There is a risk of contracting worms without even leaving your home. Various types of helminths can be found on household items, banknotes, dishes, food, in drinking water.
Parasites enter the human body in a way convenient for them: they can enter through the digestive system with food, water, through dirty hands or with insect bites.
Further, helminths affect certain internal organs, use the resources of the human body, cause mechanical damage and actively reproduce. Their vital processes are accompanied by unpleasant and often dangerous symptoms and damage to various organs.
How to recognize intestinal worms
Intestinal helminthiases unite a group of diseases caused by worms of different types. Most often it is possible to identify ascariasis (roundworm), enterobiasis (pinworms), ankylostomatidosis (hookworms). These parasites live in the lumen of the human intestine, feed on its contents, and their presence can be suspected by a number of characteristic symptoms:
- Dramatic weight loss without changing diet and physical activity. Helminths of the intestinal group use the nutrients of the human body as a source of energy for growth and reproduction, and their devices for fixing in the intestine (suckers, hooks) injure its walls and interfere with the absorption of the remaining trace elements.
- Pain in the stomach, navel, itching in the rectum are caused by the movement of worms, mechanical damage that they cause, as well as the release of larvae or adults from the body into the external environment.
- Various digestive disorders: diarrhea or constipation, flatulence, presence of mucus, foam or blood in the feces, nausea, vomiting. In some cases, adult parasites can be found in the stool.
- The human body can react to the appearance of parasites with allergic reactions, the phenomena of intoxication, which are caused by the waste products of helminths. More often this is manifested by itching of the skin, redness of certain areas, rashes (vesicles, blisters of different sizes).
Diagnosis of intestinal helminthiasis includes fecal studies, clinical and biochemical blood tests (eosinophilia, leukocytosis), and, if necessary, ultrasound data of the body.
Signs of the appearance of parasites in the liver
A large amount of nutrients accumulates in the human liver, and an intense blood circulation occurs, which is convenient for parasites. Common hepatic helminthiasis: fascioliasis, opisthorchiasis, dicroceliosis, caused by worms of the group of hepatic flukes.
You can identify them by specific features:
- Sharp pains in the right hypochondrium are caused by the mechanical effect of helminths. So, echinococcus forms cysts in the tissues of the organ, provoking the development of inflammatory processes or even necrosis.
- Adult worms (roundworms) can block the bile ducts, due to which the outflow of bile is disturbed, the digestion process in the body is difficult, and the patient has signs of jaundice. The visible mucous membranes of a person acquire a yellow tint, and with the development of pathology, the skin also becomes stained.
- Nonspecific symptoms of the appearance of parasites will be a deterioration in the general condition of the body, weight loss, nausea, lethargy.
To clarify the diagnosis, they donate blood for analysis. Leukocytosis, eosinophilia are detected, and biochemical tests will indicate an increase in the activity of liver enzymes (ALT, AST). During ultrasound, liver damage will be visible in the body: enlargement, inflammation, and in some cases parasitic cysts can be found.
What indicates the presence of pulmonary helminths
Some parasites (roundworm, toxoplasma, echinococcus, tsenur) can get from the gastrointestinal tract into the lungs of a person with blood or lymph flow. They multiply in the alveoli, making breathing difficult, and some species (echinococcus unicameral) form cysts, damaging the structure of the organ.
It can be difficult to determine the presence of parasites in the lungs, since the symptoms are similar to the manifestations of respiratory diseases of viral and non-infectious etiology (bronchitis, ARVI). Cough, shortness of breath, pain in the chest area, fever indicate the need for additional examination of the patient's body.
For the diagnosis of pulmonary helminthiasis, the X-ray method will be the most informative. The images will show lesions in the human body caused by echinococcus (cysts) and bovine tapeworm (fibrous formations), which then need to be distinguished from neoplasms, cysts of various etiologies and pneumonia.
Protozoa unicellular worms can be found in the lumen of the vessels. Babesias, plasmodia (malaria plasmodium), trypanosomes, microfilariae, schistosomes cause dangerous diseases that pose a threat to human life.
Destroying the shaped elements, they disrupt the processes of energy metabolism in the body and block the supply of nutrients to organs and tissues.
In most cases, human infection occurs after being bitten by insects or ticks. After some time, signs of anemia develop in the body: pallor, and then cyanosis of the mucous membranes, dizziness, sudden weight loss and deterioration of health. Without timely medical care, blood parasites can pose a serious threat to human life.
Diagnostics involves conducting microscopic examinations of blood, during which you can find unicellular parasites and destroyed erythrocytes, as well as determine the type of worm. Treatment is long-term, carried out stationary under the supervision of a qualified doctor.
Unusual Parasite Habitats
Some types of helminths can penetrate into the human heart, subcutaneous tissue (dirofilariae), brain and spinal cord (cysticercus, echinococcus). It is possible to become infected not only in exotic countries, but also when eating familiar food that has not been properly heat treated, and pets can become carriers. The signs of invasion depend on the degree of damage to a particular organ.
In the brain, worms can form cysts, fibrous formations that cause nervous phenomena.
Headaches of unexplained etiology, tremors (tremors) of the extremities, changes in tactile sensitivity, impaired coordination of movements, a sharp deterioration in hearing and vision - signs of the development of invasion depend on the location of the worms and their larvae.
Adult parasites can be seen visually under the skin, usually accompanied by itching and tingling sensations, as well as in the eyes, ear canals and other places.
What to do if you see signs of worm infestation
Diseases of parasitic etiology are treated under medical supervision after all the necessary examinations and the establishment of the type of parasites. Prescribe anthelmintic drugs of a narrow or wide spectrum of action, carry out restorative and symptomatic therapy, promote the removal of worms from the body. In some cases, surgery is indicated.
The prognosis for most diseases is favorable if treatment is started on time. If you postpone a visit to a doctor or start taking medications on your own, the healing process can be delayed, and many types of parasites can damage vital organs or body systems, or even lead to death.