Why People Are Deworming Themselves And Sharing Pictures Of Their Poop On TikTok

TikToks about deworming trend

Can a worm cause depression — and even suicidal ideation?

Well, maybe.

We know for sure that worms can definitely mess with your body, but a video uploaded by a nurse and TikToker named Tywonna recently went viral after she mentioned the possible connection between intestinal parasites and depression.

In the clip, Tywonna explains that she'd tried deworming herself using a parasite cleansing supplement called ParaGuard, a new health-related trend making the rounds on TikTok.

"OK, so you know that parasite cleansing thing that everybody's taking, ParaGuard, and then, like you look in your poopoo and there's wormies in there? Yeah, I poopooed wormies out and, um, that's not the problem," she began.

What set her take on the deworming trend apart was what she noticed surprising potential side effects of having worms and parasites — namely, that they include depression.

"It said bloating, cramping, nausea, vomiting, gas, pains, uh, and then I saw that it said depression," she said. "And it just made me think. So I've been depressed for however many years on and off, and that one time when I was gonna [makes a gesturing like she's cutting her own throat]... You mean to tell me it was from a worm?"

Photo: Tywonna on TikTok

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Can worms cause depression and suicidal thoughts?

The results of a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that people who test positive for the parasite known as Toxoplasma gondii are "seven times more likely to attempt suicide."

As lead researcher, Lena Brundin from the University of Michigan explains, "Inflammation, possibly from an infection or a parasite, likely causes changes in the brain's chemistry, leading to depression and, in some cases, thoughts of suicide."

Lots of users on TikTok were freaked out by this information after doing their own research.

Is deworming yourself safe and healthy?

Sara, a 22-year old recent graduate from Boston, saw the deworming trend on TikTok and initially thought it was gross, but was interested in the gut health benefits and overall body health benefits she might see from deworming.

Much like other users on TikTok, she took a deep dive into the research on deworming and found that it is common in other countries, including India and Kenya.

"I was so anxious at first because the thought of parasites or anything coming out of my body is actually terrifying," she said. "I started doing research and deworming is actually a pretty common practice in many other countries, however not so much in the US."

There are symptoms you can look out for that could indicate that you might have intestinal worms, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, fatigue, rash, and unexplained weight loss.

And according to another TikToker, Holistic Wellness Coach Natalie Claire, intestinal worms can also cause more confusing symptoms like brain fog, sugar and starch cravings, and more.

You can get worms from lots of things you probably wouldn't think about, like a simple lick from your pet, walking barefoot on your lawn, not washing your hands thoroughly before eating or preparing food, and eating too much undercooked or raw meat or fish.

RELATED: 6 Easy Ways To Improve Gut Health With Your Diet

People on TikTok have tried two different methods to deworm themselves — taking ParaGuard supplements or eating papaya seeds.

Sara saw the papaya seed deworming trend first, but instead of eating actual seeds like this TikToker Ramena did, she found papaya enzyme pills and was able to successfully deworm herself.

Photo: TikTok

After deworming herself, she couldn't believe what she was seeing.

She was disgusted by the worms themselves, but also fascinated by how well the process worked.

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"Luckily the parasites are dead which was one of my biggest concerns and fears, but I got over the fear of it after about two weeks," she said. "I’ve been taking it for about a month total now and I would definitely recommend it if you’re brave enough."

Lots of people on TikTok recommend deworming yourself because they've also experienced noticeable changes for the better.

TikToker Kim Rogers mentioned in her deworming video that she has worked in the medical field for 18 years, and not once had she ever dewormed herself... until now.

"I do feel less swollen, less bloated, and my husband feels the same," said Rogers.

Photo: TikTok

"Overall I have far less bloating, sugar cravings, and digestive issues. Since I started taking it, I’ve also recommended it to my mom and boyfriend, who have had similar results!" Sara continued.

If you want to try it yourself you can buy ParaGuard online on Amazon or try other deworming supplements like a papaya enzyme pill.

Get ready to say goodbye to your worms... and maybe even your depression.

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Megan Hatch is a writer at YourTango who covers pop culture, love and relationships, and self-care.