Unfortunately it is rather hard to identify parasites. Some of the signs include: general weakness, cravings for burned food, dirt, or even sugar, emaciation (especially with worms), or excessive appetite. Even bodily upsets that have come to be categorized under different names can be signs of parasitic infection, for example irritable bowel syndrome.
The generic symptoms are exasperated by the fact that many western doctors consider parasite to be a “tropical” disease, and dismiss the notion without full consideration or testing. If you have serious symptoms that won’t go away, finding a doctor that will consider the possibility of exposure to parasites and give a laboratory test for them is essential, but be wary of "healers" by many names who parasitize on people’s fears and suggest excessive testing and treatment for large profits. Be sensible with your health! Be informed and find a sensible doctor!
Excess mucus in the body can create a great environment for parasites to thrive. Large amounts of refined foods (such as white sugar and white flour), lack of exercise, excessive amounts of animal products (like meat, eggs, and dairy), being overweight, and even living in a very damp climate can produce excess mucus in the system. A healthy mucus coating is essential to the digestive tract, but when this mucus becomes too thick and heavy it becomes unhealthy.
There are a great number of herbal, nutritional, and chemical remedies for parasites. Some of them work, some of them don’t, and some of them get rid of the parasites but cause more harm to your body than good. It is very important to be wise when choosing a remedy or preventative. On of the simplest cures is prevention!
While traveling, especially in tropical climates where parasites thrive, be wary of fresh food. Of course fresh food is healthful and it is also delicious, but it can also carry the bad little buggies that none of us want. Taking precautions that you would take to prevent “Montezuma’s Revenges” (AKA traveler’s diarrhea) will also help prevent parasites.
Eat well-cooked foods, and limit fresh fruits and vegetables to those you can thoroughly wash AND peel. Also be careful of water. While you want to immerse yourself in a culture, you should not immerse yourself in the water without precaution, especially in rural areas. Boil water before consuming in rural areas, purchase bottled water if this is realistic, or take a mild anti-microbial, like grapefruit seed extract.
If you suspect you suffer from intestinal parasites find a doctor who is wiling to hear you out. Get some thorough laboratory tests done (this usually means taking stool samples on multiple days). If you want to cleanse yourself try the simplest methods first. Eating a diet completely free of refined foods will often be enough to rid yourself of any unwanted beasties inside of you. Parasites thrive in an environment where they are given free, easy to digest food; this means refined sugars and flours and other processed foods. Stick to a diet of whole grains for three weeks.
You can supplement this with herbal remedies intended to rid the body of parasites, but be wary of unknown brands selling expensive formulas. Shop at a store you trust, and try to find a brand of supplements you know and trust. If you follow a strict whole grain diet and consume herbs such as ginger and also eat pumpkin seeds (known by native Americans to prevent and dispel parasites), you should be digesting easy in now time.