Unfortunately, no one is immune to worm infection - both adults and children are susceptible. A person lives and does not suspect that about 250 varieties of parasites live in his body - these can be both microscopic worms and up to a meter in length. In order not to become a carrier of parasites, let's find out what types of helminths there are, what are the first signs and symptoms of infection with worms, how to treat them and how to get them out, and also talk about the consequences and necessary prevention.
What is helminthiasis and what types of parasites exist?
Helminthiasis is the collective name for the disease, which is caused by various types of parasitic worms. It so happens that in everyday life we are used to calling all parasites worms, without thinking about the number of species. There are 3 main groups of parasites:
- parasitic flukes (trematodes).
Nematodes are a type of roundworms. These include pinworms, roundworms and trichinella. Each of these parasites is dangerous because it causes various lung diseases in adults and children. But the pinworm parasite is especially dangerous in this group - it does not have a permanent habitat, but wanders around the human body, affecting various organs. Pinworms have the appearance of white worms, the infection of which in most cases occurs through contact with cats and dogs. With untimely treatment, it can stop in the brain, then the consequences will be the most unpleasant.
Tapeworms include echinococcus, various types of tapeworms. Tapeworms may not show themselves for a long time and grow up to 10 meters in length. The first sign of worm infection is rapid weight loss. They are dangerous because they affect the intestines, nervous system, eyes and liver. The most common way to get infected with tapeworms is by eating raw fish, especially sushi lovers should be careful. It looks like a six-meter tapeworm, which was pulled out of a person.
Fluke parasites or trematodes carry many infections, but the most common is schistosomiasis, a disease originating in the tropics, which is second only to malaria in the world (according to WHO). The most disappointing thing is that these parasites are resistant to anthelmintic drugs. Therefore, the sooner you pay attention to the symptoms, see a doctor, and get tested, the better. A little further on we will tell you what kind of research is needed and where to get qualified help.
Very often people do not attach particular importance to worms and let the problem run its course. But you can not do this - any group of parasites is very dangerous and can cause irreparable damage to the body. In addition to the development of chronic diseases, even cases of paralysis and blindness have been recorded in people infected with worms. Therefore, the treatment of worms should be carried out in time and not postpone such a serious problem until later.
Causes of helminthiasis
Helminthiasis occurs when worm eggs enter the human body. And the most common reasons for this:
- ignoring the rules of hygiene;
- the presence of pets or contact with farm animals (especially cows and pigs);
- the use of unwashed vegetables and fruits;
- the habit of biting nails, pens, pencils;
- the use of meat and fish products that have not undergone sufficient heat treatment;
- drinking insufficiently purified water;
- contact with a person infected with worms;
- insect bites.
Most often, children who attend kindergarten or school, plumbers, sewer and sewer cleaning specialists, and agricultural workers are at risk of infection with worms.
Signs and symptoms of helminthiasis
At first glance, the most "harmless" symptoms of damage to internal organs by worms are a rash or hives. But there are far more serious signs:
- constant lethargy and feeling tired;
- allergies in various manifestations;
- persistent headache;
- prolonged cough;
- nausea and vomiting not associated with poisoning;
- high temperature;
- sharp pain in the abdomen;
- constipation or diarrhea;
- decrease or, on the contrary, increase in appetite, especially for sweets (parasites suck glucose out of the body);
- weight loss, even with a good appetite;
- inflammation or enlargement of the lymph nodes;
- grinding teeth during sleep;
- irritability and aggressiveness for no reason;
- the presence of white worms in the feces;
- constant itching in the anus.
If at least 5 points of the above appear, do not postpone a visit to the doctor and self-medicate. First, sign up for a consultation with a therapist who will tell you the next steps and refer you to a narrow specialist. A gastroenterologist is also competent in this area, in which even tests for some helminths are included in the basic examination.
In the absence of timely treatment, complications such as inflammation of the pancreas, blockage of the bile ducts, intestinal obstruction, ulcers are possible.
What tests should be done if helminthiasis is suspected?
First of all, it is necessary to pass a stool test for helminth eggs and an enzyme immunoassay. An x-ray of the intestine with contrast is performed as prescribed by the doctor. For each parasite, you need to do a separate blood test. And with the search for roundworms, only fecal analysis will help. Modern clinics and diagnostic centers provide a number of services to pass the necessary tests, for which you need to properly prepare.
What are the treatments for worms?
What if the test results were disappointing? How to eliminate parasites? Modern medicine proves that many diseases are caused by the presence of worms in a person, so the war against parasites requires special tactics. The link between oncology and the long-term presence of parasites in the body has also been proven. It is often difficult to recognize a worm infection, and doctors, relying on the general malaise of a person, confuse helminthiasis with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Only after a correct diagnosis and passing the necessary tests is it possible to diagnose the disease and begin to treat it.
The treatment of parasites includes complex therapy. As a result, the worms not only die, but the consequences of their vital activity are also eliminated.
In addition to anthelmintic tablets, in the treatment of worms, vitamins, probiotics and enzymes are prescribed, which normalize digestion. Also, the use of antihistamines is not excluded. Iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid are prescribed in case of anemia present or at risk.
Effective treatment also lies in the diet. For the duration of treatment, exclude carbohydrates from the diet: cereals, pasta, potatoes - they complicate the work of the intestines. Fish that has not undergone sufficient heat treatment is especially prohibited during processing - white worms may be present in herring, sushi and pickled fish. It is recommended to use fermented milk products, juice from ripe melon, garlic. Do not neglect pumpkin seeds - it is also an excellent prevention for adults and children.
According to the results of the tests and the patient's condition, the duration of treatment is determined by the parasitologist and infectious disease specialist.
It is important to remember that when at least one member of the family is infected with worms, the whole family does prevention. And if you have pets, so do they. Carry out heat treatment of underwear and bed linen, bathroom with disinfectants. Dishes and other household items should also be treated. After the implementation of preventive measures in 2-3 weeks, the whole family should be tested for the presence of a worm egg.
The fight against helminth folk remedies
A phytotherapeutic agent is recommended in cases where the patient has drug intolerance. Herbal treatment is a long process that requires regular daily adherence to the regimen.
There is a universal collection that has a wide range of effects on parasites. Its recipe is very simple. For this you need to take herbs:
- 2 tbspchamomile flowers;
- 1 tbspmistletoe leaves;
- 1 tablespoon of eucalyptus;
- 1 tablespoon of thyme;
- 1 tablespoon of knotweed;
- 1 tbsp wild rosemary;
- 2 tbspcalamus root;
- 2 tbspdandelion flowers;
- 2 tbsp centaury.
We mix all the components in a dry form, pour 2. 5 liters of boiling water and leave for 30 minutes. Then we filter and take a glass of infusion morning and evening for 2 weeks. In severe cases, the course is extended to a month.
The uniqueness of the collection is that it destroys most types of parasites, without harming the body. It can also be taken as a preventive measure. It is not recommended to take this collection during pregnancy, since some herbs have abortive properties.
Treatment during pregnancy
What to do if helminthiasis is detected during pregnancy? After all, in this position you cannot take strong drugs, and anthelmintic drugs are just that. There are two opinions on this:
- Some doctors recommend starting treatment after childbirth, when there is no harmful effect of drugs on the fetus.
- Others insist on starting treatment for the worms as soon as possible, since the parasites tend to enter the placenta and infect the child's lungs, causing respiratory illnesses. It is also possible to terminate a pregnancy, a spontaneous abortion or a premature birth. Therefore, a pregnant woman should definitely consult a doctor and take the necessary tests.
What to do if parasites are found in a child?
Responsibility for the treatment of children rests primarily with the parents. Not from the first test you can detect worms in a child. There is the concept of an incubation period, and sometimes the parasite begins to manifest itself no earlier than 21-35 days after entering the body. Therefore, children are often prescribed to take a stool test up to 3 times.
Also, parents should understand that anthelmintic drugs are not just a vitamin pill, but serious antiparasitic drugs that should only be taken under the supervision and prescription of a doctor.
Prevention of worms - effective methods
Compliance with the rules of prevention will save you and your family from an unpleasant disease - helminthiasis, especially since they are very simple:
- Be sure to wash your hands after walking, before eating, and after visiting public places.
- If you have a pet that you love very much, take care of it, especially if there is a small child in the house who is in close contact with the animal. After all, it is animals that in 60% of cases are the distributors of worms, bringing parasites from the street in wool and on their paws.
- Pour boiling water over fruits and vegetables before eating.
- Get rid of the habit of biting fingernails and other foreign objects.
- Meat and fish you eat, bring them to 100% readiness.
- Drink only purified water from trusted sources.
- Avoid contact with an infected person until they are fully recovered, as kissing can also transmit helminths.
- Avoid places with a large concentration of insects, especially mosquitoes - they are dangerous carriers of various types of parasites.
- Deworm pets regularly twice a year. Out of season, in spring and autumn, immunity is weakened, which is a favorable environment for the development of parasites. Farm animals are given antihelminthic drugs for the first 10 days of life, then in case of infection.
By applying these simple methods of prevention, you will protect yourself and your family from helminthiasis. The more time you spend on prevention, the less time you spend on treatment. To be in a good health!