Frequently Asked Questions

What are parasites?

An organism that uses another organism (called the host) for some aspect of its life cycle is considered a parasite. An example is the single celled protozoan Giardia. It inhabits the intestinal tract of wild animals. Their excrement enters the water supply. Water treatment doesn’t always kill this organism so when we drink water containing this parasite it now enters the human intestine, reproduces and causes abdominal discomfort and loose, foul smelling stools.

How many different parasites are there?

There are thousands of parasites and more are being discovered every year. Those that we know infect humans number in the hundreds.

How do I get a parasite?

It depends on the type of parasite. Some come from the bite of certain insects. Others enter through food or liquids. A few can penetrate the skin, or other body orifices when going barefoot or swimming. Pets and domesticated animals can be a source of infection.

What kind of problems do parasites cause?

Inflammation and possibly destruction of the tissues in which the particular parasite inhabits are the main problems. For example in the gut, one or more symptoms of irritable bowel such as nausea, gas, bloating, cramping, constipation or diarrhea may occur.

How do I know if I have a parasite?

Unless you see visible worms in the stool, there is no sure way to know. That is why it is important to investigate for those that are not seen. Some parasites produce microscopic eggs. Some are one-celled microscopic organisms.

Why should I use ParaWellness Research for parasite testing?

We take the time to do multiple microscopic exams and other tests on each specimen. We also test urine as well as stool. A full write-up on the findings and recommendations and access to a 50 + page reference manual are included.

Can health insurance cover the cost of testing?

No. PWR is a private health membership association and open only to Members. We do not affiliate with outside organizations.

How long does it take to get the results?

From the time you ship your specimen until the results are ready runs 10-14 days depending on where you are sending it from and the workload of that particular time.

Will you send my report to my doctor or practitioner?

If you provide the name and contact information we will send the report. Please note that some providers want to provide the report directly to their clients/patients and others have PWR send it to the patient. Check with your provider for their policy on this.

If I do not have a provider may I obtain the test and have the results sent to me?


If I have parasites what are my treatment options?

We encourage members to share the results with their health care practitioner and enter into a discussion of treatment options. For those without a practitioner the section on treatment options in the report will give some direction for treatment consideration.

How to I get questions answered about my report?

The first step is to thoroughly read the explanatory information provided in the report. Next consult the sections in the reference manual you have been directed to download and read. Most questions will be answered. Email is the fastest way to pose an unanswered question.

Do I need a follow up test to see if the parasites have been eliminated?

A follow up test is recommended after completion of treatment. The cost of a repeat test is $200 and includes a detailed written report with recommendations.

When should the repeat test be collected?

Generally wait two weeks after completion of your treatment program and then collect your test specimens anytime after that.

Are there any preparations I need to make before collecting the specimens?

DIET – no foods to avoid. Coffee, tea and alcohol in moderation.
ACTIVITY – continue with what is your usual routine.
FASTING – permitted.
LAXATIVES – if you normally use a laxative to insure bowel movements, do continue.
ENEMAS – try to have your BM without use of an enema. If impossible otherwise, collect with an enema and indicate this on your health history form.
MEDICATIONS – avoid for one week (minimum four days) prior to collection antibiotics and antifungal medicines. Check with your doctor about a temporary stoppage.
SUPPLEMENTS – permitted except for those considered to be infection fighting. Avoid for one week prior to collection (minimum four days).
TIMING OF COLLECTION – no advantage waiting to collect specimens at the full moon.
TEMPERATURE – avoid placing collected specimens in the refrigerator or freezer.
MOISTURE ON TOWEL – if the paper towel around the collection vials is moist, this may happen at times. If there is about an inch of preservative in the vials they are good to go.