’m 18 years old, female, slender. I haven’t had any significant changes in weight. I haven’t traveled out of the US or indeed out of my state in quite a while. My concern mostly comes from the fact that on and off, for… probably a few months, I’ve been finding bits of ‘ribbons’ embedded in my feces. I found one that was a few inches long, but most are an inch or two at most. They range in width from maybe 2-5 millimeters.

    They don’t really resemble the things I’ve seen in pictures. For the most part they’re very flat, paper-thin, although they tend to be thicker when they’re less wide. They’re about the same color as the feces, perhaps a little more orange. Sometimes the thinner pieces are a very dark brown. Typically when I see pictures of tapeworms extracted from human feces they’re very long, bright white, thicker than what I’m seeing, and are ‘ridged’. Mine are sort of light in color but not white, come in short pieces, and are very flat with none of the ‘accordion-style’ ridges I see in pictures.

    Is there any /other/ explanation for what I’m seeing? It’s not unusual for me to see things that haven’t been completely digested- and that may be an issue I need to address, but I can’t think of anything I’ve been eating that could appear like this. It occurred to me that it might potentially be some byproduct of one of the many pills I take- Wellbutrin leaves behind its empty ‘casings’- but it seems a little farfetched.

    I’m partially nervous because I live at home with my parents and this is incredibly embarrassing, so any light you can shed is extremely helpful.

    • Jan Modric


      a simple solution is to arrange stool test for parasites and include these particles in a stool sample. You’ve mentioned they could be capsules’ casings and undigested foods, so you should know…If it were parts of intestinal mucosa, blood would be likely present in your stool.

  • Figaro

    Last August 2009 I began to have a problem with diahrea. At the time we were eating a lot of fresh vegetables (salsa) from a co-op farm we joined. The symptons were very similar to when I had gone to southern Mexico a few years ago. Very loose stools, some mucus, lots of gas and “rumbling” in my stomach. Not much dscomfort, just frequency and urgency. Dr. did a O P test for parasites, came back negative. Celiac blood test negative. Now Feb. 2010, things are maybe little better but not normal. Health food lady suggested taking something for parasites anyway, (couldn’t hurt), what do you think? Could I’ve gotten something from vegetables?

    • Jan Modric

      To Figaro.

      O&P test may be false negative, it hapens quite often, so you can repeat the test. If you have parasites, I’m not sure if any remedy will help; prescribed anti-parasitic drugs are usually needed.

  • yvonne perkins

    gas bloating belching constipation and extreme pain beneath rib upper right side,unable to pass gas, just miserable everyday since 071509. have had colonosopy, endocopy,breathalizer test,mri c scan,blood test, stomach emptying,and a host of other test that revealed nothing. what can i do? any help is needed. i believe i have worms,not sure of which kind. if so what can i take to cure, and how do i get my doctor to diagnos and treat.

    • Jan Modric

      Yvonne Perkins,

      intestinal parasites can be diagnosed by Ova & Parasites stool test; if positive, treatment is by prescribed anti-parasitic drugs. Another common cause of bloating causing pain below the ribs, is trapped gas in the colon, resulting from a certain food intolerance, like fructose malabsorption or IBS. I recommend you to have a low-FODMAP diet trial for 4 days and see if it helps. You can also check other causes of belching and bloating.

  • ToTon

    Cleaning up after Katrina I was bit on the on my right facial cheek by what I thought was a spider. My face became red swollen with a hole in the middle that closed up and looked like a pimple. After about 2 weeks of hot swollen red cheek the skin turned black and purple and eventually skin fell off. New skin grew back and I was fine without a scar.

    Not long after that I started packing on the lbs. 25 in 3 months. No matter how much I exercised I could not get rid of it.

    Over the last 4 1/2 years I’ve had reg blood test avery 3 months all normal. Checked for Lyme, CRP, ANA’s, Sed rate, Western, b12 hormones, thyroid all normal.

    Last Jan I started having had time breathing as if I had a weight on my chest. I thought I was just over doing it at the gym.

    In March I became sick. I have never been sick in my 41 yr. I stayed sick on the couch for 2 weeks. Fever, mucus in the lungs body ache. Didn’t have insurance so I never went to the dr. thought I’d eventually get over it. After a month of still having stuff in my lungs and a wicked cough I broke down went to thr dr where I was given, antibiotics, stuff to break up the mucus and a vitamin shot with Cortizone and b12.

    In April I still had the cough but continued with my gym classes. I got up to go to class and fell over from dizziness. Thought I needed food shrugged it off and went to the gym , Got on the floor to do yoga and almost passed out. I find it was only in positions with my right leg tucked under. I got up to leave felt better so I stayed for class. Got on the floor to strech and passed out.

    2 days later still not better went to the ER had 2 CT’s of the brain and was told I had vertigo, it would go away on it’s own.

    May still have dizziness feel worse stomach hurts bad smelly gas, can’t eat. BP went down to 81/50. Heart started racing right side of body goes numb, tongue goes numb ringing in the ears can hear heart beat in my neck, back, head and ears. End of May went back to Er where I was told it was anxiety and pulled muscles after another CT scan and more blood and urine tests.

    June back to the ER again after 3 weeks of not being able to eat much but having extreme thirst. BP back to 81/50. More blood work and test said they can’t treat what they can’t see and sent me home.

    July I started my period went to take a shower. Felt what I thought was my tampon string hanging between my legs reached to grab it but instead of it being a string it was a worm. I put it in a dish called my doctor and went in 20 min later.

    He said it was a round worm. Gave me 2 Vermox pills. I felt much better after taking them but about 3 weeks later my heart started racing and teh dizzy cam back with a vengance w/loss of balance.

    Aug went to a neurologist. Did and MRI w/wo of head and neck. Found a cyst on left side of brain said it was not my problem. had nerve tests done for numbess. ALl my problems are on the right side of my body.

    Sept started taking Xanax to deal with the racing heart and get rest from the dizziness. Went to a heart dr. Echocardiogram, stress test heart monitor, blood tests all fine. Told him about my worm and said it sounded like an Ascaris and the vermox I took should have killed all of them.

    Went to another neuro convinced I was going crazy or had MS, Parkinson etc, Had MRA MRV of head and neck all normal.

    Went to GP for lower right flank pain last month did and xray said I had a stone. Sent to a urologist did an ab CT w/wo and said no stone bladder, liver, pancreas, spleen etc all fine. Although lots of stool throughout and the tube from my bladder to the kidney on the right not very well seen and mass by my uterus all on the right.

    Had US done have fibriods on right. I don’t think those can cause dizziness, racing heart, shakiness, mood swings, feeling of doom. In the last week now my legs are week and feel like they are silly putty, My right arm burns but no trama was done to it. It just burns. My ringing in my ears is getting louder, my neck hurts and shoulder. Lots of gas and bloating jelly mucus.

    I’m grasping for anyting to help me with these symptoms that have taken over my life. I can’t hold a job, I can’t walk straight. Any amount of activity that gets my heart going casues the right side of my body to go crazy. I get really really dizzy and the pulse in my neck is extremely pronounced. I’m still bloated to the point that panites hurt my belly so I stopped wearing them. My vision goes blurry in the right eye anf the right side of my face swells up.

    The dr. sees all this but since the tests all come back within normal range he said I am a medical mystery. That’s not acceptable!

    I have an appointment with a gastro dr in a couple of weeks. What’s the odds the Vermox didn’t killing all the worms? I was bitten on the right side of my face and all my problems are on the right. Which parasites should I have my doctor test me for.

    I find the only thing that makes me feel better is Electrolyte water. I drink about 3 bottles a day. My blood tests are normal to my urologist suprise. He thought for sure I was doing damage by consuming so much.

    I read in one of your replies you suggested an infectologist. I think I will give that dr a try too.

    • Jan Modric

      To ToTon.

      It’s possible, symptoms appearing on your right side of the body arise from a disorder in your left brain (you’ve mentioned cysts in the left brain). Most of nerve fibers from the brain cross the side when traveling through the neck spinal cord, so this is why symptoms appear on the other side. Certain intestinal worms can cause cysts in the brain (and other organs, including the heart and lungs).

      Pounding heart, ringing ears and dizziness …may be all from a low BP. This is why “Electrolyte water” helps you – it increases volume of the blood and therefore BP. I can’t say why do you have so low BP – it could be from dehydration (from constant diarrhea?) or there is something wrong with your heart (like said, could be cysts from intestinal parasites or something other).

      What to do:
      1. I recommend you to write down your complete medical history and put all symptoms, test results, medications and their effect in a time line.
      2. Low BP seems to be the first thing to solved – cardiologist should say how, and what you should drink.
      3. An experienced neurologist should check all your MRIs. A spinal tap and examination of cerebrospinal fluid can reveal brain/spinal cord inflammation or multiple sclerosis.
      4. A gastroenterologist may perform a stool test for parasites/worms again. But, even if this will be negative, cysts (from intestinal parasites) in your brain are still possible.

  • Jenna

    i have suffered from chronic constipation since i was 2. just within the past year i have had problems with dysentery. i have a lot of blood in my stools and even sometimes when i am just urinating blood will still come out of my anus. i also have mucus in my stool. im anemic and tired all the time. i get bloated a lot and have a good bit of gas. i get pretty nauseous quite a bit and get abdominal cramps. i have been to my gastrointerologist and they preformed a colonoscopy on me a year ago. they decided i have proctitis and hemorrhoids and put me on an anti-inflammatory suppository called canasa. but i have had little if any improvement since then and the bleeding has not stopped. they took just one stool test and said it was negative for parasites but they didnt take 3 samples like the article said they need to. they have scheduled a second colonoscopy for march 1st. im worried that what if i do have a parasite and it goes unnoticed because they didnt catch it.

    • Jan Modric


      I do encourage you to have additional stool tests for parasites. Try to take a stool sample when you have diarrhea, but not a lot of blood in it and take the sample to the laboratory as soon as possible after that.

      If not already, you should probably take iron pills, prescribed by your doctor (to treat anemia) and drink enough water to prevent dehydration. This can help prevent tiredness.

      Before having another colonoscopy, ask the doctor, if they took a sample of your colonic mucosa last time and if any specific disease (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis…) was found out.

  • george heerens

    Hi Jan

    Bear with me…I grew up watching cartoons so I’m a little scatterbrained.

    I’m a 29 year old male living in los angeles. I’ve just been to the doctor who performed CBC, liver and thyroid tests on me. All came back fine. I have good blood pressure and I’m not over weight. I have history of some gastritis…and thats about it.

    Oh, I don’t smoke anymore and I only drink red wine every once in a while.

    For the past couple of months I’ve had these flu like symptoms. I’m very low energy, I used to be hyper active but now I feel that I need to conserve all the energy I can. I get light headed and confused at times, and my skin always seems warm to the touch. I don’t run a fever. I have this overwhelming feeling of discomfort on occasion…just generally feeling gross. My stomach is bloated much of the time and my eyes burn a little. I have sore neck muscles and mild tension like headaches much of the time, and I find myself breathing in deeply on random occasions. I get a little nausea but I don’t have any diarrhea. My heart rate is NORMAL. I’ve had anxiety attacks before and this is not the same. I do get the sweaty palms tho.

    I almost feel like it could be a parasite that produces something in me that makes me feel sick and illicits some anxiety which I then fend off…but I am left with this disgusting sick like feeling for much of the day.

    I believe I’ve lost a little weight, and I feel like sleeping all the time.

    My stools vary quite a bit. They go from darker(not black) to lighter to mushy. I have pretty bad gas at times. My diet used to be bad but I’ve since changed it up to fruits and veggies. So its a little better…I fall off the diet occasionally.

    I live with 2 dogs in a small apartment, and I’ve been stung by fire ants in my apartment in the past few months. We also had a flea infestation about 9 months ago….I dunno maybe I ate flea spawn and have tapeworms.

    I apologize for the jumpy/confusing letter….I am artist human.

    Does any of this raise a parasite flag to you?


    George Heerens

    • Jan Modric

      George Heerens,

      dogs, fleas..tapeworms can’t be excluded..a stool test for parasites would be needed.

      Warm skin, sweaty hands, headache and stiff neck could be from an infection of meningeal membranes caused by an influenza virus (seasonal or H1N1), Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi)…Viral or atypical pneumonia are also possible.

      An infectologist should know, which blood tests to run. A gastroenterologist can order stool tests for parasites.

  • Matt87

    I went to cuba on vacation 2 years ago, while i was there i had a few moments of diarrhea where the color seemed to get lighter than my usual. 2 to 3 weeks after being home I had a high fever and severe low back pain. I also started sweating alot more just for doing nothing or whenever I would leave the house. My bowel movements became lighter and lighter with more pieces just flying out each time. Over the course of a month or two it became extremely light and greasy stool sometimes it would be darker however but almost pencil thin pieces. I began seeing a doctor he had me take ulcer medication with no result, I then did many blood tests over a long period no irregularities he had told me so I was given a stool test kit. He had told me nothing was found. Meanwhile I first noticed that whenever I had drank even a sip of beer it would kill me with pain, same thing happened for mexican food. I never had any such thing happen in my life and I am 22 perfectly healthy hockey player till that point. At one point one test result had said i had an elevated liver enzyme level but after a liver profile it checked out. I was then sent for a abdominal and pelvic CT scan. Which showed nothing wrong. He diagnosed me with IBS and gave me pills however they did not help at all. I now have severe odour when passing gas and it is frequent. I have severe odour when passing stool and it is frequent as well, and either ligh light greasy stool that look like there melting. Or darker but pencil thing pieces. My stomach often makes noises as well. And finally over the past 2-3 months i have had heart pain and it often is pumping really hard, and I have phlegm that is clear almost always coming up and taking a deep breathe in gives me pain in my chest, and down to my sternum.

    Please I am begging for any type of help my life has completely fallen apart since i came back from vacation 2 years ago and i don’t know if it was just the timing or if i caught something there, but i feel as though my body is just going to shut down on me at any second and i can barely leave the house as long as i can remember

    any help would mean alot
    and thank you for reading this all to anyone who takes their time!
    hope to hear

    • Jan Modric


      OK, parasites, or to be excat, intestinal worms, are possible, at least your abdominal symptoms are quite characteristic. One negative stool test for parasites does not mean much. Stools being greasy (also floating, sticky, whitish??) can be from fat malabsorption. This can occur if an intestinal worm blocks your bile duct, so bile can’t enter the intestine and fats can’t be absorbed, so they are excreted with the stool.

      I recommend:
      – stool test for parasites, repeated three times (if necessary), few days apart, wait for results of each test
      – stool test for fat – take a sample when the stool is greasy and pale, not when it is dark
      – CT or MRI of the lungs. Intestinal worms can enter the lungs.

  • Matt87


    Thanks alot for the quick reply. I have a doctor’s appt tommoro haven’t been in months as i stopped going. At the begining he thought it might have been cancer so i had alot of blood work done.

    When i told him at the begining I returned from cuba while at the airport back in canada i bent over cause i had enormous pain, and that’s when it started I kept persisting it was parasites so he gave me a stool sample kit. I had 4 stool samples given in at once 3 were from diff days in a row and 2 samples the last day (i know 1 was for occult blood test) he said nothing was found. I don’t know what was tested exactly tho my medical knowledge was not great at the time. I also had a abdominal ct scan as i said and he said was negative for anything. I also had an anemia blood test which was negative for anemia.

    I still feel that it can only be something i picked up in cuba because i never had aproblem before that. Do you think after all those tests being negative i should still believe it can be a parasite or intestinal worm(s)?

    oh and about the stool it doesn’t floot on top and i can’t say it’s really pale but it’s definitly been light light brown 2 years straight, and i noticed more recently there is usually a white spot(s) in it. but there are usually pieces fomed just very mushy.

    thank you for your help so far I will keep you posted

    • Jan Modric


      can you go through this personal medical history questionnaire? Write down all symptoms, results of tests (positive and negative), effect of medications, and put all in a time line. This can greatly help your doctor.

      Sputum culture (bacteria in mucus) would be reasonable, maybe MRI of lungs, not sure…Maybe this can explain all other. If stools are not white and do not float, fat malabsorption is not likely. Intestinal parasites often go with elevated blood eosinophils.

  • chicadedios25

    I lived for a long while in Mexico. My boyfriend of four years is Honduran. I have developed pain in my right abdomen. There has been blood in my fecal occult. One of the doctors did do a O&P exam and it came back negative. She went ahead and placed me on Flagyl (just in case). The abdominal pain seemed to go away. Now I have a knot the size of a golfball on my right abdomen. The doctors have done every test that I know imaginable for this. I have passed odd stools,one that looked like it had a worm in it,bloody,mucusy ones,two tones,etc. I really think that I have an amebic infection but the doctor seemed to tell me that he thought that would be rare even though I was in a country where amebomas are prevelant and my boyfriend is from a country where they are more prevalent and can be passed on sexually. I have more recently had vision changes,dizziness,tingling up my spine and in my brain – that feel like something moving around. I also had extreme acute right side abdomenal pain last night and it felt like my skin was burning underneath my abdomen. I went last night to an Emergency Room here and even told them that I suspected parasites. All they told me was that my stomach was inflammed which is the exact same story I heard from the gastro when he did an upper and lower gi series years ago. What kind of doctor can I go to that will actually believe me and treat parasites? I even explained to them that the Flagyl had helped – shouldn’t that be indicitive of parasites? I am so tired of this and think maybe I should abdandon all hope at all. I have recently presented with signs similar to an appendecitis and I think something awful is going to happen to me if they don’t figure this thing out. I have lost my insurance and it seems like no one cares anymore. Should I go see a herbalist?

    • Jan Modric


      herbalist will hardly help you in this case. You maybe do have parasites, but maybe, additionally there is also an inflammation, like Crohn’s disease, so your doctors are maybe at least partially right. First, a doctor, a gastroenterologist should say what that knot might mean. If Crohn’s disease will be suspected, you will probably need a colonoscopy. Stool tests for parasites are sometimes negative, maybe you want to repeat this test.

  • Alex

    Hello – I have read a lot of the above postings searching for answers to my pain. I have had multiple CT scans, 2 MRI’s 2 colonoscopies multiple stool samples yet I still have discomfort/pain in the right side of my abdomen. Also the most awful headaches I have had in my entire life. The headaches feel like pressure. After eating I can feel all kinds of involuntary movements in my gut, get nauseated at times. Bowel movements arent normal yet all tests say they are (3 so far).. I tried an alternative med doctor and ordered two tests – one for food allergies and one for bacteria in stool.. results came back with bacteria 1 or 2 types of bacteria missing… He also said i was allergic to 80-90% of foods out there… I am not sure I can believe this as I have eaten pretty much anything throughout my life with no problems. All of my discomfort happened after coming back from Mexico. Initially when I came back I had severe diarreah and was diagnosed with Blastocystis hominis and H pylori. I was given antibiotics and everything seemed to be ok….. about 3-4 weeks after being treated everything started going south… I have tried eating just fruits and vegetables – the pain gets a little better but doesnt completely go away…… I am extremely frustrated with this as I have never been sick…. Waiting for results on 2nd biopsy… 1st one the biopsies came back with nothing (No IBD or crhons)…. HELP!!!!!

    • Jan Modric


      would you try a low-FODMAP diet for few days? It’s a diet low in fructose, lactose and some other substances. If this helps, it means you may have a postinfectious IBS or fructose malabsorption. Blastocystis is common in healthy people, and those allergies mentioned were probably not true IgE food allergies. Parasites are still possible…

  • Alex


    Thanks for your response!! I have tried a fruits and veggies only diet and it seemed to help a TINY bit but the discomfort and pain still persists… I have been doing some further research and am wondering if I could have Amoebiasis…. I have all the symptoms and sadly am having the headaches to go with it as well so I hope I dont have cysts in my brain. I am not taking ANY lactose products. I have been given docyclamine for IBS but it makes NOT one bit of difference to the point were my Doctor advised to cease taking it…… I am at a total loss… I have had this for sooo long now I am wondering what else it could be…… I have gone as far taking a full STD panel as well and all results were ok….

    • Jan Modric


      amebiasis or other parasitic infection is possible; a stool test for ova and parasites (O&P) would be necessary for confirmation.

      I think, you can try few things in the following order:
      – having a low-FODMAP diet trial (4 days), during which you, beside lactose, also exclude high-fructose foods (most of fruit/products, but you can eat most of veggies). Here’s a detailed nutritional guide for FM. If this helps, it means you probably have fructose malabsorption, since symptoms you’ve mentioned can be all found in FM.
      – O&P test. This test is not the same as test for bacteria. It is often false negative, and at least three tests in a row are recommended, if previous tests are negative.
      – CT or MRI of the brain, if the pain still persists after eventual treatment of above conditions, no matter what stool tests show.

  • Alex


    I ended up in the ER over the weekend with abdominal pain. They did their usual blood work and I told the attending doctor I had terrible headaches. They did a CT Scan of my brain and it came back with no problems (no bleeding etc). The blood work came back normal for everything as well. The pain and involuntary movements is now moving from the right side to the left. I am getting nervous for no reason and am taking antianxiety medication for that. I do not have diarreah but loose stools… I looked at your low-FODMAP diet and will start it tomorrow to see if it works…. I still believe I have parasites…….. Txs for taking the time to answer my questions.

  • am3thyst

    My 16 year old son has been having digestive issues for about 5 months. They started occurring when his father (my ex, whom my son lives with) was in a bad accident, but he is home now and doing well. I thought these problems might be stress related, but my son seems much more calm now that his dad is home. He is constipated and says when he goes it is seldom and very little, watery and sometimes pebbly. He has bloating, but says he is more uncomfortable than in pain. He once described the feeling as “itchy insides.” I have taken him to his GP and two gastroenterologists. He has had blood tests, x-rays, C-scan, fecal smears, and just last week a colonoscopy. He is on high-fiber diet and Milk of Magnesia. The tests all came back negative, but the problems persists. I am at my wits end. Could you tell me where I should go from here? Are parasites possible? I was thinking of taking him to a homeopathic doctor, as many doctors just refuse to look “outside of the box.”

    • Jan Modric

      To am3thyst.

      Parasites are possible. If he decides for a stool test, he should provide one of the soft stools (but not pure liquid), not a dry, pebble stool. Parasites would be likely in case he has eaten some suspicious food in weeks/months before his symptoms started or he has travelled to an area with low hygiene habits. “Itchy insides” is a posible symptom in parasites. Also in food allergies (in this case he would probably have itchy lips and mouth after eating the triggering foods).

      It could be also a stress related irritable bowel syndrome. In this case, certain foods would cause his symptoms. Typically, foods high in fructose (honey, prunes…), fructans (wheat, onions…), galactans (legumes) sorbitol (apples, pears…), lactose (mlk) (the so called FODMAPs) or other random foods, he would ned to identify by himself, can cause digestive problems. You can check a low-FODMAP diet. It means it’s possible not all of high-fiber foods he is eating now are good for him. I do not say he needs to avoid all foods mentioned in low-FODMAP diet, but I strongly recommend to try it for few days and observe its effect. Not all doctors are aware of the FODMAPs, but he can discuss this with his dietitian. I personally would not visit a homeopatic doctor.

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  • Sai praveen

    I am 26 yrs old. I have similar symptoms that “Matt87 on February 11th, 2010 at 12:58 pm” described and i am also having liver and pancreas pain.
    It all started with black color loose stools 6 years ago. The next day i felt pain in the liver and my eyes turned slightly yellowish, but my appetite din’t go down. i got the jaundice test done and bilerubin was slightly elevated(4.0). The doctor prescribed few medicines and took for 2 months but never did i return to my normal healthy condition. I have consulted many doctors but all are saying everything is normal since all the test reports(LFT, CBP, abdomen scan( USG and CT) and all other general tests like HBSag…) came out to be normal. but 24 hr Urine copper test came +ve. but with other additional test to check if it wilson’s disease came negative and it is confirmed that it is not wilson’s disese.
    No doctor is able to find the exact problem of mine.
    My symptoms now are nausea, weight loss, weakness, i some times get pain in liver and pain at left side back just below the lungs, especially when i sleep(i feel it is pancreas region), and at night after sleeping for 4-5 hrs i feel pain in the middle of the chest(just below the lungs) and some times pain in the urinary bladder. but when i got up and stand up the pain goes in few min’s(i think they are some kind of acids getting accumulated in these regions) and sometimes my muscles in my body- legs, hands, stomach… moving by themselves(like vibration or adjusting themselves) for few seconds and stops.

    My appetite is normal and i am taking healthy food but i am weak and losing weight.

    now i have lost all my hope that i will ever recover. Please help me if anyone have any solutions. After having gone through all this failed diagnosis i feel only some sort of miracle should happen to me to get recovered.

    Please help me with your suggestions.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Jan Modric

      Sai praveen,

      which exact symptoms do you have now? Light colored stools or itchy skin at any time in last 6 years? One of the causes of positive 24 hour urine copper test is primary biliary cirrhosis. A gastroenterologist should know which tests to perform (specific antibodies in the blood), if you mention him this disease.

      Black color stools and mentioning acid speak for an ulcer in the stomach or gastritis. This may be caused by Helycobacter pylori infection, diagnosis is with a blood or breath test.

  • Alex


    I visited an alternative medicine doctor last Thursday and he checked the Iris in my eye and also used “electrodes” to check me health… Long story short he said I have a cestode (I.E. tapework) but he is not licensed to prescribe medication int he USA (he recently immigrated from Switzerland to the US and is in the process of “getting his medical license to practice here”).

    I went to my Primary Care and told him about this visit and he essentially said there is no way in hell this is accurate. I am not one to believe this but it deff is an interesting hypothesis. I asked my PCP if he could treat me empirically for a cestode to which he said no. I told him that the radiation I’ve been exposed to with the CT scans and MRI’s I’ve been given is probably more toxic than a does of quinacrine or Praziquantel with abendazole….. He said to follow up with my GI doctor to see if he would prescribe but he could not. What are your thoughts on this? Have you ever heard of alternative medicine used to diagnose tapeworm/cestodes? Thank you in advance for your comments

    • Jan Modric


      alternative doctor giving you plenty of diagnoses and not treating you is waste of time. You still can have parasites, but I’m not aware of any other tests than O&P test. They could also be bacteria, for this a stool culture test is required. Doctor did not give you anti-parasitic drugs to protect you from possible side effects and protect himself against the law. I do not recommend you to try to get these drug without doctor approval.

  • James

    Hi Jan,
    Well, I seem to have survived my bout with intestinal worms and flukes (Oct 09)… but I’m still way below my normal weight. All my pants still don’t fit. Sorry if this is a silly question, but can parasites cause any permanent weight loss? or is it normal for the weight to come back this gradually?

    • Jan Modric


      what’s your body frame (small, medium, large) and what’s your weight/hight (check normal values)?

      Do you have poor appetite, nausea, lose stools? Are you avoiding some high calorie foods?

  • Sai praveen

    Hi Jan,
    Thanks a lot for your suggestions.
    My Symptoms now are pain in the liver, itching sensation only at the liver region that too very mild and occurs rarely, mild jaundice(bile level fluctuates between 1 and 4 when ever i get them tested), bad smelling farts and stools, greasy, sticky, floating stools and I sometimes see white dots in it.
    I also feel pain on my left side just below my ribs and back side too in the same region. I often feel some kind of movement in my stomach, hands, and legs. I feel these adjustments are in my veins or muscles due to some obstructions but not sure. While this kind of movement is happening i can see this movement physically outside. i see my stomach at that area vibrates and can feel it with my hand, but this movement is not at all painful.
    My heart is also beating hard and i sometimes feel mild pain.
    Recently from 2-3 months i have started getting burning in my lungs and feel as if gas is building up there. after this happens i some times see very small amount of blood in the nose mucus.
    when i sleep, after 4-5 hrs i feel burning and urge to urinate even if the bladder is not full. when i urinate i get very small amount of urine and the urine is dark yellow.
    no part of my body is spared. there is no fluid coming along with my semen and when i consulted doctor he did prostate check by inserting his finger thru anus and i felt pain. he said that prostate is mildly inflameted and so prostate massage is done for 3 weeks but no progress.
    All these conditions started at once. These are not just coincidence. I feel it is bcz of food poisoning. i took some sweets that day night and next day morning i got loose black color stools. i got loose motions 2-3 times that day, but only the first was with black color and next were watery mucus type. I never got black stools from then. this happened 6 yrs ago and since then have been suffering with all these problems.
    I have got all type of test done, but never did any doctor asked for a stool test. Do you advise me take any stool test?
    I have so far consulted nearly 30 doctors but all the doctors after the test reports say all is well with you since almost all the tests are +ve except elevated bile level and 24 hrs copper. when i incest on these they just say nothing to worry and escape as they are not able to figure out the problem and got the money they wanted from tests and consultation fee.
    I am now lean thin looking unhealthy. I have lost all my muscles and my face and eyes look dull and sleepy.

    I have lost all my hope and just leaving for nothing.
    I feel this problem is very small which is having very major impact on me, but no one is unable to find it. I hope you will give me some valuable suggestion which pulls me out of all this. I want to follow up with you.

    Thanks a lot jan.

    • Jan Modric

      Sai praveen,

      1. Stool test for fats can confirm fats in the stool. You will be likely instructed to collect stools for few days, from which an amount of fat can be determined in the laboratory.
      2. Urine test for bilirubin can confirm that dark yellow urine is due to excessive excretion of bilirubin in urine.
      3. Urine culture (and maybe culture of prostate secretion) can confirm eventual presence of bacteria (in case of an infection of the urinary tract or prostate)
      4. Blood levels of vitamins A, D, E and K, and levels of main minerals: Na, K, Ca, iron, copper, phosphate, and bilirubin
      5. sputum (spit) culture to determine the cause of mucus

      Pale, whitish, lose, sticky, smelling, floating stool is a symptom of excessive fat excretion in the stool. This can happen because fat can not be absorbed in the small intestine, because bile (which is necessary for absorption of fats) does not enter the small intestine in sufficient quantities. This can happen because the bile flow is blocked somewhere between the site of its production and the site of its excretion into the small intestine, so, either in the liver or in the bile ducts. When bile can not be excreted from the liver, it accumulates and it finds it way into the blood and from there into the urine – this gives the urine a dark yellow color. The disorder is known as cholestasis and has several possible causes, like:
      – a gallstone or inflammation or other disorder of bile ducts
      – something pressing upon the bile duct from outside (for example, pancreatic cyst)
      – a liver disease, including primary biliary cirrhosis
      – intestinal worms
      – other…

      Weight loss can be due to fats lost in the stool. Many other problems can arise from lack of vitamins A, D, E and K, since these vitamins can be absorbed only when they are dissolved in fats: if fats are not absorbed, these vitamins can’t be either.

      Tests to determine the exact disorder include:
      – ultrasound of the gallbladder and bile ducts and, if necessary, HIDA scan
      – liver panel (liver enzymes in the blood)
      – CT or MRI of the liver and if necessary, liver biopsy
      – if necessary, ERCP (an endoscopic examination of the bile duct)

      I can’t say which of these tests will be necessary and which not. You should find a reliable gastroenterologist, who can perform abovementioned stool, urine and blood tests. After these tests, doctor may prescribe you some vitamin, mineral and bile acids supplements, maybe antibiotics and then he should be able to decide which test to do next.

      What can you do is to check personal medical history questionnaire to see, if you can recall any other symptom and put all your medical history in a time line on one paper, so you will be able to reveal it to any doctor at any time. You have described your symptoms in a great detail above, so just check if you have something to add. Include family medical history as well, ask your relatives some questions, if necessary (all details are in the above link).

      Avoiding fats (oil, nuts, meat, fish, egg yolk, dairy, chocolate, cakes) as much as possible can reduce lose stools and gas. You will need to eat some fats for the stool fats test, though.

  • eoinmacarthy

    i have been suffering in silence for years.symptons include blotchy rash on face ,dry skin,itchy anus,stomach cramps,lost one stone in weight,tired all the time,limbs feel weak,red eyes,if i have a few beers the skin seems to get better the next day but then comes back with stools are very loose,
    I have gone to doctor and had all sorts of tests but showed nothing.the doctor then wanted to treat me for depression which i know is wrong.I had these symtoms about 3 years ago and they just stopped but came back all of a sudden last year-could you help please

    • Jan Modric


      which test have you had so far? Colonoscopy? Any stool test?

  • eoinmacarthy

    no stool tests,but had gastroscopy,heart monitor,ecg,blood tests,
    i forgot to say i also cant stop eating and as i said i lost a stone in weight but i am constantly eating.

    • Jan Modric


      – a stool test for parasites, repeated three times (if necessary), each test few days apart, can detect uni-cellular parasites and worms
      – stool culture test detects bacteria
      – stool fat test detects excessive fats in the stool

      One test at the time to see what are results is recommended before proceeding to the next test.

  • jmskllng2

    hi i cant say all of that matches me, but after a shower if i run or skate i have a strong iching and have to wipe with soap and water to stop the itching, and there is always poo present and the towel smells and of course if i wipe with somthing dry like toilet paper it can be smelled very clearly. when i lay down i think im realaxed but it takes alot of time and concentration for everything below my waist not to be realy tence i mean my thighs lower back and whole butt even my front area is soo tence i feel as if there is nothing i can do to relax,… also after a shower i there is no poo present as long as i dont think about anything, do anything stressfull or pretty much walk anywhere far… this has been going on for over a year and i seem to be getting more and more tence. so i have no idea what to do my doctor just always says,’re young dont worry about your body and im like hummmm thanks mr human what a waste of time comming here

    • janmodric


      how old are you, male or female? So, you can’t hold the stool when you shower? No matter what’s the cause, I recommend you to visit your doctor, who can decide which test to do.

  • kkumar

    Hi, I have a 11 year old son who of a sudden screemed on a night due to a pain on his left side of his lower back which later moved to his lower left abdominal.No pain killer or any antisid can solve his problem. Suddenly the pain reduced by itself. A month later the pain came again on his lower left abdominal ( night again). He had this urge to pass motion & when he does the pain doubles. I have tried going to the specialist ever since by doing ultra sound, x-ray, scanning,MRI but in vain.Everthing show he is ok. Medication for H.Pylori, gastric, constipation were given but it still doesn’t solve the problem . My son has no constipation problem as he pass motion regularly once or twice daily. His pain starts first from his lower back later behind his lower rib cage & then to lower abdominal ( all left). Doctors have no clue why his pain presisting with all the medication. Now his pain comes once in a week & I am helpless to reduce his pain except asking him to rest. He is missing school alot. Before this he was active in sports like football, badminton & swimming but now when he start playing the pain starts & lasts around 3 hours.Help me coz I m clueless!

    • janmodric


      were kidney disorders, including urinary stones ruled out? Has he had urine tests? Has he had colonoscopy? Stool tests for parasites?

  • kkumar

    Sorry, Like to add something. My son on the days he is not having his abdominal pain also complaints of headache especially when he swallow food or drinks. The headache is not often but around twice in a week. Tq

  • cl

    I have felt a crawling sensation for 6 months and have use permethryn (spelling?) several times with minimal relief for a few days each time. I have no physical symptoms. No bumps, just a crawling sensation from the bottom of my feet to around my eyes, in my nose and in my ears at times. Late afternoon is worse. I have tried baths with borax and vineger, lots of lotions, all with no relief. I was reading about the parasites and wondered if they could be causing the “itching” which is more of a crawling sensation on me.


    • janmodric


      crawling sensation (tingling, paresthesia) as an only symptom could appear in a neurological disorder, metabolic disorder (like hypoglycemia or hypokaliemia), lack of vitamin B12 and so on. A primary doctor can order some basic blood tests. If no positive results, a neurologist can do further investigations.

  • kkumar

    Urine tested ok, no problem. Kidney thru ultra sound, x-ray & scan confirmed ok, in good condition.No stone detected. Colonscopy not done ( anyway what is that?). Stool test for parasite not done coz the doctor didn’t bring out the possibility & I m not aware of it till yesterday,only thru your website. Can parasite appear thru other ways other than visiting foreign countries coz my son have not left our country, Malaysia.

    • janmodric


      sport activities where lower back, hip and leg muscles (badminton, swimming, football) are used a lot can result in (among other):
      – psoas muscle inflammation or spasm
      – abdominal adhesions (strands of scar tissue in the abdomen)

      An experienced sport doctor could do appropriate tests and investigations.

      Head pain: which part of the head, duration, character?

      This personal medical history questionnaire can help you to write down all symptoms (including seemengly non-related ones), tests, and drugs, possible causes and triggers, all put in a time line. This can be extremely helpful for any doctor you see.

  • jmskllng2

    i can hold the stool when i shower lol, umm i have no pain that i know of like alot of people said i started having these symptoms after taking 2 packets of 3 ballarena tea thats used to well spas your whole intestional trac in order to lose weight or ummm caked up poopies that have been stored for years, i thought i needed this because i only go to the rest room normaly once a week,.. i do feel side pains but only if i eat my moms food, candy yams,3 plates of mac n cheese,egg salaid stuff, cranberry sauce,ham,and corn bread n other things on the plate idk well because im used to only eating chips,and dinty moore soups,…im a guy person. and well i have a problem with loose stool if i go outside and itw warm or if im walking or stressed at all. my biggest gripe is that it always seems to be some present a few minutes after i wipe even if i keep wiping without a movment. and for some strange reason every thing below my waist is always tence,…well ok my back hurts alot to i have to not think about anything inorder for me to lean my back against anything to relax…my doctor sucks so going to him is like asking a dead goat whats wrong

    • janmodric


      low-fiber diet can cause constipation. Straining during bowel movement can cause hemorrhoids (visible or not) – this is one possible cause of mucus. Hemorrhoids may also prevent the anus to close completely.

      “Candy jams, mac n cheese, ham, eggs, chips” and other sugary and animal food taken without sufficient amount of fiber (good sources are vegetables and cereals) in combination with lack of exercise often causes constipation and – weigh gain. I recommend you to seriously consider to change your diet. Eventual hemorrhoids can resolve with regular bowel movements and this could be a solution for leaking mucus. A primary doctor can diagnose hemorrhoids, which, if necessary, can be treated with a minor surgical procedure.

      Intestinal parasites are still possible. Stool test for parasites can confirm this. Smelly mucus is actually characteristic for parasites.

      Using colon cleansing methods to lose weight is not appropriate, can be addictive and dangerous (leading to mineral imbalance, etc).

  • Justin

    I’m 22 years old, I workout 2-3 hours a day, very active. I eat pretty healthy for the most part, high protein.

    About 8 or 9+ months ago I started getting a rather funny smell form my rectum, and a white residue when I’d take a shower in the morning. I didn’t have any symptoms nor pains at that time.

    Recently, I have been feeling extremely bloated after everything I eat, and it is very painful. I feel as if I’m going to vomit after I eat something as light as a yogurt. After I eat, my food feels like it’s not digesting, and it’s hard for my to breathe. I also feel hungry again soon after I eat. My stomach always feels full, and towards the end of the night I look as if I’m 5 months pregnant. My body has stopped digesting regularly, and I have to take a laxative to now produce a bowel movement.

    Two nights ago, it was 2am and I woke up. I felt a funny swirl kinda thing in my rectum, so I went to the bathroom. I put some water on my finger, and I grazed around the inside of my rectum, and my findings were a skinny whitish/transparent worm about 3/4″ long, however it wasn’t moving or anything. I was a complete retard and washed it down the drain, and didn’t save it.

    I went to the doctors the next day, and my doctor said that it’s highly unlikely that I have parasites, so I took it to the hospital. When I got to the ER the DR nearly chuckled at me as if she didn’t believe me. She then sent in a G.I. and he sat there and insisted it was mucus and wasn’t a parasite. Then another G.I. came in and fucking laughed at me. Now mind you none of them have yet to even do an examination on me, other then me telling them my symptoms. Soon after they order a CT Scan, The results were negative. They said I need more fiber, and prescribed me with laxative. I was absolutely furious because I know that there is something going on with parasites in my stomach.

    I know what I saw the other night. I don’t know what to do at this point?

    • janmodric


      I encorage you to insist in having a stool test for parasites. Do it in an official way, just find another doctor. Smelly mucus, bloating, appetite swings, finding a worm speak for parasites; still you will need a test to confirm them and get appropriate medications.

  • Dave E

    Hello, I am having very foul smelling burps that smell like rotten eggs. I also am constantly having diarrea and farting 100’s of times a day. I had a ulcer before in my upper duodenum from taking too much non-steroidal medication. I recently ran out of my nexium I take. I am waiting for a refill. I am worried from reading that I may have a parasite? What do you think?

    • Jan Modric

      Dave E,

      intestinal parasites are possible, diagnosis is with a stool test. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is also possible. You may want to read about other causes of excessive gas.
      I recoomend you to visit a gastroenterologist.

  • Dave E

    P.S. I have been feeling naseous but not vommitting and I feel alot more tired than usual even after a full nights sleep. This has been going on for three days.

  • kates

    Hey Jan.. I’m 21 years old and always had pretty bad luck in health i was born with osteogenisis imperfecta so i’m experiance the joint pain and arthritus from that.. but i traveled to Mexico in 2006 and while i was there i was sick on the second to last day with uncontrollable diarrea which i shrugged off.. and when i returned home i haven’t really felt the same since.. it seems to be getting worse and worse over the years.. first my doctor told me it was a mild IBS after feeling my belly .. but year after year i started experiencing excessive bowel movements in a day .. atleast 4-5 time’s a day usually it’s made it very difficult for me to live a normal life like going out with my friends and such my stools are sometimes long and black and at other times are sticky and lighter with different tones.. some sink some float.. and i also get the skinny tan colored stools that come out randomly i have foul smelling gas that is very embarresing for me and mostly uncontrolable and especially when i drink liqour i experience pain in my upper and lower right and left abdomen randomly.. and just recent ive developed these odd sounds mostly on my mid-lower left side of my abdomen that almost sound like a growl or a popping noise but i am certainly not hungry i eat excessive amounts of food..mind me i do smoke weed due to my bone disease but i am only 105lbs and 5’2.. i feel tingly in random spots lately and when i’m laying down and looking at my stomach i can see it moving.. i also just started getting panic attacks mostly when i’m most relaxed which i find odd feels like i’m going to have a heart attack ..I also sleep way to much.. usually 12-17 hours a day and still feel tierd after waking i am very pale and have very dark circles under my eyes and experience lower back pain .. now i was in a car wreck last summer and i broke my neck and such but i don’t feel that’s why it hurts it feels more like a burn.. about a month ago is when i really started to get very much worried when i went the washroom and my stools were completely bright red for atleast 5 days followed with serious stomach irritation and overall sick feeling and now i have Constipation followed with diarrea shortly after then gas for several hours after ..and these noises are now non stop before only sometimes.. I just got my cultures taken and brought into the lab today for the parasite test but i’m just curious if this sounds like anything else i should be looking into if this result is negative.. also i am getting alot more long stringy yellowish brown mucus that comes out and see little chunks of yellow pieces of i don’t know what in the toilet it seems to be breaking off the actual feces or the watery part of it atleast ??

    • Jan Modric


      red and black stool is usually from blood. It may be parasites, bacteria, but also a bowel inflammation or stomach ulcer (among other) that can cause bleeding.

      Floating and skin-colored stools can be from fat that was not absorbed in the small intesine due to one or more of the following: 1) small intestinal inflammation 2) gallbladder disorder 3) liver disorder 4) pqncreatic disorder.

      You might need the following:
      1. stool tests for:
      – parasites
      – bacteria (stool culture test)
      – blood (Hemoccult)
      – fat

      2. ultrasound of the abdomen

      2. upper endoscopy to check for stomach/duodenal ulcers
      3. colonoscopy to check for inflammation in the colon
      4. Blood test for iron, liver and pancreatic enzymes

      Above tests are just examples, your doctor (gastroenterologist) should decide what to perform. I don’t think weed solves anything on a long-term.

  • kkumar

    Extreme pain at right side of abdomen when defacating & after. Pain doubles afters defacating & lasts about 2 hours. Pass motion every hour after that with continues pain. Happens about once a week for the whole day. This is happening for a 12 year old kid. Colonscopy not adviceable by doctor coz might puncture intestine during insertion.Help

    • Jan Modric


      the kid is a boy or girl? Since when the pain is present, and is it below or above the navel?

  • kkumar

    The kid is a boy. Pain is above navel on the right. He been having this pain for the pass 3 months

    • Jan Modric


      was an ultrasound of the abdomen done? A gallbladder or bile duct disorder is possibe, among other.

  • Bloated

    Last October I started noticing a stiff bloated feeling in my small intestines (hasn’t seemed to affect my colon at all) and really I only noticed it when I was laying on my back and felt my abdomen with my hands. It doesn’t hurt unless I press on it and every now and then I can push and it feels like I move gas or liquid around because it gurgles a bit. It has gotten a little better and worse randomly and it doesn’t seem to matter what I eat. For a short history, I spent 9 weeks in the south of France at the beginning of last year, and tried many new foods and wines and also I ate sushi a lot up until last summer. Also, I have very seldom seen blood and mucous in my stool over the past 2 years (not often at all and possibly attributed to other things not related to diet). I recently went to my doctor about it and he said it was most likely a bacterial or parasitic infection in my small intestines and ordered blood tests and stool cultures. I already heard back from the blood tests and everything was normal (one was the C-Difficile test and it was negative). He has put me on 2 medications (metronidazol and doxycycl) to be taken twice a day for 10 days. I don’t know when I will hear back about the stool cultures or if they will even show anything, but I wanted another opinion on whether you thought it could be bacterial or parasitic or something else.

  • Bloated

    Also, forgot to add, since the bloated showed up last October (and possibly a bit before) I have had complete irregularity, going from constipation to diarrhea sometimes multiple times within a day and sometimes going several days of one or the other. I tried Activia and it did not help but that might also be because I cannot consume milk fat (I get nausea, that started many years ago). I do not have fever or nausea or weak tired feelings like many previous posts. I recently increased my fiber intake and started drinking nothing but water and it helped my regularity some and I am definitely using the restroom much more often, but the hard bloating is still there and still some irregularity.

    • Jan Modric


      how old are you? Mucus and blood in the stool are not normal, and can speak for small or large bowel inflammation or polyps. I personally think, you should wait to get results of stool tests before starting with antibiotics – if all tests so far were negative. You should speak with the doctor about this, though.

      Do you have lactose intolerance? A low-FODMAP diet can help in lactose intolerance and fructose malabsorption. If these were the causes, symptoms should lessen considerably in few days with this diet.

      If stool tests will be negative, I suggest you to consider colonoscopy.

  • Bloated

    I am 22 and I am not sure if I have lactose intolerance, I’ve not seen a doctor about that issue, though I did mention it to my doctor when I went for this digestive problem and he said I might be and that it could be agitated due to the possible infection. About 5 years ago I just couldn’t drink whole milk any more so I went to skim milk and that was fine for a few years but more recently I have noticed minor digestive upset at consuming any dairy products really.

  • Bloated

    And as for the blood and mucous in my stool, it seemed to show up with certain sexual activities rather than with dietary choices or problems. I’ve not had any blood or mucous in my stool for at least a couple of months, possibly longer.

    • Jan Modric


      common dietary causes of bloating and diarrhea are:

      lactose – in dairy, chocolate, pre-prepared and other foods
      fructose and sorbitol – in fruits, honey, “low-calorie” foods, diet soda

      You can exclude all this with a low-FODMAP diet – link in my previous post.

      In lactose intolerance and fructose malabsorption typically there may be several abdominal problems, but you don’t feel actually ill. So, when you’ll know the results of your stool tests, I recommend you to try that diet.

  • Bloated

    Thanks so much. I was looking at that link and if it turns out I don’t have any parasites or infection, or even if the symptoms don’t go away, I am going to go ahead and cut out at least 3 of those groupings. It will be easy for me to cut out lactose, glutens, and gas-producing stuff (like the lentils and artichokes). If none of that works then I suppose it is most likely the fruit since my regularity has actually gotten better with an increase in fiber via oatmeal and granola. Anyway, thanks so much for your help!

  • shelly

    ok my daughter is 17 she has been having alot of trouble with her stomache since last june. first the docs thought it was kidney stones since she had crystels in her urine, but the specialist said he wasnt convinced of this . she has had a cat scan last july, stomache xrays blood work . now the docs say she is constipated , but this is not enough for us. they just tested her for H. pylori and it came back negetive. we are at are wits end here, they just think its something to do with constipation… she complains all the time of pain in her stomache and sometimes shortness of breathe and her skin is pale and tired all the time. she has missed alot of school this year. we just got a new doc, i want her to test her stool ,but they always think its just something else. oh yes and when my kids were little they did have giardia and pin worms . i have told the doc this but no response … im beyond frusterated and just want her to feel better. they have her taking prevacid now currently. her pain can move too, it used to be in the back , thats why they thought kidney stones, but now has moved to the front both sides and currently in the middle between rib cage tender sometimes to the touch and shortness of breathe. but this is new since last week. she does have a b.m. almost everyday but doesnt let me look at it. sometimes its hard sometimes loose. i feel terrible that they cant diagnose her and get her better. she never had problems until last summer. she has lost some weight about ten lbs or so . she wont eat at school at all because she ends up sick. this whole thing is making me anxious. do you have any suggestions? please help thanks

  • Harley

    I am overall healthy, 35 year old woman. I wrote several months ago about tingling that I was experiencing. Had MRI of brain which neurologist said looked normal, passed physical neurological exam just fine. For past 6 weeks have had extreme change in b.m.’s. Sludge like consistency, lots of foul smelling, painful gas, and bloating. Couple of weeks ago noticed 2, about 1 inch in length, whitish-translucent things in my stool. Each piece had red color on one end. I assumed it was mucus. Went to my GP couple of days ago and am in the process of providing sample of BM for O&P test. My question is: can tingling sensations (come and go, many times in pelvic area) be caused by parasites? I’ve seen you mention that some can cause cysts in brain and other organs. What is done for remedy if that is what happened? Are cysts removed? Could cysts in my brain cause nerological abnormalities like tingling sensations? Those cysts would show up though on MRI, correct? Sometimes I will feel a distinct prick of pain. Like a bug biting me or a drop of water landing on me, but there is nothing there. Could this be parasites within me? I am hoping to get a positive result and be able to connect the dots with the strange symptoms I’ve been having. Also have ringing in my ears occasionally which is new within the past 9 months as well as tingling. Ate a lot from garden last summer (dog’s pen is beside garden. I’m careful to remove any dog poop from pen–he’s an outdoor dog so not in pen but at night–purhaps this is source of parasites? Also ate lots of fresh blackberries from bushes around our house in the country. Try to wash well with water) and had bout of gastroenteritis I went to ER for because it was so painful. Had diarrhea at that time assumed it was a virus. Have had loose stools on and off since then. That is also when ringing in ears started. But now for last 6 weeks stools are consistantly loose. Thanks for any info.

    • Jan Modric


      Have you already had a stool test for parasites? MRI would show cysts in the brain. Symptoms from a cyst would be likely only one-sided. Ringing in both ears is often due to low blood pressure or anemia. Have you had blood tests for iron , and vitamin B (including B12)?

  • miloš

    dear mr.modi?,
    i have been eating only vegan food for a year from now and did very well until now when some weird thickling sensation like something moves realy quickly inside my body. first it was in my stomach, first left than right side, then some day it moved once up to the heart (where it often moves and like ‘squeezes’ the heart) and often i can feel it moves inside my head( brain).
    now, i must completely assure you that this is not something i have been ‘psyched’ up and persuaded myself. THIS IS REAL. I am now on my master year of college and doing fine. But this is something I can’t find NORMAL?!
    My stool is ok, sometimes soft,sometimes hard, but brown coloured. There is no blood, pain, etc. My Fe levels are little marginalized but inside range, and I don’t believe this is effect of b12 defficency cause I am not ‘crazy’ and this is REAL.
    Best regards and thanks for your time and patience,

    • Jan Modric


      could you use other words for tickling? Was it like tingling, ants crawling over your skin? You would not feel intestinal worms moving within your bowel, like you don’t feel how the stool moves. Still, intestinal parasites could cause tingling or itchy skin. We can also not feel what hapens in the brain, except if some vessel would be affected – that would cause more obvious symptoms, though. If your iron is low normal, it would be still good if you ask your doc for iron supplements. Also for vit B12 supplements if your levels are low. Low vitamin B12 is completely realistic possibility after one year on vegetarian diet, and it can result in symptoms you’ve described.

      An allergy to sesame paste or toothpaste could be also possible. By droping both for few days, symptoms should go away, if this was the cause.

      When parasites try to escape, they do it on anobvious way – you would notice worms and possibly some mucus in your stool. Intestinal parasites or bacteria would not escape through the skin. If you currently do not have acne or skin infection, it’s not likely this has something with bacteria.

      I do not claim you do not have intestinal parasites. But I encourage you to recheck your iron and vit B12 levels first and get supplements. Then, after few weeks, you will see if it works or not.

  • miloš

    dear Mr.Modri?

    PS I assume that maybe this is movement of the parasites that are trying to escape and maybe the environment doesn’t suits them anymore (ph)?
    Also, those sensations started when I introduced ‘sesame paste’ in my diet and also, as far as I can remember, when I started to use very potent Italian toothpaste (with oxygene, ”kills 99% of the bacteria”)
    And my final question is it possible that this is movement of the bacteria (because I had problems with acne) and if these are parasites, for how long can they live (! how awful this sounds)?

  • Want to feel healthy again…

    Hi there hoping you could maybe help me figure out what route to take with doctors to finally get better.. Im a 25yr old female living in uk, really suffering..have diarrhea on a daily basis sometimes is fluffy and sticky other times more just watery or small bits..sometimes smells extremely bad. I also suffer from bloating and extreme gas (which also smells terrible),stomach pain(when i press it)fatigue,lack of concentration,breathlesness(sometimes)light headedness, being very cold most of the time.. and swollen areas on my fingers which are extermely painful these come and go but seem to me to be worse when i have really bad bouts of diarrhea. my doc seems to think i have ‘ibs’ and should just get on with it with anti spasmodic medication but these symptoms are really affecting my everyday life and i am convinced something underlying is causing it, have had bloods done which were all fine and one stool check but just by normal doc not gastro..i was in dominican nearly 3years ago and ended up seriously ill in hospital there with diarrhea, the first time i went to my doc here in uk was one month after i returned from this trip!!..and symptoms have been ongoing ever since this is why i am certain it could be parasites or bacteria that werent dealt with over there, i dont know what to do next as im sure my doc thinks im a hypochondriac but its awful to have to live this way, saw special comprehensive stool tests that can be done in america and am tempted to try this but are so expensive and feel that i should be able to be helped in my own country! Thank you for your time

    • Jan Modric

      Want to feel healthy again,

      this doesn’t sounds as IBS to me. When your stool is sticky and fluffy, is it also white (or at least containing white patches, I mean dense white, not translucent)? If yes, this is probably from unabsorbed fat. Stool test for fats exist.

      Diarrhea, bloating, smelly gas and stool, and mucus can all appear in intestinal parasites. Stool test for parasites and another one for bacteria, are available. If swollen fingers appear at the same time as diarrhea, they may be related. I recommend you to visit a gastroenterologist, he can order all required tests.

      You can also consider to have a low-FODMAP diet trial for few days. Lactose intolerance or fructose malabsorption can cause some of symptoms you have (not likely swollen fingers, though) and a low-FODMAP diet covers both disorders at once.

  • Want to feel healthy again…

    also..forgot to say sometimes have mucus in my stool ot always..and tingling in my fingers i thought this may have been due to low b12 but my doc says no, thanks again 🙂

  • miloš

    Dear Jan,
    First,I would like to thank you for your time and quick reply.
    If I could define with words I could describe moving sensations maybe it does feel like ants crawling really fast on the inside. Bat maybe more accurately it could be described as something long swims really fast (especcialy when it comes down to the stomach). It is tickling sensation and may occur on different places simultanously (which means it is not a tapeworm or something ). No itch. No pain.
    Sometimes I can feel it moves a bit down there above groins where I suppose it is warm enough..
    Something I should say and what might be the reason of my bacteria assumption, is saliva ( most of the time brightly white) that accumulates down in the chest and which I can cough up.
    The second is manifestation of itchy red spots on my skin (maybe it is some food allergy because it is not always and was occuring before the sensation started) when I start to sweat (mostly on the face and chest).
    Can maybe some kind of fungus move like that and can bacteria move at all? Can amoebeas or some kind of protozoans move and been felt like that?
    I know how all this sounds when it is read, and sometimes I feel like some lunatic but again, this is something I cannot accept as some neurological manifestation on the bassis of B12 defficiency. I would very much like that I am wrong and that there is nothing crawling inside of me … 🙂
    Many thanks,

  • miloš

    …almost to forget, the sensation started about the time whit first acid-reflux symptoms (which I know now, are result of brown rice and spinach which I eat often)
    That would be it, I am not going to annoy you with my messages. I think you have about all curcial information to say your opinion.
    Thanks again!

    • Jan Modric


      revealing all symptoms is helpful rather annoying. You can check this personal medical history questionnaire to see, if you can mention something other and put all in an exact time line. From what you’ve described, I can assume, the following may be an issue:

      If you have a gastric reflux (with burning pain behind the sternum and in the throat?), then the white “saliva” is likely from gastric acid. One common cause of excessive gastric acid is a chronic infection with Helicobacter pylori. Diagnosis is by a blood or breath test performed by a gastroenterologist. Certain foods can aggravate gastric reflux symtoms: anything containing vit C or other acids: aspirin, soda…

      Red bumps (if they look as bumpy hives and they disappear in some hours) accompanied by sweating may be a heat rash. There is one type of exercise induced food allergy – you get an allergy when you eat certain foods and then exercise within 24 hours or so after taking that food.

      There are stool tests available for intestinal worms, Entamoeba and other parasites and bacteria. Bacteria or yeasts causing skin infections usualy result in obvious symptoms with some rash and not only tickling. For example, staphylococcal folliculitis results in red bumps (often with white heads), lasting for several days at least (while heat rash lasts only for some hours). To discuss what low vit B12 can or cannot cause, you would need to provide your lab results first.

  • Donna

    |I just returned a couple of weeks ago from Cuba. I had a virus and was on prednisone and antibiotics before I left but while we were there I felt fine. However, while I was diving in a mangrove I aspirated some water. When I got home a few days later I had a bowel movement that was covered in thick white mucus….like I have never seen. However, since then I haven’t noticed it again. I have had to go on prednisone and antibiotics again and my asthma is out of control. I have severe insomnia, and a severe cough, especially after eating supper. My lungs are very congested and I only feel some relief when I am laying down….which is not typical with asthma. My liver feels enlarged and I feel totally unwell. Could I have ingested a parasite into my lungs and what is the test to determine this. I am supposed to have surgery on Mon but don’t feel that my lungs could handle it. (Except for this recent virus my asthma has been under control and I have never needed prednisone.) Help…Thanks

    • Jan Modric


      I recommend you to discuss all your symptoms, about aspirating water and mucus in the stool with your surgeon. Lungs can be checked by a CT or MRI. A culture of your sputum can be done. Basic blood tests, including liver enzymes would be also needed.

  • renee

    Hello, I have been having intestinal trouble for the past 10 months, I have a great doctor but we’ve sort of hit a roadblock and I’d love to get a fresh opinion.
    I was diagnosed with Giardia 10 months ago by my GI doc (with no recent interntl. travel, we think I may have gotten it from unsanitary produce?). After treatment, a stool test proved the parasite was gone (which I knew was the case anyway because the awful stomach pain was finally gone). I was great for about 1 1/2 weeks only to slip back into similar symptoms of diarrhea, inability to eat much without incurring stomach cramps and diarrhea, a constant feeling of needing to go to the restroom, nausea in the mornings, and general malaise.
    After a colonosopy and endoscopy (where he took a biopsy) he said everything looked fine, but that I then had C Diff. He treated me for the C Diff but things only felt slightly better after that. I later did a stool sample to confirm the treatment took care of the C Diff and it came back normal.
    I have since had a stomach emptying study (for the nausea), and CT scan of the abdomen, blood tests, all were normal. At this point, I woke up one morning and my morning nausea was oddly gone and hasn’t returned since (about 3 mnths ago). My stool has been consistantly formed, yet very soft and easily switches back to diarrhea if I eat too much veggies or chocolate or too much food. I can however eat fried foods with no trouble which is weird. I take Immodium at times to keep the constant “need to go” at bay when I am away from home and Bentyl for stomach cramps when something hits me wrong. We were thinking that I had developed IBS.
    I then had a capsule endoscopy that showed two very small ulcers in my small intestine which indicated that I’d developed Chron’s Disease. At this point however, my GI doc was hesitant to put me on any of the “big time” Chron’s Disease medications since I didn’t have most of the other symptoms of constant diarrhea and stomach pain. So he put me on a month of prednisone to help the ulcers heal and I do feel alot better. I do however still have trouble eating the same “no-no” foods as before, the same ultra-soft stools, the constant “need to go”, and malaise. My GI doc thinks that I may have gotten the ulcers since my intestines were irritated so much from both infections. He thinks that I now have IBS-D and tells me to just take Immodium and Bentyl as needed. Is he right, it is just that my body is just taking a really long time to rebound from being sick for so long? I’ve also tried all sorts of probiotics to no avail: Florastor, acidopfilis, and now ‘Digestive Advantage’ with Ganeden. Are we missing anything? I just want to go back to normal 🙁

    • Jan Modric


      low-FODMAP diet, where you exclude fructose, lactose and some other nutrients, can help in IBS. You can have a 4 days trial and see if it helps. You can exclude other foods for which you know they irritate you. There is no nausea, malaise, fever or blood in the stool in IBS. It can be mucus, though.

      Probiotics help only in active bacterial infection due to food poisoning and during treatment of Cl-diff. Now, if you see they don’t help, I see no reason why to continue with them.

      One possibly missed condition could be small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

      Crohn’s disease causing loose stools would likely cause other symptoms, like nausea, low grade fever, fatigue. But the fact that steroids haave helped is an important info. I can’t make any firm conclusion from this. Crohn’s disease itself often has a come and go course.

  • goneontoolong

    44 male with pain in left lower abdomen, depression for 2 yyears, bloating in upper stomach, gurgling, off and on forever, bloodwork showed low vitamin d, and severely low testosterone, they thought explaining the severe lack of energy and genereally feeling terrible most of the time. I have not slept on my own without meds forever (ambien, and now night quil).I seem to get sick very easy, and the testosterone gel after 6 months was unable to signifcantly raise it from 146. Being a nail biter since childhood i am fearing having many parasites. As i have no insurance could you, if you agree, recomed a place to test me, (hopefully by mail).

    • Jan Modric


      are you constipated or have loose stools? Any mucus in the stool? Do you burp excessively? There are more causes of bloating: dietary causes, parasites, intestinal disease…One thing to try woth no cost is a low-FODMAP diet trial for few days. You exclude foods, high in fructose, sorbitol, lactose and some other nutrients that can cause bloating and see if it helps.

  • Elaina

    Hello, I chanced upon your site and I’d really appreciate anything you could tell me. For the past 4 weeks I have been so tired, nauseous on and off, dizzy, and have had diarrhea (I NEVER have diarrhea because I have IBS-Constipation). I have had an array of blood work, everything came back normal but she told me there was bacteria in my urine sample. She didn’t think it was a big deal. I am desperate to find out what is going on. The fatigue makes it impossible for me to do anything. Oh and I also have had 2 cold sores and a boil for the first time in my life in the past 3 months. Bacterial infection? Thank you so so much!

    • Jan Modric


      hard to say what is causing what in your case. Boils are usually from staphylococcal infection and they usually resolve on their own – if not a prescribed oral antibiotic usually helps. A cold sore (a bunch of tinny, itchy blisters?) is usually a reactivation of an old herpetic infection. Both of this may occurs in lowered immunity or other stress, and one cause could be intestinal infection, which could be from intestinal parasites. Mucus can be from parasites, but you would need to have a stool test for parasites for confirmation.

      I also strongly recomend you to ask for blood tests for iron, vitamin B12, glucose..since their low levels can cause tiredness and dizziness.

      Have you heard for a low-FODMAP diet?

  • Elaina

    One more thing, I do have mucous in my stool, and bloating but it is hard to say if it is from whatever is happening in my body right now or from the intestinal disorder (IBS) I have.

  • MattP

    Hello Jan Modric,

    I’m a 31 year old male who recently returned from Peru (Iquitos) April 1st after spending about 2 months there. While I was there I tried coke 4 times and had unprotected sex with two local girls. I came back home and 3 days later, my life has literaly gone to hell since then. For the past 2 weeks I have had near constant fatigue, brain fog, general feeling of malaise, restlessness, insomnia. Other symptoms that come and go include lower abdominal pain, diarrea, depression, general out of body experience, anxiety attacks. I have always been a very healthy person in the past, the longest I would ever get sick for was 2 or 3 days that’s why these two weeks have been so scary (partially explains the anxiety attacks I guess?). I did not get any shots before going to Peru (very stupid I know). I have been to the ER three times when the symptoms really got out of hand, they simply did a quick blood test and sent me on my way. I have been to my doctor several times and a tropical disease specialist aswell. Neither of them have been able to find anything wrong with me. My blood work has come back perfect every time (no strange white blood cell readings, no hepetitis or HIV either), my stool samples also came back negative for any parasites as did my urine tests. When I first started experiencing these symptoms it was very sudden, like a total immune system crash… Last week on Tuesday, I started feeling abit better when suddenly at night the same exact thing happened again. When I first saw the specialist he gave me anti maleria medication just to be sure it was not a possibility (even though I tested negative for it). I’m completely clueless as to what this could be, I don’t think it’s a bacterial infection since my white blood cell count is normal, I know it’s not malaria, Im not sure if it’s parasites (just to be sure I have purchased a colon cleansing kit and started the program). The specialists best guess is that it’s viral that I should wait it out, which I want to if the symptoms weren’t so intense. I realize I did a whole bunch of dumb things, I just never though anything could ever touch me. Any idea where I should start looking, please please help.

    I started keeping a journal of my exact symptoms as they occur (sorry for the formating it was done in excel)… This past night was hell on earth to put it mildly. About the only heart warming thing I got out of this (if you can call it that) is that it really is parasitic and I’m not crazy yet. Would a virus typically cause “Sever Stomach Pain, Belching, Passing Gas”?

    I’m continuing with the Paraway cleaning capsules, does anyone have any other suggestions? Also, what would be recommended to settle the stomach a bit? I’m thinking mint tea???

    Date – Symptoms – Actions – Notes
    4/21/2010 21:15 – Restlessness – None – Feeling restless, need to walk around my room to focus on what I’m doing. Trying my best to remain relaxed (part of the fear stems from not knowing if I’m about to crash again).
    4/21/2010 22:07 – Restlessness, Insomnia, Mild Chills – None – Unable to sleep, feeling chills/shakey out of bed and feeling like I’m about to explode while in bed. Yawning like crazy, definitely tired.
    4/21/2010 22:30 – None – Attempting Sleep – The extreme agitation seems to have worn off
    4/21/2010 22:58 – Insomnia, Lower Abdominal Pain – Attempting To Eat Salad And Sleep – After Unable to sleep, lower abdominal pain also stomach is hungry
    4/22/2010 0:57 – Mild Chills – Attempting Sleep – Finally fell asleep for about an hour after sheer exshaustion took over, feeling chills out of bed again
    4/22/2010 2:06 – Insomnia – Working On Spreadsheet – Feeling somewhat normal, very tired but unable to sleep
    4/22/2010 2:53 – Insomnia, Lower Abdominal Pain – Attempting Sleep – Have A Perscription For Ran-Pantoprazole 40MG, Suppose To Relieve Stomach Issues, Decided Against Using It
    4/22/2010 5:23 – Insomnia, Sever Stomach Pain, Belching, Passing Gas – Wakeup – Wokeup With Sever Stomach Pains, Literally Joilted Me Out Of Sleep

    Before I forget, the first time I had an “immune system collapse” (sorry for calling it that, just felt like it) I had a Starbucks coffee. The second time I had a big serving of potato pancakes right before.

    Sorry for the long message, just trying to be thorough… Thank you

    • Jan Modric


      it can help to organise your observations, if you write down:
      – main (one) current complaint
      – what was the 1st symptom
      – when did you start with Paraway
      – when did stomach problems (belching, gas, pain) appear? Where exactly is the stomach pain – in the stomach?
      – have you had raised body temperature at any point?-

      Hunger, belching, gas and abdominal pain suggest a gastrointestinal disorder. Considering chills, it could be an infection with bacteria or parasites, like giardia (food poisoning). It could be also small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or Helycobacter pylori infection of the stomach. A gastroenterologist can perform appropriate tests. All mentioned conditions may be present with normal blood white cells. Stool tests for parasites are often false negative. Viral gastroenteritis (called stomach flu) usually causes diarrhea and resolves within a week…

      Paraway does not likely treat gastrointestinal infection. Bowel cleanses may be problematic since they may flush out normal intestinal bacteria, allowing harmful bacteria to overgrow.

      Giardia could cause all symptoms you’ve mentioned.

      Before any gastrointestinal test, you would ned to stop with a cleanse. Drinking enough water is necessary for proper hydration. Avoiding sugary foods (including fructose and sorbitol in fruits and soda, honey) and lactose (dairy..) can prevent some bloating.

  • MattP

    Hi Jan,

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for answering my inquiry.

    “- main (one) current complaint”

    The most serious complaint I have now is the extreme restlessness. Last night I slept very little, I lay in the fetal position trying desperatly to fall asleep. When I would lay in that position I felt like I was going to explode out of my skin. The only way I felt better would be by walk around in circles in my room all night (seems to clear my mind somewhat). It’s worth mentioning that in the past when I was nervous or anxious I might do the same thing for a few minutes but I could always stop it without issue (and it only happened a total of 3 or 4 times in my life).

    “- what was the 1st symptom”

    Assuming this came back with me from Peru the first symptom was the diarrhea (which I assumed at the time was normal travellers diarrhea). The first serious symptom happened April 4 after I got home here. I was in Starbucks having a coffee when suddenly got dizzy and almost fainted, from that moment on my life has been hell.

    “- when did you start with Paraway”

    Yesterday afternoon actually, I took one pill at lunch time and I took one pill this morning (seemed to ease my stomach pains). I will stop with the Paraway as you recomended… Should I take any Acidophilus Difiduf with my meals?

    “- when did stomach problems (belching, gas, pain) appear? Where exactly is the stomach pain – in the stomach?”

    It seems to be situated in the stomach, these symptoms are not as common as the restlessness and fatigue… They come and go… The Stomach pains probably started near the beginning of April.

    “- have you had raised body temperature at any point?-”

    I would say no, in Peru I had two seperate occasions when I had a fever early on. Once I had extreme fatigue with that fever. These fevers resolved themselves within a day or two and I have not had any fevers since (over a month and a half now).

    “Hunger, belching, gas and abdominal pain suggest a gastrointestinal disorder. Considering chills, it could be an infection with bacteria or parasites, like giardia (food poisoning). It could be also small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or Helycobacter pylori infection of the stomach. A gastroenterologist can perform appropriate tests. All mentioned conditions may be present with normal blood white cells. Stool tests for parasites are often false negative. Viral gastroenteritis (called stomach flu) usually causes diarrhea and resolves within a week…”

    So our possibilities are:

    SIBO (When I was in Peru, I took some antibiotics near the beginning of my trip to stop the diarrhea, it did not work and I just lived with the diarrhea)
    Helycobacter pylori
    (I discount Viral gastroenteritis since this is at least 3 weeks now)

    I have cut sugary foods out of my diet (do these include natural sugars like fruits?), I’ve also been minimizing my consumption of carbohydrates (the second time when it felt like my immune system crashed I had eaten a large amount of potato pancakes a few hours before. I assume herbal tea, ham, egg, dark bread, salads, sausage are safe to eat right??? Someone recomended taking some “activated charcoal” to absorb some toxins in my system. What would you recommend to settle my stomach abit? I forgot to mention I have lost a good 30 – 35 pounds while in Peru and back here…

    Thank you Jan… You don’t know how much it means to me to be able to talk to someone about it…

    • Jan Modric


      I feel you are excited, so please do not take any action on basis of my writing. I cannot give any suggestions about tests or even treatment. It is important you write down all symptoms, events, medications and their effect, tests and their results in a time line. Here is a general personal medical history questionnaire. Check it and write all things down – you will need it to discuss with a doctor.

      I cannot recommend any substances to ingest without knowing what is the cause. Probiotics are not likely to help. Nutrients that may aggravate bloating are: fructose (yes also natural fruits, especially apples pears…), sorbitol, HFCS and lactose. Processed meats and canned foods can be also problematic. Plain foods, like bread, rice, green salad, poultry may be ok. Drinking enough water is important, since it’s quite possible you are dehydrated.

  • Not Notso

    Hi, I had round worms as a child and now I am having a strange, kicking sensation in my lower stomach, underneath my c-section scar that started about 4 days ago. I’m not pregnant but I ate some bad meat a few weeks ago. I also have a sharp lower right pain in my side that comes and goes for about 6 months and I have been constipated one day and will have diarhea the next. The weird sensation in my lower stomach is what creps me out. I have not noticed anything in my stool yet. Wondering if I may have parasites. Thanks. Great site by the way.Very helpful.

    • Jan Modric

      Not Notso,

      worms are possible…diagnosis is by stool test for ova and parasites. Another cause could be irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) triggered by certain foods or stress. A low-FODMAP diet can sometimes help. Bowel inflammation should be considered if above causes were excluded.

  • Not Notso

    I just want to add that the kicking sensation also feels as if it is is moving around in just that localized area in my lower stomach. Worried about having some sort of large worm.Thanks.

  • want to feel healthy again

    Hi there, in answer to your reply to me.. i cant say for definate that there are white bits in my stool although i have occasionaly seen solid looking white bits when they are fluffy and sticky.. they defiantely have a greasy appearance though and smell foul, i have also just recently had 3 severe bouts of what i would call explosive diarrhea on different occasions, it was as if everything from my digestive tract emptied out in one go and i felt totally exhausted afterward, these were also greasy,almost foamy stools with a foul odour and very pale colour, i have requested to be referred to a gastro by my gp but as far as i know there is a very long waiting list, i feel as if im getting much worse, have been cutting out alsorts of food, dont take any foods with lactose at present and have started on gluten free incase its coeliac(i dont think it is) but i will definatey try the fodmap… just another point… another symtom i get is a sort of breathless feeling as if i cant get a full breath and something is pushing on my chest, i thought previously that this was unrelated but am now beginning to think it is part of it, if i have a bad bout of dia, i get this really bad.. Thank you

    • Jan Modric

      want to feel healthy again,

      white, fluffy, sticky bits in the smelly stool are likely unabsorbed fat. An intestinal, gallbladder, liver or pancreatic disorder are possible causes and all can be tested by a gastroenterologist – as soon as possible.

  • Not Notso

    Thanks, I will see my doctor about that. I suspected it might be IBS.

  • J

    Hey! Oh, I am glad I found this page! And that nobody knows who I am here, cuz I’m going to ask a disgusting question! 🙂 Well, when I went to the bathroom today and I wiped I noticed something long (about 1 1/2 inches), skinny, flat and translucent. Is that a worm?!? Or could I have eaten something weird? God, I hope it’s not a worm! I don’t feel sick or anything…
    THANKS!!!!!!!! 🙂

    • Jan Modric


      if this happens again, try to catch the thing. If it easily falls apart after touching, it’s probaly mucus. If it’s like rubber and flat, like you say, it could be a tapeworm, and then do not hesitate to put it in a container and show it to the doctor. Worms do not always cause symptoms. Even if no worms appear, and you think it was a worm, you can ask the doctor about stool test for parasites.

  • Deanna W.

    I posted before on October 6th. I have given up on the idea that I still have parasites. My dr has done blood tests, etc and found no proof.
    I’m still having issues with my stomach. Had a ct scan. It came back normal. I get sharp pains in my lower abdomen (almost like period cramps). It’s not cramps and I’m a virgin. I don’t wear clothes too tight either. Dr. did blood for issues with ovaries–?? My mom went to a lady who observed the red lines in her eyes and told her that she had ovarian cysts. The lady was right and my mom had them removed.
    I went to a GI. He had me lay down, raise my head-poked my stomach, raise my legs-poked my stomach. Said I had chronic abdominal wall pain–in other words, a bs diagnosis. I cannot lay with my hands (or heavy sheets) across my stomach at night–causes too much pressure. Sometimes cannot lay on my side as this causes hurt and pain too. Sometimes the pain makes me cry. I have to be careful when I sit too. It feels like my stomach is being squished and causes sharp pains.
    I cannot eat very much during the day. It sounds stupid but I have a huge loss of appetite (for a yr or more now). My stomach does not growl for food and I do not get normal hunger pains. Oddly I always have this gnawing empty stomach feeling even though I am full. It makes no sense. I also have moderate acid reflux since Sept. Have taken omeprazole. Hasn’t helped. I’ve had a constant sore throat for over a yr as well. Tried probiotics, aloe vera, almonds, etc. Just don’t think acid reducer pills are the answer. I’m 21.
    Please help me. I know my body and I know I do not feel right.

    • Jan Modric

      Deanna W.,

      one cause of excessive gastric acid secretion is infection of the stomach with a bacterium H. pylori. Some upper abdominal bloating and burping may be (not always) associated with it. Blood and breath test exist, treatment is with antibiotics. I do not believe probiotics and other things you have listed may help.

      Chest pains – you should tell, where exactly is the pain, is the spot tender to touch, is it affected by breathing, exercise, certain body position, also do you cough or have raised (even slightly) temperature?

      Lower abdominal pain – where exactly is it – below the navel, left , right, tender to touch, are you bloated, excessive gas, diarrhea, irregular bm?

      All these details may be extremely important for te doctor, otherwise he/she may think you are making up something or you are just stressed. Again, I encourage you to check this personal medical history questionnaire and put all exact symptoms and other data in a time line.

  • Deanna W.

    I’ve had blood tests before but I’m not sure if they specifically looked for that bacterium.
    The chest pains come with breathing. I was told it is just my ribcage expanding. It’s usually on the left side, sort of under my left breast area. It happens if I take too deep of a breath. Sometimes it is affected by how I sit or how I sleep too. My sister has the same issue.
    The abdominal pain can be in the same area as my bladder but it can also be to the left and right of it. I had a bladder infection in January. I was told by the iridologist that I have a water imbalance. I think I drink plenty of water. I feel as if I pee out more than I drink tho. It is sometimes painful after my bladder is emptied, as if the muscles are very sore.
    My stomach pains are generally to the right of my navel. It is tender to the touch.
    I also have dry eyes and was told my eyelids don’t close all the way.
    My dr. suggested I go to therapy. She said I’m too young to be worrying about these issues. Made me feel like I was a hypochondriac.

    • Jan Modric

      Deanna W.,

      pains appearing in various parts of the abdomen and chest, and dry eyes may be due to a rheumathologic disorder, like SLE, systemic sclerosis, Sjogren syndrome, especially if other family members are also affected. Blood tests for these disorders exist, but a doctor has to specifically order them – these are not common tests that would be done every time. The same is for Helicobacter pylori bacteria – they can be detected if specifically searched for. If there is any water imbalance, blood tests and urine tests should show.

      A serious doctor, a specialist, like rheumatologist, should know which tests to run. Writing down all your symptoms and revealing them to the doctor all in one piece may ease doctor to understand what is happening with you. You mentioned dry eyes in this post, your sister also having pains, pains after emptying bladder, pain when covered with blankets, gastric reflux…all these are important details.

  • Stuffed Up

    Hello, I’ve been having bowel problems for about two months and I’m not sure if they are caused by parasites or not. I have been basically constipated that entire time. I didn’t travel out of the country when it started, and I don’t think I made any huge changes in my diet either. Before it started, I was having 3 to 4 bowel movements per day and they were solid and easy to pass. I’ve only had maybe 10 since it started and none of them are like how they used to be. For the first two or three weeks I only (very difficultly) passed stools about the size of mini Tootsie Rolls (only one per bowel movement). I then decided to try laxative tablets but nothing happened. A friend suggested that I try magnesium citrate, so I took that, but all that came out was brown water. Still being irregular after that, I decided to do it again a week later… and I got the same results. A few days after that, I had very mild diarrhea after eating for one day (only a few soft bowel movements). I tried doing an enema sometime after that but only the solution came out and nothing else. Since then, I’ve only had a few movements and they are still very difficult to pass. They aren’t hard, so I’m not sure why I’m having so much trouble. My belly was distended during the first month but isn’t anymore, which I find very strange since I’m not able to empty my colon very well at all. I don’t even feel the urge to go to the bathroom very often anymore either. I feel like my belly should be exploding from all of the waste that must be in there, but I don’t feel very bloated and I don’t have abdominal cramps or pain. I eat normally and drink a lot of water, so I can’t imagine why I can’t go to the bathroom. Also, I’ve been having other symptoms: very foggy thinking, my lower back is very sore almost every day, intense cravings for sugary foods at night (but not real hunger), trouble sleeping, feeling full after only eating a small amount, lethargy, and lately I’ve been feeling a weird sensation in the middle of my abdomen that feels like my intestines are moving around a lot (at random times, not only after I eat) but it never produces a bowel movement. So what do you think?

    • Jan Modric

      Stuffed Up,

      constipation, bloating, foggy thinking, craving for sugar..could be from small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or intestinal parasites, like giardia. These microorganisms use sugar as a food, so this may be a cause of sugar craving. Breath tests and stool tests exist, a gastroenterologist can say what to do.

      Pain in the chest may be related or not. Pains arising from the spine are usually described as a back pains, so disorders within the chest are not excluded.

  • Stuffed Up

    Forgot something:

    Some days I also have pain in my chest area. It’s hard to describe exactly the spot, but I’ll try…

    It’s straight back from the center of my sternum, but behind my lungs. It feels like it’s on my spine… but on the side of my spine that I’d be able to see if my chest was transparent.

  • want to feel healthy again

    still waiting for gastro appt was back at my doctor again yesterday feel as if im getting weaker and my body is not getting the nutrients it needs, just wondered do you think its at all possible that i may have tropical sprue? been reading a bit about it and a lot of it sounds like my symptoms, only one i dont have is weight loss but i have lost in my body mass Thanks

    • Jan Modric

      want to feel healthy again,

      celiac sprue is possible. Biopsy of duodenal mucosa performed during upper endoscopy and finding excessive fats in the stool (quite likely in your case) are necessary for diagnosis.

  • Sammy

    I just wanted some advice about my 2 year old daughter, some monthes ago she was in her pram (its one of them double pushchairs with one child on top and the other on the bottom, the child i am asking advice about was sat on the bottom, when i look down at her i noticed some poop, am not sure if it was dog or cat poop, but it was on the wheel of the pram and on her hands and face (the youngest child’s seat is close to the wheel and she is able to toach it) i am not sure if any of the poop went intp her mouth but it was on her hands and face, at first i didnt know what to do but now i have grown even more increasingly concerned about what happened and worried she could have got a parasite, and it scares me that thought and i have even cried at times because i am so worried, what are the chances of her getting a parasite and would tests be able to show if she did have one, my daughter does get constipation at times and does open her bowels more than once a day, her stools are quite hard and they are like a ball shape. Any advice on this matter would be appreciated

    • Jan Modric


      when bowel habit changes, intestinal parasites may be one cause to think about. A doctor would want to know exact symptoms and when did they appear. Stool test for parasites exist.

  • kenya

    I seem to be on a cycle of diarrea. My first bout of diarrea was very severe and accomanied by vomiting and high fever. Treated with cipro and the symptoms went away. Three weeks later I again had severe diarrea and a high fever but no vomiting. I was admitted to the hospital and received an IV. I again was given cipro in addition to anti malaria medication. Symptoms cleared up after three days. I did a urine, stool, and blood test but nothing turned up. Then four weeks later I again had severe diarrea. This time the diarrea went away after two days. Each time the diarrea was very watery and intense unlike anything I’ve experienced before. I was drinking as much water as I could and it just went right through me. Are these three episodes related? I’m worried I have worms or something but the tests showed nothing.

    • Jan Modric


      epizodes seem to be related.. Ciprofloxacin helps in bacterial infection, including cholera (water borne) and, for example shigella (food poisoning). High fever speaks for bacterial infection, rather than for parasites ot bowel inflammatory disease…

      The question is if you get repeatedly poisoned from some source (water, food).

  • please help!!!

    The past year I have felt awful. I developed stomach problems seemingly overnight. On and off diarrhea and I now live on immodium. I always feel sick fuzzy thinking, nauseous, headaches,head pressure fullness, extremely tired, tingles in my arms and legs. My stools are sometimes mucousy, bloody, loose, with undigested food (i feel like im not absorbing any vitamins) and I often get bloated/gurgley stomach. I’ve caught strep throat where I lost 20 pounds following and the swine flu later that month that landed me in the hospital. I’ve never been a sickly person. I’ve gone down to 95 pounds at one point which I don’t think I’ve weighed since 6th grade. I’ve actually tried to gain weight and eat constantly and have only made it to 103. I’m normally 115 to 120 and couldn’t go below that even when trying to. My mother, sisters, boyfriend constantly tell me I look awful pale, sunken in, tired, too thin. I just feel like all of this started with my stomach! I do often put my hands in my mouth (nailbitter) and I also nanny for an 7 year old boy with autism who still needs help in the bathroom so I’m not sure if I caught some sort of bacteria? Also not sure if it’s related but a new stomach issue…I went on a cruise the end of April. On the last day I had awful stomach pains which isn’t normal even with my stomach problems. The pains are on my left side and gassy followed by light yellowish brown fluffy stools with some blood and mucous. It’s happened a few times since most recently last night. Yesterday day I had these stools all day without pain or blood, last night had it with pain and bloos, today the stools continued without pain or blood. Whats going on? I’m sick of feeling awful!

    • Jan Modric

      please help!!!,

      stool tests for bacteria and parasites are usually done first in such symptoms. Parasites are possible…but the tests should show the cause. Apart from appropriate medications, iron supplements (injections maybe to prevent further irritation of the gut) and enough water is needed to treat anemia (paleness) and dehydration (sunken eyes). A gastroenterologist should know what to do.

  • sammy

    so if my 2 year old daughter had something like this, would she being showing signs by now, it was about 4-6 monthes ago(its difficult to remember) when she got dog/cat poop on hands and face. What would she be experiencing.

    • Jan Modric


      symptoms may appear months after acquiring intestinla parasites, and when they appear they may again last for months. There could be no symptoms at all, or she could have one or more of the following: diarrhea, constipation, bloated tummy or cramps, excessive or smelly gas, mucus or blood in the stool, skin rash or itch.

  • sammy

    So if my 2 year old had one of these would she be displaying symptoms now, if it happned only a few monthes ago when she got cat/dog poop on her hands and face? what would she be experiencing. Would sickness and vomitting be one of them?

  • Frustrated

    If you have all the common symptoms of a parasite…abdominal cramping, mucus in the stool, bloating, etc and they last for about 3 weeks and then seem to go away, however, you still feel tired all the time, can this mean that the parasite has gone away on it’s own? Is it possible that the parasite goes dormant for a while?

    • Jan Modric


      symptoms in intestinal parasites can come and go, while parasites are still there. Tiredness could be from anemia (low blood levels of iron), which can persist until anemia is resolved – in this case you would also likely have pale skin and some dizziness. Parasites can go away on its own, but if tiredness does not go away in a short time, you might want to have a stool test for parasites and blood test for iron. Some other bowel disorder is also possible.

  • z00keeper

    I have a 3 year old grandson who has had chronic constipation since he was 10 months old. No matter what is given to relieve his ostipation, nothing works anymore. He has had so many tests run for, i.e. ofr Cystic Fibrosis, Crohn’s Disease, Allergies,I can’t name all of them anymore. He has been on most every laxative out there, and we even took him of Lactose, since the doctors thought he may be lactose intolerant. He also has rectal prolapse, and has had a colonoscopy two months ago, with no result other than his colon is the size of an adult, and upon further inspection they saw a piece of cucumber still in his colon, even after he has had the clean out stuff before the procedure. He ate that cucumber over a month prior!
    His now ONGOING flatulence smells like rotten cabbage, he has extreme pain in his lower left quadron, can’t stand or walk straight, can’t sit too long, doesn’t eat much anymore, yet he seems fine to any outsiders who don’t know him. He doesn’t portrait the classic “NO THRIVE” symptom, nor the common diarrhea, his is constipation.
    when he does go it is always like rabbit pellets, usually dark, hard and dry, sometimes mixed with mucus, he also has had 26 ear infections since his birth, also is now on his 4th set of tubes. His pancreatic enzyme count was elevated, calcium elevated, along with his white blood cell count, one day up one day down… took him to an endocronologist, she said she didn’t think it was his thryroid. Not her problem.
    This kid has been to specialists, such as a pediatric gastroenterologist, internist, gland doctor, but no one seems to be able to connect the dots properly. One even went as far as saying he believes our grandson is a time bomb, waiting for everything to fall into place, yet couldn’t tell us what that may be!!
    Finally got a small(hard) stool sample last week, after 6 straight DAYS of NOT using the potty, and naturally the test for whatever they tested him for came back negative, as expected. No one has done an upper GI, to see if there is something in his stomach, no MRI, nor have they taking more blood for the parasite/worm panel we requested. All they tested was his stool.
    Many doctors have taking blood,x-rays,2 ultrasounds which showed compaction to the max, but still sent him home to suffer some more. They thought his gall bladder may be duplicated after the first ultrasound, and the second one turned out to be not the case, just that it folds on itself, so overly large as well…
    His momma and me are at our wits’ end, and no one seems to care enough to do what’s right by this little guy. We even took him to a specialty hospital in Seattle, 2 yrs ago, only for them to tell us to try mineral oil.
    Is there someone out there who may have a clue?? I suspect a parasite, or a worm, but to these doctors who “treat” this little boy we are just overreacting. Where is it normal on any scale, for a child to be seriously constipated for such a long, ongoing time??? But I think because he is on state medical here in Washington State, many of the tests required won’t be run because of money issues. Sad, really, what ever happened to FIRST DO NO HARM? He needs an endoscopy,to see if the mechanics from the stomach to the small intestine are working properly, and I’ve read that certain parasites or worms can cause an obstruction by themselves… What help is there for him??? Who can help?

    Frustrated and scared grandma in Spokane Washington

    • Jan Modric


      rectal prolapse and “colon of the size of an adult” raise a suspiction for a Hirschprung’s disease, a congenital disorder in which a neural network in the wall of the distant colon is not developed properly or is completely missing. This can be proven by checking a sample of colonic wall (obtained during colonoscopy) under the microscope. You can check in boy’s medical documentation, if the biopsy was made. During colonoscopy itself nothing except large colon would be likely seen. Another posible abnormality is a congenital megacolon – a disorder of colonic muscles.

      If not a Hirschsprung’s disease, there could be week pelvic floor muscles or a disorder of connective tissue in or around the colonic wall. Prolapsed rectum could be just a result of straining during bm, though. Folded gallbladder could be another congenital abnormality, and there could be more: frequent ear infections could be due to abnormal Eustahian tube(s). There could be abnormality in pancreatic ducts.

      Parasites can be confirmed by “Ova and Parasites” (O&P) test of the stool. A gastroenterologist can say if hard dry stool would affect the results.

      Maybe there is some syndrome that would explain all mentioned disorders. Cystic fibrosis would explain most of them – in this case the boy would likely have frequent respiratory infections.

  • z00keeper

    Dear Jan,
    thank you for getting back with me. Yes, they did do a biopsy for Hirschsprung’s and it was negative. However, there are different types of Hirschsprungs, each of them affected by a seperate gene, I believe. I have no idea for which one they tested, his mom may know; also my daughter tested positive as a carrier for Cystic Fibrosis while she was pregnant,as part of the screening they do nowadays for pregnancy…
    My grandson however had this test done twice, to include the sweat test, both were benign. They have done some DNA testing I was told. Negative as well…
    His colon was not discribed as a mega-colon, believe me we asked… I think I have read about the weak pelvic muscle you described above, but how would they test for that??? Again, they are unwilling to further poke and prod my grandson for any reason.
    As far as we were told, his family practitioner won’t run any more tests, since all of them came back negative,or inconclusive; although based on your columns it states that a single stool sample may most likely produces a false negative reading, and is not complete unless 3 seperate samples are taken at least 2 days apart. Very unlikely in my grandson’s case, since he is still unable to have a bowel movement to produce the much needed stool. No blood will be drawn, so to find the possible cause is unlikely to be found anytime soon.
    My daughter still has the referal she was given by her family practitioner, for the Seattle Children’s Hospital in Western Washington, we may still have to take this avenue if we want any concrete answers about his health.
    I DO appreciate your insight and expertise, Jan, please continue with your great work.
    Any more ideas on how to proceed would be most helpful.


    • Jan Modric


      one thing you can do is to write down his entire personal medical history (<< the questionnaire here) in a factual way and put all data into a time line. This should include current and frequent past symptoms, positive and negative test results, eventual medications he is taking, family history. Increased level of blood calcium, for example is an important data, but how high is (was) the calcium and is it constantly high, and are levels of magnesium and vitamin D, whic can affect Ca levels, also changed. For how long and how much were pancreatic enzymes elevated, and were levels of other minerals and vitamins normal? It is important to have all data on one place to find out eventual connection. This might be a boring and demanding task, but you can always use this when speaking with doctors and can spare all of you a lot of time and money.

      Next, you can make a list of specific questions for appropriate specialists:
      – A gastroenterologist can tell, if "enlarged colon" in a 3 y/o boy can result from constipation itself or this is not likely. Also, are manometric tests of the pelvic floor muscles and defecation tests appropriate in this age. Intestinal worms can block bile and pancreatic duct, so which investigation would show this.
      – A rheumatologist or other pediatric specialist can tell if there is any syndrome affecting the bile duct, pancreatic duct, Eustahian tube and colon at the same time (there could be a problem with a connective tissue -enlarged gallbladder, enlarged colon, ear infections, constipation…to me this sounds like a possible connective tissue disorder affecting ducts and tubular organs).

  • OCMan


    About three months ago I came down with a head to toe rash. The dermatologists did not know what it was, suggesting possible viral or allergic reaction. He also ask me about whether I had travelled abroad – which I did a few years ago (to South America). The main rash went away on its own with a week an a half. A biopsy showed a generic “Spongitic dermatitis with Eosinophils”. However, ever since then many small, itchy, pimple-like red bumps have appeared mostly in my legs, although I do have some in my arms. Could this be the result of a parasite infection? Do parasites result in small, itchy bumps on the skin? Other symptoms are general fatigue, and I do have loose stools pretty much every day. General blood tests have come back normal.


    • Jan Modric


      itchy rash, fatigue and diarrhea can be symptoms of intestinal parasites, but other bowel disorders, like celiac disease or Crohn’s disease, are possible. A gastroenterologist can make appropriate tests.

  • Linda

    Hello, well for the past month or so i have been becoming bloated in the top region of my stomach after eating , i have had a lot of flatulence (increasing as time passes and strong odor) and i also found mucus in my stool once.
    Is it possible i can pass this to my partner if we engage sexual activities that include my anus?
    I have had a stray cat in my house for about half a year (we havent been able to take her to a vet) is t possible i contracted something (possibly intestinal parasites) from her?

    • Jan Modric


      all what you’ve mentioned is possible. Intestinal parasites can be confirmed by a stool test.

  • kathie

    hi , i’ve used the loo like 6 times already . i am having the urge to defeciate , almost 3-4 times a day , and it hurts each time . i believe its creating a cut or something .advice pls ?

    • Jan Modric


      in intestinal parasites, some bloating, excessive gas, mucus in the stool or diarrhea often appear…If there is a cut (anal fissure) you would need to maintain soft stools by including enough fiber in your diet, and drinking enough water. A doctor can prescribe appropriate ointment for the anal fissure.

  • f22


    Three years ago I took a ten day trip to israel and during that trip I had severe diarrhea for about 5 days. I was going to the bathroom about seven times a day! When I got back to the states I had gotten better but later become chronically constipated. I saw two GI’s and had blood work/ colonoscopy only to be diagnosed with IBS-C. Till this day i’m still chronically constipated. About 4 months ago I began to have severe evening flatulence and burping. About 3 weeks ago I started getting severely nauseated to the point where I had to miss work and could not even get up it felt like i needed to vomit all day long. I would get full fast, chills, burping. I went to my GI and he did a gastric emptying and sonogram study which showed 49% empty in two hours and said I was “border lined” gastroparesis. The sonogram also showed gallstones.

    The question is since I began having chronic constipation when I came back from israel three years ago, could this be a parasite or some stomach virus that lasted that long?? Could I actually have a stomach virus instead of gastroparesis? Is it likely that gastroparesis will go away anytime soon?

    • Jan Modric


      gastroparesis can be caused by causes you’ve already mentioned and by other causes…, anyway:

      Upper abdominal bloating, nausea and burping can be caused by:
      – biliary reflux caused by gallstones, so you may consider to treat that first. Possible additional symptoms in gallstones are: right upper abdominal pain that may radiate to the back or right shoulder
      – fructose malabsorption that may develop at any time. A low-fructose diet would help in few days in this case.
      – stomach infection (gastritis) caused by Helicobacter pylori – blood and breath tests exists; treatment is with antibiotics
      – intestinal parasites, which may persist for months or years; Dx is by a stool test, treatment with antiparasitic drugs.

      A diagnosis of IBS is given, when all other disorders are excluded (you have confirmed gallstones). Besides that, there is no nausea in IBS.

      It doesn’t seem to me that your problems will resolve by themselves with no action…

  • jay

    hi, i’ve got a real bad case of rotten burps and farts, non-stop. and i have had bouts of diarrhoea and everytime it has been painful with a burning kind of sensation. i’ve googled for all kinds of cures for it and, well not having experienced this before, i thought antacids would do the trick..obviously it didnt. i guess im just hoping you will say that it’s nothing serious and theres no need for a dr. but if i need to do a stool test etc like some ppl in the other comments, can you please tell me what i should be prepared for


    • Jan Modric


      a doctor can give you instructions and collecting tools for stool samples, which are then investigated in a laboratory. Sometimes three stool samples taken few days apart are needed.

  • f22

    Could the gastroparesis be caused by the gallstones?


    • Jan Modric


      yes it could, along with bloating, nausea and burping.

  • pumpkinpatch

    i need help bad. im freakin out..i feel so bloated. im really faint. im on my period but i know thats not causing me to pass out.. but i am.. i cant sleep bc my stomach bothers me so bad. all i taste in my mouth is stomach acid.. it kinda feels like somethin is tryin to crawl out of my throat..i burp alot but it doesnt help i have tryed takin nexium.. but doesnt help.. i eat and i dont poop i have felt like this for 5 or 6 days.. i feel so nasua….im weak all over.. / do i have worms if so what arms get tingly.. whats wrong with me is it fatal? im terified…

    • Jan Modric


      bloating can be from several causes, and a gastroenterologist can give you a diagnosis. It can be gastritis, parasites or something other and it’s imposible to guess from here what is it.

  • pumpkinpatch

    i was thinkin it was maybe bc i have been very stresses out with the death of my best friend and my dog.. bc i havent been able to eat well. or sleep well.. maybe i just have gas bad or somthin..what is gastritis?? and thx so much!!

    • Jan Modric


      gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach (an organ). It can be caused by certain irritant foods or medications (like aspirin) or by a bacterium Helicobacter pylori. If you have not eaten regularly, fainting and lightheartedness may be due to dehydration and low glucose levels (hypoglycemia). So try to eat regularly and drink enough water. If bloating and burping continue, a gastroenterologist can check if you have gastritis or other disease.

  • purple

    Is it possible to hear and feel parasites? Because I do, no one believes me and Im frustrated. I had stool samples and I was given a generic version of Flagyl but my anus still itches. Its unbearable and I feel them all the time. Please advise.

    • Jan Modric


      intestinal parasites can cause some stomach rumbling and tingling around the anus. If you ahve finished the course of Flagyl, you can visit a doctor and ask for a stool test again.

  • Mugwump

    I’ve been living in Indonesia for the past 4 months and have had diarrhea for about two weeks now. (I usually eat local street food and maybe do not always wash my fruits and vegetables thoroughly, so therein lies the source, no doubt) Only three days ago I began menstruating and then instead of diarrhea I vomited for an entire day. My friend brought me some Amoxicillin and Oralit rehydration powder, which I’ve been taking, with no so major results. Now I’m no longer vomiting but am back to diarrhea. As for the stool, sometimes it’s just totally liquid but often it contains blood and what appears to be “paper” – it seems almost like it could be intestinal lining…? The “paper” is very dark brown. I’m sure these are symptoms for some sort of intestinal parasite, but what about this papery substance? Is there any natural remedy, as doctors here are quite expensive and I’ve heard not very reliable (they tend to just prescribe meds blindly, is the common consensus). Thanks a lot!

    • Jan Modric


      blood in the stool and papery substance could be from intestinal worms, or actual intestinal lining could shed because of inflammation, like Crohn’s disease. I personally am not aware and do not recommend using any home remedies in this situation. Your condition sounds severe enough to visit a doctor. Stool test for blood and parasites, and blood test for iron and white cells would likely be needed at least. In case of intestinal parasites you would need prescribed anti-parasitic medications (which are different than antibiotics for bacteria). I encourage you to insist for the tests to be done.

  • Mugwump

    Hi again,
    Also wondering if you could recommend some foods I should eat. This being Indonesia, I’m surrounded by street food but not much else. Oh, and I’ve lost much of an appetite (very strange for me). Suggestions? Thanks again.

  • Matt1

    Hi Jan, for the past three days I’ve been quite ill. It started with an upset stomach, no appetite, and vomiting. Then after a sweaty night from a 103 degree fever I woke up tired and having very water-like diareah and flatuence (but that was only when I was going to the bathroom). The fever then repeated during the night preventing me from sleeping well once again. When I woke up I felt better (fatigue-like) but I still have the same diarhea and some random stomach cramps. I just wanted to know what the cause would happen to be, maybe just a virus but i’m not sure.

    • Jan Modric


      it could be either a viral infection (stomach flu) or bacterial food poisoning – both usually heal on its own in few days. You should drink enough water to replace fluid becaise of diarrhea. Hunger may be from not eating, yes.

  • Matt1

    Also, the fatigue haslasted for two days but seems to be getting better and I’m also becoming very hungry often but maybe that is from not eating much the past two days.

  • Anxious823

    I’ve had 1 loose or watery bowel movement every day since May 1st of this year. Previously I only had a bowel movement a couple of times per week. Could I have a parasite?

  • Having Issues

    I’ve been having issues with my stomach since I got back from South America about a week and half ago. Four days ago I really started having issues, lose stools like fluffy,and tanned colour, alternating with feeling the urge to use the washroom and having no success. I’ve started to bloat in the past 2days, with some hard spots in my stomach. I am not hungry nor thirsty but force myself to as I know I need the intake. Soups seem to be fine, but the second I have toast (which I’ve been sticking to) I get diarrhea about an hour after. On day one I was vomiting with a slight fever of 100.5, this seems to come and go. I have almost NO energy at all, nauseated and dizzy when I stand up. Should I be going into my local clinic as I live to far from my Family Dr? What could this be in your eyes.
    Thank you

    • Jan Modric

      Having Issues,

      diarrhea, bloating, nausea, loss of appetite after visiting South America strongly speak for intestinal parasites. A gastroenterologist in your local clinic can order a stool test for parasites.

  • Having Issues

    I should also mention that after a six days in South America I started having some consistent diarrhea, to the point where I had to take Ziprex (if that’s how it’s spelt), with no satisfaction. Could that have been the start to this issue?

  • steve

    ive had gassey diahrea and chronic fatique and a constant rash on my body that is itchy like scabies nix cream takes it away but it just comes back like aweek later others around me have got scabies and had to be treated i constantly put on the cream every week so others wont be affected ive seen tons of doctors and done lots of stool samples and nothing comes up…im getting tired of this ive seen a specialist too and ive been on anti biotics for the rashes they never went away…i would like them to actually scrape my skin to see if its actually scabies if so what is this infection? ive had it for 5-6 years now…when i first got it i had scabies and an injury at the same time and my ankle swelled up huge for like three months i was on anti biotics and in a wheel chair the whole time…thats when i think they enterd my body…what should i do? please help

    • Jan Modric


      a dermatologist could give you a diagnosis of a skin rash after taking some rash samples. Rash can appear in certain abdominal disorders. I don’t know if your abdominal symptoms are related to rash, but possible causes include:
      – intestinal parasites (diagnosis by stool test for parasites)
      – fructose malabsorption or lactose intolerance (diagnosis is by breath test)
      – celiac disease (diagnosis is by upper endoscopy)
      – Crohn’s disease (diagnosis by colonoscopy)
      It is a gastroenterologist that performs these tests.

  • jay

    i have long story
    i went india before two year ago,i had diaria and cramp.i came usa and i was pregnet.inthe meanwile i got posite giardia infection i use medicine afterthat it was negative. but problem still there. bloody stool diaria and did sygmodoscopy and find out i have chron’s dieses.they put me on stiroid i was littekbit alright after months. but problem still there for almost two year. i took prentaza,and there any advice plase give me
    thanks again

    • Jan Modric


      I’m not aware of any diet or remedy that would help in Crohn’s disease. You can visit a gastroenterologist again and discuss about your symptoms and which other medications could help (various medications for Crohn’s disease are avaialable).

  • DT

    I was wondering what you think of my case and if this could be a parasitic infection. It began a couple months ago, I got this hamburger at a late night pick-up window that was unusually disgusting, but since I was hungry from working out (note: I felt in perfect health at this time), I figured I’d eat it anyway, I ate about half of it, and then it dawned on me how sick I could get and threw the rest out. I figured ill effects would occur immediately, but since nothing happened, I figured I was ok. Later, I began to have diarrhea, I figured I had some kind of flu bug, and eventually it went away. Not long after I began to have problems with nervousness and concentration, I felt like I was having a mini nervous breakdown and soon developed sinusitis, my sleep patterns became eradicate, with frequent wakings, particularly between 2:30 – 4:00 AM. At this point I started paying closer attention to my bowel movements, because I started having this tender feeling in abdomen with pain sometimes, I have noticed that my stool were sometimes strange, often lighter in color, sometimes a yellowish-brown and often quite soft and loose with undigested material – seeds usually. Once I noticed that I had floating stool, and sometimes very heavy stool. I felt and to some degree still feel a great deal of fatigue, muscle and joint aches, nervousness and irritability, nausea and often a bit of a dry throat/mouth, I ended up losing around 10 pounds (give or take) – however my weight has stabilized. I was initially worried that it might be diabetes, but my urine does not smell sweet, I’m only in my 20s and normal weight, and there is no history of it in my family. On top of that, I’ve noticed sometimes like there is feeling of something moving near my anus although it isn’t constant. Anyway, I feel like maybe it is improving (I don’t seem as BAD as I did in the early days), but I’m certainly not 100%. I did see a doctor early on, and he tried to treat me with antibiotics, which really didn’t work. I didn’t feel any kind of benefit to my health until about 2 weeks ago when I started taking Olive Leaf Extract. Which has helped some of my symptoms (like fatigue). I didn’t really consider that this might be parasitic until just recently, when I started thinking about how I had been fine up until around that stupid hamburger. Anyway, I’m fairly worried about this thing as University is starting soon and I’m going to need to feel at or at the least near 100%, if you can tell me anything or have any suggestions, it would be appreciated.

    • Jan Modric


      antibiotics mainly kill only bacteria, but not parasites, which could be possible in your case, since the circumstances and symptoms you’ve mentioned are quite typical. A gastroenterologist can order a stool test for parasites, and if positive, the treatment with prescribed anti-parasitic medications can be started. I’m not aware of any reliable remedy for intestinal parasites.

  • jlee528

    hey there,

    i strongly think i have pinworms (parasites) because i have either really intense diarrhea or really really black and greasy stools that take a lot of energy to pass onto toilet – my stool test (i did one) came out as negative and everyone is telling me to calm down because i’m just overly anxious. i respond extremely well to herbal medicine (antiparasitics) and am doing an herbal kit right now but when i don’t take it i feel absoultely horrible. recently i’ve done some more research and think that i have small bowel bacterial overgrowth, although i’m so tired of chasing down my health problems. what do you think i should do??? i’m seeing my GI in about 2 weeks.

    • Jan Modric


      to prepare for the appointment with a gastroenterologist, it can help you if you check this personal medical history questionnaire and write down all symptoms and circumsatnces you can recall. Important questions: do you burp excesively, do you have pains (cramps?) in the upper middle or right abdomen or elswhere, is your stool constantly blak and greasy, when did your symptoms start, what is your diet, which remedies or drugs do you take, do you drink. Every single detail can be extremely helpful for a gastroenterologist to make a diagnosis.

      “Black and greasy stols” may be “tarry stools” cased by bleeding in the stomach (organ) or esophagus. Blood caused by intestinal parasitesis is usually red. Black color can be also from anti-diarrheal product Pepto-Bismol, iron pills, certain foods, like black licorice…, so black greasy stools could be a combination of some food/remedie and fat malabsorption…Greasy, but bright white patches in the stool can be caused by fat malabsorption (from a small intestinal, gallbladder, bile duct, liver or pancreatic disorder).

      Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) by itself should not cause black greay stools, but can cause bloating and diarrhea.

      Stool test for parasites can be false negative, but I don’t want to say you have parasites. The fact that a herbal medicine helps, but symptoms reoccur, could speak for both parasites or a non-parasitic disorder…Herbal medicines in general are not considered as a reliable treatment for parasites, though.

  • steve

    its me steve again i talked to you once before about thinking i have an intestinal parasite cause ive had gassey diarea and chills for 5-6 years now and also have a rash that feels exacly like scabies i put on nix cream every week and i have passed scabies before to other people so i dont wanna take the chance if they are …my question is …is there any parasites that you can have over and over( life time) and pass it on to others like scabies are passed?? not just passed through stool to mouth but from skin to skin , clothes, furnature ect.. like scabies…cause i really feel i have a parasite that is just like scabies…is this possible…i am going to see a specialist soon..

    • Jan Modric


      it would be maybe good, if a dermatologist takes a sample of your skin rash and confirms is it scabies or something other. Scabies may be quite persistent and hard to treat sometimes. ‘Norwegian scabies’ is a more persistent form of scabies…If other people also get (confirmed?) scabies, it doesn’t mean they get them from you, but maybe from the same source like you…Scabies mites come from the environment (bed lining, clothes, towels, skin…), so it is possible to get constantly reinfected, if scabies are around you all the time. A dermatologist can give you exact instructions about this.

      Scabies or other skin disorders do not likely cause excessive gas and diarrhea, but in certain bowel disorders, like celiac disease or Crohn’s disease, also intestinal parasites, or liver disease, rash can appear. A gastroenterologist should know which tests to make.

  • steve

    thanks alot for your advice i was also wondering though can you have an intestinal parasite inside you that comes out and then goes on your body then from there reinfects people from skin to skin , clothing,ect,, this is what im concerned about….is there any parasite that can do that?

    • Jan Modric


      skin rash that occurs in intestinal parasites is not contagious. Other rashes that occur as a reaction to some other gastrointestinal diseases, are also not contagious. Intestinal parasites that come out from the anus could be spread by hands or towels, or bed lining, for example. A common contagious skin rash is staphylococcal folliculitis.

      Skin sample to determine the cause of skin rash, and investigation of the bowel (maybe colonoscopy) to determine the cause of bloating and diarrhea are two possible next steps, but your doctor should tell.

  • maxP

    Hi Jan,

    I think I have some kind of parasitic worm. I passed a normal stool but found two 3-4 inch brown spaghetti looking things in a flat/rolled up shape like a coffee straw. I went to my doctor and he gave me a stool kit. While using the kit I passed a normal stool but again noticed a 1 to 1 & 1/2 inch spaghetti looking thing in the container. I haven’t eaten anything that resembles what I saw in the past 2 months. I have lightheaded dizziness when I stand up from sitting and lots of stomach bloating and gas.
    Should the test come up positive if I saw something in what I put in the kit?
    Is there anything I should be eating besides fruit and high fiber foods to last me through the weekend?
    My doctor instructed me to avoid spicy food and most forms of protein (chicken, fish, meat).
    Thanks in advance!

    • Jan Modric


      in the lab, they should recognize worms by their appearance. Both lightheadedness and gas may be symptoms of worms. Lightheadedness may be from dehydration, so try to drink sufficient amount of water (not juice). High fiber foods and some fruits (apples, pears, fruts with pits) and sugary foods can cause bloating. Bread, white rice, green vegetables should not be problematic. I don’t know why you should avoid proteins…If after treatment you will still feel lightheaded, you can ask for blood tests for iron and vitamin levels.

  • maxp


    Thank you so much for your prompt response, I really appreciate your insight.
    I’m not sure if my doctor meant no meat specifically before taking the stool test, he just began by saying I should keep on a bland diet going forward and then he mentioned that. I will update with results of the test.

    • Jan Modric


      a “bland diet” or BRAT (Bread, Rice, Aplesauce, Toast) diet is not prescribed anymore in diarrhea by several doctors (you can also search online about this), and continuing with usual diet (or how you feel) is recommended, except if some food obviously irritates you.

  • LymphGirl

    Hi Jan, I have lived in Central America for 5.5 years. I’m taken parasite meds twice just as a safety measure and once because I had vomiting and diarrhea. I have never been tested for intestinal parasites (until the sample I sent in today). I have had a swollen groin lymph node for the past 10 months. Now I have additional swollen lymph nodes in my groin and fluid retention that is affecting my overall health it seems: muscle loss, small bumps on my arms, yeast like vaginal odor (no itching) fatigue, weakness, irregular sleep pattern, alternating diarrhea and normal stools, but with a foul odor. I am primarily a vegetarian and I eat mostly greens. I do drink wine and noticed that my tolerance is lower. In the mornings after one glass of wine my eyes are puffy and I feel fuzzy headed and slow for hours. I do eat sushi, fish and chicken eggs occasionally. My diet is about as good as it has ever been, I eat very very small amounts (and infrequently) of pasta, white sugar, rice or flour. I eat garlic regularly. Again, the lymph fluid retention in my legs (and now in my arms) is the most disturbing part! I feel like I’m losing muscle mass and my body feels abnormally soft. And sometimes, like at night, it’s uncomfortable. Thanks for your attention and help with this!

    • Jan Modric


      I recommend you to visit a doctor SOON, maybe your gynecologist, who should determine the cause of enlarged lymph nodes and vaginal odor. Progesterone cream used 8 months back should not be the cause of your currently elevated progesteron. Elevated progesteron may be caused by an ovary disorder, including ovarian cancer,and also uterine cancer.

  • LymphGirl

    Typo correction: “I’VE taken parasite meds…” And, two more things. 1) I had bloodwork taken and the only abnormal things is my progesterone level which is about 3 times more than the upper limit. I used progesterone cream about 8 months ago after an extended period of intense stress. I read that could be related to intestinal parasite population explosion 2)itchy bum occasionally. Thanks again.

  • Molly

    I often have white string like things in my stool (have not observed them moving) They are about as thick as a thread I’d say. This has been going on for many months. The other day when I went to use the bathroom and wiped, a ribbon type, white-ish clear type thing was on my toilet paper. It was about 1/5 inches long. Nothing moving. rather thin in thickness.

    Ive had no decrease in hunger, no weight loss (ironically Ive put on like 5 lbs i cant seem to lose) but do have low iron, low platelets, am vegan and have recently been taken off of gluten because it makes my bloating and gas better. I am still constipated for the most part and occasionally get horrible smelling gas however. Some days I have very loose stools.
    About 4x Ive had red blood while going poop. Mostly when Ive pushed really hard which can make it even drip from my anus.

    I have no idea what to think of this. Its always thrown me off due to my lack of symptoms of weight loss/appetite.

    • Jan Modric


      intestinal parasites/worms can be sometimes present without any symptom at all. Ribbon threads, smelly gas, loose stools, bloating, low blood iron and blood in the stool can all be from parasites. Appetite may actually increase in parasites since you need to feed them….I recommend you to catch one of those threads and show it to a doctor.

  • rjensen

    Question. My wife about 15 years ago, got a parasite in Mexico. Was hospitalized and treated. She cannot recall what it was, but does remember when they were killed and “exited” the body they looked like tiny shrimp. We are now many years from that day, is it possible to still have effects? She hasn’t felt 100% since then, abdominal pain, trouble loosing weight, skin rashes, lethargy, etc. Been tested for everything under the sun but has not revisited that… worth checking or just not possible due to having been treated and the amount of time passed? Thanks…

    • Jan Modric


      all symptoms you’ve mentioned could be from intestinal parasites (which are not around only in Mexico, I guess…), if yes, this would be likely a new infection. Other gastrointestinal disorders are also possible…now I don’t know which tests she alredy had.

  • molly

    Thank you for your answer! Ill make an appt with my dr. Let’s say he puts me on an a medication. What’s the duration? How long until my symptoms go away? How will I know?

    • Jan Modric


      antiparasitic medication should work in few days, but then it can take few more days for all your symptoms to subside. You should know within the first week, does the medication works or not. Medication can have some side effects, like nausea, so you may initially feel even worse, but do complete the whole course as prescribed. Also try to catch one that creature and show it to the doctor or take it to the lab. The doctor should give you all instructions.

  • yogesh

    few days ago my father suffering some health problem his body’s left part mostly hand, left face not generate normal posture he told me that ” i am feeling week and not proper coommand in left portion” what’s the cause

    • Jan Modric


      it may be a stroke. He should visit a neurologist as soon as possible.

  • what’swrong

    from when my memory starts recording my daily living i can only recall constant abdominal distension and very bad constipation ( like i can don’t go for up to a week or more ). i will pass gas that smells horrible at times and have this bowel sounds every now and then, more frequent if i just had a meal.

    i need to pop in laxative or insert a supp dulculax just to get things moving and recently these has been not so successful on me.

    about 7 – 8 years ago i’ve had an episode of bloody diarrhea ( as in the everything in the toilet bowl was deep red ). this went on for about 2 – 3 days then stopped completely so i thought nothing of it.

    last year i had 2 colonoscopy done ( cuz my constipation and bowel distension is seriously getting on my nerve ) but everything came back normal.

    now, i’ve been having very water stool for almost a month and the distension is way worse when i was constipated! and the bowel sounds is so darn loud and frequent! almost after every meal i get nauseous and i try not to drink too much fluid these days cuz when i do, it’s off to the loo i go.

    what do you think is going on?

    • Jan Modric

      what’s wrong,

      you should drink even more (water) if you have diarrhea. There are several causes of bloating: excesive intake of soluble fiber, lactose intolerance, fructose malabsorption, celiac disease, intestinal parasites, Crohn’s disease…I don’t know much about your diet…Intestinal parasites may be diagnosed by a stool test. If it is not a dietary cause, and if the colon is ok, it may be a small intestinal disorder (duodenum can be checked by a gastroscopy, the rest with a capsule endoscopy). The blood you’ve mentioned speaks for a serious condition – could be from parasites, or bacteria, or an organic bowel disorder.

  • what’swrong

    i don’t think it’s due to my diet, cuz i tried testing out what i might be allergic to by elimination but i can have reaction to a certain food today and have none at all at a different day, so… i’m not too sure regarding this.

    regarding the bloody diarrhea, it was only a one time thing, though lasting for a few days. and it’s been so long so do you think i still need to have it checked out?

    i’m currently on treatment for a recent diagnosed case of intestinal parasites ( the doctor suspects it might be that, he isn’t too sure either ) so i’m just on the ‘wait and see’ mode now .

    • Jan Modric

      what’s wrong,

      any bleeding from the bowel has some abnormal cause, no matter when happened. Parasites could be the cause of the bleeding at that time, hard to say. If you’re in the middle of the treatment for parasites now, yes, wait and see, since it’s not the time for any diet experiments now. Medications you got might have some side effects…but finish the full course as prescribed.

  • what’swrong

    yeah i guess i’ll just have to wait till my next follow up appointment and see what the doctor have to say.

    i’m just worried that after all these the bad constipation and all comes back again.

    • Jan Modric

      what-s wrong,

      you can take all this from the bright side…constipation obviously is not your destiny.

  • china student

    I just came to Shanghai about 5 weeks ago and have been fairly careful about my eating habits here because of the lower standards for hygiene in Shanghai.

    About 5 days ago, I started waking up about 7:30 am everyday with a stomachache, followed with some loose stool sometimes. Today I woke up to go to the bath and what came out would be what I would think is likened to oil. I’m completely at a loss of what may be causing this. Could it be parasites? I have also gotten bit by mosquitoes (I think) quite often here. The bites itch like mosquito bites, but the dermal reaction is not like back home in the states. The site of infection gets really big and red (w/o me scratching or touching it) after about a day. Could I have been infected w/ something?

    • Jan Modric

      china student,

      if you think it’s not only the diet change, you can visit a doctor and ask for a stool test for parasites. I don’t know for any other way of diagnosis and I don’t know for any reliable remedy that would kill parasites. Loose stools could be also from bacterial food poisoning – this usually goes away within a week, but parasitic infection may last for weeks or months.

  • jbomb

    I’ve been having all sorts of symptoms….bloating, gas, feeling like i have to burp but never do, kicking sensation in belly, have seen my belly actually move, heart palpitations, IBS, i have gone on the side of the road several times because my bowel movements have been sudden and I feel I can’t hold it, I am also an urinating frequently…especcially at night. PLEASE HELP!!!!

    • Jan Modric


      when and how (gradually, suddenly) did your simptoms start? Have you traveled or eaten some unusual food in a restaurant in days before symptoms appeared? Frequent urination can be from bloated rectum pressing uppon the bladder, but burning (?) urination would speak for an urinary infection.

  • Safari_Grl2122

    My bowels have been weird for a while now(haven’t had a firm bm in a long time) and about two weeks ago I had fever and chills hit me out of nowhere with bad diarrhea(practically water) that lasted about two days but now I still have sudden urges of needing to go to the bathroom and I still have cowpatty like bm but it is more mucus than anything. I am starting to have stomach cramps every now and then I have lost weight as well. Also I was not sure if I actually saw a parasite in my stools, I figured it was mucus as well but it was long clearish thick string. So I was questioning that a bit.

    • Jan Modric


      a gastroenterologist or your personal doctor may order a stool test for parasites and bacteria.

  • NY Girl

    Hi Jan,

    Five days ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with stomach pains and a high fever. The next day I had just a fever and no energy – I slept pretty much all day. The following day, I had sharp stomach pains, diarrhea, as well as the fever. I assumed it was a stomach flu and drank lots of water and ate yogurt.

    It has now been 4 straight days of stomach pain and diarrhea, although it has subsided over time and the pains have become less severe and frequent. There has also been burping and when there is flatulence, it is usually foul smelling. I have had no appetite and have lost some weight. My fever has been on/off, but it is mild compared to the first day.

    Could I have intestinal parasites? Thank you for your help.

    • Jan Modric

      NY Girl,

      intestinal parasites are possible – in this case symptoms may last well over a week, even months. In case of bacterial food poisoning symptoms usually subside within a week on its own. You can eat what you are comfortable with, no need to have a strict diet. If no improvement in few days, I recommend you to visit a gastroenterologist.

  • K

    I have had an issue with anal leakage for about 3 weeks. Not usually loose stool, but starting this morning it has been dark and tarry. My anus has been unusually sore, but I haven’t noticed any blood on the tissue when wiped. I otherwise feel completely normally, maybe slightly more tired then usual.

    • Jan Modric


      dark and tarry stool, if not obviously caused by certain fod, like licorice, or iron supplements, speaks for blood arising from the stomach (organ). In this case tiredness could be from anemia. I recommend you to have a stool test for blood.

  • sosad

    lately ive been feeling a creepy crawly feeling in my stomach. sometimes it even feels like pinching! i havent had any other symptoms like smelly gas/burping, but do get cramps and the sweet tooth all the time. I want know what to ask the doctor when i go for a visit. what kind of tests should i ask for? thanks!

    • Jan Modric


      the doctor will likely ask you about your diet, and if symptoms are related to meals that include fruits or wheat, for example. Any change in stool habit, consistence and color is important symptom.

      Parasites may be diagnosed by a stool test for parasites. Certain food intolerances, like fructose malabsorption, lactose intolerance or celiac disease may cause vague abdominal symptoms. Simple few days lasting diet trials for each of mentioned disorders may be tried before undergoing any specific investigation for these.

  • Linda D

    Ive been at my wits end with what is wrong. I’m 28 years old and have usually been really healthy, fit and active person. About a year ago I ended up in the emergency room because I nearly passed out at work. It turned out to be a massive panic attack and SVT (form of tachycardia). I remember a few weeks to a month before that I’d been feeling dizzy and unstable and I think that brought on the panic attack. Since then ive had the same dizziness. I’ve gone to numerous doctors, neurologists, done blood tests, ear tests, MRIs, you name it. 90% of doctors chucked it up to a “virus” and told me it would “go away on it’s own” well it hasn’t. My current doctor finally did a b12 test and it came back very low. 125 to be exact. He tested for pernicious anemia and it came back negative. So seems the b12 was not being absorbed for an unknown reason as I eat fairly well and am not a vegetarian or a vegan. Ive been on b12 shots for 4 months and can’t really say I’ve felt too much better. Perhaps the energy is slightly higher but I’m still dizzy every day. I’ve also developed anxiety and agoraphobia because of this. I’m afraid of standing in lines because I fear the dizziness may actually cause me to pass out. (doctor has put me on Buspar for the anxiety…which the side effects of course are…dizziness). I’ve not had any gas problems, nor diarrhea or constipation. Ive had lower stomach cramps which I usually tossed aside as menstrual cramps even though sometimes it was not at the appropriate times. 
    As a last note, I moved to a house last year (a month before the er visit) and we have had rat problems all this time. I’m wondering if this is a parasite I may have picked up from the rat droppings which we have to clean up daily. The landlord has been served with a law suit as we have asked for the problem to be solved and nothing has been done. I am currently moving to a new place, sans the rats. Any input on this would be greatly appreciated 🙂

    • Jan Modric

      Linda B,

      if pernicious anemia was excluded and you eat meat, than the problem may be in the last part of your small intestine (terminal ileum), where vitamin B12 is absorbed. One typical cause is Crohn’s disease. Intestinal parasites are also possible – diagnosis is with a stool test. Eventual iron deficiency could also cause or aggravate dizzines, and so would dehydration and hypoglycemia (regular meals and drinking sufficient amount of fluid could help).

  • sonyas8681

    I started having severe pains and gas and boating and diarrhea 10 days ago. It started about 4 hours after eating sushi which I eat often. After day 6 I went to the ER they drew blood and came back telling me everything was good bit put my on cipro just in case the resultant didn’t show a smaller amount of bacteria than what the test would see. I am still having severe gaseous activity about 20 minutes after eating. There is not much of anything coming out of me any more when I have to go to the bathroom which is 10-15 times a day. When looking at what does come out of me it is what I just ate 20 minutes ago. Everything is going right through me. I have been taking immodium and also tried a few other things for gas, bloating and diarrhea with no change to my symptoms. I am not dehydrated I drink tons of water, always have. I do feel hungry quite often sometimes right after I eat. But, I don’t want to eat because of everything I’m going to go through after I eat. I have a very healthy diet, natural chicken, whole wheat pasta and bread, beans, vegetables fruits etc. Not big on take out or anything that will make me feel heavy and too full. Any one have any ideas what I can try.

    • Jan Modric


      bacterial food poisoning usually resolves on its own within a week. Prolonged diarrhea and rash are more characteristic for intestinal parasites; a separate stool test for parasites would be needed to confirm/exclude them. If rash appears and disappears within hours, it could be a food allergy. Another possible cause of diarrhea and rash is hepatitis A. Crohn’s disease and celiace disease usually have more insidious onset.

  • sonyas8681

    I also forgot to mention 2 days after the onset, I came down with a large rash that was on my mechanical chest arms and legs that lasted 4 days. Thanx for the help.

  • James

    Hi Jan,

    Last time I wrote you, I had beaten the worms and flukes but was still having trouble gaining the weight I lost back.

    Flukes and back pain?

    I have some disc degeneration in my lower spine that creates a medium ache that I have managed to live with for the last 8 years but just a few days ago it has flared up really bad, though I have done nothing to aggravate the discs.

    And just today, I noticed that the little red rolled up fluke things are back in my stool! I’m not sure if this is a coincidence, but I started having these symptoms after recently eating a few CLIF bars (which are similar to those health bars that I had trouble digesting when I had the last worm/fluke issue).

    Is it possible that the flukes can be aggravating my back injury? The pain is on the level of hip bursitis.

    Thanks for your help… James

    • Jan Modric


      flukes can cause abdominal bloating and cramps – the pressure from gas or referred pain could be a cause of back/hip pain, but this is a pure speculation. Pain due to a disc degeneration in the lumbar spine would be likely felt in the back or buttocks or thigh or any other part of the leg. Hip pain may arise from the hip or from the abdominal pressure…You can think about this after you treat worms…

      Intestinal flukes are commonly acquired by the ingestion of contaminated water, sea or freshwater fish, frogs, acquatic plants, poultry…Here’s a detailed article about intestinal flukes. It would be good to know which exact type of flukes you had in the previous and now this occasion. It may take weeks to months for the parasite in the stage found in the food to develop into mature intestinal flukes and for symptoms to appear, so it’s not likely the food you have eaten right before symptoms appeared is the source of parasites.

  • ml2988

    Hey how’s it going? Just wondering if you can help me in figuring out what is wrong with my body. Took a trip to South America a couple years back. Had a really bad infection in which I was releasing bloody stools every hour for about two days. Was treated for the infection and felt fine after. When i returned to the states things just didn’t feel the same as before. Complete lack of appetite, chronic diarrhea, weight loss, bloating after eating, excessive sweating. I have seen a gastroenterologist and he says i may have crohn’s disease but i fear i may have some type of parasite. Do these symptoms indicate i may have a parasite? I am most concerned about my lack of appetite which i have had for almost two years now. I also have totally lost my libido frequently as well.

    • Jan Modric


      symptoms you’ve mentioned can be caused by both Crohn’s disease (Dx: colonoscopy), intestinal parasites (Dx: stool test for parasites) or some other disorder. I encourage you to discuss with a gastroenterologist about appropriate tests.

  • JayJay

    hi, about a couple months ago i started to feel ill all of a sudden. It was while working at a public pool. Then that night the diaherra started and continued until other symtpoms started. I would wake up in morning very bloated in middle upper stomach. Then one morning I woke up with very stiff neck which also continued. Then I tryed going to gym and few hours after gym I felt pain in my left arm and chest like I was having a heart attack. I havent worked out hard like that since. I also had sore and very red eyes, sensitivity to light, often after stiff neck along with nose pain and headache. Also had problem sleeping for a week or two only like 3 hrs a night if that and I felt like I was going insane.
    The tests I did were ova and parasites, c difficle, h. ploryi, hiv, mono, celiac. All came back negative, the only test that came back positive was Bacterial Overgrowth. But GI doc said it wasn’t “off the charts” positive. The test it self gave me the worse watery diaherra and also a slimy tetxure, then my next movement seemed to be almost better.
    I lost about 10-15lbs since i first got sick, now my weight is staying steady. I constantly feel weak and tired, very gasy, stools have hardened but still not perfect, and stomach makes loud noises.
    The only things a can come up with is a tick disease, was hiking through high bush alot before i got sick, or a parasite from the public pool i worked at which had people from different parts of the world. Also not to mention a guy who swam at the pool everyday got very sick with same symptoms but his doc gave him metrodizole and he has felt better after taking it for a week. Or the Bacterial overgrowth was the reason but didnt think it would cause ALL of these symptoms. Please any suggestions or ideas I would greatly appricate

    • Jan Modric


      your symptoms sound like being caused by a serious infection, so I don’t like to make any guesses here. Viral meningitis and borreliosis could be contracted in woods. Infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa or other bacteria contracted from around the pool is possible.I believe that an infectologist should know, which tests to perform.

  • worriedaboutstool

    I spend the least half of August in Belize and returned on 2 September. The entire time in Belize I never really had any issues.

    Starting about 5-6 September I noticed a bit of Diarrhea, and then starting a couple days later on about 8 September I was going to the restroom about 5-8 times a day, and always either diarrhea or loose stool (with mucus I believe..even though I don’t know exactly what mucus looks like). I also had pressure/bloating in my lower stomach when I needed to go that going to the bathroom would relieve.

    The doc doubted a parasite or bacteria and gave me Imodium which immediately helped with the frequent diarrhea. The next day I have a bowel movement and it looked like a normal stool except for what looked like white marbling throughout one of the stools. I also felt tired, run down and a little nauseous (not enough to make me vomit). I saw the doc again and got Cipro and have been taking that for 2.5 days now and have not been able to see the doctor. I had a bowel movement today (averaging 1 a day) and while it wasn’t diarrea, it was still soft (some of it breaks up after a strong flushing) with some marbling and mucus (I guess).

    Should I compelte the cipro and see what happens? And I expecting results too quickly?

    PS – I have not taken any more imodium since the initial 2 pills I took.

    Previously, I felt weak/shaky on occasion as if I have not eaten for awhile, or my body was not absorbing the food/nutrients (not as often now).

    • Jan Modric


      insidious onset and prolonged and pretty mild course of diarrhea, and mucus speak for parasites more than for bacteria. Bacterial food poisoning usually has a sudden onset, causes explosive diarrhea and heals on its own within a week. Cipro works on bacteria, for parasites other medications are needed…Cipro should have some detectable effect in 2 days, but hard to say in so mild symptoms…Mucus is a viscous, semi-translucent substance, like mucus from the nose, for example.

  • worriedaboutstool

    I forgot to mention the stool floats sometimes, and other times it sinks, and sometimes it’s half and half.

    I suspect I should just watch it over the next day or so then revisit the doc if it is the same…?

    • Jan Modric


      this sounds reasonable.

  • feelikedying

    I have been very ill for 4 months. Started with abdominal pain
    and green foul smelling stools. Had all the major tests. Endoscopy, CT, MRI, ultrasound and 1 stool sample. All normal.
    I am in Hawaii and volunteered at an animal refuge and organic farm. I cannot get any Drs here to listen to me. I have headache,
    fatigue, muscle pain/spasms, abdominal pain, right flank pain, insomnia
    vertigo, full head feeling, neck stiffness, heart palpitations. I have lost 25 pounds that I don’t have to spare. I feel just okay in the morning and then progressively gets worse as the day goes on. I swear I have parasites. But nobody will give me the time of day.

    • Jan Modric


      I encourage you to find a gastroenterologist, who can perform stool tests for parasites, and maybe for a *Clostridium difficile toxin*. Your symptoms can very well be from intestinal parasites, but the specific tests should be done. Stool test for parasites may be false negative, so sometimes more than one test is needed.

  • reasontoworry?

    For the last 4 or 5 months I started to get really paranoid about having pinworms after learning about them in school, so I went to get the medication when I started noticing crawlish feelings. Maybe it’s all in my head. The doctor gave me mebendazole, and had me repeat it in two weeks. I have done that 2 or 3 times now, the first time included. I had pinworms when I was little, about kindergarten. I’m 15 now. Once I noticed my problem still wasn’t going away, I went to back to my doctor. It is a walk in clinic. My symptoms are:constant nausea, pinching like feeling inside anus or rectum, very frequent itching outside anus skin and on the inside sometimes, cramping in my intestinal area, right now on the left, but sometimes in the right or all over, white mucus in stoolds frequently, and diarrhea but occurs a little less often now. When I went in the most recent time, the doctor prescribed me one mebendazole to take that night and Doxycycline as well as Metronadizole (neneric for flagyl) My symptoms seemed to clear up for about the first week except maybe a smaller pinching crawling feeling about once a day. I went back because it didn’t go away exactly to weeks later and the symptoms were all back, only with itching this time. I wake up in the middle of the night and check all the time to see if there is a worm when there’s itching, but there never is. Itching goes up crack often times as well. I don’t know what to do or what’s wrong with me and I think I may have a parasite besides pinworms but then why the itching? I am under a lot of stress so that could be a possibility, though that doesn’t sound reasonable. My doc says if it doesn’t go away I will have to go a a gastrenterologit or gasolist, I think the first one, so they can look. But I’m worried they will night find if it’s parasites. It is effecting me horribly and I need it to go away. What is wrong with me and what do I do? PLEASE HELP! Also, buring stinging feelings occur in anus too. No blood in stools. Stools also often come out like goat poop, not together. I get vaginal yeast infections, but this one won’t seem to go away. This is also a contributing factor to why I think I may have parasites. Bacterial vaginosis from parasites? HELP!

    • Jan Modric


      you could have a fungal infection of the groin (plus vaginal yeast infection), or you could have intestinal parasites, which could be either unicellular (like Giardia) or intestinal worms. In pinworms, they are eggs (not likely visible with a naked eye) that stick to the anus and cause itch. You could have both a fungal infection and parasites, or something other. Visiting a gastroenterologist is a good idea.

  • JayJay

    jan modric on,

    thanks for info, seems like nobody can figure this out. Been sick for more than two months now. Would viral meningetis last this long?

    • Jan Modric


      I’ve mentioned meningitis, since it typically causes neck stifness. Meningitis can last for months…Boreliosis (in one of its stages) can affect brain, eyes, heart, skin and other organs. Dx is with a blood test (and other tests, like checking cerebrospinal fluid obtained by a lumbar puncture).

      Interestingly, another commenter (“feelinglikedying” above) has also reported gastrointestinal symptoms and neck stifness.

      Another cause I can think of is some sort of food allergy.

      Symptoms after testing for bacterial overgrowth speak for a food intolerance, like fructose malabsorption or lactose intolerance (it would help if you can find out what exactly was in the meal you got before the test).

  • JayJay

    jan modric,

    it started as gi symptoms then went to waking up with really bad stiff neck one morning. Another symptom is the top of my head the soft spot feels like its bigger or bulging. Constant red eyes and vision issues. I was having night sweats really bad at one point and I would wake up and have VERY blood shot eyes. I plan on going into ER today or somehow trying to make it until my appointment with infectious doc.

    • Jan Modric


      night sweets speak for some sort of infection : it may happen in tuberculosis or “atypical pneumonia”, for example. It could be good if you can convince any doctor to take a swab from yor eyes or sputum or to have a blood test for Borrelia or other relevant bacteria. I also recommend you to make a factual list of your symptoms and have it handy when discussing with doctors.

  • JayJay

    jan modric,

    is it possible to have TB for this long and be alive?? Thought that disease was veryyy serious?? Also when i woke up with sweats i remember feeling like i couldnt get enough of a breath. Like I was breathing but didnt feel fulfilling. What is sputum? spit?
    Also I was thinking the weekend I got sick I was in the woods 3 days before collecting wood for a fire, and I remembered being attacked by these flies as I was dragging the wood, also my friend was getting attacked, i remember laughing about it and screaming. Maybe I should of thought twice and took each bite serious.
    So far my guesses are a bad virus I can’t seem to get over. Or some kind of tick disease from tick, misquito or flys. Or some kind of parasite/sickness from working at pool. I’m steady weight now at 175-176 but something made me lose 15 lbs. I’ll keep checking my weight everyday. Thanks Jan

    • Jan Modric


      tuberculosis may last for months, years…and symptoms may vary greatly, depending which organ is affected. It was “excessive sweating” that reminded me to tuberculosis. Sputum is spit, yes.

      JayJay, this converstaion we have here may become dangerous, so I recommend you to visit a doctor as soon as possible. Neck stifness, a bulge on the head, red eyes may mean that your brain membranes (meninges) are affected – this could be confirmed by checking cerebrospinal fluid obtained by a lumbar punction. Initial obvious abdominal symptoms speak for food or water poisoning, but eventual infection could cause meningitis, and this is a serious condition.

  • JayJay

    Jan Modric,

    I have been also noticing lately then when I look at street lights or car lights, or even TV there seems to be a serious glare. And rubbing my eyes doesnt help take it away.
    So your saying food poisioning can cause meningitis? The meal I ate before I got sick was from Subway, a grinder. I had breakfast before that at home.
    How is menigitis treated?

    • Jan Modric


      please go to the doctor. I will not answer you here any more in this possibly dangerous situation, since I can’t provide you any diagnosis or treatment. Certain microbes from the gut can cause meningitis, and I’m not saying you have it. But if you do, it is a life threatening disease, which can be treated on basis on microbiological test results.

  • Nightnoises

    I would appreciate your opinion re: the following symptoms.

    I am 47 and moved to a rural farm in Hawaii six years ago. We drink rainwater that we purify with UV filtration. We have a farm, 3 big dogs who love to eat the farm animals poop then lick us, and a macaw who is very messy with his bowels and is the only animal inside the house with us. Three years ago I had my first episode of abdominal noises at night that were abnormally loud and constant to the point that I was unable to sleep. My husband had the same symptoms but is healthier and recovered from them. For two years, the symptoms ebbed at times but returned always. I lost about ten pounds due to loss of appetite/malabsorption. I tried different doctors and tests with no results. The only thing the labs showed is “borderline” positive for leptospirosis. Here in the jungle we have a lot of rats, and it is possible the rats urinate on the roof, which could then go into the catchment water. Or possibly I got leptospirosis from petting the dogs, who periodically come down with worms. The doctors did not think my gastric problems were related to the lepto, which is more typically fever and acute symptoms. I’ve had three different stool tests with no sign of parasites, negative for h pylori (though my husband was positive), clean colonscopy and endoscopy, all my labs are normal. There were no signs of inflammation or celiac. I went on anti-parasitic medicine “just in case” but they did not help the symptoms at all. Last winter, I began high powered enzymes that are said to reduce inflammation, and the night noises and pain went away for nine months.

    Two weeks ago, the abnormally loud churning noises began again, along with the belching etc, and my husband came down with the same symptoms at the same time. Last week, my body expelled a dime-sized piece of light brown stool encapsulated in mucus.
    Noisy gastric spasms occur at any time with no difference before, during or after I eat, although the noise and activity get much more intense from 6 pm to morning, when they subside somewhat. Along with the excessive noise there are extreme contractions and churning, and all of it occurs in the gastric area of the diaphragm. Other major symptoms include a burning sensation in my upper stomach only, and feeling of pressure, as if I were pumped full of air. Loud airy belches with no reflux occur more often than farting, which also happens, with no unusual smell. The gastric upheaval is so intense and loud that it does not allow me to sleep, and the sleep deprivation takes a toll on my health.

    I have a long history of parasites from living overseas, and had ascaris that took ten years to get rid of, as well as amoebas, giardia, salmonella, diverticulitis and weak peristalsis. For years, I was constipated. It is almost always necessary that I “manually assist” the stool to vacate. Lately I use the toilet every morning, and the stool is complete, formed, sticky, dark, once or twice it has been orangeish. I wash my hands well after, and use alcohol, but I am concerned about reinfection after exposure to a pathogen. A final detail is that our drinking water is a very acid ph of 5.1 from volcanic ash. My husband has very healthy bowels and can sleep through anything so he is less bothered, but since he has the same symptoms, the problem would seem to be environmental rather than unique to me, as in IBS. The real problem for me is that the noisy upheaval in my upper gut is so intense that it keeps me up night after night and I fall apart from sleep deprivation. What could be causing the night noise?

    • Jan Modric


      belching, abdominal sounds, fullness in the stomach and excessive gas speak for – well, excessive gas, which can be created by some sort of gastrointestinal infection. If you notice another unusual mucous thing in the stool, try to save it and show it to the doctor. Stool tests for parasites are often false negative, so it’s quite likely both you and your husband have contracted them you from food or water or animals. It could help to understand your situation, if you can tell which exact “enzymes” and which exact anti-parasitic drug have you taken, and if those enzymes help you now or not.

  • Chelle9797

    Hi, I have a long history of G.I. issues. I was first diagnosed with IBS in college (around 20 years ago), based on alternating diarrhea and constipation. I was also told I had fibromyalgia around the same time period. However, my fibromyalgia symptoms got better until several years later. In 1995, I went to the doc for a coating in my mouth and bad breath, but was only told it was probably reflux and given tagamet (didn’t help). The coating and bad breath has been present ever since. In 1998, the fatigue and sore muscles returned, and again, the doc said I had fibromyalgia. They never did a work up of blood, besides a typical CBC. When I was pregnant, about 9 years ago, I first noticed reflux symptoms. But, only noticed symptoms in my throat, not my chest. I still had constipation difficulties, so had a colonoscopy done around 2005, which was negative. Over the past several months, the fatigue and soreness has gotten much worse, as has the bad breath and coating. I went to an ENT and he thought I had silent reflux and prescribed proton pump inhibitors. I’ve tried several different brands, and have been on them for a year, with no help. And, the IBS has pretty much been constant constipation for several years. I will go 3-4 days before having a BM, and then it will be a small one until the next 3-4 days. This year, I went to another G.I. doc – they did an upper endoscopy that revealed gastritis and esophagitis. They said the proton pump inhibitors that I had been on for a year should have helped that. They did a biopsy and tested for H.? bacteria, which came out negative.
    I was finally referred to a rheumatologist for the fibromyalgia (never knew that was the specialist to go to), and was told I actually had inflammatory arthritis rather than fibromyalgia. In looking online, I’m seeing that several of the symptoms I’ve experienced, including the arthritis, are common with parasites. And, I wonder if it’s possible that’s what’s been going on with me the entire time? I’ve been out of the country on visits and have had a few bouts of diarrhea, which I thought was food poisoning, so it’s possible I picked something up without realizing it.

    Right now, I’m being treated with a sulfa medication for the inflammatory arthritis. I’ve been on it for 2 weeks, and seem to feel no better at all. Will this medication help with a parasitic infection? Does it take a long time to take effect? I have had blood tests, but no stool samples tested. Should I ask for this?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Jan Modric


      sulfa medication do not likely kill intestinal parasites, but could help in Crohn’s disease in…I don’t know what time, 2 weeks might be short…

      Gastrointestinal disorders that may be accompanied with arthritis:
      – intestinal parasites (but it seems kinda unlikely to me to have parasites over so many years)
      – celiac disease (symptoms usually go away with gluten free diet, Dx is by hisotologic examination of the sample of the duodenal mucosa taken during endoscopy)
      – Crohn’s disease could affect only the small intestine, so neither upper endoscopy or colonoscopy would necessary reveal it, but they are certain blood and stool test which, if positive, make the disease more likely. Capsule endoscopy (you swallow a capsule witha camera), if necessary, can provide pictures of the entire small intestine.

      I have a feeling you might have some sort of bowel inflammation (like Crohn’s disease), and the inflammation in the stomach and acid reflux are consequences of that. Crohn’s disease typically may have such a vague “come and go” course with fatigue and GIT symptoms over several years.

      Checking for a gallbladder disorder is not so bad idea (initially ultrasound can be done (and liver checked by the way) and then, if necessary HIDA scan), but please be aware that the cause may be either gallstones or a motility disorder in the gallbladder or bile duct, and that both of these can be independent disorders or consequences of certain other disease, including Crohn’s disease. So, if any eventual gallbladder test will be positive, don’t just jump to surgery. Arthritis is more likely related to a bowel inflammation than gallbladder disorder. In a gallbladder, bile duct or liver disorder, blood levels of liver enzymes would be likely changed. I recommend you to find a gastroenterologist you can trust.

      I also recommend you to ask a rheumatologist which exact antibodies were elevated and what exactly this means – a nonspecific arthritis, or a specific one, like rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Chelle9797

    One other thing: should I see any other doctors for any of this? My G.I. doc is telling me to get a gallbladder removal consult, but I haven’t done that yet because I feel she’s ignoring all of the other symptoms. She’s only focusing on a pressure I feel under my ribcage, and the reflux that she feels may be bile reflux. But, from what I’m reading, parasites can affect the liver, which can cause that same feeling.

    She seems to be ignoring the intestinal issues that are there as well. Should I seek a second opinion by another GI? Or, is there another type of doc I should be seeing?

  • reasontoworry?

    Will a gastroenterologist be able to figure out what is wrong vaginally? And if I had pinworms, shouldn’t the medication I have taken multiple times have caused it to go away? I don’t think it is another yeast infection because I’m starting to get #4 in less than 2 months, and all the times I’ve taken correct tratment for them. Isn’t the infection going to worsen while I wait for tests to come back? I went camping for the last couple days and each morning I woke up to having a feeling of crawling around my anus. But nothing is ever there. Could it just be paranoia? The cramping on my right side has gotten worse as well as diarhea. If I do have pinworms and I’ve gotten treated so many times and re-infected, would the doctor be able to give me a for sure answer if I had them so as to treat the people I’m around? Also, can you contract girardia, ect. from cuts if you walk in a river in the mountains? How do I go about getting treated?

    • Jan Modric


      you have some obvious symptoms, so it’s not likely all in your head. Hemorrhoids cause only itching and sometimes pain and some mucus, but not abdominal cramping, nausea and diarrhea. You could still have hemorrhoids, but there’s obviously something other happening in your bowel. Intestinal parasites are possible, giardia, tapeworm or pinworms or any other – it’s usually impossible to say which one only on basis of symptoms. A stool test is necessary for intestinal parasites, and pinworms, speciffically, can be diagnosed with a tape test (if there are any pinworm eggs on the anus, they stick to the tape). A separate stool test for bacteria (stool culture) might be also needed. Giardia is usually contracted by food, but some other parasites could enter through the skin. Burning from proctofoam could be from hemorrhoids, or from a rectum inflammation…

      To prepare well for an appointment with a gastroenterologist, I recommend you to write down all your symptoms in a time line, also what tests you’ve had so far, what did they show, and what treatment have you tried and with what effect. This may help a doctor a lot to give you a correct diagnosis. Offcourse, you mention vaginal symptoms, a gastroenterologist will then tell you if he/she will deal with that or not. Here’s a questionnaire to help.

  • reasontoworry?

    Could it possibly be a tapeworm? Could that be the cause of stinging in my intestins and nausea? I live in Colorado and I am a germ freak and cook all my food. So how I could contract that, I’m not sure. I am just extremely worried and trying to handle this on my own to figure out what’s wrong. Also, I forgot to say I stopped taking all my medications the doctor gave me after about a week because I know your system needs to be clear for tests. I also stopped using the proctofoam he gave me at the same time (he thought it could be internal hemrhoids because I sometimes feel a pulse) but I have anal twicthing too. Isn’t that from pinworms laying eggs? The proctofoam burned lightly when I used it, does that mean anything?

  • Nightnoises

    Thank you for your reply.
    The enzymes are called Vitalzym and they are known to reduce inflammation. They used to help a lot, but now they don’t reduce the upheaval in my gut.
    The anti parasitics I took under a Dr who thought “I might as well in case were: albendazole, SMZ antibiotic, paramomycin, Yodoxin and h pylori antibiotics for the full treatment time, with no positive result. I also tried prilosec and ranitidine with no positive result. The pain and gas are very high, in the stomach just under the breastbone with no disruption of bowel function. My diet is very clean and healthy,and had not changed at all prior to this latest outbreak. All my labs are normal, with a normal endoscopy and colonoscopy with a clean barium scan. It is very mysterious and very disturbing–I could not sleep all night because it felt like a popcorn machine inside me.

    • Jan Modric


      you and your husband starting having symptoms at the same time speaks either for an infection (H. pylori, some other bacteria, or intestinal parasites, like giardia). As I understood, you have not had any tests in this time. Upper abdominal fullness and belching suggest that gas is forming in the stomach and/or upper part of the small intestine, obviously by overgrown bacteria or parasites. Metronidazole may be effective against H. pylori and some parasites, but a combination of medications is usually prescribed to eradicate all harmful microorganisms. I don’t know, maybe another stool test for bacteria (including H. pylori) and parasites would be needed, a doctor can tell.

      To reduce belching and gas try to avoid foods high in fructose, lactose and certain other substances, as described in low-FODMAP diet.

  • JayJay

    Jan Modric,

    Hi, I understand you didn’t want to answer me. The doc today had no clue. She is sending me for another lyme test and babeosis test. But I asked her about parasites and I know they tested me for the “usual” ones already, and came out negative. The other guy who also got sick from pool still eatin tons of food and slowly losing weight. That sounds like a parasite to me. I’m losing a pound or two then back up then back down. This all doesn’t make sense to me. I told infectious doc I lost 10-15lbs in two months period and it didnt like bother her or anything!!!
    Jan I know you don’t want to answer serious questions, but do you think its possible I just got a reallyy bad virus and it destroyed me??
    I know there were a few of them going around at the time.
    I’m still lost at what to do or say to anybody, knowing my luck the tick tests will come back negative!!

    • Jan Modric


      diarrhea, upper abdominal bloating, neck stiffness, red eyes, light sensitivity, headache, nose pain (?), a bulge on the top of the head, weakness, feeling very gassy, night sweats and difficulty breathing, weight loss, symptoms lasting for over 2 months (?) speak (to me) for an initial gastrointestinal infection that has spread over the body. If any harmful bacteria or parasite can’t be found in the stool, it can maybe be found in the cerebrospinal fluid, by lumbar puncture (since the stiff neck may speak for inflammation of meninge, which causes certain changes in the cerebrospinal fluid). Blood shot eyes are probably from conjunctivitis. Examples of possible conditions:
      – spread of gastrointesinal bacteria or parasites into the bloodstream
      – borreliosis
      – leptospirosis
      – viral meningitis
      – babesiosis
      – bartonellosis

      Tests to consider: another stool test for parasites and bacteria, blood test for borrelia, lumbar puncture, culture of a sample of eye secretions.

  • JayJay

    Jan Modric,
    Thanks for info. Do they test for bacteria in stool? I thought they only tested for common parasites? like Giardia etc.
    If so what kind of bacteria do they test for in stool?
    Im getting tested for the tick diseases you mentioned. What blood tests are available for parasites and bacteria? Thanks

    • Jan Modric


      to tell you openly, I have no clue about which exact microorganism or parasite could cause your symptoms. Borrelia (causing Lyme disease) could cause most of symptoms you have/had, so before asking for other tests, I recommend you to wait for results of tests you’ve already had. I’m not sure for how long Borrelia would be detected in the blood. An infectologist should evaluate if your neck stiffness suggests inflammation of meninges, and if a lumbar puncture is indicated (to check for common bacteria).

      Stool test for bacteria is called stool culture, and can be made, when a suspected bacterial infection causes prolonged diarrhea. Bacterial diarrhea (from food poisoning) usually heals on its own within a week, so this test is not so often performed. Stool tests for parasites are sometimes false negative…

      There are several blood tests for bacteria and parasites available, and in laboratories they usually make some standard set of tests, and if those are negative, other microbes may be tested one by one. If you get tested for each and every possible one, it may cost you a fortune, so an infectologist should narrow down the possibilities a bit.

  • worriedaboutstool

    I poseted the following about a week and a half ago, and have some follow up information:

    worriedaboutstool on September 16th, 2010 at 4:53 pm I spend the least half of August in Belize and returned on 2 September. The entire time in Belize I never really had any issues.

    Starting about 5-6 September I noticed a bit of Diarrhea, and then starting a couple days later on about 8 September I was going to the restroom about 5-8 times a day, and always either diarrhea or loose stool (with mucus I believe..even though I don’t know exactly what mucus looks like). I also had pressure/bloating in my lower stomach when I needed to go that going to the bathroom would relieve.

    The doc doubted a parasite or bacteria and gave me Imodium which immediately helped with the frequent diarrhea. The next day I have a bowel movement and it looked like a normal stool except for what looked like white marbling throughout one of the stools. I also felt tired, run down and a little nauseous (not enough to make me vomit). I saw the doc again and got Cipro and have been taking that for 2.5 days now and have not been able to see the doctor. I had a bowel movement today (averaging 1 a day) and while it wasn’t diarrea, it was still soft (some of it breaks up after a strong flushing) with some marbling and mucus (I guess).

    Should I compelte the cipro and see what happens? And I expecting results too quickly?

    PS – I have not taken any more imodium since the initial 2 pills I took.

    Previously, I felt weak/shaky on occasion as if I have not eaten for awhile, or my body was not absorbing the food/nutrients (not as often now).
    Jan Modric on September 16th, 2010 at 5:37 pm worriedaboutstool,

    insidious onset and prolonged and pretty mild course of diarrhea, and mucus speak for parasites more than for bacteria. Bacterial food poisoning usually has a sudden onset, causes explosive diarrhea and heals on its own within a week. Cipro works on bacteria, for parasites other medications are needed…Cipro should have some detectable effect in 2 days, but hard to say in so mild symptoms…Mucus is a viscous, semi-translucent substance, like mucus from the nose, for example.

    So after I took the CIPRO I was actually feeling a bit better starting the weekend of 18 & 19 a couple days after posting this. Stool seemed more normal, more formed and once maybe twice a day. I also felt like I had more energy and overall better.

    A couple days ago I noticed one of my stools had small white blobs in it again, but it was only 1 of the 3 stools, and the first one. The last two looked normal. All were formed for the most part, but still had some noticable “floaty algae” looking things on them (mucus I assume?). My stool seems off and on normal, sometimes looks almost completely normal, sometimes just light in color, sometimes has white blobs, but not always (that I can tell). I also notice a tiny amount of mucus when I wipe. Typically I have to go first thing in the morning, and every meal or eating almost anything triggers a bowel movement (2-3 times a day). I also feel full often and feel run down, tired, and on occasion just crappy.

    No cramping, or pain for the most part.

    I am also under a great deal of stress.. not sure if that can trigger things like this, but I have been stressed before with no issues. Any thoughts?

    • Jan Modric


      it is important to know that mucus is translucent (like colorless jelly), and fats are bright white (like cotton). Cipro would help in bacterial food poisoning or in small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) – and this can appear as a complication of certain other bowel disorders, like fructose malabsorption or lactose intolerance…So, from cipro being helpful, I still can’t say what was the original problem in your case.

      One thing you can do is to have some diet trials, lasting for few (2-4) days each:
      low-fructose diet
      lactose-free diet
      – a combination of above two: a low-FODMAP diet
      gluten free diet

      Stress can irritate the bowel. Stress can be irritating in combination with certain foods – this is called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Foods that are often problematic in IBS are mentioned in above diets.

      Tropical sprue is an intestinal inflammation resulting in malabsorption of various nutrients, and is supposedly caused by certain microbes. A disease is suspected if various nutrient deficiences are detected by blood tests. A definitive diagnosis is with upper endoscopy and biopsy of duodenal mucosa.

      One possible cause for fullness and belching and acid reflux is an infection of the stomach with bacteria Helicobacter pylori. Diagnosis can be made by blood or breath test among other. Treatment is with a combination of antibiotics. I’m not sure if cipro alone could eradicate H. pylori.

      In summary, the fact that the antibiotic has helped you, may speak for tropical sprue, SIBO, H.pylori or, maybe, intestinal parasites. But cipro is not the antibiotic of choise in none of mentioned diseases, so, if abovementioned diet trials do not help you, you can discuss with a gastroenterologist about the infections.

  • worriedaboutstool

    I also forgot to mention that I have more gas that normal, coming out both ends.

    Have had issues with possible acid reflux in the past as well. But this seems different.

  • Pingback: Nutrition Guide for Fructose Malabsorption |

  • neggy

    is it possible for someone to stay for 4 days witing stooling. i have always in my life stayed for 3 to 4 days befor i go to stool and even so the stool is so hard that it comes out with alot of difficulties. i talked to a doctor who asked me to take lots of fruits and vegetable which i did and i dont see it helping me. pls can u help me. i really need help.

    • Jan Modric


      here are examples of foods that may help in constipation. If this does not help, you might visit a gastroenterologist and ask for some investigation. It is important to say, if the constipation always has about the same pattern, or it is worse after some foods.

  • Marc Davis

    Can parasits muscle spasms?

    • Jan Modric

      Marc Davis,

      intestinal parasites can cause bowel spasms that are felt as abdominal spasms. Parasites can cause deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals, what could result in spasms of muscles in the limbs.

  • KAtie

    I am not sure whether i am seriously infested with internal parasites. Constipation, maybe i drink too little amount of water. I did not often went to the toilet. Around 3 to 4 days.
    Does that mean i have these parasites infested inside my body?

  • Aika

    If you can help me gain clarity I will really appreciate it. OK: For some months now I have been feeling movement in my body. When i got to bed, I felt tingling in my feet, sleepless, no weightloss just wiggling feeling throughout my body. Then, I started to feel crawling in my scalp. If I had my hand at a particular area on my body, I would feel this wiggling come towards it. I put my hand in my vagina, left it there and i started to feel the wiggles at my hand. Went to the doctor who pretty much didnt believe me and wanted to prescribe me xanax. For months I was doing my own research, at first I tought restless leg, but still that doesnt account for the movement in my body and especially in my scalp. Stool was a bit more frequent. Decided to take over the counter parasite medication Combatrin …what ever it was went crazy in my body and stool was on going. Now, a month later its all back with a vengence. Took some more combatrin, included eating 2 cloves of raw garlic aswell. Did 2 stool samples which am waiting for the results. I am a clean person pretty OCD I would say, living in the US, havent traveled to any other country, I dont eat raw foods or meats. Female, 34, my period hasnt come in 3 months, not sexually active, when i put my hand at my ovaries I feel the parasite move towards my hand…SCARY. Saw worms on my stool, stool was moving!!
    What can be on my scalp? I also have been expelling parasites out of my nose (gross I know) Clear/creamish.
    Oh and about 4 months ago I had developed eczema througout my WHOLE body it was very bad stayed like this for about 4-5 days, aveno, tea tree oil and shea butter….also started taking Solodyn from my dermatologist which I think helped!! Ijust want to know how I will cute my scalp I feel them moving. I dont have lice. I have used nix and kwadella just in case. Help me please.

    • Jan Modric


      in case you have intestinal parasites (which may come out from the nose, yes) you should take prescribed anti-parasitic medications, since remedies are more or less ineffective. All symptoms you’ve mentioned, including crawling feeling on the scalp, can result from parasites. You can ask for blood tests for iron and B vitamins, since their deficiency may cause tingling.

  • Gii

    good eve..

    I am 16 yrs. old, female.
    I just wanna know what is happening to me (if I have intestinal parasites or stomach problems). About a day or two I experience abdominal pain, have kind of dark/black stool, but not nauseous and tired. I also felt an itch sometime in my genital part & the anus part. The thing that kind of freaked me out was when I saw a worm after I urinated (at two non-consecutive days). I dunno if it’s from me or just lying there in the bathroom floor. I was getting kind of worried and scared. I also want to know how could I get rid of such parasites if really do have them or what should I do at this point in time.

    thank you.

    • Jan Modric


      I recommend you to speak with your parents, who can arrange an appointment with your pediatrician, who can order stool tests for blood (which may be a cause of black stool) and parasites, if necessary.

  • Mykul Oh

    Hi! My name is Myk.I have no health Insurance.I have had a problem of diarrhea for about a year or more. I had a problem with my pancreas 3 years ago. I have been taking 2 or 3 vitamins Chromium picolinate(1000-1500mg, aday) magnesium (2000mg),and a multi vitamin. My pancreas seems to be better,but my stool has not,but last month I changed brands. I used Finest Natural for Chrom, and mag. I started using SUNDOWN NATURAL Chrom. All of a sudden my diarrhea went away and my stool was hard. Well 4 weeks went by and everything went OK. Then, The diarrhea started back up. My diet remain the same,but I’m confused.I eat a lot of veggies and fruits, not much sugar,lots of water,After reading the article a lot of the symptoms were some that I have experienced. Does any body have some good advice on what to do.I’m unemployed so I cant afford a doctor.I figure there should be away to naturally cure this problem I pray! Ty

    • Jan Modric

      Mykul Oh,

      I’ve answered you in this thread.

  • Sally

    I have been having problems with my stomach and bowel for nearly two years now. I had been living in Indonesia for one year, prior to the problems. I have had a bout of sever salmonella and also round worm (5 worms approx. 25 cm each).

    I continue to have problems. I have had a colonoscopy and endoscopy. The specialist said that here is no problems. My doctors is excellent but doesn’t seem to be able to find the problem.

    My symptoms include: a sore stomach every time I eat (all kinds of foods); diarrhea; extremely smelly facies; bad wind; lower back pain after eating food; joint pain; no energy etc. Recently I have discovered I have very red facies with some red mucous. There also appears to be small red bits in my facies with lots of little lines almost like there is lots of bits of cotton in my stool.

    Please help.

    • Jan Modric


      was a stool test for parasites done recently? Red feces could be from blood – this can be also checked. There could be also some disorder in the small intestine, not detected by the upper endoscopy or colonoscopy.

  • MMBG

    I have really enjoyed reading this thread. My son was having a lot of these symptoms- vomiting, diahhrea, greasy stools, etc. We actually took him to the ER to re-hydrate him about a month ago. His stools were checked one time, and negative for Giardia.

    As a precaution, he went through a five day treatment of flagyl. His stomach issues and BMs cleared in two days.

    My other son (2) also went through the treatment because he had diahhrea. He is on his second dose of flagyl.

    About a week after the ER visit with my son, I came down with the same symptoms- stomach cramping, lots of greasy stools, bloating, etc. I took Flagyl and my symptoms went away after about five days.

    I am supposed to start IVF treatments on Thursday, and keep going back and forth about going forward. Will giardia affect my chances to get pregnant if I still have it?

    Ever once in a few days, I will get a stomach ache after I eat, so I am starting to freak out that I have it again (got re-infected from one of my son’s).

    During re-infection, will giardia have a slow onset, or come back full force? Just trying to figure out if I have been re-infected and whether I should postpone IVF since there is no way I can get a stool sample checked before Thursday (it takes the lab I go to at least three days).

    Any help? TIA!


    • Jan Modric


      reinfection with giardia is possible, but it’s not possible to make any conclusions from the symptoms onset or severity. It depends on the doctor, will he/she be willing to perform IVF, if you have giardia.

  • farmgirl

    Hi Jan, you seem to answer questions in a timely manner and I hope you can help me.
    For as long as I can remember I have always had nausea and stomach aches, a heavy feeling (like there’s a rock in my stomach) around the belly button. Beginning in my late teens I started having excessive gas, constant flatulance and burping dozens of times after eating or when my stomach is empty.
    In my early twenties (I am 24) I started having heavy flatulance that smells like rotten eggs. However, My burps have no odor. My stool is a little loose but I rarely have diarrhea. I thought I was lactose intolerant but cutting dairy out of my diet and taking lactaid pills has only minimally relieved my symptoms.
    I have lived on a farm and around other farms my whole life and eat a lot of fresh grown food. My family and I have always had many pets as well. I have been to Costa Rica twice, once when I was 11 and then 19. Italy when I was 16. I became a vegetarian this year but no changes in my symptoms.
    I am perfectly healthy except for anemia and a genetic blood disorder thalassemia. However my iron levels are lower then my relatives with the same blood disorders and my b,c,and d vitamin levels are also low. My engergy is also extremely low, which has progressively gotten worse my entire life.
    I’m wondering now if I have a parasite? How long can you have one for before becoming REALLY sick? Since I have always had stomach aches, could I have had one basically my whole life?
    Any input would be a great help. I guess I am really wondering if this is something I should be concerned with or something I will just have to live with?

    • Jan Modric


      in theory, parasites are possible, and repeated infections could result in nearly permanent symptoms, but there are at least two other disorders more likely:

      In fructose malabsorption (FM), fructose is poorly absorbed in the small intestine so it travels to large intestine where normal intestinal bacteria break them down and produce gases and substances that irritate the bowel. Problematic foods are most fruits, some vegetables, and other foods containing fructose, sorbitol and certain other substances. Symptoms lessening after 3-4 days of low-fructose diet would speak for FM. Official diagnosis is made with a breath test with fructose.

      One disorder that commonly goes together with FM is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Diagnosis is made by a special breath test; treatment is with antibiotics. I want to say, if you try a low-fructose diet without much relief, it may be SIBO which (alone or together with FM) causes symptoms.

      In celiac disease, gluten from wheat, barley and rye would irritate your bowel. A gluten-free diet for 1 week or so would likely result in symptoms relief. Diagnosis is with blood test and biopsy of duodenal mucosa performed during upper endoscopy.

      Yet another possibility is infection of the stomach with bacteria Helicobacter pylori, which may cause excessive burping. Diagnosis is with a blood or breath test; treatment is with antibiotics. Burps may be also caused by all abovementioned disorders, though.

      Rotten (sulfur?) smelling gas is from hydrogen sulfide produced by normal intestinal bacteria (could be also from parasites), when they break down sulfur containing foods and can be aggravated by any of above conditions. Until you find the exact cause of your problems, you can solve this by eating less foods high in sulfur.

      So, what could be the approach to find a cause?
      1. Sticking with white potatoes, white rice, mustard greens, collard greens, spinach, corn, buckwheat, pumpkins, eggs and drinking water for 3-4 days should result in symptoms relief in fructzose malabsorption, lactose intolerance and celiac disease (but not necessary in parasites and SIBO). When symptoms free, you can try milk, and wait 1-2 days to see if you can tolerate it. If yes, you don’t likely have lactose intolerance. Then you can add some barley or rye – if you can tolerate them, you don’t likely have celiac disease. Then you can add some fruit high in fructoe, like apple or pear. If you can tolerate it, you don’t likely have a fructose malabsorption.
      2. If above approach does not help, you can visit a gastroenterologist and discuss about all mentioned disorders.

  • Sally

    Dear Jan,

    The colonoscopy and endoscopy showed up nothing. My specialist said it might be necessary to have an MIR to check the upper bowel.

    A stool sample was recently taken. It shows that I have blastosis, the doctors don’t seem to think it is a problem but when i looked on the internet it says that it is difficult to get rid of and could be causing all of my stomach pains and diarrhea. I have had three courses of flayl and other antibiotics but nothing seems to get rid of it. Could it be a weird Indonesian strain of blastotis? any suggestions?

    Sally (same sally as on 18 October)

    Thank you Jan

    • Jan Modric


      MRI can show only rough changes in the small intestine, so to detect changes in the small intestinal mucosa, a capsule endoscopy or enteroscopy would be required. I’m not saying you need this, just for info.

      The results from microbiological laboratory probably show, which exact microorganism was found. Was is Blastocystis hominis? This may be sometimes hard to treat. Also, it is often found in healthy people, so it is not necessary that it causes problems in your case. But there is very likely something happening in your bowel. Maybe another stool test for parasites will be needed (since these tests are often false negative), or some other investigation made.

  • Tony

    Hi, I have been having problems in my intestinal area. I have been feeling a little bloating and having not so much as pain, but feels very uncomfortable in my lower left and lower right region of my abdomen.

    It started a few days ago while trying to go to the bathroom. I was trying to force myself to go. For some reason I couldn’t go.

    A day later I finally went and had a little diarrhea. From then on I have been going to the bathroom like I have regularly and I haven’t seen anything in my stool of redness or mucus but I’ve been having some back pains and still feel uncomfortable in both regions of my lower abdomen

    Did I over exert myself when I went to the bathroom or do you thinks its because i am constipated or both?

    • Jan Modric


      constipation could be a cause of bloating and pain. The question is why you got constipation (check for possible causes).

  • Baffled

    “Parasites are shed in human or animal stool; a source of an infection in poor countries is usually stool-contaminated food or water, and in industrialized countries, recreational water (lakes, pools) or HOMOSEXUAL MEN.”

    Seriously? What does sexual orientation have anything to do with parasites?

    Where are the studies proving this?

  • Gabby

    Jan, I’ve read many of these posts and I’m wondering if you can give me your opinion. You mention that diarrhea is a symptom of parasites but what about constipation? I rarely ever have diarrhea, but almost always am constipated. Stools many times have mucus on them. They are not black and tarry but many times the mucus has a little blood in it. Sometimes I will just have mucus with some blood on it come out or something mucus-like (gel-like) but lighter colored and somewhat flaky come out with no stool at all. I’ve never seen any white eggs or actual worms or worm-like parasites or anything like that.

    What I’m most concerned about though are the other symptoms that I havent’ been able to solve and that I’ve seen many doctors for, mainly hair loss. I”m a 34 year old woman and have been losing a lot of hair for 2 years now consistently. No doctors have been able to figure out why. I’ve been taking Biotin, Super B-Complex, Multi-Vitamin for a year now and I’m getting the feeling that these are not getting absorbed because the hair loss has not let up. Also I used to have very strong nails, and they are splitting and not growing as well. My skin has been breaking out on my face. I’ve been diagnosed with depression, fatigued, grind my teeth at night, weight loss, and just overall not feeling like myself. These symptoms all started around the same time. I’m starting to believe that it’s possible that my so-called “mental” issues may be stemming from a physical issue. What do you think? What type of doctor would I go see to get diagnosed?

    • Jan Modric


      red blood and mucus in the stool speak for a disorder arising from the small or large intestine. A combination of hair loss, splitting nails and breaking skin typically occur in deficiency of certain vitamins or minerals, such as zinc or vitamin A, or side effect of certain supplement, such as selenium. A deficiency of one vitamin or mineral may aggravate the deficiency of another mineral..making things a bit complicated, so I can’t recommend you to start taking any supplement on your own. Vitamin/mineral deficiencies commonly arise from impaired absorption in the small intestine, or from intestinal parasites consuming vitamins/minerals. Intestinal parasites can cause pretty much all symptoms you’ve described, including constipation, but other (probably gastrointestinal) disorders are possible.

      A gastroenterologist can:
      – order a stool test for parasites. Note that this test is often false negative and repeated tests might be required. Stool test for blood (hemoccult) can also be done. Parasites can be worms or unicellular parasites, and are often not seen in the stool.
      – order blood tests for vitamins and minerals (including trace minerals, like zinc and selenium..). You should ask the doctor about discontinuing with your supplements x? days before the tests.
      – if necessary, some investigation (upper endoscopy, capsule endoscopy…) to check your small intestinal mucosa for disorders, like celiac and Crohn’s disease, could be done.

  • Kelsey

    Jan, I was wondering if you could give me some insight. I have been battling stomach problems for a few years now and no doctor’s seem to know what is wrong with me. I get diarrhea after most of my meals, some days are better than others. My stomach rumbles and roars frequently. Sometimes after I eat I have been getting sharp sharp pains in my lower left side, to where I cant even move.I have lost 50 pounds since last spring, and I continue to lose weight. I have had problems with frequent UTI’s and kidney stones. I experience a lot of headaches and I feel tired all the time. My hands, armpits, and feet sweat a lot; I was diagnosed with hyperhydrosis. I also have eczema on my feet, which has it flare ups. Getting back to the stomach…I have flare ups. Since I switched to an all organic diet my stomach problems don’t last nearly as long as they used to. I used to go months and months with getting sick every time I ate. Now it seems to last for a few weeks then go away, then come back. Before switching to a better diet, I also experienced a “poop pattern”. I would go the months of having frequent diarrhea to going a few weeks of being constipated. I have been diagnosed with IBS, but my stress level isn’t really all that bad. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Jan Modric


      an eczema is an allergic reaction, so maybe you are allergic to certain food. Do feet and stomach flares appear at about the same time? What exactly was your diet before and what is now?

      Apart from an allergy, fructose malabsorption, celiac disease or lactose intolerance would be possible. A few days of low-fructose diet, gluten-free diet or lactose-free diet would likely help, depending on the cause.

  • sylviaut

    I am embarrassed to ask a doctor to take a stool smaple to check to see if I may have worms or parrasites, but I need to check somehow. I will start to take a de-wormer, just in case, to get rid of any, and to cleanse my colon, I have been trying to detox, and study how to be healthier, and to change my lifestyle, and take care of my body health, I have had dark circles under my eyes, and also cloating, and anemia, that could be a symptom. I also ate wild mushrooms, when I lived in Italy, and different kinds of foods there, which maybe gave me some bacteria, or form the water? I ahve tried enemas, and taking garlic pills too, and vitamins, and have felt better. I have tried to reduce sugars, and also exercise more, since I have more energy, and feel more vibrant, I want to also kiss the parasites, and am taking iron for the anemia. I had anemia, and I thought it was becuase of my heavy menstrual period,s but Im close to menapaouse now, and my periods are lighter, and shorter now, and I feel so much better. I am starting to go jogging again, and feel 20 years younger now! I love study on the Internet, I can learn so much, by seraching and researching, and finding out about my questions, which Im wtoo embbarrssede to ask my doctor about, or talk about, like my bowel movements, etc. and parasites, etc. lol
    thanks gain,
    It was interesting to see how many people have weird symsptommmmmmmmmms, and how to prevent it,

    • Jan Modric


      first, you can check this questionnaire and write down all your symptoms you can recall and put them into a time line. It is a combination of symptoms, from which is much easier to find out the cause, than from just one symptom. Anemia can be caused by parasites, but also from a strict vegetarian food or from a small intestinal disorder, like celiac or Crohn’s disease, for example.

      Non-prescribed anti-parasitic preparations are not reliable. I understand speaking about stools can be embarrassing. You take the sample from the stool in the toilet and store it in a small container – the sample is then checked in the laboratory and results send to the doctor, who can then prescribe appropriate medications if necessary. Doctors do this several times a day…

  • Brett

    Hi I just wanted to get some input on this because I’m lost on what to do at the moment and I just want to get my life back. I’m 20 years old and about 3 years ago I tried to drown myself in water that I later found out was practically sewage water which may have something to do with this. For about a year now I’ve been experiencing lower left abdominal spasms periodically, it feels like something is poking me repeatedly and it sometimes accompanied by pain in my right side in short bursts. I feel fatigued, I never want to do anything, I feel like I can forget things very easily, and it’s to the point I don’t even want to leave the house. Also I can take a shower and a couple hours later even though I haven’t had a bowel movement, I can wipe and get liquid on the toilet paper. It’s usually yellowish brown and I feel like I constantly smell like feces and I can smell it sometimes but not consistently. About 2 months ago I had just got back from a walk around my neighborhood and my pants felt wet so I went and wiped and I swear it smelled like ammonia. I don’t know what to do anymore I just want to have a normal life and not have to deal with this. I already quit 2 jobs because of it and I don’t want to leave the house anymore. I considered taking wormwood, black walnut hull, and whole cloves but I don’t know if this will really do anything for me. I can’t afford to go to the doctor right now I have to wait till January when I’m enrolled on my parent’s insurance.

    • Jan Modric


      the symptoms you’ve mentioned could be from intestinal parasites, or other bowel conditions, like Crohn’s disease or intestinal lymphoma, for example. A stool test for parasites may confirm parasites, and a general blood test may reveal eventual changes in white blood cells, what could speak for inflammation or infection anywhere in the body, and could lead the doctor toward the right diagnosis. I am not aware of any reliable and safe non-prescribed antiparasitic medication, so you may ask about the stool test for parasites first – this shouldn’t be very costly. Fatigue could be, for example, due to iron and vitamins deficiency caused by parasites or some intestinal disorder.

  • Brett

    Also I forgot to mention my butt sweats very profusely at night time and when I wake up I feel like I immediately need to take a shower it’s just not right idk what to do.

  • Brett

    The left side of my stomach almost feels swollen — its sore and feels like someone punched me in the ribs… sorry for so many posts it’s just so much shit

  • williameortego

    Hi, i’ve had trouble making a bowel movement today and when I finally was able to, I experienced some discomfort to very very mild painful sensations as the stool was exiting. I examined the stool afterward and there was a small thing, long rod-like object in my stool. How do i go about knowing what this is?

    • Jan Modric


      a rod-like object could be a part of some vegetable stalk, an intestinal worm (neither would be likely very hard) or a swollen foreign object…If you think it could be a worm, you may ask a gastroenterologist for a stool test for parasites.

  • carlalalaone

    I am in central america and have been here for 2 months. 11 days ago I started having chest cramping and a burning sensation on my upper back where the lungs are. I would also feel a burning sensation (like heartburn) in esophagus. This would occur mostly at night and last into the day. I also felt faint, weak and fatigued. The following day I would have only feelings of acid indigestion and chest cramps. The symtopsm would fade and return in 2 or 3 days. I went to hospital for ecg which came back clean. I still feel sick every other day, with no appetite on days of severe pain, and hunger when I feel better. When I feel sick I have very loose stools but not frequent movements. Mostly its irritation of lungs, chest cramps, and overal thoracic spasms and cramps. Can you help?

    • Jan Modric


      one possible group of causes are infections of the gastrointestinal tract (parasites, bacteria, including H.pylori) causing diarrhea, and, by irritating the stomach, reflux of gastric acid into the esophagus. A stool test for parasites and bacteria could reveal the exact cause.

      A certain food intolerance, such as fructose malabsorption, lactose intolerance and others could be possible, but the time course of your symptoms maybe speaks more for an infection.

  • charles

    Hello, I’m trying to figure out what I may have… Dr all say it is stress related, but lately I have been extremely tired for several months. I am diabetic, I eat salmon regularly. any ways, symptoms include mild diarrhea for one day, then maybe a week until it happens again. I guess I could be bloated too, I’m very fit and have defined abs but my stomach seems larger inside as if I’m bloated. Sometimes my feces will have almost a barnyard smell. hair loss which doesn’t run in my family..could this be a parasite because I didn’t cook meat all the way through?

    • Jan Modric


      according to your symptoms, intestinal parasites are possible, but I’m not claiming this causes your problems. You can catch parasites from stool contaminated water or foods of any type, mostly salads, so not only from meats. Diagnosis is made by a stool test for parasites.

      Barnyard smell is quite specific smell typical for Clostridium difficile bacterial overgrowth. A stool test for Cl.diff toxin is available. I don’t know if this smell also appears in parasites, but you can mention the connection between this smell and Cl. diff to the doctor, since this is probably not some widely known fact.

      Other fairly common causes of bloating with more or less diarrhea include fructose malabsorption, lactose intolerance, celiac disease, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or bowel inflammation, and (only when all of these are excluded), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Specific diet trials and/or tests for all mentioned conditions are available (and ordered by a gastroenterologist).

  • sz

    i dont feel hungry from morning till evening is it related to worm in my stomach?

    • Jan Modric


      there are many causes of poor appetite. You should tell are you man or woman, how old are you, since when do you have poor appetite, do you experience nausea, bloating, excessive gas, constipation, loose stools, what’s your diet in general, do you take any drugs?

  • danny

    I am in desperate need of help. I have been sick for over 4yrs now! my symptoms started off very mild occurring once a month and has now become everyday! i have a numerous tests to find the problem, ive had an endoscopy, blood tests and stool tests. the endoscopy showed nothing, but the stool test showed an overgrowth of candida and the bacteria “blasto”. i was treated with antibiotics a yr ago and followed up with 2 stool tests showing both candida and blasto has gone, however i feel worse now then i did when i had candida and blasto. i have no idea what is wrong with me! my symptoms are: bloated, stomach cramps, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, burping, head ache, back pain, itchy skin, dry-red eyes, very dry-scaly skin. i have tried diary free, gluten free, soy free and nothing has changed. can ur thyroid cause these symptoms? do u have any ideas for different tests to take? thanks

    • Jan Modric


      fructose malabsorption may cause many of the symptoms you’ve listed. A low-fructose diet would help in this case.

      Intestinal parasites are another possible cause. Diagnosis is with a stool test for parasites.

      Dry skin and eyes could be caused by deficiency of certain vitamin, like vitamin A due to its impaired intestinal absorption (due to any of disorders mentioned above).

  • scared123

    please help asap. email me the awnser please as well, as i cant go on this site for long. for the past 2-3 days i have had stoumach pains, in all of my stomach, but only usaly when i eat or drink then they go away come back and go again. i have before had white things in my poop, but this time its linked with the pain. and i was wondering what are they i dont think they are worms as they dont move and i couldnt go for ages whie i was getting this pain. i didnt eat alot yesterday and i was ok ish. still ad some pain but it went after a while.. i maanaged to push the stool out , but it wasnt big and it took a long time and was very painful to my stoumach but stil had white things in it.. please help asap!!!!!!!!!! im quite scaed . i reali dont think this is worms i have no icting or anything.. or been abroad.

    • Jan Modric


      are “white things” in your stool bright white, or like a whitish/translucent mucus?

  • Al

    Hi!First of all, I’d like to thank you for this site,it has lots of necessary information.
    Second, I’d like to tell you my problem and ask for advice.
    About 6 months ago,I started to have a lot of gas and I felt disconfort in my lower belly area.I never thought of parasites and never did test of that.I went to all kinds of different doctors and nobody suggested tests for parasites.Everything seemed allright on the test results.
    Last 3-4 months I gained a little weight which I know is uncommon for parasites, but I think that this is due to an extraordinary and very strange appetite for sweets and chocolate,cakes, things I NEVER liked in my life.The pain was increasing and so was the bloating, and last week I discovered a very slim, white worm(1 cm long) which I guess is an ascarida.I went to the doctor and he suggested me a pill (150 milligrams of levamisole). I took it and I felt very bad that night and in the morning I had a strong diarhea and released a lot of small white pieces (which were way smaller than the worm I found.) But,along with that, it came out a lot of small black, bean-shaped dots.What are these?Could them be the eggs of the parasites or could be another parasite?I did notice them before and I strongly believe that they are not due to anything I ate.Could my simptoms reveal that I might be suffering from another parasite, despite ascardia?Can levamisole kill all the parasites or should I take something else?
    Thank you!

    • Jan Modric


      sugar craving and increased appetite in general and the resulting increase of body weight plus finding a worm in the stool all speak for – intestinal worms. Black dots could be related to worms, but I can’t exclude other causes, like clumps of bacteria, blood or food particles. For you it is not very important to know which exact parasite you have, since most prescribed anti-parasitic drugs work against most parasites. Levamisol is a bit unusual choise, though. They are only prescribed antiparasitic drugs that are currently considered as effective and safe. If your symptoms lessen considerably in the next days, and disappear completely with time, it means the treatment was effective.

  • just wondering


    I was wondering, the anti-parasitic drugs that doctors prescribe sound effective, but you have mentioned the possibility of intestinal worms invading other areas of the body, such as the lungs, liver, heart and kidneys. Will anti-parasitic (prescribed) drugs kill only parasites in the intestine, or will they also get rid of infections in other parts of the body? If only the intestines, it seems that re-infection would be quite likely.

    • Jan Modric

      just wondering,

      in a severe infection, or in people with lowered immunity, parasites may enter through the intestinal wall into the blood and from there into other organs, where they can form cysts. It depends on the type of the parasite, but a bowel re-infection with parasites originating from the cyst is not very likely. It is usually the cyst itself that cause more problems – they can be detected by a CT or MRI, and often blood eosinophils or/and IgE antibodies are elevated. Inappropriate antiparasitic drug or its dose, incomplete course of treatment, or another infection are more likely causes of re-infection.

  • Houtte

    I have a question, for a few months on and off I suffer from gas and sulfur burps with loose stool, it is never consistent, it can last for a day or two and never come back for months, what could this be?

    • Jan Modric


      here is a list of foods high in sulfur and list of possible causes of sulfur burps. I’m not sre if intestinal parasites could cause sulfur burps lasting for only a couple of days. Do you also have sulfur smelling gas? Are you completely symptoms-free between the sulfur burps episodes?

  • 4 weeks

    Hi Jan,

    Just writing to ask your advise on what i think to be some form of parasites in my stomach. I am currently travelling in south east asia and have had the same symptoms every day for the last 4 weeks. It began when I was in Laos so of course was exposed to many unsanitay foods and ate from street stalls every day.
    Every time I eat (any type of food) i pass the same looking stool within 5 to 15 minutes after my first bite. The stool is bright yellow liquid with small mushy peices of solids small in size like a pea. When this began they were black in the yellow liquid now they are yellow like the liquid.
    Right now i dont have access to a doctor who can do your above suggested forms of testing for parasites.
    A friend of mine who was a woofer in the marines has suggested I take a 5 day course of a drug that is designed to kill all 4 types of parasites.
    Do you know what drug this is and do you think this is a good idea?
    Thanks for your advise in advance 🙂

    • Jan Modric

      4 weeks,

      no I don’t know the name of such a drug. In general non-prescribed antiparasitic drugs are less effective and have more side effects than prescribed ones. Many prescribed antiparasitic drugs act against several types of parasites and maybe some doctor would be willing to give you such a medication without running a test before that. I can’t take responsibility to recommend any specific medication, though.

  • never treated

    Aprox 23 yrs ago I was diagnosed with giardia parasite. However, I was preganant and was not treated. After I had my son, the symptoms went away. I am curious if it could be he cause of my medical issues Im currently experiencing.

    I have seen neuro doc for over a yr for unexplained left side face pain (like sinus pain), droopy eye, dialated pupil, facial nerve damage,eye pain and pressure, loss of vision in left eye and high blood pressure. (medical mystery). They are leaning toward MS or Tolosa Hunt..but still no deffinate diagnosis. All MRI’s have been clean with no leisions on the brain.

    so, I am just courious if by any chance the parasite I many years ago could be causing any of these issues.

    Thank you,

    • Jan Modric

      never treated,

      giardia does not sound like a possible cause of your symptoms to me. To confirm/exclude MS, a lumbar puncture and investigation of the cerebrospinal fluid may be needed. At the same time, tests for Borrelia (Lyme disease) may be performed.

  • confused

    Hi, I went to see an allegry specialist today and he said i may have parasites? I don’t know what the symptoms are however I told him I was breaking out in hives and he said that i have seasonal allergies however he thinks i may have parasites. Is this a symptom????

    • Jan Modric


      intestinal parasites may cause an allergy-like rash (hives); a stool test is needed for diagnosis. If you live on the northern hemisphere than a late December is not exactly the season for seasonal allergies. Hives may also occur in food allergies (few minutes to several hours after taking the problematic food), allergies to certain substances, and severe psychical stress.

  • nmorgan

    RE: “never treated”: ABC world news just did a story on a woman with similar symptoms (one droopy eye, etc.). She had her metal fillings removed and gold put in her teeth. She recovered. (see ABCwebsite, maybe)

  • Tims

    Hi, I’ve been having this recurrent problem – light yellow semi-liquid stool with hard pieces in it, urges to defecate without result, gases, etc.
    I tried to change my food habits – eating mostly rice, boiled chicken and vegies – doesn’t help one bit.
    I also started to have this feeling of having something stuck in my throat, and the weirdest thing – I feel nausea when I take deep breaths
    Can it be worms or something?
    What would you recommend to do?

    • Jan Modric


      there are not sufficient data in your question to give you any opinion. Apart from intestinal parasites, possible causes include food intolerances, like fructose malabsorption, celiac disease, lactose intolerance, food allergy, or an inflammation of thee bowel (Crohn’s disease, for example). I recommend you to check this personal medical history questionnaire, write down all relevant details and then visit a gastroenterologist.

  • 8675309

    Hi, for the last month ive been having a very intense anal itch. Im getting plenty of fiber now, no food allergens i use mild soaps and detergents, eliminated spicy foods. There are no visible hemmroids or fissures. Just to be safe i treated myself for worms, hemmroids, fungal and yeast infections all with no luck. The only thing that seems to help is ibuprofen but the itc h is still there. I hope you can help!

    • Jan Modric


      intestinal parasites, particularly pinworms, would be possible, but there are several other causes of anal itch.

  • marcpogi

    what is the symthoms of human intestinal parasite…how can i detect it?

    • Jan Modric


      symptoms of intestinal parasites are described above in the article and may include diarrhea, bloating, skin rash and other symptoms, but it is important to know that sometimes there are no symptoms at all. Parasites are detected with a stool test for parasites.

  • sletchh

    Hi I just came back from Mexico and I tried really hard not to drink the water but I did have mixed drinks with ice, so that may have to do with this. My stomach has been bothering me for the past four days. It`s gotten a little better but it doesn`t go away. I drank a lot of alcohol the night before it started hurting so I thought maybe it was that, but I don`t think it would have lasted for three days. Could it be the food? I`m nervous it is a parasite. What do you think?

    • Jan Modric


      coming from Mexico is a good reason to think about food poisoning. Bacterial food poisoning usually results in obvious diarrhea which usually resolves within 5 days. Intestinal parasites may trigger less obvious abdominal problems, like cramps, bloating, mild diarrhea, but symptoms usually last longer – if not treated, for weeks or even months. I’m not aware of any remedy for intestinal parasites, so if you do not get better in few days, it could be good to ask a gastroenterologist for a stool test.

  • pilgrim

    Was wondering if you could help me? I have hot flash type episodes, constipation & back pain. tonight I took a bath and when the hot water passed over my belly I watched my belly move. I can feel the movement(sorta like when I was pregnant). The last time I was hospitilized for 8 days they told me that the ct-scan showed a swollen colon and then they told me that it must be a “bad reading” Could it be a parasite? thanks for answering.

    • Jan Modric


      I can’t exclude parasites, but there are other causes of “swollen colon”, like a Crohn’s disease or ischemic colitis. Hot flashes commonly occur in carcinoid syndrome. Hard to say more from the information you’ve provided, so I recommend you to discus with a gastroenterologist about that “bad reading” and eventual other investigations, such as colonoscopy.

  • halucinated

    Hello, one morning i had a stomachache and i went to the toilet fast. the poop is just water and suddenly i saw a beetle like insect in the bowl. it couldn’t have flown in there because i was looking at the poop coming out. It’s a habit. The size is like a half inch long.
    I told my doctor about it and he says I’m hallucinating.
    Could it really coming from intestines?
    What should i do?
    I had other symptoms like itchiness and bleeding after poop.
    Please advice

    • Jan Modric


      you can visit a gastroenterologist, who can decide which tests to perform to find out the cause of the bleeding and itchiness. The doctor can also order a stool test for parasites.

  • wormed

    Spring of 2009 I ate sushi and about 6 months later fished an asian tape worm out of the toilet (16 ” long) I scooped it up and drove to the emergency room. At the time I had dropped over 25lbs(made me 103lb’s & a childrens sz 10 – really light for an athlete) and I never really had any symptoms besides the weight loss. I didn’t think anything of it in the begining, because I was training 2x’s per day. I did however have major stomach problems the night before however, I thought it was something I ate at a birthday party (mainly because I am allergic to all milk products) The worm had the formed head attached so the ER told me not to worry about re-growth. They did not however give me any medications. It has now been almost 2 years and I did gain the weight back quickly (3 months) and maybe a few lb.s more, My concern now is I have had extreme bloating with everything I eat or drink, including water sometimes and my stomach bloats to the point I can’t see my feet. I am normally a size 0, so not seeing my own feet while standing, is quite strange for me. It can be quite painfull, sometimes the bloat is still there in the morning. I have also become constipated over the last 4 months, so I take Dulcolax on a regular basis. However there are days I have no problems, as long as I don’t eat or drink anything, and my stomach is back to flat as a pancake. I have a physical scheduled with my Dr. and I want to see if there are any test/treatment in particular that I should ask for.

    • Dr. Chris

      Hi Wormed

      This could be due to a disturbance in your normal intestinal flora (normal bowel bacteria) and you will need to take a probiotic. Please speak to you doctor about specific probiotics, preferably those containing Saccharomyces boulardii and/or Lactobacillus casei. Many cheaper and “all natural” probiotics lack these microorganisms. Your pharmacist will be able to advise you further. The other possibility here is that it could be irritable bowel syndrome (inflammatory bowel a possibility but more symptoms should be present). Excessive bloating for no known reason (no excessive gas) after eating is a typical symptoms of IBS. Ideally you should see a gastroenterologist who could consider further investigations, like a colonoscopy, and possibly run a full stool analysis to identify any underlying cause. It is possible that this is unrelated to your previous parasitic infection so rather let a medical professional examine you objectively.

  • Worried

    Hi, I’ve been experiencing constipation on and off since Dec. and have taken miralax about 4 times to help the symptoms when they come. About 1 month ago I was constipated and had about 4 to 5 bowl movements, and the stool was dark almost black and each stool had one strand like thing coming out of it. Even some strands just by themselves. I’m pretty sure I took some miralax that day and then the constipation went away and I didn’t see the strands anymore, until this morning. My stool was big and light in color and I had the strands coming out of it again. They almost look like tampon strings. They arn’t white in color they match the color of my stool both times. They kind of look like roots just slighter bigger then a root. I’m worried that it might be a parasite, but I haven’t had any of the typical symptoms that come with parasites. I’ve also inspected the strings to see if they were moving and they are not.

    • Dr. Chris

      Hi Worried

      Sometimes the typical symptoms associated with intestinal parasites is not present. This also depends on the type of parasite. However there may be other factors to consider like fiber which cannot be digested and even mucus. Speak to your doctor about your symptoms. A stool sample would help to confirm or exclude the presence of any parasites – even if the parasite itself is not in the stool, ova (microscopic) may be detected during laboratory investigation. Other tests may also be useful in diagnosing the parasites.

      Apart from the possibility of parasites, your constipation associated with this black stool is a bit of a concern. There are many possible causes, some of which may be very serious in nature. You should at this point see a gastroenterologist and possibly have a colonoscopy if he/she deems it necessary.

  • Earthen

    Very informative site. My family and I frequent the caribean islands between the Bahamas and the us virgin islands. Recently within the last 2 years I started a host of digestive problems including terrible insomnia/anxiety. I eat a very organic natural diet. Since our last visit to the islands (eating the local fruit from a fruit stand) I have came down with major stomach pain in the upper right ( under rib cage) very tender to touch, with constant burping ( that seems worse if I haven’t eaten but is always there). I was seeing a natropath and he had me on whey protein, that is when things got really bad and I became allergic to dairy. I started to avoid wheat, grains, dairy, etc symptoms decreased slightly but were unbarable if I ate sugar. Wheat or dairy. The pain has now speed to my neck (full feeling in the throat, swollen lymph node on right side). I did herbal anti parasitics but I can’t take much wormwood etc as my left side ( low rib cage area starts to burn). I have constipation problems. I read that switching to raw goat milk can help with Intestinal issues so my family started on the raw goat, recently my 2 yr old has been very sick, very constipated, dr says he’s boarder anemic. He can not poop even with prune juice etc, I have to give him suppositories. He cries that his belly hurts, dr prescribed him medebanzole and he is more constipated and sick than before. Could worms be stuck in him? As for me I have seen long clear jelly like things after giving myself enema, including stool encased in a clear jelly like tubing-creepy! I have no idea what is going on.

    • Dr. Chris

      Hi Earthen

      In terms of your son, it is possible that it is worms and your doctor can conduct a stool test to verify this. In your case, it is obvious that you have a preference for complementary therapies but do not turn your back on proper medical investigation, especially since all these alternative measures have not yielded the desired results. I assume that you do know the dangers of using large amounts of wormwood herb. A stool test would also be advisable for you to verify whether it is intestinal parasites or possibly other conditions like those affecting the liver, gallbladder or even pancreas which could account for the appearance of your stools recently. Speak to your doctor and see a gastroenterologist if possible.

  • Worried Mom

    While bathing my daughter the other night I noticed something coming out of her anus. I thought at first that it was a piece of dead grass, but it was definitely some kind of flat brownish worm. I called the pharmacy and they gave me combantrin which is for round worm and pin worms. I have looked up pictures for both of those, but they do not look like what I pulled out of her. could it be something else? Should I take her to the doctor or am I over reacting?

    • Dr. Chris

      Hi Worried Mom

      Yes, please take your daughter to the doctor immediately. If you have kept this brownish “worm” then it may be helpful to take it through to your doctor. Alternatively a stool test may be conducted. It is advisable not to self-medicate in this manner, especially with children. While your pharmacist has good intentions and is there to help you, this service should not replace a consultation with a doctor, especially when it comes to children.

  • Terry

    Dr Chris,i have had soft stools + occasional diarrhea now for 3 months off an on. Usually no more the twice daily, sometimes accompanied by a feeling of malaise It stated after I had a severe cold. I was already experiencing the diarrhea symptoms for a few days and my general Dr prescribed azithromycin for 6 days for the cold. I also took clarithomysin for campylobact 3 weeks later..which the test said I had then said I didn’t! Have had 2 stool tests for parasites and a colonscopy..all negative. My gastro Dr says it’s likely the bacterial r compromised and I should improve over time. I’m taking probotics….but my condition remains the same. Any thoughts on what I should do?

    • Dr. Chris

      Hi Terry

      Follow your gastroenterologist’s advice as he knows your case more thoroughly. Hopefully you are using the probiotics he prescribed which has Saccharomyces boulardii and even Lactobacillus casei. Not all probiotics are the same so don’t buy anything over-the-counter at your local supermarket. It takes a few days to about a week or so. But if your symptoms are not improving then go back to the doctor. Otherwise wait and see.

  • Linda

    I was diagnosed 8 weeks ago with a parasite, giardia lamblia, in my stomach. I took 3 different kinds of antibiotics. Seemed much better. For a week I felt the best I had in months. However, yesterday I started getting nauseated and now have frequent stools again that look like coffee grounds. Do you think this parasite has come back? I don’t know where I picked this us at. I had my water tested but it was ok. I also have diverticulosis. Should I call my doctor? I was so happy to feel good again. It just didn’t last very long. Help.

    • Dr. Chris

      Hi Linda

      Yes, you should see your doctor again so that you can be reassessed as there are many other causes related to your giardia infection that may account for the bowel movements. The infection could have recurred but it is also important to note that lactose intolerance may develop with giardiasis. This could also account for frequent bowel movements or diarrhea. Antibiotic associated diarrhea (AAD) is another consideration here. The coffee ground appearance of your stools may indicate old/dark blood in the stool (melena). This may be an indication of upper gastrointestinal bleeding which needs to be investigated as well. Cannot definitely say that this is related to the giardiasis, antibiotics, diverticulitis, complications or side effects. Your doctor will be able to help you further.

  • Eddie


    For the last couple months I’ve been experience itching anus. I’ve been to the doctors many times but there not sure. My stools lately have been pebble like with it looks kinda of like small eggs or corn in my feces, but I’m not eating corn. I sometimes feel bloated and I never seen blood in the toilet, only sometimes on the toilet paper, very little. Can you help me please, does it sound like a parasite.

    • Dr. Chris

      Hi Eddie

      This could be constipation which may be bruising the anus and even contributing to the development of a hemorrhoid hence the bleeding upon wiping. Take a look here at the different types of feces. The particles that you may be seeing are just bits of undigested food – it is not always easy to corroborate with what you ate due to the degradation that occurs in the gut. It is unlikely parasite eggs (ova) because these would not be so visible. This is just possibility though. Your doctor should consider a stool test at this point to identify the presence of any ova, digestion or absorption problems and so on. See a proctologist or even follow up with a gastroenterologist if necessary.

  • Lyss

    I’m sorry, I know this is disgusting, but I’ve been to the doctor and they didn’t know…
    Four days ago I started vomiting and have terrible diarrhea along with a very high fever and severe back pain. The fever and vomiting passed after a couple days, but I still have the diarrhea and back pain. The doctor told me it was a kidney infection and put me on an antibiotic 30 hours ago. Still making frequent trips to the toilet, I checked to see if my stool had at all changed and I was shocked at what I saw. I had passed an insect. It is about a half inch long, brown, with segmented body, legs, antennae, and possibly wings. At first i thought it had fallen of my clothes or something but then I passed another partial one! I will be going back to the doctor about this, but I would like to know what type of insect this could possibly be?

    • Hi Lyss. You should see an infectious disease specialist or internal medicine specialist at this point. As far as we can comment, it is highly unlikely that the insect in the picture is growing or reproducing within your colon.

      These insects (looks like a cockroach in the picture) have legs, wings, etc which means that the colon is not its natural environment. You either ate it (possibly unknowingly) or it dropped into the toilet from your clothes, body or the toilet environment. It could have even traveled up the toilet drainage pipes.

      Parasites that thrive in the bowels of humans are geared to survive in the environment within the body. Many times when people claim to find tiny insects in the stool, it is actually body/pubic lice living on the surface that inadvertently fell into the toilet bowl while passing stool. It did not come from inside the body.

      Even if you had eaten this insect, your stomach acid and digestive enzymes would have broken it down much further. It would not look so ‘intact’. The eggs would not have hatched and even if it did, the newborn insect would not have survived to grow to the size and develop features as is evident in your picture. An entomologist (specializing in insects/bugs) may be able to tell you what insect it is.

      A kidney infection in most cases is due to bacteria. You would not be able to see the bacteria in your urine. It should not be in the stool as the kidneys processes and excretes stool. The diarrhea is a separate issue. It could possibly be a result of using antibiotics for your kidney infection (antibiotic-associated diarrhea) but it could also be caused by some other condition as well. It would still not explain the insect in the toilet bowl.

      This service is only a guide for users. Our comments do not constitute professional medical advice. You need to consult with a medical professional as soon as possible and show him/her the picture.

  • Disqusted632

    Can people get intestinal worms or parasites from eating pork?

    • Hi. Yes, the tapeworm is one type of parasitic worm that can be acquired by eating pork. Different species of tapeworms are also present in cows (beef) and sheep (mutton). Good quality meat from reputable sources that is well cooked is safer for avoiding tapeworms.

  • Thea Lee


    First I would like to say thanks for this site, it give so much valuable information.

    when i was still smaller i’ve experienced pooping with parasites on my stool; That was long ago; I was worried when I poop and I saw one in my stool just this time, could it be possible that parasites live many years in your intestine? or was it a new ones developing in my intestines? I also have this joint and muscle ache, sometimes; teeth grinding at night; and I ate with my stomach full every breakfast, lunch and dinner with snacks in the morning and afternoon but I still don’t gain weight that i should have gained if a normal person eats what i ate; and lastly, I easily get hungry. Please email me the answer.

    • Hi Thea Lee,

      This is an open platform and we do not email individual users. If you want a private reply then please click the Ask A Doctor Online link above in the article and you can converse directly with medical professional.

      Firstly, it is possible for parasitic intestinal worms to exist in the human intestines for years. It could also be new worms that have entered the gut. It is difficult to say with any certainty.

      Some worms release ova (eggs) which are then passed out in the stool. These eggs need to hatch and form smaller immature worms in the environment before it can be eaten again to form mature adult worms in your gut. In other words it has to be out of your body to complete a part of its life cycle. However, the offspring of some can thrive within your system.

      A stool test can confirm whether you do have worms within your intestine. You should consider speaking to your doctor about such a test before assuming that it is a worm. Some of your symptoms could be due to other medical problems. Even the inability to gain weight could be a symptom of some disease, or it could just be a very high metabolism.

  • Joe

    Hi, recently I have had a problem, what I think maybe round worm. I had pinworms a few years ago and since have been rather worried about intestinal parasites. Sometimes when I wipe there is a small amount of blood, it doesn’t happen very often and only when I wipe. Obviously it came as a shock so I looked in the bowl, I saw something smooth like wriggling almost as if it was trying to escape my feces. I would like to know what this may be?

    • Hi Joe. It could very likely be intestinal worms if you saw it moving. A stool test or a tape test would be able to confirm or exclude that. However, the bleeding is unusual for common intestinal worms like the pinworm. This bleeding could be related to other gastrointestinal problems with hemorrhoids (piles) be the one you should first try to exclude. Speak to your doctor about what you have noticed.

  • markeoni

    i had a worm recently it was white and black dot in the stool
    it was only one and was moving , in this week i saw white things in the stool but not moving and looking like dead worms
    i didnt find any thing about worm with black dot head ,can u please help me i cant go to the doctor

    • Hi Markeoni. We cannot comment on the black dot head specifically but the common pinworm (threadworm) is white in color. Some dead worms may also be expelled if you do have an infestation. It is important that you see a doctor in order to start the appropriate anti-parasitic medication. The worms that have come out thus far may only be a few compared to those residing in your intestines. Your doctor will need to prescribe the appropriate medication and send your stool sample to a lab for further tests to identify the type of worm.

  • PS

    Hi I have strings in my poop for 2 days. It’s same color as my poop. I can’t remember eating something stringy. Lately I have itching anus too and super tired. What is this?

    • Hi PS. This could be fiber since the human body cannot digest fiber. However, this stringy substance may be mucus or even worms as well. There is no way of saying for sure. You need to see a doctor who may consider further investigations like a stool analysis. If this is mucus and in light of the anal itching, this could be symptoms of hemorrhoids. However, it needs to be diagnosed by a doctor.

  • Heather

    I was wondering if you could tell me what kind of intestinal parasite this is? It was found in a stool sample.

  • Audrey Neitling

    For the past week I have been passing this awful stuff along with my stools. I thought maybe roundworms. The first few days I didn’t get pictures but I can describe it as looking like a wad of alfalfa sprouts about the size of a large strawberry. Also, I suffer from gas, bloating, very loose, informed and mucous stools. So I emailed these pics to an online parasite doc who said definitely tapeworms. Do you agree? I am making an appointment with my own doctor in Monday.

    • Hi Audrey. We have not seen the pictures and either way we would not diagnose you online as it against our terms of service. Rather speak to your doctor about your concerns. A stool sample may be necessary which will then be sent to a laboratory. If there are worms, or segments of it, or the eggs in the stool then your doctor will be able to reach a diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate medication. Many of your symptoms may be indicative of an intestinal worm infection. However, there are instances where long string objects in the stool are actually mucus and mistaken for worms. Mucus in the stool can arise for may reasons but with some of the digestive symptoms that you have mentioned it could be conditions like irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease.

  • Christina

    My husband has been having problems with his stomach. He has been bloated and has a mild case of diarrhea. He said he vomited and a worm came out about 3 inches long. Then again in his stool. He has tried at least 2 different medications but he still has the bloating and a little irritation in his stomach. After one of the medications he passed the one in his stool.
    Now he has had 2 nose bleeds and he’s gone to doctors but they only prescribed him those medications.
    Is there a way to know what kind of parasite he has and what is best to get rid of them for good?

    • Hi Christina. Yes, he could have a stool test done. A sample of stool would be sent to a lab where it would be analyzed. Even if there are no worms in it, they should find the tiny eggs of these worms which would verify the diagnosis. It is advisable that he has a stool test done. If necessary he should consider consulting with a gastroenterologist since his symptoms are persisting. Remember that eradication of parasitic intestinal worms doesn’t occur overnight and sometimes the medication may need to be taken again in a repeat dose.

  • nothingac

    um i have worms in my poo and how do you get worms and what do they do to you

  • william

    I have been experiencing an itchy anus for at least 8 months to a year if not longer. And in the past 6 months I have felt something moving or squirming inside around my anus. I also have developed a number of unexplained white spots on my face and a couple on my chest. A dermatologist was confident they are Biers spots but they have continued to show up and I can’t help but think that they are related to the squirming sensation inside my rectum. There haven’t been any worms in my feces or anything, but I have found myself more gassy and there is ocasionally a mucus like substance when I wipe? A couple times in the past 6 months I have noticed a some blood looking substance attached to my feces. I took one full cycle of combantrin to try to flush out the potential worms to no avail. Please help!

  • Aylin

    Hello there, please help !

    3 weeks ago I was back from a holiday in Hong Kong. I am living in Beijing, China, but I am a European people from East Eurpe. In Hong Kong, exactly after I arrived, I was check in hotel and went to the beach. I was swimming in the ocean then I want5ed to back to my hotel. Instantly , in the bus I started feeling so bad, dizzy, nausea and I was vomiting and felt as I was never feel before. I arrived to the hotel at least, where the symtoms continued and second day I had diarheea and next day the same, after every meal, 30 mins later I should be near a toilet or other way….. Continued nausea and unclear vision and dizzy. I put all this on my ovulation period , but in Beijing I had never this bad symtoms, just mild. I was thinking is something from ocean, a “sea” bad feeling or something or the climate something. I back to Beijing in one week later and felt better. This symtoms disappeared, but almost 3 weeks later, I developed something in my left feet , like a cyst, like a vain , or inflamation , painful and which not pass away with any kind of medication like antiinflamatory or other pain killers. I started an antibiotic Levofloxacin , also without effect after 5 days.. 2 days later, there appeared other “inflamation” or cyst in my upper back , feft side, the same painful, persistent pain and without any effect to any kind of medication or gel for massage as Flagyl. I was taken a dose of Tinidazole and next day I noticed the pain from my foot was little smaller and the inflamation not so big as a day before. But I continue to have joints pains , suddenly came and go and then it’s come back in other part of body or the same joint or other muscle of the body as in the left side today, but lumbar area muscle. I am still on Levofloxacin to end the course and I also continue with 2 more dose of Tinidazole. I am wonder if Albendazole is the same thing as Tinidazole or have a larger area of coverage ? Am I on the right treatment ? What hospital section should I go with all this ? I also don’t know if my blood tests will be influenced by the medication I am curently on. Is this possible ? If I go to neuro-surgeon, or orthopedy, they will treat me for atritis probably, which is not the case ! I do admit I have bones problems and pain in autumn , but nothing on this kind, there was only pains, but nothing was grow up in muscles and feet termination ever ! And usually , when I had a bones pain due to clmate chnage or pressure, I was ok with antiinflamatory pills, but now no have any effect and is not related to this. In the feel and back is like a tumor, a vain inflamed or a cyst . Is not visible, only when I touch it and press it can be feel and when I am walking is become painful. All the back muscles now I feel painful. I mantion that I am also on Serrapeptase enzime tretament since 3 months, for Endometriosis scar tissue . It helped me a lot with the menstrual problems and pains, but I read several comments also about this enzime that gives such reaction in some peoples. Is this true ? Have you any more idea ?
    Please help me where to go ? which kind of doctor and what kind of tests to ask to be done ? I am foreigner here and difficult to talk with doctors as they don’t speak English well or not speak at all.
    Thank you !

  • Amy

    Hello, I was diagnosed with parasites but the doctor didn’t really tell me which parasite, he prescribed tinidazole for two days with doses of 1g every 12 hours. I’ve already taken 3 out of the 4 dozes but i’m still feeling nauseated, the only thing that has changed is that my stool it’s not as liquid as before but it’s still kind of liquid also i’m not going to the bathroom as much and i’m still seeing mucus on my stool. Is this treatment working? Or should I go back to the doctor’s office.

  • Brandon Lease

    HI, my name is Brandon.
    my dad and I contracted what we think is a fluke, my dad and I have both accumulated over 40 bumps ranging in size all over our body, legs, back near kidney, head, arms, chest, and stomach. About five years ago we went to a wedding in Mexico, the tropical water was warm and inviting. we decided to go snorkeling. Upon entering and swimming out, we found the water was dirt and filled with salt, we could see the water as it moved. So we got out and left, we think we were near a sewage drain or something. But anyways, we came home and we felt sick, and tired. and one day we both actually couldn’t function we were so sick. The sickness passed but we started getting lumps, and we were still really tired, and I actually was losing muscle mass. Back in high school I was benching 245 pounds, and I was slowly getting weaker, I can no longer bench without hurting my spine. I got really sick just recently and was diagnosed with CDIF and my stomach pain is so bad it is hard to eat. I went to the doctor and they got me feeling kind of normal but the stomach pain continues, and im still getting lumps, I know, because when I get them it’s like I have a needle hanging off wherever the bump is. also my joints are really weak… every bone can pop ;/ My dad went to UW twice they told him he was crazy and self diagnosing, and that he was going to have to just cut out the lumps as they appear. I’m not willing to waist anymore of my life with these things in me, and I don’t know a doctor that works with parasites around me. I live in the Seattle area, my dad and I really need help!

  • nick

    Over the pass 7 weeks I’ve been having very loose stool once a day. And when I go twice the second one is really bad. I have seen small little white balls in my stool, maybe a little blood but not to sure and small orange like sticks. I have a little bit of pain in my stomach that comes and goes. It’s not all day. I have stomach gurgling day and night that will not go away. I did do a stool sample for parasites (It wasn’t a good one) but came back negative. What do u think? This whole thing is driving me crazy.


    • Hi Nick. If the stool test was recent then there may be no need to repeat the test. However, if the results are more than 3 months and the symptoms only started recently then you have to consider another stool test. It is possible that the ‘white balls’ and ‘orange like sticks’ are undigested food particles. This may be a sign of an issue with the digestion process. Remember that it may only be a small portion of the food you ate within the past 72 hours and the digestive enzymes and fermatation process in the gut could have changed it. So it may not look like anything you ate recently. Apart from the test for worms, you should speak to your doctor about other tests that are done as part of a stool analysis. It can help with the diagnosis.