Risk factors for intestinal parasites include living in or visiting an area known to have parasites, poor sanitation, poor hygiene, exposure to child and institutional care centers, and having a weakened immune system.
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Elena Klimenko, MD, is board-certified in internal medicine, licensed in medical acupuncture, and a certified functional medicine practitioner. Since 2007, she's been in private practice in New York City.
Housepets are another major source of parasites. Many owners don't realize that after petting their pets, they should wash their hands. Pets have particular grooming habits that often involve licking their fur. Many times, parasites and their eggs will be on the fur.
A natural remedy that shows promise is pumpkin seeds, which have been found to be high in amino acids, fatty acids, and the compounds berberine, cucurbitine, and palatine.
If you think you might have intestinal parasites, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your doctor may order testing (including stool testing), prescribe treatment, and recommend preventative measures. After treatment, your doctor will likely order fecal testing to be sure that the parasites are gone.