The Link Between Parasites and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Between Parasites

Can parasites cause chronic fatigue syndrome or worsen its symptoms?

Introduction To and Health

Parasitic infections can cause significant health issues, including chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). While parasitic infections have long been a problem in developing countries, they are now on the rise in developed countries as well. Understanding the link between CFS and parasitic infections is the key to improving the health of those suffering from this condition.

What Are Parasites?

Parasites are organisms that live off other organisms (the host) to survive. They attach themselves to the host organism and feed off the host’s nutrients and energy. Parasites can be found in many places and can be transmitted by animals, insects, and food.

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Examples of parasites include:

  • Protozoa – Tiny single-celled organisms, such as Giardia, that can cause stomach upsets.
  • Worms – Examples include nematodes and tapeworms, which can live in the intestines and cause a variety of symptoms.
  • Parasitic mites – These tiny insects are commonly found on cats, dogs, and humans and can cause skin irritation.

How Are Parasites Linked To Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Parasitic infections have long been suspected to play a role in the development of chronic fatigue syndrome. The most commonly linked parasites include protozoans, Giardia and Cryptosporidium, and worm-like parasites, such as nematodes and tapeworms.

Studies have shown that parasitic infections can affect the immune system, leading to an increased susceptibility to other infections and an increased likelihood of developing chronic fatigue syndrome. A 2017 study found that among people with chronic fatigue syndrome, 54% were found to have a Giardia infection, compared to only 5% of healthy individuals.

Treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome With Parasite Treatments

If parasites are found to be contributing to chronic fatigue syndrome, there are a number of treatment options available. Depending on the type of parasite and the severity of the infection, your doctor may prescribe medications to treat the infection or recommend lifestyle changes to help manage symptoms.

Antiparasitic medications

Antiparasitic medications are typically used to treat parasites. They are usually taken orally and can include antiparasitic drugs, natural herbal remedies, or over-the-counter drugs.

Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes may also be recommended to help manage symptoms of parasitic infections. These can include eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of rest, and limiting alcohol and caffeine intake.


Parasitic infections have long been linked to chronic fatigue syndrome and other health conditions. Understanding the link between parasitic infections and CFS can help improve the health of those suffering from this condition. If parasites are found to be contributing to chronic fatigue syndrome, there are a number of treatment options available, ranging from antiparasitic medications to lifestyle changes.