Human Parasites: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatments

Abdominal pain with parasites

Human parasites inhabit each of its organs and systems. These creatures enter the body from the environment and are carried through the body in the bloodstream. There are a wide variety of parasites that can inhabit the human body. All of them pose a threat to human health and cause negative changes in the work of organs.

Human parasites. Signs of the appearance of worms in humans are obvious and hidden. The obvious ones include "unreasonable" weight loss, pale appearance (skin anemia), chronic fatigue, itching in the anal canal at night. These manifestations are known and indicate contamination.

How can you get infected with worms?

Human parasites. To protect yourself, you need to know 4 ways to spread and infect worm eggs with eggs:

  • Through soil and water - geohelminthiasis. They develop in sand, earth and water, then get into the human body and start laying eggs there. In addition, the worm's eggs get into the external environment along with the excrement and wait in the starting blocks to infect a new person. Eating poorly washed vegetables and fruits, dirty hands, and dust on food can lead to geohelminth infection in humans. Some parasite eggs enter the human body through the skin of the feet and ankles.
  • Through direct contact. Worms in pets and humans are spread through hand contact, games, and joint activities.
  • Due to the use of contaminated food of animal origin - biohelminthiasis. The consumption of raw and poorly processed meat (kebab, bacon, canned food, homemade game) and fish (sushi, dried fish, canned fish) is potentially dangerous. There is a possibility of contracting intestinal infections and biohelminths.
  • With insect bites. This type of infection is quite rare. These include intestinal myiasis, cantariasis, and scoleciasis. Do not confuse parasite eggs and insect larvae, which are also deposited under the skin of animals and human skin (e. g. horsefly larvae).

The main mechanisms of the spread of worms

  • Earth, sand and other types of soil are the most fertile habitat for worm eggs. Fruit plants are in constant contact with the soil. During harvest, vegetables, fruits and vegetables come in contact with the hands of workers, with dusty shelves in greengrocers and trucks. In such conditions, food contamination with parasite eggs is very likely. Therefore, it is necessary to thoroughly wash products of vegetable origin under running water, and then pour boiling water over them. In the countryside, you should be extra vigilant where pets run across the yard and then go into the house. It is not difficult to imagine what kind of sewage a cat or dog can dump into the house after a night walk. Flies and cockroaches are also carriers of helminth eggs. When you sit on food, insects can infect your food. Any contact with earth and sand can lead to the penetration of parasites into the human body. Hence, it is necessary to wash your hands thoroughly, especially under the nails. This is especially true for children.
  • From human to human. This infection mechanism is highly efficient. For example, pinworms lay eggs around the anus at night. While sleeping, a child scratches the place where the eggs are laid, as this is where the itching begins. Thousands of eggs fall on clothes, on the bed and in the morning on doorknobs and on everything that a little fidgety touches in the morning, even before he washes his hands and face. This creates a risk of infection for the whole family.
  • By contact with water. Open waters contain large numbers of worms. Bathing and accidentally ingesting water pose a serious risk of infection
Abdominal pain in a child with parasites

Children are much more likely than adults to be susceptible to helminth invasion. This is because the child's body is poorly protected (defense mechanisms are being formed) and the child is actively in contact with the external environment. It costs the parents an incredible amount of effort to teach him the basic rules of personal hygiene.

A baby under the age of 6 is at high risk of infection. According to statistics, about 95% of children under 4-5 years are infected with worms. Therefore, special attention must be paid to prevention.

Most types of worms are in the body, only there they lay eggs and after a certain time they die. For example, pinworms live 6-8 weeks, roundworms - up to 1 year. The number of parasites in the body only increases with the penetration of new eggs from the outside.

Treatment allows you to get rid of worms much faster and stop eggs from laying in the intestines. It is almost impossible for children with helminths to recover without medication. New eggs are constantly entering the oral cavity, replenishing the ranks of adults in the child's body.

What are the signs to spot a helminth invasion?

Cases of helminth invasion are not uncommon, in which diseases of the internal organs are exacerbated, diseases that have not previously manifested themselves. These are considered hidden signs. A person is brought to the treatment of many diseases and the cause is ignored. At the same time, the therapy does not bring any results. Here are examples of such cases:

Infectious diseases as a result of decreased immunity

Parasites consume a lot of nutrients in the human body and release toxic substances. Such circumstances significantly reduce the patient's immunity. With an exacerbation of chronic diseases, various inflammatory processes can begin in the nasopharynx. Normal treatment for sinusitis or stomatitis is pointless. The important thing is to rule out the cause.

In girls and women, inflammation of the uterine appendages, vulvovaginitis, vaginosis of various origins can often begin.

General malaise as a result of poisoning of the body

Parasites in the human intestine

The more severe the helminth invasion of the patient, the more pollutants the parasites release. This adversely affects the well-being and nervous systems of adults and children. An example of this is migraines, dizziness, joint pain. To overcome the nausea, the person takes pain medication, but the pain returns after a short time: the cause of the disease has been ignored.

In children, disorders of the nervous system are accompanied by irritability, apathy and aggressiveness.

If your child is sleeping poorly, is speaking in a dream, seeing nightmares, or has slipped off to school, it is time to prevent helminthiasis.

Allergic reactions, skin diseases

Human parasites. The waste products from worms are perceived as triggers for allergens. Skin reactions (rash, itching, rash, peeling skin) are the minimal symptoms that can occur when an allergy starts. There is a likelihood of general reactions from the body: exacerbation of asthma, rhinitis, cough. Sometimes the helminth invasion is accompanied by fragility and hair loss, cracking of the skin on the heels, and peeling of the nails.

Gastrointestinal disorders

Depending on the severity of the infection, symptoms can range from mild to severe forms of the disease. From mild nausea and diarrhea to chronic flatulence, constipation, vomiting, pain in the navel and hypochondrium. Worms in the tissue do not affect the gastrointestinal tract as much as intestinal parasites.

In which organs can parasites live?

Human parasites are divided into two categories that correspond to the location of activity in the donor's body.

  • Cavity - worms that live in different parts of the gastrointestinal tract. There are around 100 types of intestinal parasites and there are a few dozen types for each section of the intestine. The small intestine is ready to receive roundworms, antilostomy, broad tapeworms, and other less common "brothers". The small intestine "shares its habitat" with pinworms, dwarf tapeworms and others. The medical literature describes cases in which a person was infected with several types of parasites at the same time.
  • Tissues - worms that are localized in organs, tissues, and even in the blood. Modern medicine successfully copes with paragonimiasis (lungs), cysticercosis (brain), echinococcosis (liver), and filariasis (lymphatic vessels). Some larvae of worms move around the body through the circulatory system and randomly attach themselves to each organ. If many eggs are introduced, the entire body can become infected.

Symptoms of worms depending on the type of parasite

Symptoms differ for different types of worms in humans. It is also worth taking into account the duration and severity of infection with parasites, the general condition of the patient before infection. The table below summarizes the main symptoms of the presence of worms in humans by type.

Type of parasite (disease) Method of infection Symptoms Time of onset of symptoms
Pinworms (enterobiasis) With food of plant origin. Nocturnal itching around the anus, the presence of parasites in the feces, sharp short-term pain in the navel. 2-3 days after infection
Vlasoglav (trichocephalosis) With contaminated food that has been prepared under unsanitary conditions. Symptoms manifest themselves only with severe invasion: diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, appendicitis. In children, the growth of the body may be delayed and even rectal prolapse may occur. Some weeks
Broad tapeworm (diphyllobothriasis) When eating infected river fish. This parasite can live up to 25 years in the patient. Mechanical intestinal damage, vitamin deficiency, intestinal obstruction, body poisoning, allergies. Some weeks
Roundworm (hookworm) Walking barefoot on charged ground. Itching, swelling of the feet and legs where the parasite enters. Cough, phlegm, damage to the bronchi and lungs. Weakness, dizziness. The menstrual cycle in women is disturbed. Men have impotence. Some days
Ascaris (Ascariasis) With food of plant origin. Colon pain, peritonitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, liver disease, pancreas. May cause suffocation by creeping out of the gastrointestinal tract into the esophagus or airways. About 3 months
Trichinella (trichinosis) Badly processed meat, lard. Nausea and heartburn, diarrhea. 2 days
Liver and giant leeches (fasciolosis) Plant food and water. Fever, dry cough, loss of appetite, abdominal pain. 2-4 weeks

The symptoms of helminthiasis are as diverse as the pathogens causing the parasitosis, their life cycle, entry routes, migration and preferred localization.

The general symptoms of parasitic diseases are explained by the fact that in helminthic invasions, parasites suppress a person's own immunity and contribute to the development of inflammatory and autoimmune processes. General symptoms are associated with poisoning, the death of parasites, their vital activity and reproduction, manifest themselves in weakness, instability and mood swings, a decrease in school performance and productivity, memory and the ability to learn in children.

Heaviness and side pain in parasites

Pain in the right hypochondrium, bitterness, the appearance of jaundice may indicate that the parasitic disease is localized mainly in the hepatoduodenal zone (the area of the liver and ducts). At the same time, the patient may notice nausea and belching (vomiting).

Human parasites that are associated with damage to the liver and the ducts belonging to the hepatobiliary system are observed, for example, in the event of an infection with the flatworm Opisthorchis. This helminth penetrates the body of the final owner - a person - when eating poorly processed fish of certain breeds (carp).

Symptoms related to damage to the liver and the ducts related to the hepatobiliary system are observed, for example, in infection with the flatworm Opisthorchis.

The disease is endemic and has specific areas of distribution. To transmit the pathogen, the larva of the parasite has to go through a complex cycle with host changes (a mollusc of a certain species, a fish from the carp family).

Human parasites. Many parasitic diseases often lead to certain skin symptoms in the form of itchy skin, various rashes, scratching, neurodermatitis, eczema and other progressive skin diseases. Skin processes are not always associated with helminth invasion and are unsuccessfully treated by dermatologists.

It is important that with helminthiasis all organs and tissues can be affected, patients are often afraid of headaches, arthralgia (joint syndrome), discomforts of the upper and lower respiratory tract appear. Often, persistent cough, frequent SARS, pharyngitis, laryngitis, and difficulty breathing are associated with inflammation, the pathogenesis of which plays a key role in parasite (helminth) infection.

Giardiasis and its characteristics

Giardiasis is a protozoal disease in which the pathogen is present in vegetative form and in the form of cysts. Giardia infection occurs when cysts are ingested that are very persistent in the environment and can persist in the environment (soil, food, water, various objects) for a long time.

1 ml of feces can contain millions of lamblia cysts, which in a favorable environment can turn into vegetative forms. In the human intestine, a vegetative, mobile form with flagella attached between the cells of the intestinal epithelium is formed from cysts over several hours, in which the pathogen finds a favorable environment for lamblia with sufficient carbohydrate nutrition, a preferred substrate.

Giardia in a favorable environment are divided binary (into two parts), and soon their number increases many times. The vegetative forms of the lamblia act in addition to the intestine on the hepatobiliary system (bile ducts, gall bladder).

The symptoms of giardiasis are associated with asthenia, poor academic performance, weakness, combined with signs of damage to the intestines and liver and biliary tract. The course of giardiasis and other parasitic diseases is largely related to the characteristics of the immune response. Intestinal form, gastroenterocolitic - a common form of giardiasis. The pathogen's endotoxins can affect the nervous system, which explains the presence of many more common extraintestinal symptoms.


Another common and ubiquitous parasitic disease is ascariasis. This helminthiasis is more common in children, but it often causes numerous ailments and symptoms in adult patients. Many chronic inflammatory diseases, as well as somatic pathologies, can be triggered by parasitic invasion and intensify in the presence of various parasites, including Ascaris.

Often, children and adults who are carriers of Ascaris develop chronic colitis, enteritis, bronchitis, even such a serious disease as bronchial asthma, other allergic processes (atopic dermatitis, eczema, rhinitis, psoriasis) can be supported.

Human parasites. Ascaris enters the stomach when eggs are swallowed. After entering the upper parts of the digestive tube (stomach), the larvae, detaching from the capsule, migrate into the blood vessels, with the flow of blood they enter the alveoli of the pulmonary system and cause the patient to cough, cough and other phenomena of bronchitis.

Cough with parasites in the body

Often such a condition is considered a viral infection, exacerbation of chronic bronchopulmonary disease, and in this case is usually associated with the movement of parasite larvae.

After Ascaris larvae have been coughed up and pathogens with mucus have been introduced into the pharynx, they are swallowed with saliva and returned to the stomach, then enter the intestine, where conditions are favorable for the further growth and development of the parasite.

In the human intestine, roundworms that feed on their contents become sexually mature individuals (females 50 cm, males 20 cm). In the process of growth and vitality, as well as the migration of larvae, the parasite has a negatively toxic and mechanical effect on the human body.

During growth, vital activity, egg-laying and maturation, the pathogen has a suppressive effect on the body's immunity and can cause diseases of the lungs, intestines and other parts of the digestive tract, anemia. Ascaris can live in the human intestine for up to a year.

Medicines against helminths

Medical treatment of a person with pills is possible with the help of a variety of modern anthelmintics that are prescribed by a specialist.

Since some funds do not work on larvae and eggs of worms, and there is also a high risk of reinfection (self-infection with pinworms), the course of treatment is repeated after 2-3 weeks. Among the folk methods, the most effective are the tried and tested methods - the use of pumpkin seeds and tansy.

It has long been known that pumpkin seeds are a good anthelmintic, it is best to buy unpeeled seeds, peel them yourself, preserve and eat a thin film between the core and shell and consume 300 g in the morning. within an hour, previously chopped and mixed with honey or jam. Then do not eat anything for 3-4 hours and do an enema, you can repeat this treatment after 2 weeks.

Interesting facts about human parasites

  • According to the WHO, around 3 billion people are infected with helminths every year. 1. 2 billion suffer from enterobiasis, 0. 9 billion from hookworm disease, 0. 7 billion from trichocephalosis. And these are just official statistics !;
  • In European countries every third inhabitant carries intestinal parasites in their body;
  • With severe invasions, a person loses up to 500 ml of blood per day. This is where complaints and chronic fatigue originate;
  • Some parasites are located in the brain, the eyeball or the bone marrow and can live there for up to 30 years. For example, Cytisteryk;
  • Ascaris females lay 240, 000 eggs a day. Constant reinfection will not allow a person to be cured the first time. Repeated courses of treatment are required;
  • The waste products of parasites - poisons and toxins - undermine human health 24 hours a day;
  • Some types of tapeworm can grow up to 12 meters in length. Sometimes there is a risk of blockage of the human intestine;
  • Pumpkin seeds contain cucurbitins, which help cure worm infestations without resorting to medication. Pumpkin seeds are often given to children as a preventive measure;
  • It is optimal to treat pets every 3 months. How to save yourself and your children from parasites;
  • Worm eggs can wait up to 6 months in the wings on the door handles;
  • An infected dog scatters the parasite's eggs by breathing within 5 meters;
  • In order not to be digested in the stomach and intestines, worms and their eggs release protective anti-enzymes;
  • Trichinella does not lay eggs, but produces finished worms. Therefore, it is impossible to detect the presence of this parasite under laboratory conditions;
  • The most effective assay for detecting invasion is considered to be an enzyme immunoassay. Smears and stool tests may not provide reliable information.

In summary, it can be said that the regular prevention of helminth infections, even with cheap drugs (they are also considered the most gentle), helps protect the whole family. Take responsibility for hand and body hygiene and carefully prepare food for use. Children and pets must be constantly monitored for parasites.