“Is this a worm or pieces of one,” asks this reader, who sends in a picture of pieces of pink, white and brown matter in a toilet bowl, from what we assume to be her excrement. Our reader states that she has a lot of gas, she eats a lot without gaining weight and she cannot afford a doctor.
To begin with, we want to express our sympathy for our reader and her situation, as it is not easy to experience something and feel like you cannot afford to seek help for it. It is for that reason that it is so unfortunate that we cannot directly help our reader with her problem, as much as we wish we could. This is because, as our reader is implying that she fears she may be excreting worms, her situation is medical in nature. As we are not medical professionals, it is not our place to diagnose or treat her problem. Nor are we qualified to do so.
In cases such as these, when our readers submit a medical question, we always point them in the direction of places they can go for help, and that always includes medical professionals of some sort, whether they are GPs or physicians who specialize in infectious diseases. It is difficult to know what to recommend to our reader, who says she cannot afford a doctor, especially considering the fact that if she is experiencing some sort of parasitic infection, a medical professional is what she needs. We can recommend that our reader takes samples of the matter in the photo to her local county extension office. We cannot speak for her county, but perhaps getting them identified there will be free. It will at least be cheaper than visiting a doctor.
Once she has the opinion of someone at the extension office, then she will know the severity of her situation. Of course, that is not to say that any issue related to health is more important than another, but some common intestinal parasites (if this is what our reader fears she has) do not require visiting a doctor, but can be treated with over-the-counter medication, such as pinworms.
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That being said, regardless, we urge her to find a way to see a doctor. Although we understand that the price of seeing a doctor can be incredibly hefty, it does not amount to the price of one’s health or life, as that is worth far more. When it comes to parasites in particular, one of our readers has recommended Dr. Vipul Savaliya, who she had a great experience with. Dr. Savaliya is the founder of Infectious Disease Care (“IDCare”) and is based in North Carolina. Luckily for our readers, he also accepts online consultations for those that cannot go to North Carolina, and his office can be contacted via his website at idcarepa.com. If our reader decides to visit a physician, but wants to have an in-person consultation (and is not based in or near North Carolina), she can do a Google search for ‘infectious disease physician (name of her closest big city)’ or ‘travel disease doctor (name of her closest big city)’.
In conclusion, we do not know what it is our reader is dealing with that is causing her these problems, and we cannot identify what is inside her toilet bowl. We wish we could help more, but as we are not medical professionals, we are not qualified to do so. We sympathize with our reader, and hope for her sake that this is all nothing, and that she does not have a parasite. But in the case that she does, we hope she gets the help she needs in whatever form necessary. At the very least, we urge her to take samples of this matter to her local county extension office so she can get an expert’s opinion!