‘Guess What Came to Dinner: Parasites and Your Health’
by Ann Louise Gittleman
Avery Publishing Group, Garden City Park, NY, 1993, 2001
Reviewed by Don Gillmore, LMT
Gittleman discusses only those parasites that live in the host (our bodies) rather than those that may live on it. This covers an amazingly large number of parasites form microscopic to several feet long. They fall into four categories Protazoa, Nematoda, Cestoda & Trematoda. She explains how and where we might come in contact with these parasites, their description, the course of infestation, the course of treatment and even includes information about pet to human transmission, plus how to keep your pets healthy in the first place. She also discusses possible symptoms, which may result from various parasite infestations as well as the standard medical diagnosis options for someone who is asymptomatic, but suspects an infestation. According to Gittleman, specific symptoms can be hard to tie directly to parasitic infestations without lab tests, but she attributes many long term health issues to worm infestations. These include allergies, suppressed immune systems, lack of energy, blocked colon or bile ducts, both unwanted weight gain and weight loss.
This book is not new. I have owned a copy ever since I became a licensed massage therapist 15 years ago. I must admit that over the years I have pulled it off the shelf a couple of times as a reference source to answer a client’s question, but I never really read it through. However, a close friend had just completed his first (7 day) course of colon cleansing augmented by sweat detox sauna sessions, when he passed a 13″ long roundworm (probably Ascaris lumbricoides). That certainly got his attention and mine. So where did he acquire this infestation? We don’t know, but according to Gittleman it was most likely from an unwashed fruit or vegetable that he ate, which harbored the worm eggs. Not in the Amazon or a third world country, but right here in Rivercity, USA! He was pretty much asymtomatic, but in hind sight he was having excessive intestinal discomfort and flatulence. Two of the symptoms Gittleman identifies.
I immediately retrieved this book and advised him to purchase the Global Healing Center’s ‘Harmful Organism Cleanse’ kit, which consists of bottles of ‘Paratrex’ and ‘Later-Flora’. It is recommended as a (six week) follow-on cleanse to their colon cleanse, but no one wants to believe that they may have a parasite infestation, so I am not sure how often it is used.
Back to the book. Gittleman quotes medical studies on the frequency of parasite infestation world wide and in the U.S. and presents a compelling argument for performing a ‘harmful parasite cleanse’ as part of a full body detox, even if you are asymptomatic as my friend seemed to be. The only shortfall that I can see in this book is that it does not include any pictures of common parasites that might be used for identification purposes. However, with over 130 common parasites in America at the time of the writing and several thousand species world-wide, only a lab can make a valid identification. Although I have not used the ‘Dr Natura’ products, their web site has some useful information and pictures http://www.drnatura.com/parasites.php as does the Center for Disease Control site at http://www.dpd.cdc.gov/dpdx/HTML/Para_Health.htm
As a persuasive argument for full body detoxification and cleansing, I highly recommend this book. Still available from Amazon.com.
Don Gillmore, Licensed Massage Therapist(15 yrs), B.S.- Life Sciences