Intestinal parasites- the scourge of modern society. According to statistics, almost every second person is the owner of this or that creature hidden in the lumen of the intestine. We are talking about both helminths - parasitic worms, and the simplest microorganisms invisible to the ordinary eye. All of them exist at the expense of the owner, pulling on nutrients, vitamins and minerals. But are parasites as dangerous as they say, and is it always necessary to urgently treat an infected person?
A few words about fashionable diseases
The topic of parasites is actively discussed in the media. On numerous Internet forums, disputes about how to properly remove protozoa and helminths from the body do not cease. The most incredible schemes are put forward, amazing recipes are offered, which, according to members of the forum, can cure all diseases, from the famous giardiasis to exotic schistosomiasis. TV screens broadcast that humanity is in danger, and each of us has been seriously and hopelessly ill for a long time. The news is picked up by colleagues, relatives and friends are frightened with terrible prospects, and advertising of miraculous means that can rid mankind of dangerous neighbors does not stop.
What is really going on? Of course, parasites exist and, when infected, can cause a lot of harm to humans. But not every inhabitant of the Earth is sick, and even more so not everyone needs medical help. Before you experience a newfangled remedy for frightening roundworms or terrifying filarias, you should make sure that such treatment is necessary.
It is important to understand: not all drugs are able to cope with a real problem. Many dietary supplements, widely advertised in the media, are not only useless, but also dangerous, and can lead to the development of serious health problems.
Uninvited guests: who threatens a person?
The following parasites are usually detected:
- Giardia is the most frequent companion of kids from 2 to 5 years old who attend kindergartens. Adults rarely get sick with giardiasis.
- Pinworms are another parasite that occurs mainly in preschool children and adults who do not follow the rules of personal hygiene.
- Roundworms are parasites that live in the small intestine and can invade other organs (including the lungs). They reach large sizes, can lead to intestinal obstruction.
- Pork and bovine tapeworm, broad tapeworm have chosen the large intestine as their localization. Infection occurs through food and dirty hands.
- Opisthorchias and fascioli prefer to exist in the biliary tract, provoking the development of obstructive jaundice.
In recent years, exotic parasitic diseases have also begun to be registered. This picture is associated with active migration of the population, visits to popular tourist places, including countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America. Failure to comply with hygiene rules, bathing in local waters, eating traditional food, including those purchased on the market from the hands, leads to active infection with unusual parasites, which cannot be recognized immediately.
Symptoms of parasitic infestation
Infection often goes unnoticed for a person. The infamous Giardia may not manifest itself for years, and the only symptom will be a change in habitual behavior. Giardiasis, "the disease of longing and sadness, " makes the patient lethargic, apathetic, leads to rapid fatigue, loss of strength, depressive mood. It rarely occurs to anyone to look for the cause in parasites. Most people attribute these symptoms to stress, fatigue, lack of sleep, and other attributes of a person's everyday life.
Some parasites that live in the intestines make themselves known quite clearly. Against the background of the invasion, certain signs may appear:
The most common manifestation of parasitic infection, characterized by the occurrence of such symptoms:
- nausea and vomiting;
- pain in the abdomen (usually around the navel);
- diarrhea or constipation, unstable stools with pathological impurities.
In half of the patients, there is an increase in the liver and spleen. The accumulation of parasites in the intestines can cause obstruction, lead to severe pain in the abdomen, lack of stool. This condition requires immediate surgical attention.
Some parasites are able to stick to the intestinal mucosa to obtain essential nutrients for life. Constant trauma leads to blood loss, which leads to iron deficiency and contributes to the development of anemia.
General intoxication syndrome
One of the signs of parasitic invasion is prolonged subfebrile body temperature. If no other causes of fever are identified, it is worth checking for helminths.
Long-term parasites disrupt the digestive tract, which provokes the development of allergic reactions. This can be stool breakdown from certain foods or a hives-type skin rash.
Parasites reduce the synthesis of immunoglobulins, and above all Yg A. This leads to frequent colds and exacerbation of chronic pathology.
Other signs of parasitic infestation
Against the background of infection with helminths, other symptoms may occur:
- bruxism - teeth grinding in sleep;
- insomnia, frequent awakenings at night;
- pain in muscles and joints (with the spread of parasites or as an autoimmune reaction to their presence);
- shortness of breath, cough (when parasites enter the bronchopulmonary system).
All of these symptoms are nonspecific and can occur in a wide variety of diseases. Before trying to cleanse the body of parasites, you should make sure of their presence, as well as find out who exactly became this uninvited guest.
Some parasites are easy to detect in feces or underwear, while others cannot be detected without special laboratory tests. If you suspect an infection, you need to consult a doctor - a therapist or infectious disease specialist. The doctor will conduct an examination, analyze the patient's complaints and give his recommendations for further diagnosis. There is no point in being examined for all parasites known to science and wasting time, money and nerves on such searches.
The following methods are used to diagnose dangerous guests:
- identification of parasites and their eggs in feces;
- serological studies to determine the titer of antibodies.
Diagnostic methods do not always show infection with parasites. Incorrect feces collection technique, violation of the transportation scheme - all this can lead to the fact that dangerous neighbors will not be identified. Serological studies are also not always indicative, because high titers of immunoglobulin G persist for some time after the complete elimination of parasites. If the patient is sure that he is infected or there are certain prerequisites for this (visiting exotic countries, non-observance of personal hygiene rules, cases of infection in the close environment), the examination must be repeated.
Do I need to cleanse the body of parasites?
Deworming is indicated only when the diagnosis is confirmed by laboratory methods. Symptoms alone are not enough to carry out any measures to cleanse the body of parasites. Neither abdominal pain, nor stool rupture, nor a skin rash indicate an unambiguous infection with helminths, since these signs are also found in other diseases.
For deworming, various medications are used to destroy dangerous guests and remove them from the body. These drugs are toxic, cause unpleasant side effects, so they can only be taken as directed by a doctor. The doctor will determine the dosage and duration of taking the drug, and also indicate what effect should be expected. If you do not follow these safety rules, you can seriously harm your body and achieve an undesirable effect.
Anti-parasite drugs are only the first stage of therapy. Further, the doctor prescribes other medications:
- means for restoring intestinal microflora;
- drugs for the normalization of gastrointestinal motility;
- antihistamines to eliminate an allergic reaction;
The purpose of such treatment is not only to destroy parasites, but also to restore the normal functioning of the body. At the second stage, various herbal decoctions are also used for successful treatment:
- linseed and pumpkin seeds, etc.
These herbs are contained in various dietary supplements used to cleanse the body of parasites. It is necessary to use such funds with great care, since it is not always the case that only relatively harmless components are included in such additives. At best, the miracle remedy simply will not have an effect, at worst, unwanted reactions and complications will appear.
There are cases when an excessive enthusiasm for enemas, decoctions and tinctures led to poisoning or chemical burns, and then, instead of getting rid of parasites, a person received a bunch of new problems. It is especially dangerous to take questionable supplements for the elderly and all those with heart, kidney and liver diseases.
It makes no sense to engage in regular cleansing of the body from parasites at home using improvised means. Preventive deworming is justified only in special situations:
- identification of parasites in family members;
- outbreak of parasitic diseases in the region of residence;
- obvious violations of the rules of personal hygiene when visiting exotic countries;
- eating raw or semi-raw meat and fish, drinking untreated water from questionable sources.
Prophylactic deworming may be recommended for pet owners, especially if the dog or cat goes outside. But even in this case, it will be easier to give a pill for parasites to a pet than to subject your family members to a similar procedure.
Before conducting any experiments on your own body, you should consult your doctor.