Helminth infestation is a group of diseases that reveal the presence of parasitic worms in the body.
Worms in humans, the treatment of which requires an integrated approach, cause a lot of unpleasant sensations in their owners.Parasitic diseases caused by various helminths (worms) and/or parasitic worms are incredibly common in various populations. So, trichinosis is often detected in people whose activities are related to hunting or animal husbandry, and diphyllobothriasis is a common disease among amateur and professional fishermen.
Attention!Sometimes it is very difficult to recognize the symptoms and signs of worms in humans, and treatment can go in the wrong direction, since helminthic infestation is very similar to the symptomatic pathology of some diseases of the gastrointestinal tract with diseases of the liver and gallbladderis and other infectious diseases.
How do parasitic arthropods enter the human body? There are several methods of infection with helminths known:
- through the surface layer, i. e. the soil in which the parasitic worms laid their mature eggs;
- through contact with infected domestic or wild animals, birds or aquatic fauna;
- through contaminated food that has not undergone adequate heat treatment;
- a large number of worm eggs enter open water, which is also a source of infection;
- In some cases, the bite of stinging or blood-sucking insects is a source of infection.
However, the most common method of infection is person-to-person infection.
Today there are more than 250 different parasitic worms that are harmful to human health. The frequency of infection depends on social conditions and climate zones. Let's determine the degree of danger that certain types of worms pose to humans and the treatment of which requires immediate therapeutic intervention. Let's look at the most common and dangerous types of parasitic worms in the human body:
- The pinworm is a type of parasitic and free-living nematode whose preferred habitat is the human intestine. These worms parasitize the small intestine or appendix and reach the ileum where they mate. After fertilization of the female, the male ceases his vital activity and the pregnant female, filled to the brim with eggs, continues her journey through the rectum and crawls out through the lower opening of the digestive tract. After laying eggs on the perianal folds of the anus, the pinworm dies. This movement throughout the body lasts about a month. The journey through the gastrointestinal tract has consequences. The appearance of worms in humans, the symptoms and treatment of which are determined by a disease called enterobiasis, is the most common type of helminth infection.
- Roundworms are round dioecious helminths, the total length of which can reach 40 cm. A sexually mature female produces more than 200, 000 eggs, the favorite place of which is the gastrointestinal tract, especially the small intestine. Roundworms cause signs of worms in humans, the symptoms and treatment of which are defined as ascariasis - one of the types of helminthic infestation. The free movement of the parasitic worm leads to irritation of the small intestine, which impairs its patency. By parasitizing internal organs, roundworms not only infest the gastrointestinal tract, but are also unexpected visitors to the respiratory and/or genitourinary system. Cases of penetration of roundworms into the frontal sinus, nasolacrimal canal and the external passage of the hearing aid have been recorded.
- Trichinella is one of the species of protostome round parasitic worms, the larval stage of which begins in the elastic tissue of the muscular system, after which mature individuals are sent to the small intestine. Infection with this type of roundworm leads to a fatal disease - trichinosis. Worms in human muscles, symptoms, treatment and diagnosis are determined by facial swelling, rash, myalgia and blood eosinophilia. A more severe degree of clinical pathology is characterized by damage to the internal organs and the central nervous system. It is very difficult to identify trichinae in the human body. All symptoms resolve without complications. Only after penetrating the central nervous system is it possible to determine the symptoms of worms in an adult - treatment in this case is aimed at restoring a neurological disorder, for example, ataxia or paralysis of the respiratory tract.
- Intestinal Giardia is a genus of protozoan flagellated parasites that cause protozoan invasion in the human body with primary damage to the small intestine and is the causative agent of giardiasis. By attaching themselves to the walls of the digestive organ, parasites feed on breakdown products. The favorite dish of ripe lamblia is flour and sweet foods. The parasites enter the external environment in the feces in the form of a spore form. During a biochemical laboratory examination during the treatment of worms in adults, Giardia cysts are often found, which enter the body through chlorinated tap water.
- The trigger of another type of helminthic infestation is the whipworm, which affects the organs of the gastrointestinal system and causes trichocephalosis. A fertilized female parasitic worm releases up to 10, 000 eggs within a day. The larval development of the whipworm occurs without an intermediate host. Worms that invade the body damage the mucous membrane of the large intestine, thereby causing an acute illness. In some cases, the whipworm is a causative agent of inflammation of the appendix, i. e. appendicitis. Prolonged presence of a parasitic worm can lead to anemia.
Recognize signs and symptoms of infection
When worms and parasites are identified in humans, treatment is determined based on symptomatic signs and biochemical laboratory test data. Characteristic symptomatic signs of helminth infestation:
- pale skin;
- general weakness of the body;
- itching in the anus;
- intestinal dysfunction;
- allergic reaction;
- Phase change in body temperature.
Toxic effects on the body lead to a weakening of immunity, which aggravates inflammatory processes in chronic diseases.
Attention!A characteristic feature of the long stay of parasitic worms is a sharp decrease in the body weight of the helminth carrier.
Home test for helminth detection
You can look for signs of possible helminth infestation with the help of simple tests, which must be carried out by a consultant infectious disease specialist or parasitologist. Count the number of questions answered yes.
With 10 "yes" answers there is a risk of infection, with more than 15 there is already a likelihood of developing helminthiasis:
- Are there rashes on the body that weren't there before?
- whether you suffer from frequent gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation;
- Is there constant itching in the anal area?
- Do you often suffer from headaches or dizziness during the day?
- whether sudden impulses of nausea or a gag reflex occur;
- Are there interruptions in sleep for no apparent reason?
- whether the lymph nodes are enlarged;
- whether swelling has occurred in the legs;
- Are you worried about constant tiredness and exhaustion?
- Does the mucous membrane of the eyes have a yellowish tint?
- Do you feel constant bitterness in your mouth?
- Are there any allergic symptoms – cough, runny nose, asthma?
- Do you constantly feel pain or heaviness in your stomach?
- Is there an unmotivated temperature change?
- whether there are preschool children in the family;
- Are there pets or birds?
- whether pain in muscles and joints occurs without the influence of physical activity;
- Do people around you complain about your snoring or grinding your teeth at night?
- Is there complete indifference to food?
- Do you often forget to process raw vegetables and fruits?
If there is a possibility of infection based on the results of a home test, you should contact a specialist.
Attention!Worms in the human lungs are considered a very dangerous and rare disease - in such cases, symptoms, treatment and signs must be determined at an early stage of infection, which is quite difficult.
The clinical symptoms of the disease are very similar to bronchopulmonary pathology, which is manifested by general symptoms:
- attacks of nausea and/or vomiting;
- difficult breathing;
- wheezing in the lungs;
- increased body temperature;
- productive cough and so on.
The causative agents of lung lesions are various types of tapeworms, pork tapeworms and roundworms.
Helminth infestation of the visual organs
Itching, irritation, increased sensitivity and allergic burning of the sensory organ can be caused by worms in a person's eyes; Treating such helminthic infestations is a very labor-intensive process. It requires certain skills from a specialist, since the parasitic worm constantly migrates through the organ of vision. Symptoms can be noted by constant irritation of the eyelids, similar to chronic inflammation in blepharitis. How worms appear in a person after treatment of a helminthic infestation of the eye can be seen in the photo.
How to get rid of helminths: treatment methods
Today, infectious disease specialists and parasitologists have more than 20 anthelmintic drugs and active ingredients, the treatment of which can be used to remove worms from humans. Treatment with broad-spectrum or narrow-spectrum anthelmintics allows effective control of parasites, provided that the diagnosis is correctly made and a laboratory examination of the helminthic pathogen is carried out. When selecting a therapeutic regimen, the age criteria, gender and weight of the patient must be taken into account, since antihelminthic pharmacological treatments are highly toxic. Synthetic dosage forms have replaced traditional folk remedies - garlic, chenopodia oil, fern and so on. After identifying symptoms, treatment of worms in humans with tablets involves complete cleansing of the body from helminth infection.
The most effective dosage forms are broad-spectrum drugs that can resist most intestinal and extraintestinal helminths. Treatment of worms in humans with tablets is conventionally divided into pharmacological combinations of antitrematodose, anticestodose and antinematodose action. Here is a list of the most popular drugs that help get rid of various types of helminth infections:
- A synthetic broad-spectrum anthelmintic from the group of benzimidazoles, often used to treat trichuriasis, enterobiasis and other manifestations of intestinal infections caused by nematodes. Active absorption of the drug into the systemic circulation allows the depletion of glycogen reserves in the tissue structure of parasitic worms. The duration of treatment and dosage are determined by a consultant infectious disease specialist or parasitologist.
- A drug from the group of imidazothiazoles is a dosage form with anthelmintic properties, which has an active immunostimulating effect. Pharmacological treatment paralyzes the muscular structure of the parasite, inhibits its fumarate reductase and weakens the bioenergetic activity of helminths. The drug is prescribed as an anthelmintic when the following diagnoses are made: trichostrongyloidiasis, ascariasis, toxocariasis, necatoriasis, etc. The dosage and duration of treatment depend on individual characteristics.
- Pharmacological drug from the anthelmintic group of benzimidazoles. The action of the drug is aimed at blocking and paralyzing the nerve endings of helminthic parasites. Due to muscle paralysis, worms cannot attach themselves to the intestinal walls and feed on decay products. Parasitic worms develop in a natural physiological way. The dosage form is freely available in pharmacies. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor before use.
Help from conventional medicine
Helminth infestation is also a psychological blow that an adult tries to hide from others for various reasons. Alternative medicine helps to remove worms from people using folk remedies. To combat helminth parasites, various herbs are used that are no less effective than drugs:
- wormwood etc.
An equally common method of treating helminth infestations is eating raw pumpkin seeds. However, for complete treatment, it is necessary to consume 150-200 g of pumpkin seeds daily, provided that the duration of home therapy is 3-4 weeks.
The most effective traditional medicine recipes for removing worms from the body:
- A half-liter jar is filled to the middle with chopped onions and topped up with vodka or an alcohol solution. After a day of exposure, the medicine is filtered and used as intended. Take 2 tablespoons 4 times a day for a week.
- Crushed pomegranate peels are poured into a glass of vodka or diluted alcohol. The medicine is taken daily, one tablespoon every 3-4 hours.
- A decoction of green walnut shells is very useful. The product crushed in a mortar is poured with alcohol and infused for 2-3 days until a pronounced brown color is formed. Take one spoonful one hour before meals.
- Cook two chopped garlic cloves in 200ml milk until completely dissolved. The medicine is taken in one dose before meals.
- A teaspoon of wormwood is brewed in 250 ml of boiling water and after cooling the remedy is ready for use. The strained liquid should be taken three times a day, one hour before meals.
A very effective preventive agent is freshly squeezed carrot juice, which is recommended to drink 200 ml on an empty stomach for two weeks.
Prevention of helminth infestation
Antiparasitic prevention of worms consists in observing sanitary and hygienic standards, which must be strictly observed not only by adults but also by children:
- Before eating, after walks and after contact with animals, you must wash your hands with soap;
- Food must undergo heat treatment before consumption;
- Street kebabs and seafood vendors should be avoided.
Also make sure to ventilate the living space daily and don't forget about wet cleaning.
Take care of yourself and always stay healthy!