patient frustrated that she can't get a parasite test

How to Ask Your Doctor for Parasite Testing

Some of our clients test with Parasites.org because they couldn’t get parasite testing from their doctor. I know doctors are here to help us…so why won’t they give you the test that you ask for?

I’m going to share my best guesses on why your medical doctor may not test you for parasites, even when you ask.

I will also share how to better approach the issue so you are more likely to get the testing you think is justified.

These guesses are based on speaking with, a doctor, our testing clients…and sometimes successfully helping clients better communicate with their doctors and getting additional testing.

5 Reasons Why Your Doc May Refuse A Parasite Test

I think there are 5 types of reasons why a doctor may not test you for parasites.

  1. Emotional Asking
  2. Unfocused Complaints
  3. Weak Justification
  4. Prioritization
  5. Direct Experience

Now I’m going to get into each of these types of questions, and how you can avoid making these types of mistakes with your doctor.

patient getting mad because she can't get a parasite test

1. Emotional Asking

Sometimes, a patient tries to tell the doctor what to do, without listening to the doctor. It could come off that you’re demanding a parasite test, rather than exploring if it could be justified. Other times, a patient may be emotional and anxious when asking. Even though you’re justifiably worried about your health…from the doctor’s perspective, you could sound too emotional, or not emotionally in control. In some cases, this may cause a doctor to suspect delusional parasitosis.

The key is to be respectful and calm when asking for a parasite test. Honor your doctor’s expertise, and be open to what they say, even if you don’t agree with it.

An example of this could be..”Hey Dr. X, I know this is a strange question…but do you think there’s a small chance I could have parasites? I’m not trying to be that patient who Googles everything, but maybe I match a few symptoms of this common gut parasite with symptoms X and Y? Sorry for this weird question, I know how busy you are.”

2. Unfocused Complaints

I briefly chatted with Dr. Christine Traxler about this problem our clients are having, and she pointed out that I was missing a reason – here’s what Dr. Traxler wrote to me:

“Often, if a person comes in and only comes in for parasite symptoms, their chances of getting the test are greater. Things that are tacked onto other visits with an "Oh by the way…" are less likely to get addressed. In other words, it helps to come in with that complaint alone.” “The point is that the doctor can justify the test more if they have nothing else to say the visit was about”

So if you want to maximize the chances of getting a parasite test, just ask for the parasite test, and try not to muddle the appointment with other issues.

3. Weak Justification

Your doctor may have to justify a parasite test to insurance, and may not be able to with your current symptoms. You may not have clinical symptoms that match a parasite infection.

A weak justification objection from your doctor is more difficult to overcome. If you don’t have parasite symptoms, and they order a parasite test, the doctor’s job could be on the line.

To justify a parasite exam, your doctor may need to refer you to a specialist in other cases.

telling doctor what to do

4. Prioritization

The doctor could judges other problems to be a higher priority, and should be addressed first. Even if parasites can affect quality of life, they aren’t life threatening (except possibly in a severely immunocompromised AIDs patient).

I don’t know of any common USA parasites that are as dangerous as heart disease, or uncontrolled intestinal bleeding. So other issues may need to be addressed first, before getting to a parasite issue.

5. Limited Direct Experience

Some doctors may not have encountered parasite infections in their patients. So they may think parasite testing is unjustified. But I’ve also heard second hand that some doctors believe parasites don’t exist in America.

Compared to 130 years ago, parasites are a much smaller problem. But since the CDC still publishes information about about parasite outbreaks, parasites are obviously still slithering around.

Working through this objection form a doctor can be delicate and difficult. You can try presenting CDC information about parasites in a respectful way. But you don’t want to beat down your doctor with facts, and make your doctor wrong…that behavior can sour your relationship with the doctor.

One option is to humbly say “I found this CDC information interesting…may I ask you if there’s any chance it could apply to my health situation?”

If none of those approaches work, it may also make sense to work with another local doctor.

Precise Parasite Home Test Kit

At-Home Parasite Testing Option

If your doctor is unable to justify testing you for parasites, you can always use our at home parasite test. Our test doesn’t require doctors approval, and you can take it from the privacy of your own home.

Conclusion

The keys to requesting parasite testing from your doctor come down to soft, interpersonal skills.

  • staying clam and rational
  • building a relationship
  • listing to your doctor
  • letting your doctor influence you
  • understanding where your doc is coming from
  • having focused justification

If you have a strong relationship with your doctor, then they’re more likely to take act on your request. But if you have a weak relationship with your doctor, they’re unlikely to stick their neck out to try to justify a non-mainstream test.

Hopefully this article helps you build a better relationship with your doctor, so you can get the parasite testing that you think is justified.

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