For most people, worms in the gut are a horror idea. Some of these parasites, which usually enter the gastrointestinal tract through food, can
For most people, worms in the gut are a horror idea. Some of these parasites, which usually enter the gastrointestinal tract through food, can cause serious illnesses. E You rfahren more about the most common types of worms in the gut: pinworms, roundworms and tapeworms.
The most common worms (helminths) that affect humans in Europe are parasites . This type of parasitic who seek one or more hosts or intermediate hosts in their lifetime includes pinworms, roundworms and tapeworms.
This is how worms get into the body
Parasite infestation in the intestine , anus or buttocks is a common problem, especially in children (child maggot worm). But even adults are attacked by worms. The worm eggs usually reach the human body via contaminated food or through body contact with infected animals and trigger complaints . The eggs and larvae of the worms mature in the human body and multiply. Some worm species are also transmitted by mosquitoes or flies, but these do not occur naturally in Europe, but are usually imported as involuntary gifts from the holiday.
Contagious are not the worms, but the eggs. These are not visible to the naked eye, because they are extremely small. They can easily be swallowed, get into the body through inhalation and like to nest under the fingernails.
Pinworms in the gut: typical symptoms
An infection with pinworms or worms (Enterobius vermicularis) is one of the most common worm diseases in Germany and is harmless in itself. About half of all people are attacked by pinworms once in their lifetime. The parasites, which belong to the genus of roundworms and roundworms, lay their eggs with preference in the folds of the anus, resulting in annoying itching.
Typical symptoms of infestation of small white worms, where females can grow up to 13 millimeters (males about 5 millimeters), are:
- severe itching, especially in the evening and at night
- Detectability of the parasites in the feces with the naked eye
- In severe cases, the itching and scratching can cause inflammation of the anus.
- Weight loss, diarrhea , abdominal pain and rectal bleeding on the anus in severe attack
In some people, the worm disease but also runs relatively symptomless and therefore often goes unnoticed. In the “Apotheken Umschau” the parasitologist Dr. Thomas Romig from the University of Hohenheim, that probably most people in their childhood have ever had an attack by pinworms.
How to get infected with pinworms?
The infection can happen via contaminated food, door handles, toys, animals or over the air. Especially children are infected quickly with the small parasites.
When the eggs enter the body, they nest in the colon and feed on the porridge. Female pinworms prefer to lay their up to 10,000 eggs in the folds of the anus at night, causing severe itching. Over the contact with the hand, the eggs can get back over the mouth and trigger another chain of infection. Pinworms in humans infect especially toddlers and women. The parasites are visible in the feces.
If pinworms are not treated in humans, this can lead to developmental disorders in infants. In women, there is a low risk that the pinworms also affect the vagina region and cause inflammation there.
Roundworms cause gastrointestinal problems
Roundworms are more dangerous than pinworms. They are pink-white, between 25 to 45 inches long and settle in the small intestine. Infection is via cottony dust or lettuce and vegetables that have been fertilized with fecal matter.
The larvae of parasites often cause allergic reactions and infest internal organs. Adult roundworms can block the pancreas and bile ducts and cause colic due to their size.
Typical symptoms of roundworms
With little roundworm infestation, hardly any complaints occur. In severe worm infestations, the following symptoms may occur:
- stomach pain
- Coughing and asthmatic seizures can occur if the larvae pass through the blood to the lungs . In severe cases, the parasites can cause bowel obstruction or intestinal paralysis.
Tapeworms can be dangerous
A common type of worm in the gut is also the tapeworm, which belongs to the family of flatworms. They are, as the name implies, flat and depending on the species between three millimeters and 20 meters long. Tapeworms consist of a body with flattened limbs and a head with suction cups and hooks that hold onto the intestinal wall. There are several variants such as the fish tapeworm, the dog tapeworm, the fox tapeworm and pork tapeworm. The infection is caused by incompletely cooked meat or fish or by the consumption of unwashed forest mushrooms or wild berries that grow on the ground.
Infection with the dog and fox tapeworm
Particularly dangerous is an infection with the parasites of dog and fox tapeworm (Echinococcosis), which is notifiable in Germany. The pathogens are usually transmitted to humans through contact with infected animals such as dogs or cats. Regular deworming of pets is therefore important.
After receiving the fox tapeworm eggs, cysts form in various organs. Especially the liver, lungs and brain are often affected. The cysts can even reach the size of a ball. Because between infection and outbreak of disease symptoms can lie over ten years, diagnosis and therapy are difficult. Infection with the dog and fox tapeworm
Infection with the pork tapeworm
Even a pork tapeworm infection can have dangerous consequences. When the worm eggs get out of the stool into the gastrointestinal tract, larvae develop there, which pierce the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream. Through the bloodstream, they become lodged in the muscles or in various organs such as the heart or the brain and cause serious damage.
On the other hand, an infection with the fish tapeworm can lead to vitamin B12 deficiency. Otherwise, the infection is unremarkable.
Fox tapeworm and dog tapeworm: symptoms, treatment, prevention
Typical symptoms of tapeworms
An infestation with tapeworms manifests itself in the following symptoms:
- White tapeworm pieces in the chair
- stomach pain
- a headache
- Swelling (due to cysts)
- weight loss
- Cough and respiratory problems (if dog tapeworms get into the lungs)
- In severe cases organ damage (lungs, brain, liver)
Worms in the chair: diagnosis and treatment with drugs
The diagnosis of a worm disease in the doctor depending on the worm in different ways. Sometimes a stool test will help to identify the worm eggs under the microscope. In other cases, blood tests or imaging such as ultrasound will continue.
Roundworms, cattle and pig tapeworms can be easily treated with medication and the prognosis is good after the therapy. Antihelminthics (anti-parasitic agents) help against numerous types of worms. Some anti-worm remedies are available over the counter. The drugs contain active ingredients such as pyrantel, albendazole and mebendazole. These cause paralysis or the death of worms that are eliminated dead or alive. Close contact persons should always be treated as far as possible and also make a worm treatment.
Fleas: recognizing and treating humans and animals
Ticks, worms, liver flukes: these parasites can be dangerous
Bedbugs: How to recognize and fight them
Home remedies for worms in the chair
In addition, there are also home remedies that can be used in a worm disease. These include some fruits and vegetables that the intestinal parasites do not like:
- Grapefruit seed extract: The juice from the shell and the seeds of the fruit acts against the parasites. Pregnant, nursing women and toddlers should refrain from doing so.
- Raw garlic works against intestinal parasites like pinworms. It contains sulfur-containing amino acids that cleanses as a natural worming in the gut in children and adults.
- White cabbage juice: Available in drugstore or health food store and should be drunk on an empty stomach in the morning.
- Fresh carrots: They are rich in beta-carotene, which can kill the eggs of intestinal parasites.
- Pumpkin and papaya kernels: they contain enzymes that can kill intestinal parasites.
- Black Cumin Oil: This oil has a positive effect on the intestinal flora. Is also available in capsules.
- Coconut oil: About 3 to 4 tablespoons of native coconut oil taken throughout the day helps to expel the parasites from the intestines and at the same time to strengthen the immune system. (is also suitable for worm infestations in dogs)
- Salt water baths and Vaseline lotion: helps against itching on the butt
Attention : worms do not disappear in the rules without a drug treatment. They are so well adapted to their human host that the immune system does not recognize and combat the parasite as such. Home remedies should therefore only be used to support the therapy. The right hygiene is also essential. Affected people should pay particular attention to wash their hands often and to keep fingernails short, as can accumulate under these worm eggs. Hygiene is also important when preparing food.