Helminthiases, or helminthic infestations, are diseases caused by parasitic worms - helminths. To date, more than three hundred types of helminthiases are known. About two hundred varieties of parasites are capable of affecting the human body.
Parasites in the body: the main symptoms
Itching in the anal area - mainly in the evening and at night. With enterobiasis, one of the most common helminthiases, the parasite (female pinworms) leaves the intestines to lay eggs, which ultimately causes unbearable itching in the anus.
- Drooling during sleep.
- Peeling of the skin on the fingers and toes (more common in children).
- Increased appetite.
- Rash on the body and eyelids.
- Severe asthenic syndrome (lethargy, weakness, fatigue, irritability, nervousness, moodiness in children).
- Diarrhea or constipation.
- Depletion of the body with normal appetite.
- The presence of several chronic diseases.
- Decompensated chronic diseases.
- Unknown fever with joint and muscle pain.
- Anemia, especially B12 deficiency.
- Prolonged dry cough - most often at night.
- A high level of eosinophils in the blood is hypereosinophilia.
- Unspecified cysts in the liver.
The appearance of one or more of the above signs is the reason for contacting an infectious disease specialist or parasitologist.
If the patient assures that he noticed something similar to worms in the feces, it is nevertheless necessary to conduct appropriate studies to prove the presence of parasites in the body. It may only seem especially impressionable that helminths are present in the feces. Most often, people see in the stool fragments of the intestinal mucosa, which normally go out with the feces.
Infection with worms occurs through people who are their carriers - anthroponous helminthiases or after contact with invaded animals - zoonotic helminthiases. The main route of transmission of infection is fecal-oral, less often - percutaneous (the parasite is introduced into the body through the skin) and transmissible (through the bites of insects - carriers of eggs or helminth larvae).
How is parasitic infection treated?
If there is a suspicion that parasites have started in the body, it is recommended to pass the appropriate tests and undergo an examination. Helminthiases are excellently treated with inexpensive antihelminthic drugs available in pill form. They are not taken for so long. Sometimes the usual course of treatment lasting three to five days is sufficient. Synthetic drugs that have been proven to be safe and clinically effective can be used.
Only a doctor is capable of choosing the right medicine for parasites, as well as prescribing the correct regimen for its administration and dosage. Self-medication or "online treatment" can have serious consequences. It should be remembered that some medications have a teratogenic effect that is dangerous for the fetus, others require calculating the dosage, etc. In addition, during the study, the rules for taking already registered drugs can be adjusted, which is not always prescribed in the instructions.
The outcome of the disease is most often favorable. It all depends on the pathogen, the degree of invasion, the target organ. However, it will be serious, especially if the central nervous system (CNS), eyes, heart (extraintestinal and tissue helminthiases) are affected by the parasites.
Do I need to take drugs for parasites for prevention?
As for the prophylactic intake of antiparasitic drugs, it cannot be said with certainty that they should not be taken. However, it is definitely not necessary for everyone to do this thoughtlessly. After all, such drugs are by no means as harmless as many believe. These are the same medications that no doctor would simply recommend to drink.
Taking prophylactic drugs for parasites can be indicated for people who live in undeveloped countries with a poor economic and social structure, in countries where medicine is at a low level, or people who live in their own home and have a farm with a large number of pets.
According to international recommendations, it is recommended to take antiparasitic drugs for parasites as a prophylaxis for pets (after prior consultation with a veterinarian) - at least twice a year, as well as for people living in wild southern territories with a high percentage of infection of the population and poorly developed medicine.
Are folk remedies effective against parasites?
Currently, there is not a single folk remedy for the fight against helminths that would be really effective and safe. The composition of many such preparations (most often herbal remedies) include components such as cloves, tansy flowers, aspen bark extract, garlic, wormwood. In such small doses, they do not have the desired effect, but they can cause a perverted localization of helminths. Indeed, under the influence of weak dehelmentics, parasites in the body are able to change their usual place of localization. Thus, helminths can penetrate the intestinal wall and exit into the abdominal cavity.
In addition, the plants that are used in the treatment of helminthiasis are quite toxic in the required concentration and have many of these or those side effects than pharmaceutical preparations for parasites. Herbs such as wormwood and tansy are unacceptable for children under twelve years of age, during pregnancy, with diseases of the kidneys, liver (toxic severe hepatitis), heart.
Dietary supplements, which are often advertised in the media lately, are simply useless. Unlike pharmaceuticals, they do not undergo mandatory research, do not have an evidence base and a clearly defined dosage.
Antiparasitic programs and remedies like "monastery teas" are speculation on a common problem and a trick for gullible people. You should not be led by obsessive advertising on the Internet and use your body as a reservoir for experiments.
Do not forget that the treatment and prevention of helminthiasis should be under the supervision of a physician. Self-medication can lead to chronicity of the process and the development of serious complications.