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Parasites - A Piece of the Autism Puzzle?

Parasites are something I hadn’t thought of before, certainly not in terms of affecting behaviour. Well nothing more than the general itchy bum prompting for the once a year treat the whole family with Combantrin. But there is more to the story, and for some it is a lot harder to get rid of in a once off dose. In many Autism Bio Medical Protocols, yeast is targeted, with great results (especially for our son), but when I started reading about the effects that parasites can have on a weak immune system, a lot of things started to fit together. I have never had much success with giving my son vitamins and certain minerals. He becomes very emotional and hyper on most supplements. Parasites feed on the things you put into your mouth, competing and growing stronger, so I'm glad that I have spent all that money feeding parasites! NOT

When there is parasitic attack, the symptoms like diarrhoea, constipation, gas, bloating, cramps, rectal itching, skin problems (dermatitis), lethargy, bad sleep, muscle cramps, joints pain, and post nasal drip, poor immune response, joint and muscle aches, anaemia, irritable bowel syndrome, fever, weight loss, chronic fatigue etc are common. They can deplete the body nutrients such as vitamin A, B6, B12, potassium, calcium, and magnesium; which can lead to severe illness. Symptoms can also be manifested in other ways like stomach pain, indigestion, psoriasis, swelling, anaemia, drowsiness after meal (parasite may be competing with the body for nutrients) and rashes. (ref:)

Shocking I know… Does this sound like your child?

I found the following article that I would like to share with you that explains it in relation to Autism

Parasites: Why Some with Autism Are Not Recovering

By Cindy Griffin, Lindyl Lanham, & Julie Adams

Recent experience with clients who were “non-responders” to the best biomedical treatments made us think that maybe we had missed something. Could parasites be the surprising answer?

What are parasites? Any living creature that lives off of another living creature, consuming its nutrition, and ultimately harming it in the process, is called a parasite. Parasites come in many different forms. Bacterial parasites, like Giardia and Cryptosporidia, are responsible for severe diarrhoea. Others are intracellular single-cell varieties, such as those that cause Lyme disease and malaria, and larger types such as liver flukes and tapeworms.

Some parasites lay eggs (tens of thousands per day from a tapeworm or fluke) and others, microscopic single cell parasites, reproduce through cell splitting. Each type requires a slightly different approach to achieve elimination.

How do people get parasites? They are everywhere and largely unavoidable. Most come from oral or direct cross-contamination from soil, faeces, urine, or saliva, including mouthing of toys in children, sandboxes, diaper changing tables, toilets, shopping carts, food preparation utensils, and countertops. We may even be born with them. Some spread through the air, through insect bites, if the insect is a carrier, and through our food.

Lean meat is the most common food source. Pork, beef, fish, chicken, all contain parasites (not found in the USDA inspections!).

Pork is the most dangerous, because the tissue of pigs is so similar to that of humans that anything that thrives in them also thrives well in us. Produce may either contain parasites or carry them on the surface from the air, soil, water, insects, or animals that graze nearby. Watercress is frequently contaminated with a parasite linked to seizures.

What are the symptoms of parasites? Most people have few if any signs of parasites. Why? Because symptoms like unsociable behaviours or sleepless nights at the full moon are subtle. More obvious are immune system weaknesses. Parasites are very opportunistic and thrive when the immune system is stressed and can’t fight them off. The inflamed gut, a welcome mat for parasites, and a compromised immune system, classic hallmarks of autism, drew our attention to parasites.

Parasites can produce very bizarre, unpredictable aggressive, angry behaviours in their hosts, many of which are classic autism.


  • Faecal retention and/or smearing
  • Rectal itching, digging
  • Aggression
  • Nail biting
  • Mouthing of articles/fingers/hands
  • Playing with saliva and/or genitals (stimming)
  • Bruxism or grinding of teeth
  • Pica or eating dirt and indigestible items
  • Insomnia
  • Hand-flapping
  • Prolonged straining at stool
  • Urination/defecation outside toilet, though toilet trained
  • Enuresis in older children
  • Chronic diarrhoea
  • Bizarre facial expressions, behaviours,
  • worsening during full moon
  • Seizures
  • Obsessions and compulsions
  • Anxiety over change
  • Poor response to intensive biomedical and alternative treatments

Should I test for parasites? Probably not. Many parasite specialists agree that laboratory testing is imperfect and often misleading. Labs test for only 40 or 50 out of literally thousands of varieties of parasites; false negatives are common.

Treatment Options

Who - Find a good professional who understands how complicated parasite removal is. Practitioners must recognize that a certain degree of gut health is necessary before beginning. They must then observe a specific order of elimination. The goal is not just eliminating parasites. Because parasite removal is a taxing event as the body excretes them and their by-products, simultaneous support of detoxification pathways and boosting the immune system is as important as fighting off the offenders.

What - Pharmaceutical drugs alone are rarely successful, as many parasites have become resistant to these pesticides, and long-term use could kill not only the parasites, but also the host. Herbs combined with homeopathy are the healthiest means of elimination of parasites. Homeopathy can stimulate detoxification pathways and “keep things moving,” while the herbs create an unhealthy chemical environment for the parasites.

How – Deal with the larger parasites like worms and flukes first before the microscopic, single-cell, and intracellular parasites, like amoebas and protazoa, so that the larger ones don’t create “knots” or blockages in tissues.


Behaviours often worsen before they get better. Regressions are signs that parasites are actually present and in death throes. As these bugs try to replenish their numbers, parents may observe bizarre behaviours, such as eating dirt.

Do not undertake a parasite cleanse for children with autism spectrum disorders without the guidance of a knowledgeable practitioner. Many children can become volatile and aggressive.

If they are dangerously immune compromised, and do not have adequate support, major problems with diarrhoea could occur. Do not undertake treatment without supervision for children with seizure disorders, as treatment could cause seizures to worsen temporarily or launch a major seizure event.

Parasite removal can take four to nine months, sometimes longer. Be patient, and don’t stop even though symptoms lessen or disappear.


To learn more about parasites, read ‘Guess What Came to Dinner?’ by Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., an Idaho nutritionist. Ask your health care professional if parasites might be contributing to your family’s health problems. Cindy Griffin, Lindyl Lanham, and Julie Adams are professional homeopaths. Their practice, Homeopathy Center of Houston, provides a drug-free alternative for healing autism and developmental disorders. They host the Yahoo! Group “Homeopathy-ADDthruAutism.”


Last modified on Sunday, 08 July 2012 22:25

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