“I coughed this up” states this reader in his submission concerning the glossy-white organism pictured below. He worries that he suffers from a parasite after his dog also had a worm, and hopes that we can help him with his issue.
Before we get into the rest of our reader’s story, we need to point out that we will unfortunately not be able to identify the organism our reader coughed up, nor will we be able to identify whatever is pictured in the second photo below. This is because, as this organism has come from our reader’s body, and he is concerned about parasites, his situation requires the opinion of a medical professional, which we are not. Hence, we are not qualified to give any direct advice on such an issue, as doing so could do more harm than good. What we will do is link some resources our reader can visit in order to seek the help of a parasitologist (a physician that specializes in parasitic infections).
In addition to coughing up this organism, our reader has had “a lot of trouble swallowing”, has had severe GI (gastrointestinal) issues (such as not being able to go to the bathroom for months), and he is in “agony”. He thinks that his dog’s worm infection is what “jump started” his own medical problem, but his friends, family and doctor all think he is “nuts”. In any case, he has been up every night searching for answers, and his severe OCD only exacerbates the stressful nature of his situation. “I’m getting very nervous with the thought of having bugs.”
We urge our reader to continue in his pursuit of answers, despite what his friends, family and even his doctor say. We do not know if this will necessarily be a comfort to our reader, but it is actually not an uncommon occurrence for doctors to dismiss concerns about parasites. That is not to say that this is right, but it does happen (many of our own readers have reported similar stories). Usually, this is because most doctors will not receive training in parasitology and infectious diseases unless they specialize in this area. For that reason, what we recommend is that our reader consults with someone that does specialize in this area. To find such a physician, he can do one or more of the following: 1) Search for a medical parasitologist in his area using this directory of medical parasitology consultants: https://www.astmh.org/for-astmh-members/clinical-consultants-directory. 2) Search for a local parasitologist by doing a Google search for “medical parasitologist (name of the closest big city)” or “tropical medicine specialist (name of the closest big city)”. 3) Get in touch with Dr. Omar Amin at the Parasitology Center at https://www.parasitetesting.com. 4) Contact Dr. Vipul Savaliya of Infectious Disease Care (“IDCare”) at idcarepa.com.
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To conclude, we sympathize with our reader and wish we could do more to help him directly with his situation. That said, we hope that the resources listed above prove useful and that our reader is able to get the answers and help he seeks soon. We wish him the very best, and welcome any updates he wants to provide us along the way.