What Are the Different Types of Internal Parasites?

Swollen glands, weight loss and fever are signs of liver parasites.
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  • Written By: Helena Reimer
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 31 July 2014
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There are many types of internal parasites, which basically fall into two groups: macro-parasites and micro-parasites. Macro-parasites, such as tapeworms, roundworms and flukes, are visible, but micro-parasites, such as viruses, bacteria and fungi, can be seen only with a microscope. Both of these can travel to different areas, or they can remain in a specific area of the body. Parasites can affect bodily organs, bone marrow and other areas of the body where they draw nutrients from the host, causing sickness and even death if not treated in time.

A colon parasite such as the Dientamoeba fragilis makes its home in the colon, and it draws its nutrients from there. Other internal parasites that affect the colon and the digestive tract are the roundworms such as the pinworms, hookworms and whipworms. The eggs of these parasites are ingested, and once they are hatched, they can contribute to weight loss, diarrhea, bloody stools, abdominal pain and weakness. A common stomach parasite is the Giardia lamblia, which is contracted from contaminated food or water and can cause similar symptoms as the stomach flu such as diarrhea, nausea and abdominal pain. Other intestinal parasites include the Entamoeba histolytica, blastocystis, cryptosporidium and the Isospora belli.


Toxoplasma gondii is a brain parasite that commonly affects the brain as well as the muscles, heart, liver and eyes. The parasite is ingested and circulates the body through the bloodstream. Other internal parasites that affect the brain include Taenia solium, naegleria, acanthamoeba and schistosoma and other blood flukes. Brain parasites can cause flu-like symptoms, inflammation in the brain, fever, headache, mental confusion, seizures and hallucinations.

Liver parasites, also known as liver flukes, commonly reside in the liver but can infect other areas as well. They are ingested from contaminated foods such as fish and all other types of meat as well as from water plants and vegetables. Symptoms resulting from liver parasites include an enlarged spleen and liver, weight loss, fever and swollen glands.

There are several approaches to treating internal parasites such, as doing a parasite cleanse or using anti-parasitic drugs. Parasite cleansing kits generally are designed to target specific areas, such as the colon, liver and blood, as well as other areas where the parasites reside. A healthy diet that consists of high-fiber fruits and vegetables, garlic and other herbs is also beneficial for getting rid of internal parasites.


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