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I know we live in Florida, and if you want to see feet in FL, all you have to do is look down. I'm going to tell you a story that isn't pleasant, but it's a warning I have to issue.
I am infected with Strongyloides stercoralis, commonly known at threadworm. Usually, this infection is easy to knock out with drugs, but there is a chance in immuno-compromised people and those on steroids that it will become a hyperinfection and become incurable. 87% of hyperinfected people die....yes DIE.
I have these worms in my eyes and my sinuses, my lungs, my digestive tract and maybe in my brain. I don't know, because I don't have insurance to get the tests I need. Without the tests, the doctor will not prescribe the medicine I need. 70% of the time, the tests come back negative anyway, so I'm not going to waste my time taking them.
So how do I know I have threadworms? It started when my right eye started twitching and watering, and I could swear I felt something crawling around in it. I started Googling, and came up with parasitic infection of some sort, so I started looking for an herbal parasite cleanser. I found Humaworm, and took it for a month, during which time the eye got better. Unfortunately, this started another round of symptoms as soon as I stopped. The eye problems came back and worms started coming out of my nose. I don't mean literally crawling out of my nose, but as they die, they try to exit your body, so I would feel something in my nose, dig around with a q-tip, and literally pull 1" to 2" worms out.
The more I read, the more frightened I got. I started looking for ways to treat these creatures inbetween the doses of Humaworm (there is a 90-day wait between treatments). I am now using coconut oil, iodine, and cayenne pepper. I actually have to use coconut oil drops in my eyes at night, and an eye wash with cayenne in it three times a day just to control the crawling sensations and watering. Then I have to take more coconut oil during the day, along with the iodine, to treat the ones in my stomach and digestive tract. I also have to drink quarts of clove tea to try and kill the eggs before they hatch and make even more worms. You can read all about these worms and my attempt to rid myself of them on Deb's Health and Fitness.
So how did I get these worms? By not wearing closed shoes outside. These worms are in our soil, and they get into your body through your feet. I never wore shoes outside unless we had an unusual cold day. I lived in flip-flops and sandals, mostly flip-flops. I would come inside with my feet filthy, and I may not wash them for half a day or more. I went barefoot in the house, probably spreading the eggs all over my house, reinfecting myself over and over. I petted my cat and kissed her, and did not wash my hands between petting her and eating. Actually, I did not wash my hands near enough during the day. Who washes their hands every time they eat some snack food? I do now.
I don't garden barefoot anymore. I wear shoes and socks, long pants, and tuck my pants legs into my socks. I use gloves, and even when I don't, I wash my hands before touching anything in my house. I have to wash my sheets twice a week in hot water.
At this point, this house is infected, my cat is infected, and I'm glad to be moving out of here so that I can be in a non-infected environment. At present, I don't put my feet on the floor unless they are covered with socks. I'm paranoid that the eggs can somehow get through the socks and onto my feet, so I wear slide sandals around the house as well.
This is a horrible parasite to have, and it is dangerous simply for the fact that it auto-infects, which means it reproduces inside the body. Pinworms have to leave your body to lay eggs, threadworms don't. Pinworms stay in your intestinal tract, but threadworms bore through your intestinal wall and get into your blood stream, or simply crawl around under your skin until they get somewhere friendly, where they set up camp and wreak havoc.
So I'm begging you, wear shoes and socks outside when you garden, and if you have any of the symptoms of pinworm or threadworm infection, see your doctor. The Humaworm cleanse can take care of pinworm infections, and it helps kill the adults and eggs in the intestines, but it can't cure threadworms completely. Read more on my health blog about my ongoing struggle to kill these worms, and the final outcome.
Strongyloides on Wikipedia
Deb's Health and Fitness Blog
Parasites Support Forum on Curezone