Saturday, October 22, 2016

Parasites, Weight Gain, and Tiredness

Good morning and happy weekend! It's me again, dropping in to share that I weighed myself again this morning and after another week of NOT dieting and feeling quite content about that, I am up another two pounds to 252. How do I feel about that? Fine! Believe it or not, I have zero stress or anxiety about my weight, food, or diet and that is a welcome relief from the years of food and weight obsession that drove me from diet plan to diet plan. As I said in prior posts, I don't believe I will just get "fatter and fatter" as some suggested by doing this; to the contrary, as my eating disorder goes into remission I will be much better able to lose weight and be healthy without making that the focus of my thoughts and life. Guess we'll see!

Now about the parasites I mentioned in the title. I have a friend who goes to a naturopath (not local, so not a naturopath I am able to see). She has been talking to me about how tired she was but doctors could not find anything in her blood work or exam that should cause her long term fatigue. She also has had a heck of a time losing about 50 pounds she had gained in her late 30's and 40's. Finally, she went to a naturopath who told her it was likely that she had internal parasites causing her fatigue and inability to lose weight. So she put my friend on a 10-day herbal parasite cleanse, which she took and then rested for 2 weeks and repeated. Apparently most Americans have parasites of some type, at some point in their lives and they can range from microscopic to liver flukes to intestinal worms (ewwww!!!). Maybe this is TMI for some of you, but when I asked my friend if she actually SAW anything in the toilet during her parasite cleanse, she said there were only tiny white specks and some things that looked like brown pieces of tomato skins (which turned out to be liver flukes). There can be far more things that pass unseen, from what she told me.

Well, I am a skeptic, and for good reason. Fifteen years ago when my mother was very ill and bloated for weeks and the regular doctors could not give her any reason, she went to a naturopath too. She was told she had parasites and put on a cleanse. I don't know if the cleanse worked at all but what everyone missed was that my mother had ovarian cancer. She was dead before she ever got to go back to that naturopath. So I have some resentment and skepticism towards "natural" practitioners... because they missed cancer and sent her on a wild goose chase after tapeworms. Anyway, if I hadn't seen the change in my friend with my own eyes I would just have rolled them at the thought of a parasite cleanse. Hello, we wash our hands after we use the bathroom or change a diaper. We wash our produce and eat clean foods. We don't eat dirt and we don't eat raw, parasite-ridden meats. There is no way I have any bugs, critters, or microscopic grossness lounging around in my body. NOPE.

She is a clean person too. She had the same doubts. But she SAW results not just in what was eliminated but in her health. Her energy level increased. Her "brain fog" went away. And her weight gain gradually went away as she lost over 30 pounds in the months after the cleanse, without severe dieting. She had tried lots of diets but had a huge appetite and desire for sweets and carbs, and that went away after her cleanse, too. I know I always thought parasites = weight LOSS = skinny sickly person as the parasites take your nutrients for themselves... but what she tells me is that only *some* parasites cause those issues (famously, tapeworms, which people used to eat to lose weight). Other smaller and microscopic parasites cause their host to crave and overeat and GAIN weight to sustain the parasites, while still sucking up all the nutrients to make the host tired and grumpy and deficient in certain nutrients. I am not posting a bunch of parasite info links here; you can easily do your own research on various parasites and cleanses. My goal here is to explain why I am doing one myself!

After seeing her results I decided why not? It can't hurt to give it a try. Like I said, I eat clean food and am hygienic but hey, we were all kids once and what little kid has not eaten dirt by accident or walked barefoot outside at some point? I have never done a cleanse so perhaps sometime in my 47 years I picked up something that is contributing to my long-term struggle with fatigue and weight gain. I chose this one because of the ingredients, all of which I looked up and they make sense to me: Parasite Pro. I started taking it yesterday (2 pills, 3 times a day for ten days) and I feel fine. I don't expect to visibly SEE any results (meaning I don't think I have anything that would be visible and am not going to prod around the toilet to find out) but hope to feel more energetic when this is done. And no, I have not had any digestive symptoms (upset stomach, urgency to use the bathroom, etc) taking this and neither did my friend (whose cleanse was a different brand but many of the same ingredients). I have read and been told that a day or two into the cleanse, you lose your taste for sweets. I haven't had cravings lately but I do like sweets a little too much! Maybe this will help. I'll keep you informed.

I might do some other herbal cleanses if this one works well. My friend's naturopath is having her do a liver cleanse so I may look into that next.

That's it for now. I had some delicious eggs, sausage, and a bit of red potatoes with coffee for breakfast and it's a gorgeous day for a nice, long walk! Enjoy your weekend!


Anonymous said...

I have heard of this too. I am curious to see if this helps you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn,
IMO this is a dangerous return to restricting and waking up the ED voices but I hope the best for you.

Lyn said...


not sure why you think that. There is no restriction and no special diet involved. In fact I am having pizza shortly. Not feeling at all restricted :)

Anonymous said...

You are my literal hero. It is my dream to get off this binge/restrict nightmare merry go round. Seeing you calm and unashamed to share that you eat pizza, ice cream, sausage, candy, etc, makes me feel there is hope! I would take that peace over my current state even if it meant never being thin. There are worse things than staying fat (like being enslaved to the diet cycle). I am so happy for you but jealous too. I want this for myself.


Finding Lori said...

Oh I've always thought about doing some type of cleanse. The thought of getting rid of all the build up is so exciting to me lol. Good luck!!

Cyndi and Stumpy said...

I used to read a blog," I ___________ so you don't have to."

I'm looking forward to the results

Anonymous said...

Do you really think this is the magic bullet for weight loss?

Lyn said...

Thanks all! I have always wondered about this kind of cleanse too, but seeing the results in my friend is what made me think, hey, there could be something to this!

last Anon~

no, sorry, there is no magic bullet for weight loss.

Anonymous said...

Ughh, then why are you doing it? You said your friend lost 30 pounds on it. First that is hard to believe. But surely you hope to lose weight by doing this?

Lyn said...

last Anon~

mainly out of curiosity. Are there REALLY parasites in most of us? Do I have any? Will I have better energy (which would be the best result!)? And of course I wonder if this could be a reason for my difficulty losing weight in the past. Right now I am not consumed with weight loss and am no longer driven by the number on the scale. I don't care if I lose or gain weight over the next month. I am JUST enjoying the peace of NOT being obsessed with food and controlled by panic over being "too fat."

Anonymous said...

Do you watch Monsters Inside Me???? OMG, terrifying what lurks in our bodies! I do a cleanse every 6 months and not to be revolting, but have seen some awful things come out. People have no idea!!!

Anonymous said...

I do fear for you. You are unconcerned about a 7 pound weight gain in the last few weeks, taking you over 250 pounds for the first time since 2007. Don't you remember how hard it is to lose 7 pounds? Even if you don't want to track your food, doing a moderate amount of conscious exercise could make a big difference, and for most people moderate exercise doesn't add to stress--it alleviates stress. Plus it helps normalize many other bodily functions. Moving up to a new clothing size can be such a slippery slope. Please be cautious!

Lyn said...


Yes, I remember. I also remember how hard it is to worry and stress about weight and calories, to diet and exercise and use the FitBit and increase steps and bike and count calories and eliminate whole food groups and STILL not lose weight, or lose it and then regain it. What I have never done is this: deal with ALL the emotional and mental aspects and put the ED voices to rest for good. Lose weight without a lot of drama, planning, and anxiety. I feel great... I am not worried. I do appreciate your caution and concern and thank you for caring.

I am walking most days and as my mood is improving and my stress is getting lower, my desire to walk, swim, bike and move is coming back to the surface... not for weight loss, but for the joy of moving and being. Also, don't worry too much about the numbers. I am down 2 pounds today... it's just a normal fluctuation (hormones... I am on my cycle right now). It's the long term that will matter.

amy said...

Hi Lyn. Glad things are going well for you. Quick question, if you don't mind -- my SIL was just diagnosed with Hashimotos and is freaking out. We both read your blog, so I told her I'd ask what has worked for you. If I remember correctly, going gluten free was of no help. Do you take any meds? Thanks in advance for any advise you can give.

patticakes said...

hi there - I am wondering if you are taking this new approach because you're planning the gastric sleeve surgery which you have mentioned over the years.
you noted above 'I don't care if I lose or gain weight over the next month' why just the next month? just curious here. Just doesn't make sense that you are not focusing on gaining all this weight back unless there is surgery planned. hope i'm not out of line here, but I was just curious. good luck Lyn. be well and happy.

Lyn said...


Nothing has worked; it's my understanding that Hashimotos is a permanent condition with no cure. Going gluten and dairy free did not reduce my antibodies at all, and neither did any medication. I was on selenium for awhile and that didn't help either. I am not on any meds for that right now but depending on my next thyroid panel results I may end up going back on Synthroid, if my thyroid is not functioning well. I would advise your SIL to see a good endocrinologist that she trusts. Hope that helps!


WLS is not scheduled or in the works, but I am still open to it. I need to go to an information clinic and find out more about it, if I decide to go that route. I am giving myself time to see if my current approach results in an acceptable, livable weight for me or not.

To clarify, it's not "just" the next month that I am concerned about but that is a short enough time period that I wouldn't worry about any amount I could gain in that time. I DO care if I keep gaining weight for several months because I don't want to be so fat that everything is miserable.

amy said...

Thanks so much, I'll pass it along.

Verena Schwald said...

Amy I know you asked Lyn specifically but I wanted to share this article with you about living with Hashimotos! (Lyn, I hope that's ok.)
Best of luck to your friend!

amy said...


Thank so much! Very thoughtful!