Parasitic infections are known as helminthiasis. This is an insidious and common disease that cannot be known about for years. Parasites enter the human intestines through dirty hands, food and water and begin to actively multiply.
They absorb nutrients, disrupt the absorption of water and vitamins in the intestine, cause diarrhea and disrupt other internal organs. Therefore, it is very important to know what tests to do for parasites in order to identify them in a timely manner and start the correct treatment.
Types of parasites and their diagnosis
Different types of worms can live in the human intestine: round, flat, tape. Any parasite is dangerous to the body, as it releases toxic substances that affect the internal organs.
The consequences of helminthiasis can vary widely, including death.
Everyone should know what tests to do for parasites. The examination is carried out both for prevention purposes and in the presence of characteristic symptoms. Do not postpone your visit to the doctor.
The danger of this disease is that the symptoms do not always appear. For a long time, a person may not be aware of the presence of helminths, but at the same time, slow and irreversible destructive processes occur in the organs. The routes of infection are very different: contact with an infected person or animal through dirty hands, soil, food, water.
|Title||Paths of infection||Symptoms||Analyzes|
|Pinworms||contamination from dirty hands||Itching in the anus, diarrhea, weight loss||Anal swab|
|Ascaris||Eating unwashed vegetables and fruits||Weakness, itching in the anus, disturbed stool||Antibody blood test (ELISA)|
|Cat Fluke||Eat contaminated fish||Pain in the right side, allergic reactions, signs of liver damage||ELISA blood test|
|Trichinella||Eating contaminated meat and lard||Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, allergic skin reactions, weakness||Antibody blood test|
|Intestinal acne||Any contact with contaminated soil||Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain||Examination of faeces for worm eggs, ELISA analysis|
The treatment of helminthiasis is selected individually. Before prescribing any medication, the doctor recommends that you conduct tests and determine the exact nature of the parasite. Every single helminth has a different effect on the body and leads to different complications. In theory, they can affect any organ, but are more often located in the intestine. The risk group includes young children and people who work with the soil.
The main and most dangerous signs of a parasitic infection
It can be difficult to detect an infection. Symptoms are affected not only by the type of helminth, but also by the age of the infected person, the state of their immune system, and other characteristics of the body. Due to the decreased immunity in children and the elderly, the clinical picture is more acute.
There are chronic helminthiases that have no obvious signs and acute manifestations. They last for years and go unnoticed as symptoms are blurry and easy to confuse with other chronic conditions.
Consult a doctor immediately and have them checked for parasites if the following signs occur:
|Increased body temperature||This symptom does not always appear, but with severe damage to the internal organs, the temperature can be high up to fever.|
|Stool disorders||With helminthiasis, both constipation and diarrhea are observed. Different intestinal diseases can alternate, worsen or go away over time. Mucus and blood contamination are often found in the feces.|
|Nausea and vomiting||Symptoms of intoxication occur in the acute form of the disease. These symptoms can occur with any parasite infestation.|
|Cough||If the disease continues for a long time, worms affect the bronchi and lungs. The patient develops a dry cough that eventually turns into a wet one.|
|Allergy||The immune system begins to react to parasites, so that allergic reactions occur, usually skin reactions: itching, redness, hives.|
|Chronic fatigue||Helminthiasis causes weakness and fatigue, drowsiness due to body poisoning.|
|Weight loss||Due to impaired absorption in the intestine, a person loses weight even with the same diet.|
Regardless of which helminths have settled in the intestine, treatment should be started as early as possible. Parasites cause inflammation of the intestines, invading the lungs, gallbladder, and even the heart. A preventive examination will help avoid serious consequences and complications.
Preparation for blood and stool tests
The reliability of the result depends not only on the laboratory and equipment, but also on compliance with the rules of preparation. Violations of these rules will lead to an incorrect result. The person can miss the disease.
First of all, it should be noted that to assess the condition you need to choose proven clinics and reliable laboratories, where certified specialists work. If the examination is carried out by a doctor, he warns of the preparation.
The preparation for the stool analysis includes the following points:
- A few days before the delivery of feces, you must follow a gentle diet and avoid eating spicy, fried fast foods and foods that cause gas. It is recommended that you eat cereals, soups, and low-fat dairy products.
- If you cannot go to the bathroom, do not give enemas or use laxatives.
- It is not recommended to eat foods that stain feces: plums, tomatoes, beets, herbs.
- Before doing the test, you need to buy a sterile container with a special spatula. It will be printed on the day of the test. Matchboxes cannot be used to collect material.
- The minimum amount of stool required for analysis is 15 g. If the amount is less, the analysis must be repeated.
- Collect the material carefully so that no urine or menstrual flow gets into the stool.
- If, after the course of treatment was completed, the analysis revealed the presence of helminths, then the analysis must be repeated, observing all of the above rules.
Preparing the donation is usually standard. You need to visit the laboratory on an empty stomach and not eat fatty or spicy foods the day before. Any medication you are taking should be discussed with your doctor as it can affect the result of the parasite test. It is recommended to stop drinking one week before donating blood. On the day of blood collection and the day before, you cannot participate in physiotherapy procedures and undergo an ultrasound scan. Smoking can also affect the outcome. It is advisable not to smoke for at least an hour before the examination.
Blood tests for parasites
A blood test for parasites is one of the most informative ways to diagnose helminthiasis. There are different types of blood tests. The doctor prescribes one or more depending on the clinical picture and anamnesis.
The advantage of a blood test over a fecal analysis for helminths is that eggs are not always found in the feces. You need to go to a certain period of helminth reproduction. Blood can be donated at any time during infection. Almost all laboratory analyzes are carried out with special equipment and do not depend on the human factor. With ELISA you can determine not only worms, but also the degree of infection.
The doctor should be responsible for deciphering the result. The most common are 3 blood tests to determine if there are worms in the body:
|ELISA||ELISA is the most informative and reliable in determining parasitic infection. The investigation is based on the antigen-antibody relationship. The result will reveal the presence or absence of a specific antibody in the blood, which indicates an acute or chronic stage of the disease. With parasitic lesions, IgG antibodies appear in the blood. The result is pretty simple, positive or negative. However, it must be noted that these antibodies occur both in chronic infections and during the recovery phase.|
|PCR||With the polymerase chain reaction you can also reliably determine whether there are parasites in the body. However, this does not define all types of helminths, only protozoa. The severity of the disease and the number of helminths cannot be determined in this way either.|
|UAC||This is a simple and quick diagnosis that gives an idea of how the body works as a whole. The presence of parasites can be suspected by the level of eosinophils, which is increased. In helminthic invasions, the eosinophil content exceeds 20% of the remaining leukocytes. In this case, further examination and determination of the type of parasite is prescribed.|
Stool parasite test
Coprogramm is a laboratory test for stool. It is prescribed when helminthiasis is suspected: stool disorders, sudden weight loss, weakness, nausea, etc. You can make a coprogram in any laboratory: private or communal.
The following indicators are taken into account during decoding:
|Consistency and smell||Normal consistency is viscous without undigested pieces.|
|color||Usually the color is yellow or brown. Or it's too dark, this indicates the presence of hidden blood. Light stool indicates liver damage.|
|Weight||The presence of blood or mucus in the stool is taken into account.|
|Leukocytes||White blood cells are usually present in the feces, but in minimal amounts. If there are a lot of them, then an inflammatory process has started in the intestines.|
|Acid||The faeces of a healthy person have a pH value of 4. 8-5. 8. When the acid content increases, the absorption of fatty acids in the intestine is impaired.|
|Bilirubin||There is no bilirubin in the feces of a healthy person. Its presence indicates dysbiosis, increased peristalsis and rapid evacuation of feces.|
|Stercobilin||This enzyme can be present in the faeces up to 350 mg / day. An increase indicates anemia, a decrease indicates lesions of the gallbladder.|
Only a doctor can make a diagnosis based on such a result. Further testing may be required. In order for the result to be reliable, you need to properly collect and store the material. It is advisable to deliver it to the laboratory as soon as possible.
Scraping on enterobiasis
Scraping for enterobiasis is also an informative diagnosis. It is passed on as indicated or as a preventive measure. This is a painless procedure. Use a small spatula or cotton swab to remove some material from the anus. It is enough to wipe the stick several times to preserve the material.
Scraping is very simple - worm eggs are missing or present. The disease is treatable, but if the result is positive, the patient is isolated to prevent further transmission of the infection.