Parasite analysis is the most reliable way to determine the presence of uninvited guests in the body. Currently, diagnosis can be made using blood or stool tests. So, today we will talk about how to get checked for parasites.
The danger of parasites
Parasites are organisms that use a person as a source of food and a place to live, localizing in the gastrointestinal tract, lungs, muscles, joints
If the number and size of parasites are small, their presence may go unnoticed for a long time, but the rapid reproduction or growth of parasites, their movement through the body during the life cycle is often the cause of serious health problems.
For example, roundworms that have accumulated in the intestines can cause constipation and obstruction. Bull tapeworm grows up to several meters in length and seriously damages the digestive tract, deprives the host of nutrients and vitamins. Echinococcus forms cysts in internal organs, including the brain, liver, and lungs. The rupture of such a cyst may occur unexpectedly, after a minor injury or during an examination. The contents of the cyst can cause anaphylactic shock or collapse. Trichinella larvae feed and live in the muscles, gradually destroying them. According to the WHO, parasitic diseases account for about 14 million deaths worldwide per year.
Blood test for parasites
Testing for parasites is essential for everyone. Even in the case when a person does not suspect the presence of worms in the body and has never complained about symptoms indicating the presence of helminths. According to WHO, up to 100 million people a year are infected with protozoa every year. During their lifetime, almost all people living on our planet have encountered parasitic infestations.
Parasites are organisms that use a person as a source of food and a place to live, localizing in the gastrointestinal tract, lungs, muscles, joints. They can also live in the blood and even affect the eyes and brain. They can be unicellular, multicellular and protozoan (bacteria and viruses).
The most common routes of infection:
- parasite eggs enter the human digestive tract along with poorly washed vegetables and fruits, undercooked meat and fish dishes, through poor-quality water, if sanitary and hygienic rules are not observed. As practice shows, on the bread, which lies on the shelf in the store, you can sometimes find eggs of several types of parasites. Also, some species are transmitted along with fur products (echinococcosis);
- inhalation, relocation through the skin;
- through insect bites (for example, mosquitoes carry malaria);
- in contact with sick people - for example, with scabies.
Indications for passing the analysis
A blood test for parasites is recommended for both adults and children. Only on the basis of symptoms to identify the presence of unwanted "residents" in the body is very difficult, and sometimes impossible. This is due to the fact that the symptoms of diseases in most cases do not differ in specificity.
Protozoa and organisms affect a person, causing allergic manifestations, pain in the gastrointestinal tract, lethargy and weakness. As a result, you can visit an allergist for years and treat bloating and heaviness in the stomach, not suspecting that worms are to blame for health problems.
In children, helminths can cause a delay in mental and physical development, as well as reduce resistance to infectious and somatic diseases. Very often the whole family suffers, constantly infecting each other. Therefore, if there is the slightest suspicion, it is necessary to take tests.
One of the most informative tests is a blood test. This study identifies specific substances that indicate the presence of invasions.
What tests are needed to detect parasites
To detect the presence of helminths in the body allows the study of blood and feces. Parasites that live in the intestines reproduce using eggs or whole compartments with a large number of eggs, which are excreted along with stools. So a sick person becomes a distributor of parasites. Fecal analysis is carried out in order to detect worm eggs and allows you to determine the presence of a helminth and its type (pinworms, tapeworm, etc. ).
Since the active vital activity of the parasite is manifested by the release of toxic substances and sensitization of the body, in the analysis one can see the characteristic changes in the blood formula. A complete blood count helps to detect an increase in the level of eosinophils and, less often, anemia. This study allows you to suspect or confirm the presence of a parasitic disease without specifying the type of parasite.
Fecal analysis is not always informative. The absence of helminth eggs in the feces gives reason to exclude only some types of helminthiases. To detect other parasites, a blood test is carried out for antibodies to them (echinococcus, opisthorchia, trichinella, etc. ). Determining the type of parasite helps the doctor prescribe the necessary additional examinations or immediately choose the right treatment.
Tests for parasites can and should be taken if infection is suspected (the appearance of characteristic complaints and health problems), those who live in areas with an increased risk of infection, employees of child care facilities, the food industry, members of the family in which a parasitic disease has been detected, etc. . d.
Timely detection and treatment of parasitosis helps to avoid threatening complications and health problems.
The following are most commonly used:
- Immunoenzymatic, it is also called ELISA.
- Hemoscanning of blood.
- Serological analysis.
- PCR-diagnosis of blood for the presence of parasites.
- Each analysis has its own characteristics and can only be prescribed by the attending physician, if he considers it necessary.
Linked immunosorbent assay
With it, it is possible to establish antibodies and antigens in the blood of adults and children. That is, it shows quite reliably how many parasitic worms and their metabolic products are.
This analysis allows not only to determine the presence of helminths in the body, but also to trace the dynamics of treatment or diseases that were caused by worms. Most often, enzyme immunoassay is prescribed when there is a suspicion of the presence of echinococcus in tissues.
How to check for parasites
The best way to test for parasites is to take a stool test. Most doctors will order a standard stool test if parasites are suspected, but these tests are not as accurate as the detailed tests used in functional disorder medicine.
Standard stool tests can detect parasites or their eggs, but such tests are largely limited. The problem with these assays is that they are only marginally effective. They require three separate stool samples that are sent to a laboratory where a pathologist examines them under a microscope. The life cycle of parasites is unique - it allows them to be in an intermediate state between hibernation and functioning.
In order to detect parasites in standard tests, the stool sample must contain a live parasite, the parasite must remain alive until the sample is taken to the laboratory, and then the pathologist must see the live parasite under a microscope. While this type of test may be important for some, it does not detect dormant parasites, and for this reason, this type of stool test is often falsely negative.
A detailed analysis of feces, used in the medicine of functional disorders. The extended analysis is much more accurate than the standard fecal analysis due to the fact that it uses polymerase chain reaction (PRC) technology, which makes parasite DNA more visible. This means that the parasite may be dead or dormant, but it will still be detected during this analysis.
Since this test uses PCR technology, its success does not depend on the pathologist's ability to see the parasite under a microscope. It is quite common to diagnose a parasite in a patient whose standard fecal analysis did not reveal the pest.
Many consider fecal analysis to be the most reliable test for parasites. At present this is not the case at all. You can determine the presence of uninvited guests with just one drop of blood. For an accurate diagnosis, you will need a magnifying device and a video camera.
A blood test is considered the most informative. Now they are conducting several tests that differ in their methods, but they are all aimed at identifying parasites in the body.
Where to get tested
You can take a blood test for helminths and protozoa with reliable results at the medical center, which has its own clinical diagnostic laboratory
You can take a blood test for helminths and protozoa with reliable results at the medical center, which has its own clinical diagnostic laboratory. Processing of the received material takes the minimum time.
The clinics use modern technologies that allow our specialists to carry out professional processing of analyzes, and patients - without queues and waiting to receive the most complete information about their health status. We employ highly professional specialists in the field of parasitology, who have successful experience in well-known clinics in Europe and the USA and whose experience is used by specialists from other clinics.
What parasitic diseases can be detected using tests
The disease is caused by the opisthorchis worm, which chooses the human liver, gallbladder or pancreas as its habitat. Infection occurs after eating raw or dried fish, which is infected with opisthorchis larvae. Manifested by severe pain in the epigastric region and in the right hypochondrium, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, headaches, liver enlargement and pain.
The patient's blood is examined for the number of eosinophils (leukocytes responsible for binding foreign protein circulating in the blood) and signs of anemia.
Trichinosis is caused by trichinella. Develops when eating poorly cooked or fried meat
The disease is caused by trichinella. It develops when eating poorly cooked or fried meat. Manifested by headache, muscle pain, swelling of the face (especially the eyelids), allergies and periodic fever.
Ascaris worm can reach 40 cm in length, lives in the intestines. The larvae can settle in the lungs, liver, heart. There are cases when these parasites come out through the mouth, nose or even ears. It can be manifested by atopic dermatitis, neurodermatitis, allergies, chronic bronchitis, sinusitis, hepatitis, mycoses. As well as frequent pains in the navel area, loss of appetite, dizziness, fainting, poor sleep. Infection occurs when personal hygiene is not observed and unwashed fruits and vegetables are eaten.
Toxocara helminth in humans parasitizes in the form of larvae that occupy the liver, lungs, heart, kidneys, brain, eyes. Fatal cases are known with damage to the heart and nervous system. Manifested by allergic reactions, bronchial asthma, fever, cough, liver enlargement, damage to the organs of vision with the possible development of blindness.
Infection occurs through dirty hands and contaminated food.
With this type of disease in the liver, lungs and other internal organs of a person, cysts are formed, which are formed from the larvae of the parasite. The habitation of cysts in the liver is manifested by pain in the right hypochondrium, weakness, malaise, fatigue, decreased activity, and sometimes allergic reactions. When the cyst is located in the lung, cough and shortness of breath appear. You can become infected with echinococcosis if personal hygiene is not observed.
Giardia are unicellular microorganisms with several pairs of flagella that live in the lumen of the human small intestine. The disease is manifested by diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, discoloration and skin texture. Infection occurs when eating food and water contaminated with Giardia cysts.
For the most complete diagnosis, it may be necessary to pass a feces to identify helminth eggs, as well as undergo other types of research. With pain in the epigastric region, it is also advisable to contact a gastroenterologist, pass feces for the antigen of Helicobacter pylori (Helicobacter Pilori), perform an ultrasound scan of the abdominal organs, and do a gastroscopy.
Complications of parasitic diseases
When the parasite lives or dies, toxic substances are released into the host organism. They can cause weakness, constant fatigue, dizziness, headache, nausea, loss of appetite. In addition, these substances provoke sensitization of the body, which causes allergies - rashes, dermatitis, bronchitis. Many parasites choose to inhabit the human gastrointestinal tract. When strengthened in the intestines, as well as nutrition, the parasites damage and destroy the cells of the mucous membrane and blood cells. Extensive damage to the mucous membrane can manifest itself as pain, nausea, and disturbances in the processes of digestion and absorption of nutrients.
A large number of parasites (for example, roundworm), weaving into a ball, can cause blockage of the intestine and acute intestinal obstruction. The risk of this complication is especially high in young children, because their intestinal lumen is narrower.
The parasite is so called because the interests of the host organism do not care much for it. It takes all the necessary elements from food, depriving the host of many necessary nutrients - minerals and vitamins. Therefore, one of the consequences of parasitic diseases is hypovitaminosis and beriberi, which can be manifested by a decrease in immunity, deterioration of the skin, nails, hair, etc. Significant loss of blood cells (due to the parasite feeding on them) and their insufficient formation (due to hypovitaminosis) leads toanemia. A parasite such as trichinella lives in and feeds on the muscles, which causes severe muscle pain.
A parasite such as trichinella lives in and feeds on the muscles, which causes severe muscle pain. Parasites that live or multiply in the bile ducts (for example, opisthorchia) can cause blockage of the bile ducts, which is manifested by jaundice of the skin and sclera, itching.
Parasites are a source of regular chronic damage to cells, which provokes their malignant changes and the development of cancer.
Another danger of parasites is that an infected person becomes in most cases the cause of infection of other people. As a result, all family members can get sick if one of them has the parasite.
Some parasites, in order to improve their survival, have a very complex life cycle, during which they change several hosts and in each exist in the form of various life forms. For echinococcus, for example, a person is a dead end of the life cycle and, getting into his body, the parasite forms cysts and capsules in various organs (brain, liver, lungs).
The appearance of cysts in the brain can cause the development of epilepsy and other neurological disorders. In addition, cysts are a source of abscess formation in internal organs.
To protect yourself and your loved ones from parasites, it is necessary to identify and treat parasitic diseases in a timely manner. A comprehensive examination for helminthiases helps in this.
How to get rid of parasites
A detailed analysis of feces is able to identify 17 different parasites, so when the doctor finds out what kind of pest is in the patient's body, he prescribes to him those medicines that are aimed at destroying a certain type of parasites.
However, if the parasite cannot be detected, the doctor may prescribe mixtures of medicinal herbs to the patient, including magnesia with caprylic acid, barberine, extracts of tribulus, wormwood, grapefruit, barberry, bearberry, and black walnut.
Usually these ingredients can be found in a pharmacy. By producing beneficial gut bacteria, these herbal formulas provide a broad spectrum of action against the most common pathogens found in the human gastrointestinal tract.
It is recommended to consult a doctor before starting to fight parasites with herbal remedies, and in case of previous liver disease, excessive alcohol consumption, or a previous increase in the level of liver enzymes, it is worth checking their levels again.
If you suspect the presence of parasites living in the liver, probing and checking the material taken is prescribed. If the test results showed the presence of these parasites, then long-term treatment is carried out in a hospital, which does not always lead to a positive result. Some patients are treated for years and cannot get rid of the parasites. And it was only necessary to use proven fish and subject it to thorough heat treatment. To prevent parasite infestation, always wash your hands before eating with soap and running water, wash fruits, vegetables and greens thoroughly. After washing, everything must be doused with boiling water.
Do not drink water from unverified sources or boil it. Thoroughly boil and fry meat and fish. Do not drink unboiled cow's milk. It is better to take proven and pasteurized dairy products in the store. Do not forget to carry out preventive deworming of pets, treat them for fleas in time. Get rid of rodents that often live in basements.
If you have suspicions about the presence of a parasite in your body, you should contact your doctor so that he can prescribe you a detailed fecal analysis. After all, it all starts in the gut, and the gut is the path to health. A healthy gut means a healthy person.