Many parasites have "signature" symptoms that are important to know about when deciding what treatment might work for you. Here are the ones I know of at this time. If you know of others that should be added to this list, please let me know so we can make this list as complete as possible.
Lyme disease - sometimes has a signature bulls-eye rash. Before Lyme disease was called Lyme disease, it was called Montauk Knee because of all the people around Montauk, NY, who presented with swollen, painful knees. Many were diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. But knees are not the only joint favored by Borrelia (the bacteria that causes Lyme disease). Another signature of this parasite is that they invade the soft tissue of all the joints so the pain moves from joint to joint almost daily with no rhyme or reason. The grimace of Bells-Palsy is also associated with Borrelia (although, in my opinion, the other brain parasites should not be overlooked as possible culprits; Dr. McDonald's research about nematodes in the brain is so recent that their possible role in Bells-Palsy would not be known. Also, nematodes and Borrelia are tag-team parasites, both of which cause destruction in the brain). One other signature of Borrelia is a very stiff and sometimes crunchy neck. If backing your car and/or singing has become very difficult for you, suspect Lyme disease.
Bartonella (also known as Cat Scratch Fever) - sometimes has a signature stretch-mark rash. The signature symptom is foot pain. Anyone diagnosed with plantar fasciitis who also has chronic-fatigue-like symptoms should suspect a Bartonella infection.
H. pylori (Helicobactor pylori) - Signature symptom is sternum pain that can be so severe that if touched in the sternum area it feels as if you have been punched in the chest. Also ulcers and digestive issues. Over 50% of gastric cancer patients are infected with h. pylori.
Babesia - this one is a cousin to malaria and for me has proven to be the hardest to eradicate. I'll beat it back and then a couple of months later will feel the creeping back in of these signature symptoms: air hunger (easily out of breath, inability to draw a deep breath, panting walking upstairs), temperature disregulation (constantly alternating between too hot - to the point of sweating and dizziness - and too cold), along with general malaise and exhaustion.
Fungus/Yeast/Candida overgrowth - Candida is a useful fungus in the body as long as it is in balance; unfortunately, Candida is easily unbalanced by the use of antibiotics. The antibiotic-induced overgrowth of Candida may well be the great over-looked medical problem of our time and (I think) it may be the root cause of many, if not most, of our "mystery" illnesses including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Auto-immune diseases (what if the immune system is fighting Candida rather than "itself," as we are often led to believe?), and too many others to list. Imagine this scenario: The use of antibiotics causes Candida overgrowth causes constant low-grade inflammation causes the degradation of the immune system creates an internal environment where parasites are no longer sought-and-destroyed by the immune system, causing chronic illness that is so multi-pronged that it is very hard to diagnose, treat, and eradicate. (It makes too much sense.)
My son Logan is the example I know of first-hand. He suffered ear-infections as a baby and was often given antibiotics. Throughout childhood he suffered digestive problems such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, and pooping so often that "Logan in the bathroom" was kind of a family joke. He craved sugar and carbohydrates; he suffered many allergies. He played a lot of sports but was often sick; in high school he had mono and MERSA several times. (And more antibiotics.) Just out of high school he became so sick that daily functioning was difficult for him. As we peeled away the layers of his illness, down at the very bottom of everything, we found Candida. (I need to mention here that Logan's illness was many years in the making and one reason diagnosis is so difficult is that so much time can pass between the use of antibiotics and the onset of serious illness that it is nearly impossible to connect the dots between the two.)
(For example, this very same scenario happened in one of my fillies who, as a yearling, had an eyeball scratched by a tree branch. The ensuing infection became a melting ulcer that literally looked as if her eyeball was melting down her face. The eye was saved through several weeks of around-the-clock IV antibiotics. However, after the eye healed I noticed that the filly's personality had changed; she became grumpy and lethargic. I remember looking at her and wondering if the scar on her eye gave her headaches. For two years there were scant clues and I just couldn't figure out what was going on. Then, when she was three, I noticed her swinging her head around and scratching at her belly. Upon investigation, I realized that she had an itchy, gooey, scabby rash that ran along her belly from her girth area to her udders. Luckily, by this time I had had my own sad education and I was able to put the puzzle pieces together. I started her on probiotics, feed with no sugar, twice-daily applications of my homemade anti-fungal lotion, (and wormer). It took about six months, but her belly healed completely. Her personality is more like her old self. She remains on probiotics (Restore4Life is amazing) and a sugar-free diet. (It is worth mentioning that animals are good control subjects as there is no placebo effect with them.)
Nematodes - these bastards live in the spinal fluid and feed on our brains. These are the ones that cause unexplained (and often severe) back pain and the crazy neurological symptoms including changes to handwriting, walking impairment and general clumsiness, blurry and ever-changing vision (although this is not the only parasite that messes with the vision, but since they do so much damage in the brain, they should be considered a likely culprit). Also including the psycho symptoms of anxiety, depression, hallucinations, and all the other assorted things that make you wonder if you are losing your mind. Yes, you are, literally, physically, losing your mind if you have nematodes. If you have not yet watched this slide show from Dr. Alan McDonald about finding nematodes in every brain he tested from people who supposedly died of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and ALS, you need to do so now.
This is the most important new development in the understanding of Lyme and other parasites: the finding that Borrelia lives inside of nematodes and together they wreak havoc on humans (without ever having been bitten by a tick). Additionally, nematodes are the parasites we are constantly worming our pets for: roundworms, rope worms, ascarids, pinworms. strongyles, threadworms, stomach worms, etc. It is unbelievable (and negligent) that we know our pets have parasites and that veterinarians push us to regularly de-worm our animals, but it is not on the radar of any US doctor that we should also be regularly de-worming ourselves and our children. Especially if those children live (and OMG, sleep) with pets who are shedding parasites because they have been wormed.
(P.S. Dear Horse Friends, If you are actively worming your horses but not yourself, there is no doubt in my mind that you have parasites. Don't wait for "infection" to become "disease." By the time it does, you will have real and lasting damage to your brain and your joints.)
Having spent a life-time with animals (dogs, cats, horses) I was very familiar with the various de-wormers that veterinarians prescribe for our pets. Our old dog has eaten a Heartgard (ivermectin) treat every month for years. My horses had regular fecal counts for parasites and based on that, the vet recommended which wormer should be given. For decades, I had used many different wormers to de-worm many different horses. To say I was comfortable with wormer would be an understatement. So, when I first watched Dr. McDonald's lecture, I knew we were going to de-worm ourselves. I sent the lecture to our nurse practitioner and scheduled an appointment with her. I googled something like, "humans using wormer" and found many sites where humans were ingesting horse, goat, and fish wormer. I learned that the Jimmy Carter Foundation has shipped 240 million doses of ivermectin to countries in Africa and South America to combat the nematode that causes river blindness (which is transmitted to humans through the bites of black flies).
These are the wormers we’ve used:
Ivermectin: First of all a caveat: One of our great docs (who is a veterinarian and an MD and an acupuncturist and a healer) told us that ivermectin is "a machine-gun." It kills a lot of crap living inside us. By the time we took ivermectin we had been in intensive treatment for about seven months. Killing parasites at a slow pace makes us miserable enough; killing them fast and in great numbers can be dangerous (especially to the heart, brain, liver). IVERMECTIN IS NOT FOR BEGINNERS. Start with the mild wormers (listed below), kill things off slowly and do all the things you can think of to detox, which is a nice way of saying: pee and poop and sweat and expel mucus to get that crap out of your body so your liver doesn't wear itself out trying to deal with the dead parasites. Get that crap out of you! With any luck, you'll have so much success with the mild wormers you won't have to use the machine gun.
With that said, here is our story. I told our NP that we were going to use ivermectin and that she could write us a prescription or we would experiment with the horse paste. I had found groups on line where people were ingesting the horse paste, and while I was not (yet) willing to ingest animal wormer, I was willing to use it as a lotion, allowing it to soak into our skin. (One of the very important things I've learned on this journey is that EVERYTHING we put ON our body ends up IN our body.) Our NP wrote us a prescription but we suffered sticker shock when we went to have the prescription filled. I wish I could remember the actual amount but suffice to say it was over a thousand dollars. So we ended up getting about a fourth of the amount prescribed. One of my goals was to be able to find ways for people who couldn't afford expensive doctors and expensive treatments. As soon as I learned the ridiculous price for human ivermectin, I knew I would be using the horse paste as a lotion. So it ended up that Logan and I both used some of the human pills and some of the horse paste. We put small dabs of the paste on our spines (where the nematodes live). We both ended up being as happy with the paste as with the pills. The effect was stunning. We could feel stuff happening in our heads, jaws, teeth. (This after seven months of very extensive and expensive treatment.) And right away we both knew we were reaching the next level of recovery. We knew immediately. We probably used ivermectin for about a week that first time. We used very small doses for as long as we felt it doing something and then quit using it when we no longer felt anything happening. Then we would switch to a different wormer that targeted different worms.
Pyrantel pamoate (this is the active ingredient in over-the-counter pinworm medication which is commonly used for children suffering from night-time itchy butt (pinworms). In addition to pinworms, pyrantel pamoate kills large strongyles, small strongyles, and roundworms. Again, we took very small doses for as long as we felt it was having an effect. We used the liquid suspension so that it was easy to adjust the dose. We wanted to take enough to feel it working but not so much that a huge parasite die-off made us miserable. We bought this off of amazon but I am sure it could be found at any pharmacy-type store.
Praziquantel (also called Biltricide) - we used Equimax horse paste which is a combination of the very mild praziquantel wormer and a low dose of ivermectin. Very effective. Again, very small dabs of the paste on our spine for as many days as we felt it working.
Fenbendazole - The fenbendazole protocol at the FB group Morgellon's Support Protocol was one of the most effective treatments we used. There are two ingredients to the protocol: red reishi mushroom capsules and fish fenbendazole powder. Red reishi mushroom was amazing for me. I think I have had parasites for thirty years and I think they had been hiding behind fortresses of bio-film. The red reishi broke this up, causing me to vomit up thick slimy saliva (like dogs often do). Red reishi decomposes the bio-film attachment filaments like nothing else we have found. Be warned though, that when bio-film breaks up, all of the parasites are exposed and fight back. Logan and I both immediately came down with strep throat. My niece brought me a diffuser and essential oils (eucalyptus and thieves oil) which I put next to my bed and let all that steam blow over me. I spent two weeks coughing up phlegm and bio-film and, surprise, surprise, mold. Oh my God, the mold.
None of my extensive testing showed mold and I would have said I didn't have it, but I was looking at stuff under my newly acquired microscope and I could see it. And it wasn't all microscopic. Sometimes I would suddenly projectile cough out thick rubbery balls of slime mold. Over and over I had read that mold was at the root of all the parasitic diseases but I didn't believe it until I got the mold out of me using red reishi mushroom and fish fenbendazole powder. (1/16 tsp in liquid daily; it is tasteless and dissolves easily.) This protocol was game-changing for us. And has been for others I've told about our experiences, including a friend who has been in treatment with Dr. Horowitz for more than four years. Working with the practitioner she sees at Dr. Horowitz's office, she has been taking the red reishi and fenbendazole (human, not fish) and is also seeing amazing results.
I have not taken any wormers for several months, but I know that they are something that I will use on myself several times a year to keep myself as free of parasites as possible. Just as I do with my pets and my horses.
(2020 update: Here is a good article from 2017 that continues the discussion of signature symptoms of various parasites. https://www.prohealth.com/library/a-deep-look-at-the-symptoms-of-six-major-lyme-related-infections-41139?fbclid=IwAR1EmfXhstzxmdB5OORhLNZ8slukwXO-Qe5ufP0aKCaUX-xVGCuxAy5HvIE Because the truth is, facing the lack of reliable tests that doctors give humans (as opposed to the very good fecal and blood tests that vets do in office on our pets), Lyme Literate doctors (LLMDs) often diagnose and treat based on an assessment of symptoms.)