Harmful organisms are abundant in the environment, and your colon provides the ideal environment to host these dangerous organisms. There are so many varieties of bacteria and worms and viruses that it's impossible to avoid all of them. Still, you can take measures to reduce your risks. From basic hygiene to lifestyle changes, simple practices can help protect yourself and your family.
Even in our industrialized culture, we're not rid of intestinal invaders that infect and infest the intestinal tract. These infestations are harmful and cause a great deal of damage. Once they dig in, they attach themselves to the lining and siphon off valuable nutrients while excreting waste and harmful toxins. Many of these invaders are silently present. If you think that you can't become infected because you live in a clean, civilized, industrial country, or because you don't feel anything, consider this: it's estimated many people are infected with these organisms and don't even know it. Do you experience any of the following symptoms?
- Abdominal discomfort
- Chronically weakened immune Ssystem
- Colon cancer
Intestinal invaders can mimic many illnesses and are a threat to the intestinal tract when they move in. They sustain themselves by leeching nutrients from your body, and they excrete harmful toxic waste materials. The list of harmful invaders we'll review are Giardia, Toxoplasma, Cyclospora, Tapeworms, Roundworms/Pinworms, Hookworms, Trichinella, Intestinal fluke, Liver fluke, Candida, E-Coli, Clostridium, and Salmonella.
Giardia lamblia is a single-celled organism that can multiply into the millions before being ejected. They move through the small intestine. The hard protective cyst that forms around the organism and its eggs interferes with your digestion of lipids, and prevent necessary fat-soluble nutrients from being absorbed. The infection it causes is Giardiasis. It is the most common invader and the reason for 25 percent of the diarrhea cases in the United States and is not easily detected.
Symptoms of this infection include severe diarrhea, bloating, gas, abdominal cramping, weight loss, greasy bowel movements, and dehydration. The cysts are passed through feces and can live outside a host body for several months where they will lie in wait for their next host either by way of ingestion or contact with fecal matter. Daycare centers and other communal settings are at much higher risk of passing around this organism that lives on feces. Also at risk are international travelers, people who swim in lakes, streams, and rivers, and those who drink contaminated water.
Another single-celled organism, this invader will live in the intestinal tract and cause toxoplasmosis. Usually, it enters the body in contaminated meat, or when you come in contact with cat feces in the garden or cleaning the litter box. If a pregnant woman passes it on to her unborn child, major disorders of the nervous system, mental retardation, or heart or eye damage can develop. If this invader is picked up by a healthy person with a strong immune system, then there may be no symptoms. However, a person with a weakened immune system may be greatly affected.
Another common, single-celled organism, Cyclospora cayetanensis infects the bowels. It's contracted by ingesting contaminated food or water, or contact with feces. They make their way to the intestinal tract. They grow and multiply exponentially. Ultimately, the invaders' eggs are excreted in the host's waste. Symptoms include diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, bloating, gas, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, fever and muscle aches.
Worms That Invade the Colon
These usually come from eating undercooked pork, beef or fish. In the U.S., beef is the most common source because so many cows eat infested food and water. When the livestock eats the organism, they penetrate the intestinal lining and travel to the bloodstream and finally into the muscle tissue where it is eaten by people. Once in humans, they attach themselves to the intestinal lining to feed, mature and multiply. Symptoms of infection include diarrhea, abdominal cramping, nausea, and severe appetite changes. Damage can spread to other organs and cause diseases such as Cysticercosis, and Alveolar-Hydatid Disease in children.
Roundworms & Pinworms
Did you know that there are more than 20,000 different species of roundworms? Some 15,000 of them live by sucking nutrients from hosts and more than 1.5 billion people are infected with some form of roundworm. Roundworms are the most common harmful organism on the planet, but pinworms are the most common in the United States.
Pinworms are small white intestinal invaders and it is believed they may specifically target humans. Pinworm eggs move along the small intestine where they hatch and mature. Adult pinworms travel to the colon where they can live for several months. Symptoms of pinworm infestation include anal itchiness, insomnia, and poor appetite. Because the eggs are laid around the anus and it's itchy, the re-infestation in children can repeatedly recur when the child scratches and then transfers them to their mouths on unclean hands. Pinworms can live for as long as two weeks outside the body. And if someone touches a contaminated surface and puts unclean hands in the mouth, it's very likely they may become infected.
These creatures can penetrate human skin. For this reason, walking barefoot outdoors in high-risk areas poses a serious threat. High-risk areas include areas where animal feces is frequently found. Hookworms travel to and make their home in the intestine, where they attach and siphon blood to survive.
Symptoms of hookworm infestation include stomach pain, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, bloody stool, gas, itchy skin, fever, and fatigue. These organisms can survive as long as ten years in their hosts. Prolonged infections can lead to serious symptoms such as iron deficiency because of the blood they drink. The infection can also lead to heart concerns.
The disease trichinosis is the disease you can get from this worm. Ailments resulting from trichinosis infection include muscle soreness, fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, edema of the lips and face, difficulty breathing, difficulty speaking, enlarged lymph glands, fatigue, and dehydration. You usually can pick up this worm by eating raw or undercooked pork. The greater risk occurs in areas where pigs are fed raw animal carcasses. Like tapeworms, these settle into the muscle tissues of animals and once ingested by humans, they grow to maturity.
Flukes, Fasciolopsis buski, live in the upper part of the small intestine. Adult worms produce 25,000 eggs daily. World travel and importation of contaminated food has seen the infection rapidly becoming a worldwide concern. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, allergies, nausea, vomiting, and intestinal ulcers. They can pass from human to human through the exchange of bodily fluids during intimate activities like breastfeeding and intercourse.
There are many different forms of liver flukes with the most popular being sheep liver flukes (Fasciola hepatica) and human liver flukes (Clonorchis sinensis). Dr. Hulda Clark's research indicates that these two most commonly cause infections in humans. Symptoms resulting from these liver flukes infestations include general fatigue, intermittent fever, mild jaundice, and pain on the right side of the abdomen below the ribs.
Candida in small amounts is a good thing since it limits the growth of harmful bacteria. Candida albicans is a yeast fungus that naturally inhabits the body. The majority of this fungus (90 percent) resides in the mouth and intestinal tract.
When Candida grows out of control, it becomes a major concern. Some things that can change the balance include taking birth control pills, prescription antibiotics, including poor diet, alcohol and soft drink consumption. Excessive Candida sustains itself using starches and sugars from the digestive tract. The waste that it produces is toxic. The symptoms that it causes are varied and often confused with other disorders.
Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth
- Abdominal discomfort
- Decreased sex drive
- Hair loss
- Inability to think clearly
- Itchy eyes
- Menstrual irregularities
- Muscle & joint discomfort
- Sinus drainage
- Skin rashes
- Toenail & fingernail fungus
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Weight changes
What Bacteria & Viruses Are Toxic to My Colon?
Billions of bacteria inhabit a baby's colon shortly after it is born. They help to digest nutrients and convert starches into useful fatty acids and other energy. These are called good bacteria. They also keep harmful bacteria in check. Some harmful bacteria like Escherichia coli (E.coli) and Clostridia putrefy meat inside the large intestine. People at risk are those who consume large quantities of meat along with considerably less fiber than they should get to process this meat out of their bodies. This increases the risk of colon cancer.
What Happens When E. coli Infests the Colon?
Most strains of the E. coli bacteria are rather harmless. There are E. coli strains, however, which are extremely harmful. Some of the things they can cause are kidney failure and Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome in children. This bacterial infestation can result from ingesting undercooked ground beef and drinking contaminated water. The waste that this organism excretes is toxic to humans. It inflames the intestinal tract, which damages the bowel lining. Symptoms of the E. coli infestation include bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting.
How Does Clostridium Infect My Colon?
Clostridium difficile is increasing in occurrences as a result of the increase in the use of antimicrobial medications and residence in hospitals. This organism, referred to as C. difficile, causes of millions of cases of diarrhea and colon inflammation annually. The antibiotics that people take affect the flora that the body requires along with the bad stuff it's supposed to get rid of.
A decrease in beneficial flora means less guarding against C. difficile. C. difficile can be contracted from fecal matter or contaminated surfaces since it can live independently of a host for up to 70 days. In hospitals, it is found on bedding and toilets. With severe infection from C. difficile, you will often see ailments such as septicemia, renal failure, pneumonia, urinary tract infection, and anemia. Foul-smelling or bloody stools and abdominal cramps are possible as well.
What Happens When Salmonella Infects My Colon?
Humans are infected by salmonella bacteria when then ingest food and water contaminated with feces. This means that you can get it from public eateries, not just at home from using less-than-healthy preparation practices of meat and eggs.
Foods That May Contain Salmonella
- Fish, shrimp, & frog legs
- Non-pasteurized milk & dairy
- Anything containing raw egg
- Peanut butter
- Raw or undercooked meats and poultry
- Sauces and salad dressing
- Uncooked cookie dough
- Hollandaise sauce with raw egg
This type of bacteria can cause typhoid fever and intestinal infections. Symptoms from infestation manifest from 6 to 48 hours after ingestion. According to the Center for Disease Control, it is one of the leading causes of gastroenteritis in the nation. Indications that you have this can include a headache, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting.
Diarrhea from salmonella poisoning can be severe enough to cause extreme dehydration requiring hospitalization along with inflammation of the intestinal wall. Even more serious issues are possible but that is usually seen only in small children, elderly and people with weakened immune systems. The bacteria can penetrate the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream. It can travel along to other organs and cause damage.
Intestinal Toxins from Viruses
Intestinal diseases may also result from viral infections. Viral gastroenteritis is characterized by watery diarrhea and is very common around the world. It is easily transmitted by sharing contaminated bottles, food, drinks, and eating utensils or by eating contaminated food. Unsanitary behavior is a major cause of food contamination.
Wash your hands before and after handling food! Also, food contaminated with untreated sewage, and contaminated public drinking water can expose humans to viruses that cause this very unpleasant and potentially life-threatening intestinal disorder.
How Do I Avoid These Harmful Organisms?
The harmful organisms listed above are living organisms. They survive by draining vital nutrients from your body, and they give back toxic waste that puts your health at risk. These invaders can live in your body for as long as you are alive.
A strong, healthy immune system is your first line of defense to repel many of the would-be invaders. There are measures that you can take to reduce your exposure to these harmful invaders.
- Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly. Remove waxy coatings, these are cosmetic preservatives. Remove nicked, discolored, mushy or recessed areas. Buy organic foods as much as possible.
- Cook meats, poultry, and fish at proper temperatures. Check for worms just under the skin before cooking. Wash hands and clean work surfaces thoroughly after handling each item.
- Avoid wooden cutting boards when preparing or cutting raw meats to decrease the chance that harmful organisms will remain alive in the wood. Wash your cutting boards in the dishwasher. Here is a list of remedies for getting rid of germs and bacteria in your kitchen.
- Be sure your water comes from a reliably clean source. Drink only purified water from a multi-filtered source. Ideally distilled or purified water is best supplemented with raw apple cider vinegar for extra nutrients.
- Wash your hands frequently throughout the day. Warm water and natural tea tree soap can remove most microscopic organisms.
- Keep your surroundings clean and free of dust particles to discourage dust mites. Use a damp sponge or HEPA vacuum cleaner to regularly remove dust from surfaces and flooring.
- Wear shoes to protect yourself from the organisms that can penetrate human skin. Keep your feet covered even on the beach and playground, as these areas are often rife with a plethora of bacteria and viral fungi.
- Know where you're swimming and never swallow the water while you swim — no matter what body of water it is.
- Taking a high-quality probiotic supplement on a regular basis will help to populate your digestive system with beneficial flora.
- Perform two to three Harmful Organism Cleanses a year to assist in removing harmful invaders. It will take at least six weeks (the life cycle of most harmful organisms discussed) to complete a thorough cleanse.
- Determine to eat a balanced diet to regulate your colon pH.
- Regular colon cleansing with a high-quality oxygen colon cleanser. Performing three consecutive liver cleanses can also help detoxify your body.
- National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Diarrhea. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. 2009 April 27.
- Colon Cleansing & Constipation Resource Center. Bloody Stool. 2009 April 27.
- Brennan Hubbell. Dr. Clark's legacy. New Century Press, LLC. 2013.
- Colon Cleansing & Constipation Resource Center. Constipation and Acne. 2009 April 23.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.