According to the WHO, more than 4 billion people on earth suffer from parasites. Such a massive infection is explained by the underestimation of the problem, insufficient education of the population, ineffective diagnosis and treatment of patients.
All parasites that can cause disease in humans can be divided into three broad groups:
- Protozoa or protozoa. There are some varieties of them, but few are common around the world - Lamblia, Toxoplasma, Trichomonas.
- worms or worms. In the CIS countries there are roundworms, pinworms, toxocaras, trichinae, tapeworms and beef tapeworms, echinococcus, catworms and others.
- Ectoparasites (parasitic outside) - lice with head lice, ticks.
Infection of the human body with parasites of the latter group is quite easy to notice, but protozoa and worms often "surprise" their "owners".
Why are parasites dangerous?
Most parasites live long and actively multiply in the human body, so that the diseases they cause take a chronic, constantly recurring course. In this case, the affected organs cease to function fully, immunity decreases, and the patient becomes more susceptible to infection.
As a result, the body of a person infected with parasites is exhausted, weakened, poisoned by parasite toxins, and allergic. These processes, of course, do not develop at lightning speed, but years of ignorance about the presence of a pest in the body and, accordingly, the lack of treatment cause serious health problems.
How can you get infected?
Knowing the main ways to get parasites can help protect yourself and stay healthy. If we focus on pathogens that are common in the CIS countries, the list of possible routes of transmission of these parasites in humans is as follows:
- Through dirty hands.
- Through dirty water (even when swimming).
- Through unwashed vegetables and fruits.
- Through raw or undercooked meat and fish.
- Contact with an infectious animal.
- Sexual contact (this is how trichomoniasis is transmitted).
How can one suspect the presence of a parasite in a person?
Each parasite is characterized by its own localization in the human body and a special clinic for the defeat of one or another organ. However, several signs can be distinguished that are common to all helminthic diseases and some diseases caused by protozoa.
Its appearance is related to the vital activity of the parasite in a person. It is the products secreted by him that poison the patient's body. This manifests itself in headache, weakness, nausea, decreased appetite and irritability.
Most often it is a rash that appears and goes away and does not respond well to dermatological treatment. This can manifest as diathesis in babies. The origin of such a rash is also explained by the effects on the body of the parasite's toxins. If a person is allergic, then infection with worms can cause more serious manifestations - swelling of the mucous membranes, attacks of bronchospasm, and so on.
This symptom is particularly pronounced in children who seem to be eating well but not gaining weight, losing weight and looking downright disturbed at the same time. Again, the reason for the weight loss is competition for the nutrients of the patient's body with worms.
In addition, the temperature does not rise sharply - up to 37, 5. This is done against the background of the absence of obvious signs of disease.
This is gas and constipation and diarrhea and rumbling and pain in the abdomen. Very often these symptoms are explained by the presence of dysbiosis and unsuccessfully treated with antibiotics and bacteria.
Parasites in a person feed on it, so nutrients, micro- and macro-elements, as well as vitamins that are often consumed by the patient, are not enough to meet the body's needs. The first sign of such a deficiency is iron deficiency in anemia, which is manifested by pallor of the skin and mucous membranes, dizziness.
Variation in food preferences, cravings for sweets
These phenomena can also be explained by the lack of certain nutrients in the patient's body.
The appearance of these signs should alert you and force you to see a doctor.
Diagnostic and protection methods
It should be noted immediately that alternative methods for the detection of parasites in the human body (e. g. the announced Voll method) cannot be regarded as a reliable source of information. Therefore, you can only rely on the microscopic examination of feces, as well as multiple and specific blood tests for the presence of antibodies to individual worms and protozoa. The latter can be done in private laboratories.
In order not to fall victim to the parasite, a person must follow simple rules:
- Wash your hands with soap and water anytime, anywhere.
- There are only vegetables, fruits and herbs that are thoroughly washed or, better still, scalded with boiling water.
- Don't drink raw water.
- Don't swim in muddy water.
- It is mandatory to carry out a full heat treatment of meat and fish products.
- Wash children's toys regularly, and those that have been in a sandpit outside, for example, should be disinfected.
- Check pets for parasites annually.
Doctors recommend the prophylaxis of worms twice a year with special preparations. However, it is impossible to arbitrarily prescribe such drugs to yourself, and especially to a child, since they are toxic not only to worms. Therefore, you should consult a doctor about the possibility of using this or that drug and its dosage.
If the presence of a parasite in the human body is confirmed, it is worth looking for a good parasitologist who will prescribe an effective treatment regimen, since taking one drug is usually not enough.