Do you know there might be worms in your body feeding off your flesh?
These are generally called the intestinal worms or parasitic worms. They are pretty common among different age groups.
Intestinal worms are tiny worms like insects that are present in the human intestines and their source of food is the intestinal lining.
Tapeworms and hookworms are the most common type and the general public is usually aware of these two names only.
Since these are parasitic organisms, they are obviously not beneficial to the human body and health in any way. You must be wondering about all the possible effects it could have on our health so here we will discuss the issues caused due to the worms in the intestines.
Usually the health problems caused by intestinal worms have symptoms similar to those of gut problems.
This parasite is definitely scary but is not incurable. Majority of the patients treat really well with the treatment prescribed by the right doctor.
Following are the different symptoms of intestinal worms.
Symptoms of Intestinal Worms
The most common symptoms faced generally are:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Upset stomach
Symptoms vary from person to person and also depend on the type of worm that has entered the body. However, the treatment is pretty similar and the doctors usually prescribe antiparasitic medication for the best parasite cleanse in the body.
Type of Intestinal Worms
Following are the different types of intestinal worms that affect the human body. Each of these has a different way to enter the body and cause different symptoms.
Tapeworms are flatworms that attach themselves to the intestinal lining. It is the most common type and majority of the patients are affected by only these. More importantly, tapeworms do not cause any severe symptoms, and mostly no symptoms appear at all.
Tapeworms are found in water and meat. It enters the body by drinking unclean water. The body can also get exposed by eating unclean or raw meat. Tapeworms look flat and are in between 3 and 10 meters.
As the name suggests, the hookworm looks like a hook head. These are found in the unsanitary soil.
The hookworms stay in the small intestine and then lay eggs there which is then excreted through feces.
The egg when hatches produces larvae which has the ability to enter the body through skin as well therefore, anyone who would come in contact with soil fecal matter and fertilizer could get the hookworm infection.
Hookworms do not cause severe symptoms either and just the mild gastrointestinal symptoms.
These parasitic worms sound too scary but are not extremely hazardous, however that does not mean to leave them untreated because then it could become a threat in the longer run.
It is another common flatworm which is more common in the animals.
However, humans can also get these by accidental digestion through dirty water or freshwater plants. Fluke stays in the bile duct and the liver.
Fluke worms do not cause immediate symptoms but years later people can face issues due to it.
Inflammation or even complete blockage of the bile duct which causes damage to the liver in terms of making it abnormally huge or disrupting its readings.
This one looks harmless, but can cause severe health problems in the long run.
Pinworm is another kind of round worm which is relatively harmless.
It is found in the colon or the rectum and can enter the body through direct contact with an infected person or by sharing something contaminated with someone.
The most common symptom of pinworms is itching around the anus which gets severe at night causing difficulty in sleep because that is the time when the female worms crawl out and lay eggs on the surrounding skin of the anus.
These are certain types of the intestinal worms which are the most common among humans.
Health Problems / Causes of Intestinal Worms
Parasitic worms in the intestines may not be too harmful most of the time but they could cause severe complications.
These worms take away the ability of the body to efficiently absorb protein and can also cause blood and iron loss leading to anemia.
Intestinal worms also make it difficult for the body to pass the food through the intestines which then become a major reason of intestinal blockage and needs immediate attention.
If intestinal blockage is not treated immediately severe damage can occur and the intestines could even burst out spreading poison in the body.
Some severe types of worms can cause cysticercosis which is a very threatening disease leading to seizures and compromised sight and other eye problems.
It is definitely not wise to take intestinal worms lightly because they might not seem to be harmful due to no symptoms or mild symptoms but they do have the ability to negatively affect the body parts in one way or the other.
How to Prevent Parasitic Worms?
Now you must be wondering what could be the possible prevention or solution to these worms. Even Though you may not completely eliminate the risk, some preventive measures can definitely reduce it.
Following are some ways to avoid getting infected with intestinal worms
- Cook beef, poultry, mutton, and pork thoroughly and don’t eat it raw.
- Wash the meat before cooking as well to make sure all the blood is washed out as much as possible.
- Use separate surfaces for cutting vegetables and meat.
- Wash the vegetables and fruits before eating and make sure there is no dirt or soil left on it.
- Fruits and vegetables that have peels should be properly peeled off to avoid the risk of contamination.
- Drink clean filtered water only.
- Wear gloves when working with soil or planting to avoid direct contact of the skin with the soil.
Discussed above in the article are different types of intestinal worms as well as the risks that they have.
We have also discussed some preventive measures to avoid the complications and contamination of intestinal worms in the body.
Follow the mentioned simple steps and make it possible to not get infected with any type of intestinal worm.