Unfortunately, no one is immune from infection with worms - both adults and children are susceptible. A person lives and does not suspect that about 250 varieties of parasites live in his body - these can be both microscopic worms and up to a meter in length. In order not to become a carrier of parasites, let's figure out what types of helminths are, what are the first signs and symptoms of infection with worms, how to treat them and how to get them out, and also talk about the consequences and necessary prevention.
What is helminthiasis and what types of parasites exist?
Helminthiasis is the collective name of the disease, which is caused by various kinds of parasitic worms. It just so happened that in everyday life we are used to calling all parasites worms, without thinking how many species there are. There are 3 main groups of parasites:
- parasitic flukes (trematodes).
Nematodes are a type of roundworm. These include pinworms, roundworms and trichinella. Each of these parasites is dangerous because it causes various lung diseases in adults and children. But the pinworm parasite is especially dangerous from this group - it does not have a permanent habitat, but wanders around the human body, affecting various organs. Pinworms have the appearance of white worms, the infection of which in most cases occurs from contact with cats and dogs. With untimely treatment, it can stop in the brain, then the consequences will be the most unpleasant.
Flatworms include echinococci, various types of tapeworms. Tapeworms may not show themselves for a long time, and eventually reach up to 10 meters in length. The first sign of infection with worms is rapid weight loss. They are dangerous because they affect the intestines, nervous system, eyes and liver. The most common way to become infected with tapeworms is by eating raw fish, especially sushi lovers should be careful. It looks like a six-meter tapeworm, which was removed from a person.
Fluke parasites or trematodes are the carriers of many infections, but the most common is schistosomiasis, a disease native to the tropics, which is second only to malaria in the world (according to WHO). The most disappointing thing is that such parasites are resistant to anthelmintic drugs. Therefore, the sooner you pay attention to the symptoms, consult a doctor and get tested, the better. A little further we will tell you what kind of research is needed and from whom to get qualified help.
Very often people do not attach special importance to worms and let the problem take its course. But you can’t do this - any group of parasites is very dangerous and can cause irreparable harm to the body. In addition to the development of chronic diseases, even cases of paralysis and blindness have been recorded in people infected with worms. Therefore, treatment for worms should be carried out on time and not put off such a serious problem until later.
Causes of helminthiasis
Helminthiasis occurs when the eggs of worms enter the human body. And the most common reasons for this:
- ignoring the rules of hygiene;
- the presence of pets or contact with farm animals (especially cows and pigs);
- the use of unwashed vegetables and fruits;
- the habit of biting nails, pens, pencils;
- the use of meat and fish products that have not undergone sufficient heat treatment;
- drinking insufficiently purified water;
- contact with a person who is infected with worms;
- insect bites.
Most often, children who attend a kindergarten or school, plumbers, specialists in cleaning sewage and sewer pipes, and agricultural workers are at risk of infection with worms.
Signs and symptoms of helminthiasis
The most, at first glance, "harmless" symptoms of damage to internal organs by worms are a rash on the skin or hives. But there are signs much more serious:
- constant lethargy and feeling tired;
- allergies in various manifestations;
- persistent headache;
- prolonged cough;
- nausea and vomiting not associated with poisoning;
- elevated temperature;
- acute pain in the abdomen;
- constipation or diarrhea;
- reduced or, conversely, increased appetite, especially for sweets (parasites suck glucose out of the body);
- weight loss, even with a good appetite;
- inflammation or enlargement of the lymph nodes;
- grinding teeth in sleep;
- irritability and aggression for no reason;
- the presence of white worms in the feces;
- constant itching in the anus.
If at least 5 points from the above appear, do not postpone a visit to the doctor and do not self-medicate. First of all, sign up for a consultation with a therapist who will tell you the next steps and refer you to a narrow specialist. A gastroenterologist is also competent in this matter, in which even tests for some helminths are included in the basic examination.
In the absence of timely treatment, complications such as inflammation of the pancreas, blockage of the bile ducts, intestinal obstruction, ulcers are possible.
What tests should be taken if helminthiasis is suspected?
First of all, it is necessary to pass a stool test for helminth eggs and an enzyme immunoassay. An x-ray of the intestine with contrast is done according to the doctor's prescription. For each parasite, you need to take a separate blood test. And with the search for roundworms, only fecal analysis will help. Modern clinics and diagnostic centers provide a number of services for passing the necessary tests, for which you need to properly prepare.
What are the treatments for worms?
What if the results of the tests were disappointing? How to remove parasites? Modern medicine proves that a lot of diseases arise due to the presence of worms in a person, so the war against parasites requires special tactics. The connection of oncology with the long-term presence of parasites in the body has also been proven. It is often difficult to recognize an infection with worms, and doctors, relying on the general malaise of a person, confuse helminthiasis with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Only after a correct diagnosis and passing the necessary tests, it is possible to diagnose the disease and begin to treat it.
Treatment of parasites includes complex therapy. As a result, not only worms die, but the consequences of their life activity are also eliminated.
Along with anthelmintic tablets, in the treatment of worms, vitamins, probiotics and enzymes are prescribed, which normalize digestion. Also, the use of antihistamines is not excluded. Iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid are prescribed if anemia is present or at risk.
Effective treatment also lies in the diet. For the duration of treatment, exclude carbohydrates from the diet: cereals, pasta, potatoes - they make it difficult for the intestines to work. Especially under the ban during treatment is fish that has not undergone sufficient heat treatment - white worms may be present in herring, sushi, pickled fish. It is recommended to use fermented milk products, ripe melon juice, garlic. Do not neglect pumpkin seeds - this is also an excellent prevention for both adults and children.
According to the results of the tests and the patient's condition, the duration of treatment is determined by the parasitologist and the infectious disease specialist.
It is important to remember that when at least one member of the family is infected with worms, the whole family carries out prevention. And if you have pets, then so do they. Carry out heat treatment of underwear and bed linen, bathroom with disinfectants. Crockery and other household items must also be processed. After the implementation of preventive measures in 2-3 weeks, the whole family should be tested for the presence of a worm egg.
The fight against helminths folk remedies
A phytotherapeutic agent is recommended in cases where the patient has intolerance to drugs. Herbal treatment is a long process that requires regular and daily adherence to the regimen.
There is a universal collection that has a wide range of effects on parasites. His recipe is very simple. For this you need to take herbs:
- 2 tbspchamomile flowers;
- 1 tbspmistletoe leaves;
- 1 tbsp eucalyptus;
- 1 tbsp thyme;
- 1 tbsp knotweed;
- 1 tbspwild rosemary;
- 2 tbspcalamus root;
- 2 tbspdandelion flowers;
- 2 tbspcentaury.
We mix all the components in a dry form, pour 2. 5 liters of boiling water and leave for 30 minutes. Then we filter and take a glass of infusion in the morning and evening for 2 weeks. In severe cases, the course is extended to a month.
The uniqueness of the collection lies in the fact that it destroys most types of parasites, while not harming the body. It can also be taken as a preventive measure. It is not recommended to take this collection during pregnancy, as some herbs have abortive properties.
Treatment during pregnancy
What to do if helminthiasis is detected during pregnancy? After all, in this position, you can not take potent drugs, and anthelmintic drugs are just that. There are two opinions about this:
- Some doctors recommend starting treatment after childbirth, when there is no harmful effect of drugs on the fetus.
- Others insist on starting treatment for worms as soon as possible, since the parasites tend to penetrate the placenta and infect the lungs of the child, causing respiratory diseases. It is also possible to terminate a pregnancy, spontaneous abortion or premature birth. Therefore, a pregnant woman should definitely consult a doctor and pass the necessary tests.
What to do if parasites are found in a child?
Responsibility for the treatment of children lies primarily with the parents. Not from the first time of testing, you can detect worms in a child. There is the concept of an incubation period, and sometimes the parasite begins to manifest itself no earlier than 21-35 days after entering the body. Therefore, children are often prescribed to take a stool test up to 3 times.
Also, parents should understand that anthelmintic drugs are not just a vitamin pill, but serious antiparasitic drugs that should be taken only under the supervision and prescription of a doctor.
Prevention of worms - effective methods
Compliance with the rules of prevention will save you and your family from an unpleasant disease - helminthiasis, especially since they are very simple:
- Be sure to wash your hands after walking, before eating and after visiting public places.
- If you have a pet that you love very much, take care of it, especially if there is a small child in the house who is in close contact with the animal. After all, it is animals that in 60% of cases are the distributors of worms, bringing parasites from the street in wool and on their paws.
- Pour boiling water over fruits and vegetables before eating.
- Get rid of the habit of biting nails and other foreign objects.
- Meat and fish that you eat, bring to 100% readiness.
- Drink only purified water from trusted sources.
- Avoid contact with an infected person until they are fully recovered, as kissing can also transmit helminths.
- Avoid places with a large concentration of insects, especially mosquitoes - they are dangerous carriers of various kinds of parasites.
- Carry out regular deworming of pets twice a year. In the off-season, in spring and autumn, immunity is weakened, which is a beneficial environment for the development of parasites. Farm animals are given antihelminthic drugs in the first 10 days of life, and then in cases of infection.
By applying these simple methods of prevention, you will protect yourself and your family from helminthiasis. The more time you spend on prevention, the less on treatment. Be healthy!