Worms in humans: a dangerous neighborhood

Every person in his life runs the risk of getting helminthiasis - this is the name of the disease in which worms, called helminths or simply worms, parasitize in the body.

prevention of worms in the body

Worms is a topic that is not customary to talk about in a decent society. Indeed, there is little pleasant in helminths, and many believe that getting infected with them is a great shame.

In fact, every person in his life runs the risk of getting helminthiasis - this is the name of the disease, in which worms, called helminths or simply worms, parasitize in the body.

Of course, helminthiasis must be treated. It is equally important to take preventive measures that prevent the entry of worm eggs into the body. In this article, we will answer questions on how to do this.

Symptoms of helminthiasis: how to understand what is "alien" inside you?

There are many signs of infection with worms, and we will list the main ones. If you notice at least a few of the symptoms, you should consult a doctor:

  • itching in the anus and genitals (typical for pinworms);
  • urticaria - redness of the skin and rashes on it (allergic reaction to helminths);
  • swelling of the mucous membranes (also observed due to exposure to allergens);
  • abdominal pain, nausea, change in appetite (increase or decrease), rapid weight loss;
  • diarrhea, constipation, increased gas formation, other stool disorders;
  • changes in the composition of the blood;
  • weakness, fatigue, dizziness;
  • headache;
  • enlarged lymph nodes, liver and spleen;
  • pain in joints and muscles;
  • blood in the urine, frequent urge to urinate;
  • dry cough, shortness of breath;
  • constantly elevated temperature.

However, there are cases when helminthiasis is asymptomatic for a long time. We recommend that you pay maximum attention to your health and sign up for an examination with a doctor for prevention. This is especially true after trips to countries famous for unsanitary conditions.

Helminths: so what is it?

We call worms the simplest round or flat worms that parasitize in humans or animals. Experts identify more than 400 species of human worms, of which about 100 species have been found on the territory of our country.

The most famous helminths are, of course, roundworms, pinworms and various types of tapeworms. However, even experts will not be able to list all the existing types of worms. Moreover, in exotic countries you can get infected with helminths, which are absolutely atypical for our lands.

It is because of the variety of worms that it is difficult to make a correct diagnosis for the patient. Symptoms of helminthiasis can resemble manifestations of various diseases, depending on which parasite has entered the body.

In addition, a person can suffer from several types of helminths at the same time, which further complicates the clinical picture and adversely affects the patient's condition.

Based on the places in which worms are localized, they are divided into:

  • abdominal or luminal - living in different parts of the intestine (pinworms, whipworm, pygmy tapeworm, wide tapeworm);
  • tissue - choosing the tissues of the body as their habitat (muscles, lungs, heart, liver, skin, eyes, etc. ).

Ascaris familiar to all of us can be attributed immediately to both types of helminths. Most often they live in the intestines, but sometimes roundworm eggs in the blood stream reach other organs of the body and develop there.

According to the World Health Organization, every second inhabitant of the Earth is infected with helminths every year, without knowing it. Some researchers in our country and other countries come to the conclusion that certain parasites can be found in the organisms of 95% of people.

How can you get worms?

Parasite eggs always enter the body from outside.

An important point: none of the types of helminths is able to reproduce inside a person (it is for this reason that helminthiasis often goes away on its own - when the last of the individuals that have developed in the body die). However, if a person does not follow the rules of hygiene, it is likely that he will re-infect himself.

Ways of entry of helminths into the body

There are several of them, but the most common ways are four:

  1. From person or animal to person. So, for example, infection with pinworms occurs. If a person affected by this type of worms, without washing his hands, touches various objects, then this will become a risk factor for others (it’s not for nothing that enterobiasis - that’s what pinworm infection is called - is an occupational disease of teachers, because pinworms are a real scourge of younger schoolchildren).
  2. Through the soilWorm eggs get into it along with human and animal feces, after which they are carried by water, insects, pets or wind (with dust particles) and get on food or directly into the digestive tract or respiratory tract.
  3. When eating food that has not been subjected to heat treatment. Raw or half-cooked meat or fish infected with worms is very dangerous. Therefore, you should be very careful when choosing restaurants that serve sushi.
  4. For insect bites. This happens quite rarely, but the risk of infection with helminthiasis through a bite increases when traveling to exotic countries.

Is helminthiasis a childhood disease?

Worms are often considered a childhood disease. The reason for this is that children often do not follow the simplest hygiene regulations: they do not wash their hands when they come from the street, visit the toilet or pet an animal, eat dirty fruits and vegetables, and may drink unboiled water. Toddlers, in addition, learn the world by trying it "by the tooth" - they, as you know, drag everything they can reach into their mouths. This is how parasite eggs enter the body.

The facts today are as follows: yes, children get helminthiasis more often than adults. But this does not mean that a respectable age is insurance against the penetration of worms into the body.

Why are worms dangerous?

A reasonable question: if after some time the worms are likely to disappear on their own, is it worth treating them? Doctors answer: this step is necessary.

Some types of worms have a very long lifespan and during this time they will have time to harm our health. But even such parasites as pinworms, which die after about a month, are harmful to the body.

Possible consequences of infection:

  1. The waste products of worms act on the human body as poisons or allergens, reducing overall well-being. An allergic reaction, in turn, can lead to angioedema and death.
  2. Living in human tissues and organs, helminths damage them mechanically and interfere with normal functioning.
  3. Worm larvae, migrating through the body in the blood stream or getting into the respiratory tract, can clog blood vessels and cause bronchial obstruction.
  4. Some types of helminths disrupt the digestive process, which can lead to severe poisoning.
  5. Experts have discovered that there are helminths that provoke cancerous tumors.

The most dangerous worms for children: in addition to a huge range of diseases and a decrease in immunity, they can cause a developmental delay - both physical and mental.

Diagnosis: is anyone alive?

Except for the most obvious cases of helminthiasis (such as infection with pinworms, for example), the patient himself cannot determine what is happening to his body. Therefore, you should contact the specialists and conduct a set of examinations.

These include fecal analysis, showing the presence of helminths in the intestines. It is also necessary to conduct a blood test, which will determine antibodies to different types of worms. In some cases, sputum and other biological fluids are also examined.

Treatment of helminthiasis

Having determined the presence of parasites in the body, the doctor develops a course of treatment based on which worms have "settled" in a person, and prescribes the necessary medications.

Some people believe that you can use "grandmother's remedies" (for example, eat garlic) and thereby get rid of "intruders. "But, as we have already said, helminths are diverse, and only a doctor, after conducting all the necessary studies, can confidently conclude what type of helminthiasis the patient suffers from and how it should be treated.

Specialized clinics have everything you need to conduct laboratory tests, and our doctors have a wide knowledge of helminths and the treatment of helminthiasis. You can safely trust us with your health.

Preventive measures against worms

In order not to become infected with helminths, you need to remember about hygiene: always wash your hands, vegetables and fruits, get rid of the habit of moistening your fingers with saliva while flipping through the pages, and generally put your hands to your mouth, do not try products in the markets, eat with caution in unfamiliar restaurants and regularly takeshower.

These measures, however, do not guarantee complete protection against worms - this should not be forgotten. Therefore, at least once a year, take tests and be sure that there are no "dangerous residents" in your body.