Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been doing a parasite cleanse. Never would I have thought there would be parasites of this magnitude living in my gut, but there is. That’s my reality. It’s been an uncomfortable process, but one that I’m learning from and one that I hope to help others with. Since I am trying to help others with a possible parasite invasion, I’m being as transparent about the process as I possibly can be. It’s not pretty, but it’s what has happened to me. Here are the four mistakes I learned with parasite cleansing (and how I fixed it).
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My parasite cleansing symptoms
After suspicions of a parasite infection in my gut, I decided to do a parasite cleanse. (Read more about the symptoms of a parasite infection, which foods to avoid and eat during a cleanse, and more in There’s WHAT in my gut?!)
I started out with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water thirty minutes before meals. I did that for about eight days. The dying off process, herxing, was too much to handle after eight days and I was ready to throw in the towel and be done with the entire cleansing. If I didn’t pass a worm after these eight days, I doubt I would have continued with the cleanse.
The herxing symptoms I was dealing with included:
- Extreme fatigue
- Restless, sleepless nights
- Constant, dull headache
- Stomach discomfort throughout the day, and more so at night
- Lots of flatulence
- Loss of appetite
However, I was told I could help with those symptoms by correcting the four mistakes I had made with this parasite cleansing.
4 Mistakes I Made with Parasite Cleansing
Mistake #1: Not enough bowel movements
What I didn’t realize is that the parasites I was killing were toxins in my body. As they were dying, they weren’t leaving my body quickly enough (through stool). They were sitting in my large intestine and the toxins were being absorbed back into my body. I needed to purge these toxins as soon as I possibly could.
The only problem was, I was constipated. At this point in the game, I had quit coffee altogether. Coffee gets my bowels moving which is why I drink it each morning. Once I stopped the coffee for the cleanse, so did the bowels. I needed to get them moving again in order to start feeling better.
How I fixed it
After some research and help from a friend, I decided to start taking 400 mg of magnesium citrate once a day. It is a saline laxative, so in normal circumstances, it shouldn’t be relied on each day for passing stool. This wasn’t a normal circumstance, so I decided to take it once a day for three days, then take it every other day for the next few days. After that time, I take it when I go 24 hours without a bowel movement.
I also started doing coffee enemas on the weekends. I never thought I would do one, but I also didn’t think I’d have worms living in my gut, so there’s that. Read more about the coffee enema.
Word of caution: Because magnesium citrate is a saline laxative, the bowels can become dependent on it. This results in ‘lazy bowels’ and can lead to more serious complications. Please talk to your healthcare provider before starting magnesium supplements. Read more.
Mistake #2: Not using a binder
In order for those toxins to be removed out of your gut, they sometimes (a lot of times) need assistance. Sure, the parasites are dying off, but how are they being moved out of your body? Sometimes they go out in your stool, but what if they aren’t? This is where a binder helps by adsorping it.
How I fixed it
I didn’t know about binders until I was half way through my second week of the cleanse. Binders are incredibly useful when going through a detox or cleanse. Binders are explained best on Dr. Jill’s website. They help:
- Remove toxin buildup
- Relieves flatulence
- Induces biofilm removal
- Prevents acute poisonings
Activated charcoal is a great binder and the one I use is Bulletproof Coconut Charcoal. This product uses adsorption meaning it traps the chemicals in the charcoal since it’s a porous substance. Since the charcoal isn’t absorbed by the gut, the charcoal and the toxins are passed out of the body through stool. I take 1 capsule each morning on an empty stomach.
Mistake #3: Not eating enough food
One of the biggest symptoms that I was struggling with (other than sleep), was the loss of appetite. I know there are foods to avoid and foods to consume while doing a parasite cleansing, so I was absolutely certain to avoid those bad foods. However, I was so focused on avoiding those foods, that I didn’t realize I wasn’t eating enough for my body to fight the worms in my gut.
Getting the nourishment I needed, despite the lack of appetite, was essential. Yes, I was feeling fatigued, and there was good reason. My body was fighting off invaders, and I wasn’t giving it enough ammunition and supplies to be victorious in this fight. All of my energy was going into this fight and there was so little leftover for my daily functions such as thinking or even moving.
How I fixed it
Everything was exhausting. I attributed it all to my sleepless nights until a friend came to visit me and pointed out how small I was getting. She said even my eyes looked as though I was sick, and she became concerned to the point of forcing me to eat what she made. (The green smoothie she made had arugula, avocado, cucumber, spinach, flax seeds, chia seeds, octane oil, and unsweetened coconut milk. It tasted horrible, but my energy levels shot upwards and it felt as though my battery was charging. It was incredible. I continue to make that smoothie despite the taste.)
After that low point is when I started to realize my current plight. I needed to keep my body operating in tiptop shape as best as I could in order to get an advantage over these invaders. I hated them in my gut, and it caused so much worry and anxiety for me. Once I got my eating back on track with whole foods, the anxiety decreased and I felt more motivated and determined to win. I was no longer wanting to wave that white flag of defeat.
Mistake #4: Avoiding probiotics
In Katie’s article, Are There Bugs in Your Belly?, she mentions avoiding adding supplements and probiotics until after the cleanse to minimize herxing. I understand why she says it, too. Also, if your body has parasites, leaky gut, or not functioning properly, then it’s going to have some trouble absorbing the good stuff. It made sense to me to add these good supplements and probiotics until after the cleanse when I could better absorb it.
For me, this wasn’t a good idea. I was attacking my parasites aggressively up to this point with multiple doses of apple cider vinegar each day, keeping away foods that ‘feed’, and eating only foods that helped kill those parasites. Yet, it wasn’t enough. My energy was depleted, there was a constant, dull headache, and I wasn’t sleeping at night. I needed help. It was time to bring in the big guns.
Word of caution: Even though apple cider vinegar is good for the body, it can have harmful side effects especially if taken in high doses. Read more about it in Healthline’s article 7 Side Effects of Too Much Apple Cider Vinegar.
How I fixed it
I was killing off the bad bacteria and parasites, but I needed to replenish my gut with good bacteria. My gut flora was off balance, and I needed to restore balance. In order to do this, I added a probiotic to my diet in natural and pill forms.
For foods, I started consuming cultured yogurt (coconut milk based because I cannot have dairy) every other day or so. Remember, added sugars need to be minimized with the parasite cleansing which is why I consumed the yogurt every few days. I also increased my intake of kimchi which is a bonus for me because I love it. Kimchi goes through a fermentation process which results in it being packed with Vitamins A, B, and C. It’s also loaded with good bacteria called lactobacilli that help aid in digestion.
In addition to foods, I take a daily dose of probiotics called Ther-Biotic Women’s Formula by Klaire Labs. This probiotic was recommended by a friend who is a holistic nutritionist, and is adamant about researching products that are meant to be consumed. I fully trust her recommendation. It’s also affordable, so there was no harm in trying it out. Thankfully, it is working and causes zero stomach upset. I take it each evening with dinner.
Word of Caution: Do NOT take probiotics within one hour of taking apple cider vinegar or diatomaceous earth. You WILL get sick and vomit. I did not realize the caution and one night consumed apple cider vinegar and probiotics within an hour. I became extremely ill to the stomach that night, and started to vomit early the next morning. To purge the toxin and stop the vomiting, I took one pill of activated charcoal. For the next 24 hours, I was completely miserable with fatigue, upset stomach, no appetite and weakness.
I recommend avoiding these mistakes when doing a parasite cleansing. Not only will it keep herxing symptoms at bay, but it will help kill off parasites faster and get them out of your body.