“Where can I get help?” is the first thing this woman writes in her submission, posing the question that many face when they are concerned about parasite-related health concerns. This reader in particular is concerned about a “hookworm” that “came out of [her] dog” which has spread to her and her family members.
To start off with, we must always address that we cannot confirm or identify any medical issues that our readers have as we are not medical professionals. We think our reader knows this though, as her question pertains not to what her issue might be, but where she can go for help, and that is something we can definitely help with. Secondly, we think it pertinent to lay out the context of our reader’s situation, so that if any of our other readers relate to her story, they too know that they may need to seek medical advice. Our reader has been battling what she believes to be a hookworm infestation (or something related to the hookworm that came out of her dog) for three years. She has experienced “splinter-looking sores that pop up all over [her] hands”, “shooting pain through to the bone in [her] hands”, sluggishness, cramping and headaches. She has taken steroids, antibiotics and topical creams, but the only thing that has remotely helped is bleach and tea tree oil. At this point, our reader fears she has serious health issues since she has “been misdiagnosed for several years.” She is now even more worried because her other family members are catching the same thing and her dog is terribly sick. She hopes we can point her in the direction of a doctor who does not claim her problem to be “nerves” or her being “crazy”.
As our reader is clearly extremely concerned, we will not waste any time getting to the point. We do not recommend going to see one’s GP or ER doctor when the concern is with parasites or any organism that is suspected to be causing symptoms. If this is one’s only option, then of course any form of medical treatment or advice is better than nothing, but otherwise we instead recommend consulting an infectious disease physician. Unlike ‘regular doctors’, infectious disease physicians have actually received education in parasitology and are thus qualified and capable of diagnosing and treating these types of problems. What we can recommend is that our reader do one or more of the following: 1) Search for a medical parasitologist in her 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. The fourth option has been highly recommended by a past reader, and Dr. Savaliya will consult with people online no matter where they are (though his office is in North Carolina).
In conclusion, we hope that the resources listed above help our reader in finding a physician who does not dismiss her concerns, but instead acknowledges them and gives her the medical attention she may require. If our reader wishes to provide any updates once she has received help, we would be more than happy to hear from her in another email or in the comment section of this article. We wish her the very best and hope she and her family members are well again soon!
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