Title: Guess What Came to Dinner? Parasites and Your Health
Author: Ann Lousie Gittleman, M.S., CNS
ISBN: 1 - 58333 - 096 - 8
Do you feel chronically sick and tired? Are you having problems finding a definitive diagnosis? Have you been told by your doctor that your long list of symptoms is all in your head? Anne Louise Gittleman, the author of "Guess What Came to Dinner", speaks of an epidemic which may be at the root of chronic illness for a vast majority of sufferers. "It is a silent epidemic of which most doctors in this country are not even aware. Yet, according to parasite expert and medical researcher Louis Parrish M.D., at least eight out of ten of his patients have some kind of parasite infection."
Most people, when they think of parasitic infections, automatically picture health problems which only involve the intestinal tract. This is not an accurate representation of the scope of the wide array of difficulties which can be caused by parasites. Gittleman goes into great detail explaining the health issues which can be caused by these microbial freeloaders. The author even provides comprehensive charts which include the name of each parasite, the symptoms it causes, the size, how it invades the host, where in the body that it ends up residing, the source of the infection, how it can be diagnosed and what the usual remedy is.
Many of us may wonder why there should be such ignorance surrounding the prevalence of parasitic infections and the symptoms they create. The author sums it up on page 6. "Lack of education is to blame. In the United States, physicians are simply not educated in parasitology and are, therefore, inexperienced in recognizing common clinical symptoms. A doctor's introduction to parasitology may come from a chapter here and there in a microbiology course in medical school. If parasitology itself is taught at all, it is as a specialty in the department of tropical medicine at some universities."
Some folks may feel that I am being a bit too cynical when I speak of what I feel are the reasons for this lack of education in this area. From my experience with the Lyme disease epidemic and the many parasitic and viral co-infections passed to us through ticks and other vectors....I can only conclude that much (not all) of this lack of education is intentional. If one observes the general focus of the medical industrial complex, it will be noticed that true sources and cures for sickness are not sincerely sought. More profits are obviously made on many symptomatic treatments rather than on prevention or treatments which cure.
"Guess What Came to Dinner" also informs us of what these parasites love to eat and what foods encourage them to thrive. This is very crucial information to be aware of so that we can create an environment that is inhospitable to their survival. The author also speaks of certain sexual practices which can easily transmit parasitic infections.
Some of the warning signs which can indicate infection are: "constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, joint and muscle aches and pains, anemia, allergy, skin conditions, granulomas, nervousness, sleep disturbances, teeth grinding, nervousness, chronic fatigue, and immune dysfunction. Gittleman further expands on each of these warning symptoms.
Most of us are aware that a person can contract trichinosis from undercooked pork. However, the author warns us that...."Pork cooked in a microwave is particularly infective; because of uneven heating, microwaves don't always kill the trichinella. The United States Department of Agriculture recommends that pork cooked in a microwave reach a temperature of 170 degrees F. This is particularly important for the internal parts of the meat."
Grittleman also informs us of the parasitic dangers of other foods and how to safely prepare them. The author includes a helpful section concerning pets, which unfortunately are another major source of parasites.
The traditional method of diagnosing parasitic infections (testing random stool samples) is inaccurate. The author not only goes into detail as to why this is so but she also discusses what the effective testing methods are and includes a resource section to aide you in finding the labs which conduct this testing.
Treatment protocols (including homeopathic and herbal), diet, detoxification, personal hygiene, food handling, prevention, and travel tips are all subjects included in this comprehensive book. An enormous amount of helpful information is packed into 169 pages.
Reading this book has discouraged me from consuming certain raw foods, such as meat and fish. We have been told by many sources that eating raw foods can be healthy and safe. In the world of nutrition there is often opposing or conflicting information and we are left to sort through what we think makes the most sense to us. Perhaps taking a middle of the road approach is the best answer. Making sure our meat and fish come from healthy clean sources, can be one way of minimizing parasitic infection. Freezing meat for a period of time can destroy some parasites. But most importantly, as Louise Gittleman mentions, we must keep our immune systems in tip top shape. It is also a good idea to make sure we consume foods rich in probiotics (fermented foods) and supplement with digestive enzymes.
One way to have better oversight of the production and handling of our food, is to grow our own or to buy from local farmers.
Even though we live in a modern world with advanced technology and better knowledge of hygiene , parasites are still a problem and are causing untold misery. Much of this misery can be prevented and or cured. I highly recommend this book to those who want to better understand this major cause of chronic illness.