Gather around kids, I’m getting real and raw and totally gross today because we’re going to discuss what a parasite cleanse is REALLY like. I’m going to share my own journey in graphic detail (no photos though so don’t worry!) and help you to get emotionally prepared about what to expect if you are in the middle of a parasite cleanse or are thinking about starting one. The side effects and die-off are not for the faint of heart. But if you have any kind of chronic illness, ridding your body of parasites is going to be one of the key tenants of healing. Are you ready?
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What a Parasite Cleanse is REALLY Like
I like the Oxford Dictionary’s definition of parasite the best, “An organism that lives in or on an organism of another species (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other’s expense.” The word parasite has it’s origins in Mid 16th century via Latin from Greek parasitos – a person eating at another’s table. Para = alongside and Sitos = food.
Before you start reading this article, if you want a 101-style article about parasites, I recommend reading Parasites in America are (Not) a Fluke – What’s in Your Colon?
This article covers a lot of information, including:
- A real-life look at the before and after of a parasite cleanse
- How long before a parasite cleanse works
- How to know if a parasite cleanse is working
- How to remove parasites
- Is a parasite scary (umm… kinda?)
- What does it feel like to pass a parasite
- What to expect in a parasite cleanse
- Parasite cleanse side effects, die-off symptoms, and Herxheimer symptoms
- Details about Mimosa Pudica during a parasite cleanse
- A parasite cleanse review for Microbe Formulas.
My Journey with Parasites
Being in a place of chronic illness and especially fatigue from cancer and autoimmune disease, I was pretty desperate to try anything to be healthy again. I had learned about parasite cleanses and thought it might be something to try. “Better out than in,” as Shrek says, right?
For about a year, I took some herbs before and during the full moon to expel the parasites when they are the most active. The first parasites that I expelled were liver flukes. I almost threw up. To see these dead critters in your toilet… there are no words to describe how disgusting it is. But after that, the more I expelled, the happier I was that they were out. The squeamishness stopped and it was no more or less emotional than having your daily BM.
And then I passed a few worms. Seeing these small pinworms in the toilet grossed me out all over again. I would take a deep breath and kept repeating the wise sage from Shrek. “Better out than in. Better out than in.”
I worked with Dr. Jay Davidson and Dr. Todd Watts on several projects, including the Mystery Symptom Master Class and knew that I needed to begin their protocol. Little did I know what I was in for! I had already been a huge fan of the Mimosa Pudica Seed in combatting parasites, but I decided to dive into their full protocol of healing.
For the most part, the main symptoms that I experienced were cramping, GI distress, and diarrhea. Manageable and tolerable… all things considered.
One of the more noteworthy two weeks of my life was due to an epic parasite expulsion. I started seeing more and more pinworms in the toilet. Then one night, I was doubled over in pain for several hours. My stomach swelled so much it looked like I was 7 months pregnant. The next morning, it was like parasite palooza in the toilet. And they kept coming.
Several days later, I had a meltdown of epic proportion. I’m normally pretty calm and reserved, but this felt like alien invaders had taken over my body. Which, I guess they did. I learned that the toxins from the die-off can include severe mood swings too. Wow.
Oh and not to mention nights of insomnia and days of feeling like I have the flu. These critters are relentless not just while they are alive, but also when they die.
The journey to optimal health isn’t always pretty. I’m not only committed to finding that place on my own, but also sharing my experiences to give you the education, information, resources, and inspiration to not give up hope.
What Will I See?
You may never see anything. According to the doctors at Microbe Formulas, “70% of parasites are completely microscopic, meaning even if you’re killing them off during your cleanse, you won’t see them on the way out.” (source)
For the remaining 30%, get emotionally prepared for some serious grossness in your toilet. The first passing was traumatic seeing everything come out of my body. It got easier over time. And just when I thought I cornered the market on standing strong through the “ick factor,” something new would appear in the toilet and I would throw up just a wee bit in my mouth. Better out than in. Better out than in. Better out than in.
Liver flukes are more almond-shaped. The rest of them are various types of worms and will vary in size from a few centimeters to a few inches to even several feet. I promised no photos in this article. Google images will give you more than your share of what to expect. Feel free to search for liver flukes, tapeworms, pinworms, roundworms, and more. And not while you are eating lunch. Just saying.
What’s it Like to Pass a Large Worm?
From start to finish, I was on the Microbe Formulas Protocol for about 9 months. I believe in the effectiveness of the protocol so much that I know I’ll be in maintenance with them for a very long time going forward. But during the entire time through the phases, I never passed a large worm. The toilet was constantly full of pinworms, liver flukes, and all kinds of pieces and particles and random grossness.
But I never passed a large worm.
Be careful what you wish for! I knew that there was something bigger inside and I jokingly called “the big worm” Hans Gruber (remember the bad guy from Die Hard – Yippeekiyaymotherf*cker).
In my maintenance mode, I take Mimosa Pudica during full moons. It’s always good to get at the rest of the buggers when they are most active. After almost a year from starting the protocol, I finally passed a large worm. The grossness is real. If you wanna know what it’s like… read the next paragraph. If you want to keep the blinders on, skip to the next section.
The day that it passed, I had passed a solid, respectable BM. But when I wiped, something was off. It wasn’t getting clean, and it felt like there was a piece of poo that was stuck. After several attempts, I realized it wasn’t poo. I grabbed a fresh wad of TP, grabbed onto the (dead) worm and pulled it out. My guesstimate as I stared at it in the toilet, trying to keep myself from vomiting from how disgusting I felt… was about 8 inches. There are no words to prepare you for how gross it feels. Better out than in. Better out than in.
I also felt like I had the flu for 2-3 days before, during, and after, due to the die-off toxins.
What are the Die-Off and Side Effects?
When parasites die, they “release neurotoxins, heavy metals, viruses, and other toxins, which enter into the interstitial fluid that surrounds the tissue cells. These toxins then travel to the lymphatic system, which helps filter your body’s waste. Next, they head to the spleen, lymph nodes, or liver to be further filtered, and then sent to other drainage organs (like your kidneys, bladder, colon, or even your breath and skin).” (source)
Die-off symptoms can range from mild to severe. I feel like I’ve experienced them all, as described above.
According to the doctors at Microbe Formulas, some of the top die-off effects include:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Mood swings
- Food cravings
- Digestive issues
- Trouble sleeping
You can visit Microbe Formulas for more scientific information on how parasites die and what the die-off reactions are.
Dog Butt Scoots
Ahhh… lest I not forget talking about the dog butt scoots.
When parasites are active, they come out of your butt and lay eggs, and this may be a reason why you have an itchy butt area, especially at night. There have been several nights that this literally kept me awake all night it was so uncomfortable.
Fortunately, I have an understanding Hubby whose main mission in life is to make me laugh. He said that I should be scooting across the carpet like a dog does when it has worms or when it’s butt itches.
I will not confirm nor deny if I did the dog butt scoot across the carpet to relieve the itching. #dontknockituntilyouvetriedit #justkidding #kinda
Your Parasite Cleanse Comfort Kit
You will be spending a lot of time in the bathroom – library – throne – WC during a parasite cleanse. Instead of dreading it, make the most of it. Set up a comfort kit of your favorite and necessary items and make the most of it. Here’s what I recommend:
- Lots of toilet paper. Seriously. Like… go to COSTCO and stock up.
- Some Poop-Pourri to spray (trust me on that one).
- A good book.
- Your tablet or phone.
- A stand for your tablet or phone.
- Cleaning wipes for the toilet (some of the explosions get messy).
- Rubber or latex gloves (just in case – see paper towels below).
- Chopsticks or something similar if you want to fish anything out of the toilet.
- A Gratitude Builds Fortitude Journal to keep track of your movements.
- If you are passing longer worms, you may want some paper towels to put them on and take pictures. Totally optional. Is there such a thing as parasite glamour shots?
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Love, hugs, and better out than in.