What are worm diseases?
The term worm disease refers to a settlement of worms in humans. These worms are called helminths. Helminths colonize the human body to reproduce. Affected are therefore the hosts who serve the parasite as a source of food.
Although it is a worldwide phenomenon in worm diseases, southern countries are more affected. Children are more often affected than adults, as they are often not yet habituated to hygiene measures such as the regular hand washing and the worms so easier to penetrate the body.
The worms penetrate into the body as eggs or larvae, use humans as food source and multiply. The eggs laid by the parasites are excreted by humans during defecation, which can lead to a transfer of the parasites.
The most common cause of a worm disease is eating food contaminated with worm eggs and the so-called smear infection.
This way, particularly small children get sick because they take their hands in their mouth without washing them first. If you have previously come in contact with worm eggs, it comes to an infection. A common worm disease in adults is the infection with tapeworms.
These parasites can enter the human body via insufficiently roasted pork or beef. One of the most overlooked sources of infection is eating wild berries and mushrooms in the forest. As a result, canine or fox tapeworms colonize the body.
Symptoms, complaints & signs
The symptoms of worm diseases depend on the type of worm. Common complaints include pressure in the upper abdomen or persistent slight abdominal pain, itching in the anal area, weight loss or anemia. Children are often infested with roundworms.
These produce above all a tormenting itching in the anal area, which animates the children to constant scratching. In the case of roundworm infection, flu-like symptoms such as coughing and fever may occur. In addition, abdominal pain occurs. Since the roundworms tend to form balls in the intestine, there is a risk of intestinal obstruction. The bile duct is sometimes closed, so it can lead to a biliary colic.
When infested with trichinae especially the muscles are affected. In addition to watery diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and fever occur here especially muscle aches, edema, myocarditis and rheumatic complaints. Cattle and pig tapeworms usually cause only minor discomfort. However, loss of appetite and food cravings often alternate.
It comes to a weight loss. In rare cases, tapeworms can also migrate into the pancreas or cecum causing pancreatitis or appendicitis. When humans pick up tapeworm eggs instead of Finns, larvae initially form, which often cause additional symptoms, such as eye diseases leading to blindness, seizures or muscle problems. Dog and fox tapeworms can eventually destroy the liver completely by cyst formation.
Diagnosis & History
If, due to the symptoms of a child, the assumption suggests that it has a worm disease, there are various diagnostic methods. If the attending physician suspects an infestation with the relatively harmless and easy-to-treat pinworms, he performs the Tesa smear test.
He attaches an adhesive strip in the anal area of the affected child and pulls it off again. Then he can examine the strip and see if Wurmeier have stuck to it. Also, the preparation of a medical history is important. After the patient talk, the doctor assigns a stool sample, as in a worm disease parts of the worm or its eggs are excreted in the stool and these can be detected there. For more accurate determination of the disease, a blood test can be performed. In our latitudes, worm diseases can usually be effectively treated, making the prognosis very good.
Worm diseases cause different complaints and complications depending on the type of worm. Children often become infected with roundworms. Threadworms such as pinworms, roundworms or trichinae can be treated well. In some cases, however, it can also lead to complications. For example, roundworms sometimes form proper balls in the intestine or in the bile duct, which may lead to intestinal obstruction.
Trichinae in turn often invade the intestines and muscles. When the muscles are affected, chronic myocarditis and rheumatic complaints may develop in the longer term. The heart muscle inflammation often leads to heart failure. The pig or cattle tapeworms can also be treated well.
When humans become infected with raw or half-cooked meat with the Finns of these tapeworms, they enter the intestine and cause the typical symptoms. In rare cases, however, individual tapeworm limbs migrate into the pancreas or cecum, causing a complication of acute pancreatitis or appendicitis. The infection with pork tapeworm eggs instead of pork tapeworm fins leads to the development of larvae that affect all organs of the body and sometimes cause blindness and seizures.
Most dangerous are the dog and fox tapeworms. They form cysts in the liver and sometimes in the lungs, which can lead to an allergic shock to the destruction of organs, to intestinal obstruction or to the bursting of the cyst. In addition, dog and fox tapeworms are very poorly treatable.
When should you go to the doctor?
Pain in the abdomen, a feeling of pressure in the upper abdomen as well as in the intestine, an absence of appetite or attacks of cravings is cause for concern. If the irregularities persist for several days or weeks and increase in intensity, consultation with a doctor is necessary. For itching, bleeding in the area of the intestine or spotting, a doctor should also be consulted. If movements are perceived while using the toilet in the toilet, this is considered a warning signal.
The observations should be discussed with a doctor for medical testing. Pain in the muscles, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are also considered symptoms that need to be examined and treated. If it comes to constipation, behavioral problems or mood swings, a medical examination is needed. In cases of fever, internal anxiety and irritability, the irregularities should be pursued further.
If the person suffering from seizures, seek medical advice as soon as possible. A diagnosis is needed to develop a treatment plan to relieve the symptoms. If the person suffering from an unpleasant feeling when moving or sitting, a clarification of the symptoms is advisable. Sleep disorders, tiredness and changes in the appearance of the skin are also signs of a health disorder. A pale appearance or under the eyes should be visited by a doctor.
Treatment & Therapy
The treatment of an infection with helminths is relatively simple by the administration of special drugs. These are called anthelmintics; These are anti-worm remedies. Anthelmintics ensure that worms in the body are killed and excreted.
Although anthelmintics are very effective in combating parasitic worms, they can only be taken for a short period of time, otherwise there are a number of side effects. Also, because of the side effects of these drugs, it is very important to diagnose a worm disease in time and start the treatment.
The sooner the therapy can be started, the faster it works and the fewer side effects are to be expected. Only in exceptional cases a surgical intervention in a worm disease is necessary. Fox and dog tapeworms, if undetected, can form cysts, which must then be surgically removed. Except for infections with the fox or dog tapeworm are worm diseases, easy and effective to treat and hardly lead to complications.
The best way to prevent a worm disease is to have a hygienic lifestyle. This includes, above all, washing your hands before eating. In addition, a worm infection can be easily prevented by sufficient durchgaren of meat. When traveling to tropical countries, the rule is always to wash fruits and vegetables or to take anything raw.
It is also advisable to abstain from eating wild berries and to let pets deworm regularly. Even small children should be taught the importance of simple hygiene measures such as washing hands.
Depending on the duration and severity of the disease, the intestine may have been affected. In aftercare, it is therefore important to pay special attention to the body's immune system and intestinal health. Here, the use of probiotics has proven itself. These are living microorganisms that are supposed to multiply in the intestine.
They are now offered as powder, capsules or drops and sold as a dietary supplement or as a drug. Doctors who specialize in naturopathy and some naturopaths can give recommendations here. A fresh, high-fiber diet also helps the intestine to recover from the worm disease. Too much fat and calories should be avoided in the aftercare as well as too much stress.
High pressure from the outside can negatively affect the intestinal flora. To fully recover, exercise outdoors is recommended. Long walks, hikes or even regular jogging get the circulation going and ensure better blood circulation - even in the intestines!
Indulgence poisons should be avoided in the aftercare of a worm disease, so as not to unnecessarily burden the body again. Smoking and alcohol should be avoided for at least a while. Instead, large amounts of still water are recommended to flush the excretory organs (kidneys, bladder) well.
You can do that yourself
With worm diseases special hygienic measures are to be seized. The clothes have to be changed, washed and if possible disinfected. The same applies to bed linen or towels. The body should be washed regularly and should be covered with clean and freshly washed clothing. All textiles of the household, including sofa or chairs are to be disinfected if possible.
The diseases are highly contagious, so people from the close social environment should be informed. Depending on the condition, various measures may be used to support the healing process. The inclusion of onions or garlic cloves, for example, has proven itself. These can be eaten raw or used more intensively in the preparation of meals. Crushed and mixed with honey pumpkin seeds can be eaten in the morning before the first intake of food. About two hours after, a natural laxative can be taken.
Foods that contain vitamin A help combat the worm eggs. Therefore, more carrots should be eaten during the day. Also helpful is the consumption of coconuts or coconut oil proved. Both can be consciously fed to meals or eaten raw in small quantities. A few hours later a natural laxative should be taken.