Millions of people worldwide are affected by intestinal worms. Intestinal worms are parasites that use humans and other animals as their hosts. They enter the body when a person eats undercooked meat, drinks contaminated water, or comes into contact with soil that contains worm eggs. Once inside the body, the eggs move to the intestine and mature into adult worms. The symptoms caused by intestinal worms vary widely, depending on the type of worm and the severity and length of infestation.
Children can be especially susceptible to infestation by intestinal worms, because they are more likely to play in sandboxes or to play barefoot in soil that may contain worm eggs.
Intestinal Worms Prevention Amazing Treatment Tips
How human-being getting the intestinal worms
Eating contaminated food,
Eating food with dirty fingers,
Faulty living style,
Walking bare foot,
Eating undercooked flesh foods, poor sanitation
Worms can enter through the mouth, the nose and the eyes
Sexual contact can also be a cause of intestinal worms.
Types of Stomach worms
This are small white worms about 1/2 inch long. They are also known as seat worms or threadworms. most of the time due to accidental ingestion of the worms’ eggs. Pinworms can affect people of any age, but children are at the highest risk for infestation. The worms migrate to the person’s rectum where each female worm can lay up to 1500 eggs per day and cause irritation around the person’s anus, which is usually the most prominent symptom.
Pinworm infestations are the most common type of intestinal worm infestation in America, with over 40 million estimated cases each year. Pinworms are actually a type of roundworm. They are yellow-white, threadlike worms and are large enough to be seen with the naked eye, although they usually do not grow longer than ½ inch. Pinworms usually infect children between the ages of 5 and 10, with the female worm laying her eggs near the anus, causing intense itching.
When the child scratches, the eggs are caught under the fingernails and passed on to anyone or anything the child touches. The eggs can be passed directly to other people or they can settle on household items or clothing, infect those items, and then pass to people who handle those items. The eggs enter the body of the next person by being accidentally ingested.
Once the eggs are ingested, they travel into the intestines, hatch, and grow into adult worms. The adult female worm then travels from the intestine to the anus, usually at night, to lay eggs, and the cycle continues.
Hookworms are intestinal parasites that affect up to one billion people throughout the world. Infection happens to people who come in contact with larvae through the soil or by ingesting hookworm eggs or larvae. Hookworms that enter the body through direct contact penetrate the skin, leaving irritation at the penetration site, and enter the bloodstream. If there is Hookworms symptoms including weight loss, diarrhoea, abdominal discomfort or pain and anaemia from blood loss.
Like the pinworm, the hookworm is actually a type of roundworm. Hookworm infestation is caused when a hookworm larvae enters the human body through the skin, usually when a person is walking barefoot on contaminated soil. These worms are found only in warm, humid environments and cannot survive outside of the tropic or the subtropics. Adult hookworms live in the small intestine, where they attach themselves to the intestinal lining and feed off of the blood supply there. Although it is estimated that up to 70% of those who are infested with hookworms have no symptoms, those people who experience infestation by a large number of worms over a long period of time can suffer from anemia and malnutrition.
Roundworms are the most common. Children are at higher risk, although people at any age can become infected. Infection occurs when a person accidentally ingests roundworm eggs. Most people that are infected with roundworms show no symptoms, in severe cases may cause symptoms like abdominal pain or discomfort, intestinal obstructions and slow weight loss due to the worms are consuming the majority of the valuable nutrition.
Roundworms (also called nematodes) are long, threadlike worms. Like many parasites, they are usually found in places with a tropical climate and a dense population. They are very common – the World Health Organization estimates that 25% of the world’s population is infested with roundworms. Once the eggs enter the body, roundworm larvae not only settle in the intestines, they also travel through the liver, lungs and other organs.
There are several types of roundworms, including whipworms, threadworms, and Trichinella spiralis. Trichinella spiralis causes trichinosis, and enters the body when a person eats contaminated pork which has not been thoroughly cooked.
Roundworms can cause a variety of symptoms. Often, they cause no symptoms and go undetected. In some cases, though, roundworms can cause serious complications, including liver disease, pneumonia, and bowel obstruction. In the case of trichinosis, the worms move into the muscles and organs where they form cysts and cause abdominal pain, muscle and joint pain, and skin rash and eye swelling.
Tapeworms are stomach and intestinal parasites that enter the body through ingestion of under-prepared meats, such as pork, beef and fish. Most cases of tapeworm infection are in areas where living standards are below average. Symptoms include increased appetite, irritability, insomnia, sensitivity to light and anaemia.
The tapeworm is a flat worm and has a head, neck, and multiple segments (called proglottids). Tapeworm eggs and larvae can be ingested by drinking contaminated water or by eating undercooked, contaminated meat. When this happens, the tapeworm travels to the intestine, attaches itself by its head to the intestinal wall, and feeds off the food supply of its host. As it feeds, it grows, adding segments, which produce eggs. A tapeworm can survive in the human body for up to 20 years and can grow to be quite long. Tapeworm infestations are usually mild, but can cause intestinal discomfort, weight loss, and inadequate nutritional absorption.
Whipworms are a type of roundworm that infects people through ingestion of the eggs, usually as a result of consuming dry goods such as rice or beans. The eggs hatch in the person’s small intestine and make their way to the large intestine where they burrow into the lining to breed and multiply. Most infections have little to no symptoms, but severe infections can cause a person to have diarrhoea, anaemia, vitamin A deficiency or even rectal prolapsed. After diagnosis the infection is treated with a medication that rids the body of the worms through the person’s stool.
Symptoms of intestinal worms can vary widely, from none at all to the most extreme and severe. Below is a general list of what to watch out for. If you suspect you might have an intestinal worm, consult your doctor.
Stomach pain Although it does not always happen, the presence of an intestinal parasite can cause discomfort
Gas, bloating, foul smelling breath Certain worms live in the upper intestine, causing gas, bloating, and foul breath
Diarrhea or Vomiting These are ways for your body to expel irritants, which can include worms, from your digestive tract
Weight loss This can be a symptom of tapeworms
Anal itching Intense itching may be a symptom of pinworms
Weakness, fatigue or anemia When worms are present in the body in significant numbers, they can rob you of nutrients, causing feelings of weakness, or in severe cases, causing an iron deficiency.
Constipation Worms can interfere with your digestive system and cause blockages, resulting in constipation.
Distended Belly Again, a possible sign of bowel obstruction
Evidence of Worms, or Worm Eggs, in the Stool
Evidence of Entry through Skin Usually a swollen or itchy area on the foot
Visual Evidence of Worms Some worms leave the body through the nose, mouth or anus; usually at night
If you suspect that you may have intestinal worms, see your doctor. Diagnosis of intestinal worms is usually quite simple and can be done through a stool sample or, in some cases, a blood test. In the case of pinworms, you may be able to see the worms by looking at your child’s anal area a few hours after bedtime. Alternatively, your doctor may want to do an adhesive tape test. He or she will ask you to collect an egg sample to by patting a piece of transparent tape, sticky side down, on your child’s anal skin to pick up eggs. This is done first thing in the morning, because the eggs are generally laid at night. Once you collect the sample, the doctor can look at the tape under a microscope to verify the presence of the eggs.
A variety of effective treatment options exist for getting rid of intestinal worms, including conventional prescription drug treatments and and alternative therapies. While the prescription drugs are highly effective and generally very quick and simple, some people choose to couple them with alternative treatments. Both options are discussed below.
Intestinal worms are often treated using a class of prescription drugs called anthelminthics. Anthelminthics are drugs designed specifically to expel parasites from the body by stunning or killing them. Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate medication for you based on the type of worm with which you are infested.
Albendazole or Mebendazole are often used to treat all types of roundworms, including hookworms.
Pinworms can be treated with Mebednazole, in two doses, given two weeks apart. The over-the-counter medication Pin-X (pyrantel pamoate) can also be used to treat pinworms, after consulting with your doctor.
The most commonly used medicine for treating tapeworms is the oral drug praziquantel. It is important to note that this drug only kills the adult tapeworm, but does not target the eggs, so you should be careful to avoid becoming reinfested.
In addition to, or as a substitute for medical treatment, many people use alternative treatments to get rid of intestinal parasites. Before you decide on any course of action, please see a doctor to get an accurate diagnosis, and keep in mind that the effectiveness of supplements and alternative remedies for intestinal parasites has not been widely researched.
Some of the more popular alternative remedies include
Garlic – Garlic is believed to be effective in treating roundworms and can be used in the form of whole garlic cloves or in capsule or tablet form.
Pumpkin Seeds – Pumpkin seeds have been used to treat tapeworms and roundworms. The seeds are used in large quantities, with an adult dose being up to 25 ounces of seeds mashed and mixed with juice. In order to cleanse the intestines, many herbalists recommend that a laxative be used a few hours after consuming a dose of pumpkin seeds.
The following is an herbalist-recommended diet for cleansing the body of intestinal worms:
Cut alcohol, coffee, refined sugar, and other refined foods out of your diet on a temporary basis. Eat anti-parasitic foods, including raw garlic, pineapple, papaya seeds, turmeric and cloves. Also eat a diet rich in beta carotene, which is thought to assist in strengthening the body’s resistance to penetration by larvae.
Examples of foods containing beta carotene are sweet potatoes, carrots, and squash. Include probiotics in your diet to help rebuild good intestinal bacteria, this can be done by eating yogurt with live active cultures. Finally, make sure that your diet is well-balanced and rich in fruits and vegetables, and stay away from fatty foods.
Other natural remedies that some believe are effective in treating intestinal worms include
Grapefruit seed extract
By taking a few simple precautions, you can avoid having to deal with intestinal worms.
First, wash your hands frequently. Always wash your hands before you prepare or eat food, and when you’ve been outside and in contact with soil or in contact with animals.
Keep your fingernails short and clean.
Before eating raw fruits or vegetables, wash them thoroughly.
Make sure that you always cook your meat to the recommended temperature before eating.
If you’re going outside, wear shoes – and make sure your children do, too.
If you or your children go swimming, avoid swallowing or drinking the water in the pool or lake.
When traveling to destinations where you might be exposed to intestinal worms, be sure you have access to clean drinking water, and make sure your food comes from a reliable source.
How to prevent stomach worms
A healthy immune system along with hygienic habits and sanitised surroundings are needed for prevention of worm infections.
Proper washing and cleaning of fruits and vegetables before consuming raw is necessary.
Maintaining personal hygiene is the easiest and the most effective way of preventing the infection. Clean your hands and legs each time you go out.
Try to avoid eating foods from street vendors.
Do not forget to wash your hands after changing diapers, cleaning house, holding uncleaned food stuffs, handling animals.
Eating fruits and green vegetables is a good way of detoxifying your body and is considered as the easiest method of killing parasitic worms.
Drink plenty of water. Water also has tendency of detoxification. Drinking about 8-10 glasses of water a day will help a lot.
If you are suffering from stomach worms, then strictly avoid all fatty foods like oil, butter and cream.
Meat (including red meats) must not be taken until the infection is completely cleared. Yoghurt will help you in restoring your digestive health.
Tips for Killing Stomach Worms For killing stomach worms,
avoid carbohydrates, especially those found in refined foods, fruits, juices, dairy products and all sugars.
Consume more raw garlic, pumpkin seeds, pomegranates, beets, and carrots, as all of them have anti-worm properties.
Drink a lot of water to enhance good bowel, which will in turn promote elimination.
Consumption of fibber also helps get rid of worms.
Add a number of robotics to your diet to prevent the parasites from spreading.
Digestive enzymes help in restoring the intestinal tract to its normal state. This makes it inhospitable to parasites.
Consistent doses of Vitamin C and zinc also help in reduction of worms. However, vitamin C dose should be lowered in case of diarrhoea.
Carrot juice contains digestive enzymes naturally, which can help eliminate worms from your body. Consume at least 1-3 glasses of juice from carrot daily.
SOME OF THE COMMONLY USED HERBS ARE
Garlic (Allium sativum)
Goldenseal ( Hydrastis canadensis )
Oregon grape ( Berberis aquifolium )
Tea tree oil ( Melaleuca alternifolia )
Anise ( Pimpinella anisum )
Wormwood ( Artemisia annua )
Curled mint ( Mentha crispa )
Black walnuts ( Juglans nigra)
While there is no firm evidence that any of the medications above can cause birth defects, they are not usually recommended during pregnancy. Roundworms may occasionally cause troublesome symptoms, but they do not usually pose a threat to your unborn child.
Symptoms of a roundworm infection
In most people, a roundworm infection does not cause any noticeable symptoms.
When symptoms occur, they usually follow a two-stage course:
Early-phase symptoms are caused by the larvae (newly hatched worms) moving from the small intestine to the lungs. It is unclear why some people develop these symptoms while others do not.
Late-phase symptoms are caused by adult worms living in the intestine. They cannot reproduce inside you. There will only be as many as the eggs you first ingested (see causes of roundworm infection for more information about the life cycle of the roundworm).
The early-phase symptoms of a roundworm infection affect only a small proportion of those affected and are rare . They usually begin four to 16 days after swallowing the eggs and last up to 3 weeks. They include:
high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
a dry cough
shortness of breath
The late-phase symptoms are even more rare in the UK, especially in adults. If there are a lot of mature worms in the intestine they can cause blockages. This will not occur before six weeks after the eggs have been swallowed.
Signs and symptoms associated with mature worms include:
passing a worm in your faeces
mild abdominal (tummy) pain
diarrhoea (you may also notice blood in your stools)
(Most people have no symptoms).
Signs and symptoms associated with an intestinal blockage due to a large number of worms include:
severe abdominal pain
Causes of a roundworm infection
A roundworm infection begins when you swallow roundworm eggs.
Eggs can be contained in food or drink, or in the soil in which food has grown.
Eating food grown in contaminated soil can expose you to infection. You may also become infected if you touch contaminated soil with your hands and then eat without first washing your hands.
Contaminated soil or stools can also contaminate the water, making it possible to develop a roundworm infection by drinking contaminated water
The progress of roundworm infection
When roundworm eggs are swallowed, they move into the first section of the small intestine, known as the duodenum.
After one to two weeks, the eggs will hatch into larvae and move through the wall of your intestine into your bloodstream, where they reach your lungs. The larvae will pass from your lungs into your throat, where they are swallowed. As the larvae are very small, you will be unaware of this process.
After they are swallowed, the larvae will end up in the main part of your small intestine, where they will mature into adult worms. These can live for up to two years.
Female worms can lay up to 200,000 eggs a day. The eggs are released in your stools (faeces). It takes between 60 and 70 days from the initial ingestion of eggs to the production of new eggs.
Worms that resemble earthworms in a bowel movement
Worms coming out of the nose or mouth
Loss of appetite
Weight loss or failure to grow
If worms cause a blockage of the intestine, a child may develop severe pain and vomiting, with a tender, bloated, and hard belly.
How is roundworm infection diagnosed?
If your child has a history and symptoms that suggest roundworms, your child's doctor will order a stool sample so that a small amount of the child's feces can be studied under a microscope to look for roundworm eggs or worms.
How is roundworm infection treated?
In most cases, roundworms can be easily treated by taking a medication that kills the worms in about three days. Medications called albendazole, mebendazole, and pyrantel are commonly used in rare cases, surgery may be needed to relieve a severe intestinal obstruction caused by roundworms. Reinfection can occur, and is common in areas where it is prevalent.
Be sure to contact your child's doctor if you suspect roundworms.
Can roundworm infection be prevented?
Here are preventive steps for a roundworm infection:
Be aware of the risk when traveling in developing countries where soil may be contaminated by feces.
Wash and peel or thoroughly cook fruits and vegetables before eating.
Wash your hands and teach your children to wash their hands with soap and water after being outside, before handling food, and after going to the bathroom.
The most common side effect of mebendazole is stomach pain. Less common side effects include:
flatulence (excessive wind)
Piperazine is recommended for babies aged three to 11 months. It is available as a powder that you dissolve in water. Most children only require a single dose.
abdominal (tummy) pain
These side effects should quickly pass once the medicine works its way out of the body.
If your child is younger than three months of age, delaying treatment until they reach three months may be recommended.