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Video: How To Know If You Have Worms - How To Understand Parasites In The Human Body, Symptoms
Personal hygiene has improved significantly over the past century, but the problem of worms is still relevant not only for rural residents, but also for townspeople. Statistics makes it clear how high the risk of contracting helminthic invasions is: every third person on the planet suffers from helminthiasis. But this disease does not always manifest itself clearly, and in some cases the sick cannot correctly interpret the symptoms and remain in the dark for a long time without taking any measures. Questions about how to understand that you have worms arise both with helminthiasis and with other pathologies with similar symptoms.
- 1 Mechanisms of infection
- 2.1 Explicit
- 2.2 Hidden
- 3 Signs in a child
Worms are a large group of parasitic worms, the main signs of the presence of which in the human body are similar to each other. Doctors believe that everyone has been exposed to helminthiasis at least once in their life. Moreover, the presence of helminths in the body can provoke the development of other diseases, sometimes very dangerous, so the issue of diagnosing this disease is very important.
Infection with worms occurs in four main ways:
- Water, earth, or sand. Soil and water provide ideal conditions for storing parasite eggs. A person who swims in an open reservoir is always at risk of swallowing eggs, which later turn into adults. It is not as rare as it might seem that people swallow earth particles, exposing themselves to the danger of infection. Certain types of parasites are able to enter the body directly through the skin.
- Food. The shells of fruits and vegetables that have not been washed or cooked properly may contain worm eggs. Eating raw or poorly processed meat, dried fish, dairy products, etc. is associated with no less risk.
- Contact with the sick. Direct contact can occur both with a sick person and with an infected animal. Joint activities, living in a common area, close communication contribute to the rapid entry of parasites into the intestine and its further development.
- Bites. Worms can be transmitted by insect bites. This is one of the rarest ways of infection in temperate latitudes, but sometimes it is he who causes the disease. In hot countries, this path is more common, which should be remembered when going on vacation to a warm region.
How is infection with worms
For those who want to know how to understand that you have worms, you should understand the principles of identifying symptoms. Any symptoms of helminthiasis do not appear immediately after infection, but only when the parasite stops migrating through the gastrointestinal tract and begins to develop into an adult.
Some of the signs are due to the ingress of toxins into the body, which the worm secretes during its life. All wastes enter the intestinal lumen, from where they are absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to all organs. Usually there are more signs and they are stronger under the condition of multiple infections, when the number of worms becomes significant. In people with weakened immunity or other chronic diseases, symptoms worsen in a relatively short period of time.
All signs are divided into two large groups: explicit and hidden. Explicit ones can be assessed independently at home, while hidden ones can only be determined on an outpatient basis with the help of appointments for certain tests and examinations.
The obvious ones are the symptoms, by which you can understand that worms are present in the body. Their presence does not cause too obvious symptoms, as, for example, happens with the development of viruses. Parasites are aimed at life inside the body, so too much deterioration in the condition of the infected host would pose a threat to their life. For this reason, symptoms do not require emergency treatment.
You can suspect or understand the presence of helminthic invasion by the following signs:
- Gradual weight loss for no apparent reason, which continues over several months, and sometimes several years in a row. At the same time, the rate of weight loss is not catastrophic, most often they amount to 2-5% per month. With a high intensity of infection in people with reduced immunity, this figure can reach up to 10%.
- Disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. Some worms are capable of blocking the bile ducts or intestinal lumen, which causes stable constipation. On the other hand, with a high intensity of toxin release, recurrent diarrhea may occur. Due to inflammation of the walls of the upper part of the small intestine, increased flatulence and gas formation, possibly bloating, are often observed.
- Severe joint and muscle pain. Often such manifestations are attributed to the development of arthrosis, but in the case of helminths, this is caused by the migration of parasites. In addition, such pain can be a consequence of the effect of toxins on joints and muscle tissue.
- Itching near the anus. This phenomenon is caused by the fact that in order to reproduce and lay eggs, a large number of species of parasitic worms crawl out of the rectal lumen. This causes severe itching, which tends to be worse in the evening and at night.
- Allergic manifestations. Often they occur in response to the appearance of a large number of toxins in the blood or due to damage to the intestinal mucosa, which causes an increase in the immune system and an allergy reaction.
- Pulmonary manifestations. Possible in a wide range, ranging from constant coughing and ending with pneumonia. They are characteristic of intense ascariasis occurring within a period of at least three months from the moment of infection.
- Elevated temperature. Such a manifestation can be of different intensity. Most often, a low temperature of about 37 ° C remains around the clock, but in rare cases, fever may occur.
Hiding signs can only be detected by a doctor who will adequately assess the clinical picture and be able to understand that worms may be a probable cause. Preventive measures for the diagnosis of helminthiasis are:
- Analysis of feces for worms. It is obligatory to surrender in two stages, therefore, experts do not consider the results of one analysis as reliable. This is due to the cyclical nature of reproduction, therefore, it is far from always possible to understand from one analysis of feces that a patient suffers from helminths.
- Clinical blood test. An increased level of eosinophils indicates that the presence of parasites is likely in the body. Often this assumption arises after tests during the treatment or diagnosis of other diseases.
- Antibody assay. At the moment, it is one of the most reliable diagnostic methods to help understand if a person has worms. Despite the fact that it is more expensive than similar ones, recently doctors more and more often prefer to prescribe it because of its high information content and reliability.
Antiparasitic drugs or laxatives should not be taken before any clinical tests for parasites, as this complicates the diagnosis.
Signs in a child
In children, the presence of worms is diagnosed more often than in adults. This is facilitated by inadequate hygiene, close contact with pets or outdoor animals, and incomplete development of the immune system. A growing organism usually reacts more sharply to the presence of parasites, and the consequences can be more global than in adults. But it is not very easy to understand that a child has worms. Symptoms may be the same as in adults, but most often they are more acute.
In most cases, signs suggesting helminthic invasion in children are:
- Fast weight loss. With a neglected picture, such a manifestation can lead to a delay in physical development;
- Deterioration of hair and nails. It occurs due to a long-term deficiency of nutrients and vitamins caused by impaired absorption of digested food in the intestine.
- Sleep disturbance. Pathology can cause the child to wake up more often at night, cry, spin and talk in a dream.
- Irritability. Intoxication of the nervous system and poor health can affect the emotional state of the child, cause increased excitability, moodiness, tearfulness, etc.
- The desire to constantly scratch the anus. Children do not control external manifestations, so this symptom often helps to understand the cause of ailments and physical changes.
Some parents seek to give their children broad-spectrum antiparasitic drugs for prevention, but experts do not recommend this, since most of these drugs are rather difficult to tolerate. It is better to first understand whether the child is infected and what kind of treatment he needs, since the therapy for different types of worms differs significantly and is not always effective for other groups of worms.
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