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What causes parasitic gastrointestinal infections?

Human parasitic gastrointestinal infections are caused by parasitic organisms that are introduced into the human gastrointestinal tract and set up intestinal infestation. There are two general types of intestinal parasites that can affect humans: protozoa and helminths. Protozoa are single-celled microorganisms that are capable of reproducing inside the human body. Helminths are more commonly known as "worms." These organisms are complex, multi-celled animals with internal organs of their own. Helminths cannot reproduce inside the human body.

Robynne K. Chutkan, MD
Gastroenterology

People can be infected with gastrointestinal parasites in a number of ways, and the problem may go undiagnosed for years, says gastroenterologist and Dr. Oz show guest Robynne Chutkan. To learn about the various causes of parasitic gastrointestinal infections, watch this video.


 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.