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What are the symptoms of parasitic infections?

The symptoms of parasitic infections depend on the type of parasite involved and where in the body it lives and multiplies. Parasites that live in the intestines usually cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. Parasites that live in the bloodstream usually cause fever and swelling.

Robynne K. Chutkan, MD
Gastroenterology

A tummy ache may well be a sign of a parastic infection, but it's not the only one, says gastroenterologist and Dr. Oz guest Robynne Chutkan. Watch this video to find out about other symptoms of intestinal parasites.


Leopold D. Galland, MD
Internal Medicine
There are two general groups of parasites that infect the digestive tract. The first consists of worms—tapeworms and roundworms—which attach themselves to the lining of the small intestine, causing internal bleeding and loss of nutrients. People infested with gastrointestinal tract worms may have no symptoms or may slowly become anemic.

The second category of digestive tract parasites is the protozoa, one-celled organisms like Giardia, which can cause bowel health symptoms such as acute or chronic diarrhea or can cause symptoms that are not ordinarily associated with parasitic infection like constipation, fatigue, dizziness, joint pain or hives.

Symptoms of parasitic infections include: changes in your bowels, changes in energy, itching around anal area, abdominal pain/cramping and unexplained weight loss. Watch integrative medicine expert Tasneem Bhatia, MD, describe these common red flags.

Susan Evans
Dermatology
A parasitic infestation may include symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, aches, pains, anemia, skin rashes, nervousness, sleep disturbances, allergies, and fatigue.

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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.