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Worms and their effect on humans

January 5, 2017 - alynchi

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Thousands of different types of worms exists and live in a variety of habitats (land-earthworms, water-leeches, human host-tapeworms). They generally have long, slender bodies with no separate limbs.

Worms that live in humans or in animals are known as parasites (always live in or on their host). They eat the food supplies of their host and produce their own toxic waste products that can cause a wide range of conditions and symptoms that range from mild to severe.

Mostly, people living in tropical and sub-tropical regions suffer from intestinal worms. But it can affect adults and children all over the world.

 

Types of Parasitic worms (helminths)

  • Pinwormor threadworm- causes Enterobiasis
  • Strongyloides stercoralis– causes Strongyloidiasis
  • Toxocara– causes Toxocariasis
  • Guinea Worm – causes Dracunculiasis.
  • Hookworm
  • Tapeworm
  • Whipworm
  • Ascaris lumbricoides– cause Ascariasis

 

Mode of transmission

  • Through agents such as fleas and flies.
  • Pets and farm animals.
  • From contaminated food.
  • Badly cooked or uncooked foods such as beef, pork, poultry and fish.
  • Some fruit and vegetables.
  • Poor water supplies and poor sanitation.
  • In areas where sanitation or sewer systems are lacking or badly maintained, parasites and worms can quickly multiply.
  • Parasites can commonly be found in mud pools, stagnant ponds, streams, rivers and other small or large pools of water that has remained there for a while.
  • Bad hygiene in toilets and other public places.

 

Common signs/symptoms of worm infection 

  • Persistent abdominal swelling.
  • Skin conditions (from intestinal worms) such as; hives, rashes, weeping sores and other allergic-type skin reactions.
  • Restlessness & anxiety as a result of the systemic parasite infestation.

. Parasitic metabolic wastes and toxic substances can serve as irritants to the central nervous system. Restlessness and anxiety are often the result of the systemic parasite infestation.

  • General lethargy and unusual energy level fluctuations.
  • Frequent gas and bloating.
  • Bowel upsets.
  • Joint and muscle aches and pains.
  • Food allergies: Sometimes, parasites can irritate and even perforate the intestinal lining, so that large undigested molecules enter the blood stream, which would not ordinarily do so.

 

Other complications that may arise as a result of worm infection are:

  • chronic fatigue
  • depression
  • easily fatigue
  • irritability
  • lethargy
  • irrational anger
  • physical exhaustion
  • repeated awakening during sleep
  • always hungry
  • teeth grinding while sleeping
  • craving sugar insomnia
  • craving starchy carbohydrate foods
  • aching joints
  • food sensitivities
  • swollen joints
  • fevers
  • itching rectum
  • constipation
  • weight gain
  • loss fuzzy
  • poor memory
  • stomach gas
  • inability to concentrate
  • Water retention
  • lack of focus
  • cysts
  • anemia
  • dark circles under eyes
  • bulging eyes

 

Preventive measures

  • Ensure to always wash your hands after stroking an animal.
  • Take off outdoor shoes by the front door.
  • Shower or clean regularly.
  • Cook meat thoroughly and ensure that it is rinsed before preparation.
  • Ensure the best possible sources of meat.
  • Reduce eating raw beef, pork or fish.
  • Wash all fruit, salads and vegetables before use.
  • Drink only water that has been properly filtered.
  • Regularly de-worm your pets or animals. Give them their own bedding! Try not to allow pets to sleep on pillows, sheets or towels.
  • Eat plenty of friendly probiotics as they help to eliminate unfriendly bacteria in the intestine.
  • Wash your hands when you come home from work.
  • Carry a hand disinfectant with you to use during the day.
  • When disposing of pet waste, make sure you wear gloves and or a mask.
  • Minimise mould-build up at home & try to keep your home bug-free.

 

It is important to note that all of the above symptoms can be the result of other influences in addition to worm infections.

 

Treatment of worm infection

Several medicines may be used to treat worm infections, they are sometimes called anthelmintics. Mebendazole is the most commonly prescribed medicine for worms. This is because it is used to treat threadworms, roundworm, whipworm and hookworm infections. Other medicines that may be prescribed for the various types of worm infections include:

  • Levamisole
  • Niclosamide
  • Praziquantel
  • Albendazole
  • Diethylcarbamazine
  • Ivermectin
  • Tiabendazole

These medicines are usually prescribed by doctors who specialize in treating worm infections.

Article by: eDokita Team

Reference

  1. LL Williamson, EA McKenney, ZE Holzknecht. Got worms? Perinatal exposure to helminths prevents persistent immune sensitization and cognitive dysfunction induced by early-life infection. Science Direct. 2016.
  2. Org. Anthelmintics- Medicines for worms. 2016. Web
  3. Human Parasites. 2016
  4. Organic Nutrition. Types of worms and parasites that live in humans. 2016. Web
  5. Health Direct. Worm in Human. 2016.

 

alynchi

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