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2023 Author: Alfred Shackley | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 13:14
Worms, or scientifically - helminths, refer to tapeworms parasitizing in the body of a person or animal, and even more often both, with equal success. The environment is not the best place for them to inhabit, since they can neither grow nor reproduce in it.
They are capable of laying eggs only in the intestines of a bipedal or four-legged host. But the calculation is such that the host will certainly release the laid eggs into the natural environment along with the feces, and from there they will soon again fall into some person or animal.
Thus, helminths by themselves do not live in soil, grass and water. But their eggs or larvae - yes, and for quite a long time, which is why it becomes possible for them to settle in organisms suitable for parasitism.
Stages of the life cycle of worms
Among the helminths there are males and females, that is, these parasites, unlike many others, use the sexual route of reproduction.
All helminths hatch from the egg in the form of rapidly growing larvae, which develop into adults in a maximum of a couple of weeks.
So, even if initially there were only a couple of them (which is why the carrier could not notice their presence), after 3 weeks from the moment of infection, the symptoms become obvious.
Adult females lay eggs continuously and in large numbers. The lion's share of them is sent straight out in this form, but some, of course, remain in the intestines, replenishing the "livestock" in the colony.
And the most unpleasant part of helminthic invasion is that the eggs and larvae of many of their species are so small that they can penetrate the blood vessels and be carried with the blood stream to other organs and tissues.
Causes of the appearance of worms in the human body
As you can see, worms do not appear in the human digestive tract by themselves. They get there with food, water, soil fragments and other carriers like contaminated hands. We usually eat them in the form of eggs, but it happens that the larvae too.
So, poorly washed vegetables containing soil residues eaten "straight from the garden" are usually infected with helminth eggs. The same can be said about the hands with which we or our child stroked an infected animal, touched other infected surfaces, and then, without washing our hands, pulled them into the mouth or food.
Moreover, an adult or, even more so, a child who is already a carrier of helminths, often himself spreads the eggs of the pathogen to other parts of his own body by touching and scratching. But the larvae are easiest to eat with poorly fried meat or fish, since on the surface of a finger or other object they could be seen with the naked eye.
Helminths are quite versatile parasites, some of them are capable of infecting not only large vertebrates such as humans, fish, dogs, or even chicken. Some of them live in shellfish like shrimp and snails. And therefore, lovers of game, cooked, as a rule, right there on the fire, are in a special risk zone. It is the lovers of the hunting "cuisine" who are more often than others infected with species for which a person is an atypical carrier (Trichinella, Toxocara, etc.).
Symptoms of helminthic invasion
Symptoms of the presence of worms in the human body are different. For example, in children, digestive and stool disorders are expressed with worms many times stronger than in adults. And the parasites just mentioned, characteristic of animals, can cause a lot of troubles in the human body, even reaching the brain. However, they rarely create such large colonies in the digestive tract to disrupt its functioning - unless in a child, whose digestive system itself is still unstable.
Therefore, all painful symptoms associated with their invasion usually refer to intoxication with the products of their vital activity and the reaction of the immune system. And yet, all invasions have some common and even obligatory places.
- Itching in the anal area, which is much worse at night and in the morning. It is associated with the laying of eggs by females closer to the anal sphincter;
- Increased body temperature and other signs of acute respiratory infections in combination with the absence of symptoms from the respiratory system. High (sometimes - up to 38-39 ° C with trichinosis, etc.) temperature is directly related to an allergic reaction of the immune system;
- Peristalsis disorders - indigestion, heartburn, alternating constipation with periods of diarrhea, gas. This symptomatology is typical for large colonies in the intestine;
- A feeling of "moving" or "crawling" in organs, including muscles, eyes, and anus. In the overwhelming majority of cases, it does not mean the movement of the worm itself in a place indicated by a person. It's just that the vast majority of these parasites release neurotoxins into the bloodstream, which alter the behavior of the nerve endings of the body;
- Headache and muscle aches, characteristic of invasions outside the gastrointestinal tract, possibly already in the liver or even the muscles themselves, lungs, etc.
Other symptoms of infections already depend on which organ is affected by them. Usually, the picture simultaneously resembles several of its other pathologies. So, getting helminths in the lungs can easily be mistaken for pneumonia and cancer. And brain lesions are generally mistaken first for a malignant tumor in almost 80% of cases.
Treatment and prevention of helminthic invasions
It is believed that worms can be easily removed with the help of folk remedies, and for this it is completely unnecessary to drink medications that are heavy for the liver and kidneys. But in fact, wormwood, celandine, garlic, onions and other traditional medicines also contain poisons. And then, you need to remember that a decoction or infusion can only be drunk, which means that it will be effective exclusively against a colony that has settled in the stomach or intestines.
If there are already lesions of muscles, kidneys, brain or spinal cord, toxins simply will not get there, since the liver and spleen will try to filter them out as soon as possible.
Plus, some of the organs susceptible to infection (the same liver, brain, eyes, etc.) have the so-called. immune privilege. That is, they are not subject to the effect of immunity, but foreign substances / infections carried with blood cannot penetrate into them. And in order to deliver any medicine there, you still have to try very hard.
Therefore, relatively mild traditional medicines are shown only in mild cases.
And in the presence of complications, only doctors and the drugs prescribed by them can cope with them. Children under 5 years old are usually recommended to take "Piperazine", and older children and adults are shown "Albendazole" - toxic to the liver, but fatal for almost all types of helminths.
Prevention of helminth infestations in humans is very simple. It consists in eating either thoroughly washed or not less thoroughly cooked products.
In addition, neither children nor adults should pull their hands into their mouths, with which they took on objects of dubious cleanliness, or, even more so, scratched areas of the body that itchy for some reason (including through clothing, since eggs can remain and on it).