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Some natural health practitioners say that performing a parasite cleanse can improve overall health by removing parasites and the toxins they release from your body. Parasites may be picked up from sources such as bad food, insect bites or from cleaning up infested pet droppings. When performing a parasite cleanse, you may experience certain side effects. Advocates of parasite cleansing say that these side effects are usually mild.

Gastrointestinal Side Effects

Since a parasite cleanse is intended to kill parasites so that the body can expel them, you may experience gastrointestinal upset while using the parasite cleanse. This upset is said to be a result of parasites dying in large numbers and the body attempting to get rid of them all at once. Common symptoms include flatulence, loose stools or diarrhea, and nausea.

Respiratory Side Effects

The destruction of many parasites at once is said to cause your body to try drastic measures to get rid of them. Since increasing the flow of mucus is one way the body tries to rid itself of contaminants, you may experience respiratory symptoms like those of the common cold--sneezing, coughing and a stuffy or runny nose. These are the body's attempts to get rid of the dying parasites and their toxins, which it may perceive as invaders.

Neurological Side Effects

During the first few days of the parasite cleanse, you may experience neurological symptoms such as dizziness or headaches. According to naturopathic physician Dr. Brenda Watson, these symptoms are usually triggered by the large number of dead parasites and the toxins they released in the body. Drinking plenty of water is said to help the body flush these toxins out of your body systems and relieve the dizziness and headaches that may accompany the cleanse.