Intestinal parasites - their common symptoms

While we may not connect the two, some common symptoms of intestinal parasites can be a warning sign, like extreme fatigue or even an itchy nose.
Intestinal parasites - their common symptoms

Last update: 01 August, 2022

Intestinal parasites are quite a bothersome problem that often comes with hard-to-diagnose symptoms that very easily attributed to other common health issues.

Discover all the symptoms that’ll help you know if you have intestinal parasites in this article.

What are intestinal parasites?

inside of intestines

Intestinal parasites are microorganisms that live in your intestines and affect your bacterial flora as well as nutrient absorption and waste removal.

The most common ones are:

Oftentimes, parasites that find their way into your body are removed along with waste. However, any toxins that accumulate in your body weaken your immune system. They feed the parasites, which can then grow and cause problems in their new home.

How can I tell if I have intestinal parasites?

Intestinal parasites are usually hard to detect. After all, the symptoms are often confused with other health problems or just dismissed as not feeling great.

That’s why it’s important to know the warning signs your body may give you. If they persist for no apparent reason, they can help you determine the cause.

Below, we’ll go over what these symptoms are. Some of them are very common and others will really surprise you. If you have any suspicions or questions, we recommend seeing a doctor as soon as possible.

Digestive issues

One of the most common symptoms of intestinal parasites is frequent digestive problems, especially diarrhea, constipation, gas, and bloating.

The problem is that many people get these problems regularly, and they can be caused by many different things. This is why you must pay attention to them, especially if you have a good diet and continue to have these disorders.

Changes in appetite

We all have appetite changes for different reasons at some point or another. However, when your appetite increases or decreases drastically and you don’t know why this could also be a symptom that you have a parasite 

It may come along with sudden weight loss or gain, too. You should suspect intestinal parasites if this is you.

Nervousness or irritability

Intestinal parasites are quite stressful on your body. They alter your nervous system without you even knowing it. It can lead to an increase in anxiety, irritability, and stress.

Some people continually experience these psychological states. However, when it’s unusual for you, look out for other possible symptoms.

Anxiety can also be an important signal in children who may be hyper. Many times, you can observe associated symptoms such as bruxism.


Itching in the area surrounding your anus or other parts of your body is also a sign that you could have a parasite. This is one of the most common ways to get a parasite, especially for kids, who may scratch without realizing it.

According to popular tradition, frequent itching on the tip of your nose could also be a symptom, although there’s no scientific basis for this.

Chronic fatigue

Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia have just been recognized as disorders in the last decade. Each brings together a group of symptoms that are hard to diagnose because they are easily attributed to other illnesses.

The cause is still unknown, but intestinal parasites could be the culprit of some people experiencing such conditions. So, keep it in mind.

Take a look at this, too: What to Eat to Naturally Fight Fatigue

Vaginal infections and intestinal parasites

Women who often get vaginal infections should keep in mind the possibility that intestinal parasites could be what’s causing these infections in their genital area.

That’s why they may be coming back even after treatment that seems effective in the short-term. The solution is to get rid of the parasite once and for all and follow strict hygiene protocols.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Boorom, K. F., Smith, H., Nimri, L., Viscogliosi, E., Spanakos, G., Parkar, U., … Jones, M. S. (2008). Oh my aching gut: Irritable bowel syndrome, Blastocystis, and asymptomatic infection. Parasites and Vectors.
  • Stark, D., van Hal, S., Marriott, D., Ellis, J., & Harkness, J. (2007). Irritable bowel syndrome: A review on the role of intestinal protozoa and the importance of their detection and diagnosis. International Journal for Parasitology.
  • Robertson, L. J., Hanevik, K., Escobedo, A. A., Mørch, K., & Langeland, N. (2010). Giardiasis – why do the symptoms sometimes never stop? Trends in Parasitology.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.