Human parasites: signs, symptoms and treatments

abdominal pain with parasites

Human parasites inhabit any of its organs and systems. These creatures enter the body from the environment and are carried throughout the body with the blood stream. There are a huge number of varieties of parasites that can inhabit the human body. All of them pose a threat to human health and cause negative changes in the work of organs.

Human parasites. Signs of the appearance of worms in humans are obvious and hidden. The obvious ones include "unreasonable" weight loss, pale appearance (skin anemia), chronic fatigue, nighttime itching in the anal canal. These manifestations are well known and are indicative of contamination.

How can you get infected with worms

Human parasites. To protect yourself, you need to know about 4 ways of spreading and infecting worm eggs with eggs:

  • Through soil and water - geohelminthiases. They develop in sand, soil and water, then enter the human body and begin to lay eggs there. Further, the eggs of the worm enter the external environment along with excrement and wait in the wings to infect a new person. Eating poorly washed vegetables and fruits, dirty hands, dust on food can lead to human infection with geohelminths. Some parasite eggs enter the human body through the skin of the feet and ankles.
  • Through direct contact. Worms in pets and humans are transmitted through hand contact, games, and joint activities.
  • Through the use of contaminated food of animal origin - biohelminthiasis. Eating raw and poorly processed meat (kebabs, bacon, preserves, homemade game) and fish (sushi, dried fish, fish preserves) is potentially dangerous. There is a possibility of contracting intestinal infections and biohelminths.
  • With insect bites. This type of infection is quite rare. These include intestinal myiasis, cantariasis, and scoleciasis. Do not confuse parasite eggs and insect larvae, which are also deposited under the skin of animals and the skin of people (for example, gadfly larvae).

The main mechanisms of the spread of worms

  • Soil, sand and other types of soil are the most fertile habitat for worm eggs. Fruiting plants are in continuous contact with the ground. When harvesting, greens, fruits and vegetables come into contact with the hands of workers, with dusty shelves of vegetable stores, and trucks. In such conditions, food contamination with parasite eggs is highly likely. Therefore, it is necessary to thoroughly wash products of plant origin under running water, and then pour over with boiling water. You should be especially vigilant in the countryside, where pets walk around the yard and then go into the house. It is not difficult to imagine what kind of sewage a cat or dog can put into the house after a night walk. Flies and cockroaches are also carriers of helminth eggs. When sitting on food, insects can infect your food. Any contact with soil and sand can lead to the entry of parasites into the human body. Therefore, it is necessary to wash your hands thoroughly, especially under the nails. This applies in particular to children.
  • From person to person. This infection mechanism is highly efficient. For example, pinworms lay eggs at night in the area around the anus. A child, in a state of sleep, scratches the place where the eggs are laid, as itching begins there. Thousands of eggs fall on clothes, on the bed, and in the morning on doorknobs and on everything that a little fidget touches in the morning even before washing his hands and washing his face. As a result, the whole family is at risk of infection.
  • By contact with water. Open bodies of water contain a huge number of types of worms. Bathing and accidentally swallowing water is a serious risk of infection
abdominal pain in a child with parasites

Children are much more likely than adults to be susceptible to helminthic invasion. This is due to the fact that the child's body is poorly protected (defense mechanisms are just being formed), and the child is actively in contact with the external environment. It takes an incredible effort for parents to teach him the basic rules of personal hygiene.

A baby under 6 years old is at high risk of infection. According to statistics, about 95% of children under 4-5 years old are infected with worms. Therefore, it is necessary to pay special attention to prevention.

Most types of worms are inside the body, only there they lay eggs, and after a certain period of time they die. For example, pinworms live 6-8 weeks, roundworms - up to 1 year. The number of parasites in the body increases only with the ingress of new eggs from the outside.

Treatment allows you to get rid of worms much faster and stop the laying of eggs in the intestines. It is almost impossible for children with helminthic infestation to recover without medication. New eggs will constantly enter the oral cavity, replenishing the ranks of adults in the child's body.

What are the signs to recognize helminthic invasion

Cases of helminthic invasion are not uncommon, in which diseases of the internal organs are aggravated, diseases that have not previously manifested themselves occur. These are considered hidden signs. A person is taken to the treatment of many diseases, and the cause is left unattended. At the same time, therapy does not bring results. Here are examples of such cases:

Infectious diseases as a result of decreased immunity

Parasites, being in the human body, consume many nutrients and release toxic substances. Such circumstances significantly reduce the patient's immunity. An exacerbation of chronic diseases, various inflammatory processes in the nasopharynx may begin. Treatment of sinusitis or stomatitis in the standard way is pointless. It is important to rule out the cause.

In girls and women, inflammatory processes of the uterine appendages, vulvovaginitis, vaginosis of various origins can often begin.

General malaise as a result of intoxication of the body

parasites in the human intestine

The more serious the helminthic invasion of the patient, the more harmful substances the parasites release. This has a detrimental effect on the well-being and the nervous system of adults and children. An example of this is migraine, dizziness, joint pain. Overcoming the nausea, the person takes painkillers, but the pains return after a short time: the cause of the ailment was ignored.

In children, disorders of the nervous system are accompanied by irritability, apathy, and aggressiveness.

If your child begins to sleep poorly, to talk in a dream, to have nightmares, or has slipped into school, then it's time to start preventing helminthiasis.

Allergic reactions, skin pathologies

Human parasites. The waste products of worms are perceived as triggers for allergens. Skin reactions (rash, itching, rashes, peeling of the skin) are the minimum of symptoms that can occur when an allergy begins. There is a likelihood of general reactions of the body: exacerbation of asthma, rhinitis, cough. Sometimes helminthic invasion is accompanied by fragility and hair loss, cracking of the skin on the heels, and peeling of nails.

Gastrointestinal disorders

Depending on the severity of the infection, symptoms can range from mild to severe forms of the disorder. From mild nausea and diarrhea, to chronic flatulence, constipation, vomiting, pain in the navel and hypochondrium. Worms in tissues do not affect the gastrointestinal tract as much as intestinal parasites.

In what organs can parasites live?

Human parasites are divided into two categories, which correspond to the site of activity in the donor's body.

  • Cavity - worms that live in various parts of the gastrointestinal tract. There are about 100 varieties of intestinal parasites, and there are a couple of dozen species for each section of the intestine. The small intestine is ready to accept roundworm, antilostomy, broad tapeworms and other less common "brethren". The small intestine "will share living space" with pinworms, dwarf tapeworm and others. The medical literature describes cases when one person was simultaneously infected with several types of parasites.
  • Tissue - worms localized in organs, tissues and even in the blood. Modern medicine successfully copes with paragonimiasis (lungs), cysticercosis (brain), echinococcosis (liver) and filariasis (lymphatic vessels). Some larvae of worms move through the body through the circulatory system and randomly attach to any organ. If many eggs are introduced, the entire body may be infected.

Symptoms of worms depending on the type of parasite

Symptoms will differ for different types of worms in humans. It is also worth considering the duration and strength of the infection with parasites, the general condition of the patient before infection. The table below summarizes the main symptoms of the presence of worms in humans by their type.

Type of parasite (disease) Method of infection Symptoms Time of onset of symptoms
Pinworms (enterobiasis) With food of plant origin. Nocturnal itching around the anus, the presence of parasites in the feces, sharp short-term pain in the navel. 2-3 days after infection
Vlasoglav (trichocephalosis) With contaminated food prepared in unsanitary conditions. Symptoms are expressed only with severe invasion: diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, inflammation of the appendix. In children, the growth of the body can be delayed and even rectal prolapse may occur. Few weeks
Broad tapeworm (diphyllobothriasis) When eating infected river fish. This parasite can live up to 25 years inside the patient. Mechanical damage to the intestines, vitamin deficiency, intestinal obstruction, intoxication of the body, allergies. Few weeks
Roundworm (hookworm) When walking barefoot on charged soil. Itching, swelling of the feet and legs in places where the parasite enters. Cough, phlegm, damage to the bronchi and lungs. Weakness, dizziness. The menstrual cycle in women is disturbed. Men have impotence. Several days
Ascaris (ascariasis) With food of plant origin. Pain in the intestines, peritonitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, liver disease, pancreas. May cause suffocation by crawling from the gastrointestinal tract into the esophagus or respiratory tract. About 3 months
Trichinella (Trichinosis) Poorly processed meat, lard. Nausea and bouts of heartburn, diarrhea. 2 days
Hepatic and giant fluke (fascioliasis) Plant food and water. Fever, dry cough, loss of appetite, abdominal pain. 2-4 weeks

The symptomatology of helminthiasis is as diverse as the pathogens of parasitosis, their life cycle, routes of entry, migration and favorite localization are different from each other.

The general symptoms of parasitic diseases are explained by the fact that with helminthic invasions, parasites suppress a person's own immunity, contribute to the development of inflammatory and autoimmune processes. General symptoms are associated with intoxication, the death of parasites, their vital activity and reproduction, manifest as weakness, lability and mood changes, a decrease in academic performance and performance, memory, and the ability to learn in children.

heaviness and pain in the side with parasites

Pain in the right hypochondrium, bitterness, the appearance of jaundice may indicate that the parasitic disease is localized mainly in the hepatoduodenal zone (the area of the liver and ducts). At the same time, the patient may note nausea, episodes of regurgitation (vomiting).

Human parasites associated with damage to the liver and ducts belonging to the hepatobiliary system are observed, for example, when infected with the flatworm - opisthorchis. This helminth enters the body of the final owner - a person - when eating poorly processed fish of certain breeds (carp).

Symptoms associated with damage to the liver and ducts related to the hepatobiliary system are observed, for example, when infected with the flatworm - opisthorchis.

The disease is endemic and has special distribution areas. For the transmission of the pathogen, the parasite larva must go through a complex cycle with a change of hosts (a mollusk of a certain species, a fish of the carp family).

Human parasites. Often, with many parasitic diseases, there are certain skin manifestations in the form of itching of the skin, various rashes, scratching, atopic dermatitis, eczema, and other skin diseases progress. Skin processes are not always associated with helminthic invasion and are unsuccessfully treated by dermatologists.

It is important that with helminthiasis any organs and tissues can be affected, patients are often worried about headache, arthralgia (articular syndrome), complaints from the upper and lower respiratory tract appear. Often, a lingering cough, frequent SARS, pharyngitis, laryngitis, difficulty breathing are associated with inflammation, a key place in the pathogenesis of which is parasite (helminth) infection.

Giardiasis and its features

Giardiasis is a protozoal disease in which the pathogen exists in vegetative form and in the form of cysts. Giardia infection occurs when cysts are ingested, which are very persistent in the environment and can persist for a long time in the environment (soil, food, water, various objects).

1 ml of feces can contain millions of lamblia cysts, which, when introduced into a favorable environment, can transform into vegetative forms. In the human intestine, a vegetative, mobile form is formed from cysts for several hours with flagella attached between the cells of the intestinal epithelium, where the pathogen finds a favorable environment for itself with a sufficient amount of carbohydrate food, which is a favorite substrate for lamblia.

Giardia in a favorable environment are divided binary (into two parts), and soon their number increases many times. In addition to the intestines, the vegetative forms of lamblia affect the hepatobiliary system (bile ducts, gallbladder).

The symptoms of giardiasis are associated with asthenia, poor academic performance, weakness, in combination with signs of intestinal and hepatobiliary tract damage. The course of giardiasis and other parasitic diseases is largely associated with the characteristics of the immune response. Intestinal form, gastroenterocolitic - a common form of giardiasis. The endotoxins of the pathogen can affect the nervous system, which explains the presence of many common extraintestinal symptoms.


Another common and ubiquitous parasitic disease is ascariasis. This helminthiasis occurs more often in children, but in adult patients it often causes numerous complaints and symptoms. Many chronic inflammatory diseases, as well as somatic pathology, can be initiated by parasitic invasion and intensified in the presence of various parasites (including ascaris).

Often, children and adults who are carriers of ascaris develop chronic colitis, enteritis, bronchitis, even such a serious disease as bronchial asthma may develop, other allergic processes (atopic dermatitis, eczema, rhinitis, psoriasis) may be supported.

Human parasites. Ascaris enters the stomach when eggs are swallowed. After entering the upper parts of the digestive tube (stomach), the larvae, freeing themselves from the capsule, migrate into the blood vessels, with the blood flow they enter the alveoli of the pulmonary system, thereby causing the patient to cough, cough and other phenomena of bronchitis.

cough with parasites in the body

Often such a condition is regarded as a viral infection, exacerbation of chronic bronchopulmonary disease and is usually associated, in this case, with the movement of the parasite larvae.

After coughing up ascaris larvae and getting pathogens with phlegm into the pharynx, they are swallowed with saliva and re-enter the stomach, then pass into the intestines, where there are favorable conditions for the further growth and development of the parasite.

In the human intestine, roundworms, feeding on its contents, turn into sexually mature individuals (female 50 cm, male 20 cm). In the process of growth and vital activity, as well as as a result of the migration of larvae, the parasite has a negative toxic and mechanical effect on the human body.

In the process of growth, vital activity, laying eggs and maturation, the pathogen has a suppressive effect on the body's immunity, can cause diseases of the lungs, intestines and other parts of the digestive tract, anemia. Ascaris can live in the human intestine for up to a year.

Medicines for helminths

Medical treatment of a person with pills is possible with the help of a large number of modern anthelmintic drugs, which are prescribed by a specialist.

Since some funds do not act on the larvae and eggs of worms, and there is also a high risk of reinfection (self-infection with pinworms), the course of treatment is repeated after 2-3 weeks. Among the folk methods, the most effective are the old time-tested methods - the use of pumpkin seeds and tansy herb.

The fact that pumpkin seed is a good anthelmintic agent has been known for a long time, it is best to buy unpeeled seeds, peel them yourself, preserve and eat a thin film between the seed and the peel, and consume 300 g in the morning. within an hour, previously chopped and mixed with honey or jam. Then do not eat for 3-4 hours and do an enema, you can repeat this treatment after 2 weeks.

Interesting facts about human parasites

  • According to the WHO, about 3 billion people are infected with helminthic infestations annually. 1. 2 billion suffer from enterobiasis, 0. 9 billion from hookworm disease, 0. 7 billion from trichocephalosis. And this is only official statistics !;
  • In European countries, every third inhabitant carries intestinal parasites in the body;
  • With serious invasions, a person loses up to 500 ml of blood per day. From here ailments and chronic fatigue originate;
  • Some parasites are localized in the brain, eyeball, bone marrow and can live there for up to 30 years. For example, cytisteryk;
  • Ascaris females lay 240, 000 eggs per day. Constant reinfection will not allow a person to be cured the first time. Repeated courses of treatment are required;
  • The waste products of parasites - poisons and toxins - undermine human health 24 hours a day;
  • Some types of tapeworms reach lengths of up to 12 meters. Sometimes it threatens with obstruction of the human intestine;
  • Pumpkin seeds contain cucurbitins, which help to heal worm infestations without resorting to medications. Pumpkin seeds are often given to children for prevention;
  • It is optimal to treat pets every 3 months. So you will save yourself and your children from parasites;
  • Worm eggs can wait in the wings on the door handles for up to 6 months;
  • An infected dog scatters the eggs of the parasites by breathing within a radius of 5 meters;
  • In order not to be digested in the stomach and intestines, worms and their eggs release protective anti-enzymes;
  • Trichinella does not lay eggs, but produces ready-made worms. Therefore, in laboratory conditions, it is impossible to detect the presence of this parasite;
  • The most effective assay for detecting invasion is considered to be enzyme immunoassay. Swabs, stool analysis may not provide reliable information.

Summing up, it should be said that regular prevention of helminthic infections, even with cheap drugs (they are also considered the most gentle), helps to protect the whole family. Be responsible for hand and body hygiene and prepare food thoroughly for use. Children and pets need constant monitoring for parasites.