Intestinal Parasites are microscopic parasites that have been ingested and have remained in the gut. They can cause a variety of non specific symptoms, such as IBS like symptoms, fatigue, intolerances and so on. Treatment of parasites is still controversial, however some patients with these infections do develop symptoms and treatment may be required. This will be determined after a consult and further investigations.
Parasite treatment begins with identification of the parasite. Once diagnosed, targeted and specialised treatment is administered, this may be oral or it may be by way of a colonoscopy. Treatment has a high rate of success and the majority of patients return for their follow up appointment sighting significant improvements in only a short time. Some symptoms do take longer to dissipate, but with targeted and accurate treatment, most patients should expect a full recovery from these infections.
Our qualified specialists have diagnosed and treated a significant number of patients with parasites and whilst there is treatment available, it is always best to take precaution to avoid parasites altogether.
Prevention is always better than cure! Parasites that inhibit the gut are microscopic, so avoiding them can be difficult, however having awareness and taking these precautions can significantly reduce your chances of ingesting and being affected by parasites.
- Wash your hands – especially after going to the toilet and before touching food
- Drink filtered water – tap water in Australia is generally safe, however if you have tank water, boil it before drinking
- Avoid raw meats – always ensure chicken is fully cooked
When travelling overseas, extra precaution needs to be taken as many countries do not have the water and food safety standards that Australia is lucky enough to have.
- Drink bottled water (or boil it) – even for washing teeth and rinsing the brush and your mouth
- Avoid ice in drinks (this has as high a risk as water)
- Only eat fully cooked foods
- Avoid raw foods and salads (banana is a safe fruit, if sealed)
- Avoid swimming in unclean water
If you feel unusual symptoms in your gut that haven’t subsided within 24 hours, please see your doctor / GP for tests – and in the case where symptoms persist or are undiagnosed, please obtain a referral to see any of our specialists.
To make an appointment with our specialists, you can contact us or send a request via our online booking form.
There are a few ways a person can get an intestinal parasite:
- Drinking contaminated water
- Eating undercooked meat from an animal that had the parasite
- Contact with infected stools
- Unsanitary surroundings
- Poor personal hygiene
These are some common symptoms of an intestinal parasitic infection:
- Abdominal bloating
- Weight loss
- Rash in the rectal area
- The appearance of worms in the stoo
Leaving an intestinal parasitic infection untreated could lead to complications like intestinal blockages and anaemia. Pregnant women, elderly people and people with immune disorders are most at risk.
Usually, an intestinal parasitic infection can last between four to six weeks.