Meanwhile on TikTok: ‘Deworming’ Is the Latest Wellness Trend That’s Actually Really Bad For You

If we haven’t made it clear already (or if it isn’t common-sense obvious), TikTok is really not the best place to go for medical advice. And yet, the video-sharing service is rife with videos advising you on how to take care, or at the very least hack, your body. The latest trend making its way through the social media platform is deworming.

Say what? Hopefully, you have never experienced nor will ever experience an infestation in your body. But just in case you do, let us warn you of some bad medical advice featured on TikTok. It all started with this video:

@pengken007You have worms!!! #freaked #intestinalworms #worms #paraguard #disturbed #ohmylanta #icant #intestinepro♬ original sound – user5165758229144

If you haven’t seen it, the woman in the video explains that she kept getting ads for a product called Paraguard, a digestive supplement for intestinal worms.

“So, it kept coming up on my TikTok that people were taking Paraguard (a digestive supplement for your intestines — look at the review photos at your own risk) for intestinal worms and I thought, No way — there’s no way I have worms or anybody has worms,” she says. “And they kept saying in other countries people de-worm themselves all the time — every six months, every two to three months… So, I HAVE WORMS. And you know what that means? You have worms; everybody has worms!!! We need to de-worm ourselves, everybody, get something.”

People who have tried the Paraguard remedy are apparently reporting that they’ve discovered dead carcasses – in their urine, feces, and even skin. Just check out this woman’s experience:

@mrsrogershoodWell I did it! W/ @pistolpackingrancher #paraguard #paraguardparasitecleanse #parasites #worms #omgg #diditforthetiktok #friendshipgoals♬ Worms – Deep Fried Pickle Project

“I’ve worked in the medical field for 18 years, and not once have I ever de-wormed myself…until now,” she says. “I did the same thing everyone else is doing, the Paraguard — but I did the pills…dead carcasses everywhere! I took 4 a day for the last 11 days… I eat healthy, but that doesn’t matter if you have worms for 40-plus years. I did have a little bit different carcass situation…I peed them out, and they came out of my skin. Overall, I feel better, I have more energy, my skin is clear, and I just feel like I don’t have worms anymore.”

It’s enough to make you order up a lifetime’s supply of Paraguard immediately, right? But hold up. Because according to medical professionals, the parasites in your gut are likely the healthy kind, and by taking these questionable supplements to eliminate them, you might disrupt the delicate balance of your microbiome.

“The things people are claiming to see in their poop after taking these pills may not even be worms. It could just be fibrous tissue coming out as a result of taking the pills. They may be removing good microbes in their gut, which is detrimental because once they are destroyed you can’t get them back,” gastroenterologist Dr. Sabine Hazan told Buzzfeed.

Yes, there is bacteria in your gut, but it’s not all bad. Some of it helps your body digest food, regulates the immune system, makes vitamins, and protects against disease-causing bacteria.

So don’t go all scorched earth on your intestines just because some TikTokers told you to. If you really think you have worms, get thee to a doctor – preferably one who isn’t on social media. They can do a stool test to find out for sure. Anything else is just crappy medical advice.

Cover Photo: TikTok