Parasites that Cause IBS Symptoms

IBS has symptoms that overlap with common many intestinal parasite infections. But, few IBS patients are given comprehensive parasite testing.

That’s because in the USA, most doctors consider parasites a 3rd world problem…found only in countries with poor sanitation practices. But, for people with digestive issues or poor immunity, native USA parasites can infect you and cause serious health problems. Also, fruit and vegetables imported from 3rd world countries carry foreign parasites.

Parasites That Cause You IBS Symptoms

To back up the claim that IBS and parasites infections have overlapping symptoms, here is a partial list of parasites found in the USA that cause IBS-like issues:

Entamoeba Hystolytica

This organism typically impacts upwards of 50 million people per year on a worldwide scale and usually infiltrates fruits and vegetables grown in third world nations. Symptoms include:

  • loose stools
  • stomach pain
  • stomach cramping

Cryptosporidium

Cryptosporidium can be found in city water supplies, or untreated water. IBS-like infections symptoms can be:

  • Stomach cramps or pain
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

Giardiasis

This organism thrives in the small intestines of human subjects and is usually contracted through the consumption of contaminated food or water. Infection can also take place through person to person contact. Symptoms include:

  • Watery, sometimes foul-smelling diarrhea that may alternate with soft, greasy stools
  • Abdominal cramps and bloating
  • Fatigue or malaise
  • Gas or flatulence
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea

Intestinal Trematodes

Also known as intestinal flukes. These parasites are often contracted through the consumption of infected seafood (read: sushi) and vegetables. IBS-like sympotoms include:

  • loose stools (sometimes greenish-yellow, smelly)
  • nausea and vomiting
  • some weight loss
  • stomach pain

The Symptoms Of IBS

The manifestations of Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be common to certain other digestive tract disorders as well. Such symptoms can include:

Diarrhea

Typically, this ailment is categorized by those afflicted experiencing at least three, but in most cases, several additional loose, watery stools per day. If the condition is severe enough, a sufferer might lose enough fluids and electrolytes to necessitate prompt medical treatment for dehydration.

Constipation

The opposite condition of diarrhea, this symptom occurs when those afflicted pass less than three stools per week or experience pain or difficulty when attempting to discard feces.

Cramps

These usually mild to moderate bursts of pain can be felt at different points in an affected individual’s abdominal region.

Gas

Categorized by excess stomach acid, this symptom often manifests in loud rumbling and gurgling as the acid circulates throughout the impacted person’s digestive system. Gas is usually also accompanied by either diarrhea or constipation and cramps.

Bloating

This problem often presents itself as swelling in the abdominal area. In addition, those impacted might complain of feeling an unusual sensation of heaviness and fullness. Like gas, bloating can be accompanied by other gastrointestinal manifestations like diarrhea, constipation and cramps.

Less Common Symptoms

In addition to the aforementioned digestive issues, IBS sufferers might also experience symptoms such as:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle Aches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Belching

Sources

  1. https://reference.medscape.com/features/slideshow/intestinal-parasites#page=9
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/giardiasis
  3. http://ibstreatmentcenter.com/ibs/intestinal-bacteria-yeast-candida-and-parasites/parasites
  4. https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/amebiasis-overview