Helminthiasis is common among humans. The reason for this is the wide habitat of various species of helminths in nature, in addition, it is not difficult to get infected with them: water, food, dirty hands, contact with pets can act as a source of infection. Signs of worm infection can vary from person to person, but patients most often complain of general weakness, stomach pain, fever and other manifestations of the disease. So, today we are going to talk about the symptoms and treatment of helminths in humans.
Helminths in the human body
Worms are scientifically called helminths. Helminths are all worms that parasitize the bodies of humans, animals and plants. Accordingly, worms are not a special type of parasite, but a whole group of different worms, three of which are the most common.
In modern society, worms are still prevalent. Helminthic invasion is especially common in children, hunters, fishermen and their families, as well as villagers. Worms are a large detachment of parasitic worms that live from animals and plants, feeding and reproducing within the donor's body.
Worms are a large detachment of parasitic worms that live from animals and plants, feeding and reproducing within the donor's body. Man is no exception. There are more than 70 species of parasites in our country alone. According to statistics, every third inhabitant of the Earth is infected with parasitic worms. It is assumed that there is no adult in whose body no worm would inhabit life.
As much as parents carefully monitor the cleanliness of their children's hands, it is almost impossible to protect them from worms (pinworms). Children explore the outside world, nature arouses special interest. They want to touch everything with their hands, to taste. People who eat fish, meat of wild animals and birds, domestic milk are at risk of contracting trichinosis and difilobotriosis.
Modern medical data show that many diseases occur due to the invasion of helminths. For example, oncology has been clinically proven to be associated with long-term parasite infestation. Doctors and patients often misinterpret the signs of worms in humans. They begin to treat non-existent diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
Patients can go to the doctor for a long time, complaining of weakness. They waste time, money and further damage their health by taking unnecessary medications. Ultimately, recovery occurs only when the cause of the symptoms is eliminated. After proper treatment, patients cease to be bothered by all the associated symptoms.
In which organs can parasites live?
Worm parasites are divided into two categories, which correspond to the site of activity in the donor body:
- abdominal - worms that live in different parts of the digestive tract. There are about 100 species of intestinal parasites, and for each part of the intestine there are several dozen species. The small intestine is ready to receive ascaris, antelope, broad ribbons and other less common "brothers". The small intestine will "share its living space" with pinworms, tapeworms and more. The medical literature describes cases where one person was infected with several types of parasites at the same time;
- tissues - worms localized in organs, tissues, and even in the blood. Modern medicine successfully copes with paragonimiosis (lungs), cysticercosis (brain), echinococcosis (liver) and filariasis (lymphatic vessels). Some worm larvae move through the body through the circulatory system and randomly attach to any organ. If a lot of eggs are ingested, the whole organism can be infected.
How can you get worms
Infection with helminths through the soil
Almost every contact with the ground is a danger in terms of parasite infestation, so after working with the ground, it is necessary not only to wash your hands with soap and water, but also to treat your nails carefully. It is important to monitor the length of nails in children and cut them in time. All products that grow in the country and that man consumes raw must be washed under running water and steamed with boiling water. Almost every contact with the ground is a danger in terms of parasite infestation, so after working with the ground, it is necessary not only to wash your hands with soap and water, but also to treat your nails carefully.
This applies to vegetables, fruits and herbs. Pets walking on the street can inflict a huge amount of dirt on themselves, including parasites. Therefore, contact between children and pets always carries a risk of infection. Moreover, cats and dogs can be carriers of almost all types of helminths. Among the insects that spread the infection, flies have been identified as the most dangerous. They are frequent inhabitants of toilets, cattle pens, after which they can crawl completely freely on food, carrying helminth eggs on their paws and wings;
Helminth infection from a sick person
When female pinworms mature in the baby’s body, they crawl onto the skin of the anal folds to lay eggs. One individual lays about 5, 000 eggs near the anus. The process of their laying causes the appearance of severe itching, which is why the child begins to comb the problem area. The eggs are spread on the underwear, on the bedding, on the child's hands. He then touches toys, door handles, furniture and other household items with those hands. Other children and adults also touch them.
The helminth eggs are attached to their hands, after which they are taken into their mouths during meals. The risk of invasion is multiplied if you ignore the rules of hygiene and do not wash your hands before eating, after visiting the toilet and public places. This is the mechanism of helminth transmission from person to person;
Infection with helminths through water
The current problem is the water distribution of helminths. A huge number of eggs fall into open waters, wells, springs, etc. That is why it is very important to use filters with bactericidal action, especially for those people who live in rural areas. Always boil before drinking. The current problem is the water distribution of helminths.
Parents must ensure that children do not swallow water while swimming in lakes and rivers. Moreover, you should not drink water from open springs, not even from springs. Children are most susceptible to helminthiasis. This is for certain reasons. First, helminths are easier to find in a child's body, because its defenses are not yet fully formed, and the acidity of gastric juice is low compared to the acidity of adult gastric juice. Second, children up to the age of 5-6 learn to follow hygiene rules on their own. Until then, he "tastes" the whole world around him.
Therefore, the risk of invasion not only on the child, but also on all members of his family remains, at least until the baby enters school. No helminths can reproduce indefinitely and exist in the human body. They all have a certain lifespan and after a while they simply die. For example, roundworms live no more than a year, and pinworms no more than 2 months. In order for a person to become infected again, it is necessary to re-enter the eggs in the digestive tract. Only in this way can the helminth life cycle continue.
If you rule out the possibility of re-infection, or reduce the likelihood of swallowing invasive helminth eggs to zero, you can get rid of them without any treatment. But for that, it is necessary to adhere to strict hygiene rules. Thus, worms can be removed from the body in 3-4 weeks. However, children of preschool and primary school age will definitely not be able to follow all the recommendations.
Definition of worm infection in humans
The test for determining possible helminthiasis includes counting positive answers to the questions asked. According to their number, conclusions can be drawn about the risk of the presence of helminths in the body:
- itching in the anus bothers periodically or constantly; often headache, dizziness; rashes appear on the skin; nausea often occurs, which can lead to vomiting; anxiety about bloating, unstable stools (constipation is replaced by diarrhea);
- the quality of the night's sleep deteriorated. Worried about insomnia, he screams in his sleep; lower extremities often swollen; lymph nodes are enlarged; allergic reactions occur (bronchial asthma, urticaria, cough and rhinitis of allergic nature); occasionally abdominal pain, which passes on its own; a bitter taste appears in the mouth; chases chronic fatigue and tiredness; there are preschool children in the house. Work in a preschool educational institution;
- skin and mucous membranes have a yellow tinge; body temperature occasionally rises for no reason; sometimes sore joints and muscles; gnashing of teeth or snoring during sleep; the diet includes products such as: sushi, dried fish, fat with meat inclusions; the weight is reduced. Increased or decreased appetite; fruits and vegetables that a person eats should not be washed or scalded with boiling water.
If there are more than seven positive answers, then there is a risk of the presence of helminths in the body. If there are more than 15 positive answers, then the probability of helminthiasis is very high and it is necessary to seek expert advice.
Symptoms of worm infection in humans
Signs that worms have appeared in the body are not always easily recognizable. They often confuse them with the symptoms of other diseases or completely ignore them, believing that nothing special is happening and the body is just tired. However, this negligence can end up with a visit to the operating table due to an advanced case, instead of buying pills, if the person went to the doctor immediately.
Therefore, be sure to consult a doctor if you suspect or have several symptoms of helminths from the list below. And it’s definitely time to take care of yourself if all of a sudden the worms come out with the feces (it’s hard to believe, but there are people who can’t be scared even by this unequivocal symptom of helminthiasis! ):
- itching (irresistible urge to scratch) near the anus. Usually this feeling is expressed in the evening before going to bed. This symptom of pinworms can be called almost the main sign that parasites have coiled in your body;
- skin rash and irritation. Helminths are not the first thing that comes to mind when such changes occur in the body. People usually think of allergies, exposure to chemicals or mild poisoning. However, some worms cause similar symptoms in adults and children. The reason is simple - the immune system fights unexpected "guest parasites";
- headache. This symptom is suitable for almost every disease, but it was still worth mentioning. Dizziness and pain recur due to the work of the immune system and the release of harmful substances by helminths;
- involuntary abdominal pain and mustard taste in the mouth. This is due to the fact that human worms do not behave calmly enough, cling to the circulatory system, travel through the body, set their own rules in the gastrointestinal tract (gastrointestinal tract) and release harmful substances throughout their lives;
- dead worms come out with feces. They may not always be different, but in that case they are a sure symptom of helminthiasis. Don’t think that feces with worms is a sign that they are leaving and the body will just beat the parasites. Not everything! The fact is that some species of helminths (for example, pinworms or roundworms) can live no more than a month or two. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t had time to leave offspring and infect people with whom you interact closely through you;
- loss or increase in appetite and relentless weight loss. As much as you want to lose weight, getting worms is probably not the best idea. And although there are clinics that offer weight loss services by injecting parasites into the body, the safety of their services is questionable (more on transplantation of feces and microorganisms;
- a symptom of worms in humans, but a clear provoking factor of the disease. So, if you have other symptoms and have a pet, do not forget to examine for the presence of worms in the body. It is possible to become infected with cat or dog worms, and this often happens to their owners if they give up preventive measures;
- diarrhea, constipation, bloating. The main symptoms of worms in humans are manifested in their habitat, usually in the abdomen, intestines, and all nearby places;
- it is impossible to sleep, gnashing of teeth, frequent change of sleeping position. In most species of helminths, the main activity occurs at night, so while sleeping, you are "boiling with life";
- work around animals or in public places. If you work in a kindergarten, school, farm or shop, you are much more likely to get helminths from someone than working in an office or at home.
Unfortunately, there are no identical symptoms for all types of worms in adults and children, because each species manifests in different ways, is located in different places and parasitizes on different aspects of our body.
Treatment of helminths in humans
The treatment of helminths is called deworming. It can be medical or surgical (some helminths can only be removed by surgery). Folk methods for treating helminthic invasion are also popular. In addition, personal hygiene should be taken into account and cooking rules should be followed. It is very important to take measures to stimulate the immune system, because during helminthiasis it is depressed. To rid the human body of helminths, you will need to take antiparasitic medications. They work against various types of worms, so they should be prescribed by a doctor. In addition, there are broad-spectrum drugs, but this does not mean that they can be used alone.
It parasitizes about 70 species of helminths, including: trematodes, nematodes and cestodes. Only a doctor can determine which parasite lives in the human body based on laboratory tests (fecal analysis, scraping for enterobium, blood test for giardiasis, etc. ).
Currently, parasitologists have in their arsenal about 10 different drugs that allow the treatment of patients with helminthiasis. The dosage and course of treatment are selected in each case individually and depend on the age of the patient, the type of helminth, the presence of concomitant diseases.
Because some drugs cannot destroy helminth larvae, but only affect adults, the risk of re-infection remains. To keep this to a minimum, it is necessary to undergo another treatment after 14-21 days.
Folk remedies for worms in humans
To get rid of helminthiasis, you can try a variety of foods that have worked quite well in the fight against parasites. Even our grandmothers were treated for such a plague by shooting pumpkin seeds (by the way, they still have a lot of zinc).
Red beet juice helps well - it is necessary to drink 1 tbsp. l. daily throughout the week. Watermelon is considered an effective remedy, but pregnant women should not get too carried away with it: after all, there is a lot of fluid in watermelons, and this is an additional burden on the kidneys and swelling. A useful remedy for worms during pregnancy is fresh pomegranate. In addition to cleansing the body of helminths, everyone knows its magical property - to increase hemoglobin, and it is often recommended for pregnant women. This turns out to be a double benefit for the body.
Useful and effective herbal teas: cranberries, calendula, valerian. Moreover, they can be drunk both in pure form and in combination with each other. The leaves of these medicinal plants will help get rid of helminths, but at the same time have a mild, gentle effect.
You can use not only teas, but also medicinal decoctions. In your case, chamomile, lavender and strawberry will be the best option.
Prevention of worm infection in humans
Despite the significant difference in the development cycles of different worms, a number of preventive measures can be identified whose observance will help to avoid disease. Mandatory hand washing with soap after contact with soil and animals, going to the toilet and the street, as well as before meals - prevention of parasites
It is important to remember that the probability of worm infection depends on whether the person adheres to the simplest rules of personal hygiene, the most important of which are:
- mandatory hand washing with soap after contact with soil and animals, visits to the toilet and the street, as well as before meals;
- short haircuts on the hands and feet (especially in children), as well as keeping them clean;
- thorough washing of vegetables, fruits, berries, herbs and other products that could get earth and worm eggs;
- eat meat and fish purchased only in reliable places (shops and public catering facilities) and subjected to thorough heat treatment to destroy worm eggs;
- use of water only from well-maintained water sources;
- refusing to swim in water bodies located near pastures and watering places due to the high probability of worm eggs entering them with animal feces;
- destroying flies and other insects that lay worm eggs on their paws.
There are currently recommendations for regular preventive deworming (treatment of worms) with drugs without prior laboratory testing.
In order to prevent re-infection with worms, such events should be carried out by all family members at the same time, as well as pets, because they are often the source of helminthic invasion. However, it is important to remember that the prevention of worms with such drugs is carried out only by a doctor and only after a personal consultation.