Parasites In The Human Intestine: Types, Symptoms And Prevention

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Parasites In The Human Intestine: Types, Symptoms And Prevention
Parasites In The Human Intestine: Types, Symptoms And Prevention

Video: Parasites In The Human Intestine: Types, Symptoms And Prevention

Video: Parasites In The Human Intestine: Types, Symptoms And Prevention
Video: Diagnostic Features of Intestinal Nematodes 2023, December

Parasites in the intestines are worms that live in the body of animals and humans. Such cohabitants are very dangerous to the health and life of their owner - a person, so you need to know what parasites are, what complications they can cause, what are the signs and methods of treatment. Symptoms of helminthic invasions can remain unexpressed for a long time, many symptoms are similar to those of other diseases. In this regard, people for a long time may not even realize that they have intestinal parasites in their bodies.

The content of the article:

  • 1 Types of helminths on Earth

    1.1 Parasites in the gut - signs

  • 2 Parasites that live in the human intestine
  • 3 Symptoms of infection with worms
  • 4 External manifestations of the presence of parasites in the body
  • 5 Schistosomes

    5.1 How to avoid infection with schistosomes

  • 6 Filarias and elephantiasis (filariasis)

    6.1 How to avoid filaria infection?

  • 7 Fluke

    7.1 How to avoid fluke infection

  • 8 Trichinella and trichinosis
  • 9 Ascaris and pinworms

    9.1 How to avoid infection with ascaris and pinworms

  • 10 Toksokara

    • 10.1 Consequences of toxocariasis for the body
    • 10.2 Prevention of toxocariasis
  • 11 Parasites in the intestines - prevention

Types of helminths on Earth

Parasites in the human intestine
Parasites in the human intestine

More than 12,000 species of helminths are known on our planet. So it just won't work to be treated with anything. Although it is good that most of them are located in the tropics and in our country there are much less of them. But only if we do not take such "tourists" from tropical countries where we like to relax (Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt, Thailand).

Every region in the world has its own specific worms. And everyone has a different form of entry into the body.

Parasites in the gut - signs

The constant presence of worms in the body can lead to the development of many chronic diseases and cause unwanted complications.

The main signs of the presence of parasites in the intestine are:

  1. Increased flatulence and diarrhea, constipation. It occurs due to intestinal blockage and the production of toxic substances. For many, these symptoms can appear for a long time, up to several years.
  2. Constant feeling of pain in the area of joints and muscle tissues. This is due to the active migration of parasites inside the body from one organ to another. At the same time, tissues and internal organs are injured and pain, inflammation, and immune reactions occur.
  3. Allergic reaction. Constant irritation and damage to the intestinal walls leads to the ingestion of undigested small food particles into the bloodstream. The immune system fights this off by triggering an allergic reaction.
  4. Skin reactions. Infection with parasites can manifest itself in the form of: acne, papillomas, urticaria, rash, eczema.
  5. Hunger. Due to infection, blood sugar levels drop sharply. Lack of nutrients leads to constant hunger.
  6. Weight problem. Obesity occurs due to frequent food consumption.
  7. With indigestion and decreased appetite, exhaustion develops.
  8. Nervous state. Systematic poisoning of the body causes constant depression and anxiety.
  9. Grinding teeth during sleep. This is the main sign and signal of the body for the appearance of worms in the body.
  10. Immune system disorder. Frequent colds, dysbiosis. From a strong infection, tumor diseases can develop.

Parasites that live in the human intestine

Most helminths and protozoa leave the human body through the intestines. The patient or caregiver is asked to collect the stool in a clean cardboard box and mark the time on it. Do not allow stool contact with either water, which may contain free-living protozoa, or with urine. The collection of feces is carried out before the introduction of X-ray contrast agents, in particular barium sulfate, and before the appointment of antidiarrheals and antacids, since all these substances change the consistency of feces and interfere with the detection of parasites under a microscope.

Due to the fact that in most parasitic diseases, the release of pathogens with feces is cyclical, it is necessary to examine at least 3 stool samples obtained on different days.

Parasites in the intestines. In the event that the material obviously cannot be delivered to the laboratory on time or it has to be sent by mail, in order to preserve trophozoites (vegetative forms of protozoa), the samples are placed in polyvinyl alcohol. Freezing allows trophozoites to be preserved for several hours, and protozoan cysts and helminth eggs - for several days.

Feces are subjected to macro- and microscopic examination. In watery and liquid feces, trophozoites are more often found; in feces of normal consistency, cysts of protozoa and helminths can be found at all stages of development. Found adult parasites and segments of flatworms are urgently delivered to the laboratory or washed and filled with fixing liquid. The only helminth whose segments are mobile is Taenia saginata (bovine tapeworm). Patients sometimes bring them to the doctor themselves. The mobility of the segments is an important feature that distinguishes Taenia saginata and Taenia solium (the eggs of these helminths are morphologically identical).

Parasites in the human intestine
Parasites in the human intestine

Microscopy must necessarily include the study of native and colored preparations, as well as the use of enrichment methods. In case of a negative result of the study of the material for eggs of helminths and parasites, the doctor must make sure that all these studies have been carried out. With some parasitic intestinal infections, the pathogen is easier to detect not in feces, but in other material.

Parasites in the intestines. For example, to detect Giardia lamblia, Cryptosporidium spp. and the larvae of Strongyloides stercoralis (intestinal eel) sometimes it is necessary to obtain material from the duodenum. To do this, the patient swallows a probe with a weighted gelatin capsule, which must enter the duodenum. After a few hours, the probe is removed, and the capsule is examined for the presence of parasites. To find the eggs of Enterobius vermicularis on the skin of the perianal region, an adhesive tape test is used. In this way, you can also find the eggs of Taenia saginata, which emerged from the destroyed segments of the helminth.

When preparing native preparations, two types of solutions are used: for cysts, eggs and larvae of helminths, as well as for trophozoites - physiological solution, for cysts and protozoan eggs - Lugol's solution. To search for trophozoites, Lugol's solution should not be used, since parasites die in it and, therefore, lose their inherent mobility.

The main methods of material beneficiation are formalin-ether precipitation and flotation (with zinc sulfate). The first method is preferable, since all parasites are deposited, but not all float. Colored preparations for the detection of trophozoites are prepared before enrichment of the material. Additional preparations can be made from the enriched material to detect cysts and eggs.

In many cases, especially when it is necessary to distinguish Entamoeba histolytica from other amoeba species, the study of native material (including enriched) is indicative. Identification of the pathogen is possible only in fixed colored preparations. Iron hematoxylin staining is best for quick results. In addition, a three-color dye is used, which takes only 1 hour and allows the parasites to be dyed in a material fixed with polyvinyl alcohol.

Symptoms of worm infestation

Parasites in the human intestine
Parasites in the human intestine

Worms surround us everywhere and, thus, we can easily get infected, it is not recommended to be treated for them without a diagnosis, and diagnostics to identify worms is not an easy task. Worms are very well disguised as other diseases.

And what is most interesting: the larger the helminth (there are giants that reach up to 10 meters), the calmer it behaves. So it is not always possible to analyze only some symptoms, it turns out, to identify the correct diagnosis. You can't do without a parasitologist's examination.

Parasites in the intestines - the main symptoms:

  • Diarrhea. The parasite destroys the intestinal microflora, releasing harmful substances that damage the intestinal wall.
  • Increased gas formation. It occurs when worms multiply, die or exit the body.
  • The malabsorption of nutrients is associated with the fact that most of the proteins, fats and carbohydrates supplied with food are utilized by the worm.
  • Constipation is caused by impaired intestinal motility, which is associated with obturation of the intestine with worms or paralysis of the intestinal wall.
  • The decrease in body weight is due to a lack of appetite and a violation of the process of assimilating food.
  • Nausea and vomiting when eating too much food that the intestines and the weakened body cannot accept.
  • Belching, unpleasant taste in the mouth 2-3 hours after eating.
  • Pain in the liver and intestines, worse after exercise, stress or heavy drinking.
  • Acute, sudden attacks of intestinal colic - the parasite is able to paralyze certain segments of the gastrointestinal tract, causing the intestines to contract peristalsis.

External manifestations of the presence of parasites in the body

The most common signs of human infection with helminths are:

  • Itching and jaundice associated with damage to the hepatic ducts and the release of a large amount of bile pigments into the blood.
  • Muscle and joint pain characterizes the invasion of worms in the search for the most favorable breeding sites.
  • An increase in temperature causes the decay of the toxins of the parasite or its penetration into the bloodstream and circulation throughout the body.
  • A tendency to infectious diseases due to low and weakened immunity, intestinal dysbiosis is acquired.
  • Anemia when the intestinal wall is damaged by sharp spines or hooks of the pathogen. It can be a symptom of completely different diseases.
  • Lethargy, apathy and general weakness are manifestations of the general anemic syndrome. The body devotes all its resources to fight the parasite.
  • Peeling, dry skin and mucous membranes, the presence of small or large blisters on the flexor surfaces of the limbs - the parasite secretes toxins that adversely affect the epithelium.
  • Swollen lymph nodes and fever as a manifestation of the general intoxication syndrome.
  • Allergic reactions characterized by rash, redness of the eyeballs, swelling of the mucous membranes, bronchitis, cough and shortness of breath.
  • Headaches, dizziness, noise or ringing in the ears.
  • Thirst and throat spasm - may be the first sign that the parasite has begun to multiply.
  • Paralysis and numbness of the lower extremities indicate that the helminth has secreted poison that affects the nervous system.


Africa and Asia are famous for their schistosomes. And it is very easy to get infected with them if you swim in a local fresh water body or drink water from local sources. Mostly schistosomes enter the body through the genitourinary organs.

How to avoid infection with schistosomes

If you do not swim in fresh water and wash your face only with boiled water, in principle, you can avoid this.

Filariae and elephantiasis (filariasis)

Parasites in the human intestine
Parasites in the human intestine

Parasites in the intestines. You can “get to know” filaria while on vacation in Fiji, Mozambique, Goa, Tahiti, and also in Egypt. Mosquitoes (local mosquitoes) are the main carriers of these parasites.

Filarias are dangerous because they cause filariasis (elephantiasis), which affects the lymph nodes and is very difficult to treat.

Mosquitoes are also dangerous because they can be carriers of leishmaniasis (caused by leishmania) and malaria. Leishmaniasis affects the mucous membranes and skin.

How to avoid filaria infection?

The basic rule is not to let mosquitoes come close to you, let alone bite. Use canopies, repellents, and special mosquito nets.

When in the tropics, avoid running or walking barefoot on the local paths or on the sandy beach. The fact is that in this way you can capture other types of parasites.

In the "harmless" sand, various parasitic larvae are often hidden, which can very quickly enter the body even through the skin of the feet!

So sometimes after returning from trips, you can find some kind of larva under the skin. Just like in some horror movie!

How to avoid getting infected with such parasites? Walk only in shoes and it is not recommended to lie on the sand or grass without a mat.


Parasites in the human intestine
Parasites in the human intestine

The most dangerous food is raw fish as well as uncooked fish.

Fluke is one of many parasites that can be found in raw fish in water bodies:

  • China;
  • Japan;
  • Amur region;
  • Primorye;
  • Volga;
  • Dnipro;
  • Kama;
  • Ural.

Having tried a piece of such fish (meaning infected), after 1/2 - 1 month you can feel unpleasant feelings in the liver area, as well as a rash.

Parasites in the intestines. Not only fluke is transmitted in this way. Many worms wait for the next host to bite the raw fish. Lovers of caviar, sushi, salted and dried fish, too, run the risk of contracting fluke.

How to avoid fluke infection

First of all, exclude any exotic raw fish dishes from the menu.

If you still cannot refrain from taking such dishes, at least eat them only in good, certified restaurants.

If you buy raw fish from the market or from strangers, then you must boil it already, otherwise you are at risk.

Trichinella and trichinosis

Parasites in the human intestine
Parasites in the human intestine

Europeans are very fond of steaks with blood. And here lies another danger - trichinosis.

Other helminths cannot even compare with this, because Trichinella is one of the most dangerous! They can take up residence in muscle tissue and cause death.

In addition to Trichinella, such a European dinner can "present" other parasites: pork and bovine tapeworm.

Ascaris and pinworms

Parasites in the human intestine
Parasites in the human intestine

Even when we eat vegetables and fruits, we need to think about the fact that another threat of infection looms: ascaris and pinworms. This is why our moms taught us to wash fruits and vegetables before eating. Most often, the threat comes from the herbs (herbs) that are brought to us from the southern edges.

How to avoid infection with ascaris and pinworms

If you bought greens in the market, be sure to rinse them well. First, leave the grass in the water for an hour so that the eggs of the helminths that are on the leaves sink to the bottom of the vessel and only then rinse each leaf separately.


TOXOCAROSIS is a helminth disease caused by a parasite unusual for humans - toxocara, very similar to human roundworm - a nematode of the Anisakidae family of the genus Tohosaga. The diameter of its larva is 0.02 mm.

There are two types of toxocar:

  • Tocsocara canis is a helminth that infects canids (dogs, wolves, foxes, polar foxes),
  • Tohosara mystax (cati) is a feline helminth.

However, humans are also infected with toxocariasis caused by Tocsocara canis. The ingestion of toxocara larvae into the human body is a “address error”, for a parasite it is death.

According to some authors, in Russia the number of children infected with toxocariasis is 40-50%. In the United States, the Center for Disease Control records 700-1000 cases of toxocariasis annually.

The consequences of toxocariasis for the body

Parasites in the human intestine
Parasites in the human intestine

Migrating in the human body, the larvae of the causative agents of toxocariasis injure tissues, leaving hemorrhages, necrosis, and inflammatory changes. The parasite dies, having managed to harm a person.

Damage to the optic nerve by toxocara larva can lead to one-sided blindness.

In visceral toxocariasis, cases of severe pneumonia are known, which proceeded with complications and ended in death.

Cases of toxocariasis associated with the migration of larvae into the myocardium and functionally important parts of the central nervous system are described.

With toxocariasis, numerous granulomas are often formed in any organ and tissue (in the liver, lungs, pancreas, myocardium, lymph nodes, brain), in the center of which a necrosis zone appears, destroying this organ.

Prevention of toxocariasis

Washing hands after contact with soil or animals; careful processing of greens, vegetables and other food products that may contain soil particles.

Parasites in the intestines. The eggs of the causative agents of toxocariasis are covered with a sticky substance that prevents them from separating from the surfaces on which they are found. Therefore, they can be removed from hands, as well as from vegetables, herbs, fruits, household items and shoes, only with the help of special detergents.

It is necessary to protect playgrounds, parks, squares from visiting animals; use of natural factors of soil sanitation (open sunlight).

Parasites in the intestines - prevention

People, when they hear about various miraculous means to destroy these parasites, forget about everything just to get rid of them.

Parasites in the intestines. We have developed such a strong aversion to these animals that even when we think about them, it becomes bad. We are ready to test us even the most "abnormal" medicines, drink all sorts of dubious herbs and even do enemas with garlic.

It is very important not to overdo it with all sorts of medications and stop in time. In the case of parasitic diseases, everyone should be careful in choosing medicines for helminths, because without taking the right medicines, we can even complicate the situation. Do not take anything for treatment! It is very important to know what you are struggling with, which medication is helping, which dose is optimal and what contraindications it has. So you can get a whole detective story in the fight against parasites.

Find out more:

  • Worms - folk remedies - recipes
  • Helminth worms. What worms live in a person. Types of parasites
  • A child has worms - causes, signs, symptoms and treatment
  • How to remove worms from a person with folk remedies