What do human worms look like and how to get rid of them?

Symptoms of worms in humans cannot always be noticed in time. Worm infestation most often has symptoms similar to other diseases, such as allergies or indigestion. Helminths parasitize in different parts of the human body. An infected person may treat liver failure, chronic colds or dermatosis without knowing the true cause of poor health.

What are helminths

Worms in humans are parasitic worms that can vary in size. They can enter the human body through the mouth, nasal passages, eyes, urethra or anus. Most often, parasites live in the intestines, attached to its walls using suction cups, tentacles or peculiar teeth. Parasites can live in the tissues of the lungs and brain, on the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract, in the muscles, liver, and gall bladder.

Worms that live in the human intestines

Worms feed on substances that enter the blood from the intestines, red blood cells, and tissue juices.

Classification of helminthiases: types of worms in humans

Different types of helminths can parasitize the human body. Medical helminthology divides them into groups taking into account the specificity of body shape:

  • Round (nematodes)- have a holistic shape in the form of a lemon, thread, barrel or spindle. The head and tail of nematodes are slightly pointed. The oral apparatus is characterized as three-layered. Parasites move freely in soil, fresh and sea water. The human body contains pinworms (which cause enterobiasis), roundworms, hookworms, and trichinella, which are considered intestinal parasites. Guinea worms - these roundworms spread through the subcutaneous tissue.
  • Tape (cestodes). This includes the following types of parasites: bovine, pork, dwarf tapeworm, broad tapeworm. Their body resembles a finely segmented ribbon, the length of which can reach 10 meters or more. The front part of parasitic worms is equipped with suction cups and hooks with which they are attached to the intestinal walls. Echinococci have a complex fixation system - 4 suckers surrounded by two rows of hooks.
  • Trematodes (flukes)— this type of worm is characterized by specific habitats in the body: the gallbladder, bile ducts. Representatives of the class of flukes are the Siberian fluke (4-13 mm), fasciola (length 3-7 cm).
Infection with worms leads to blood poisoning with toxins

The vital activity of helminths interferes with the normal functioning of the human body. Parasites poison the blood with toxins, causing a person to experience dizziness, itchy skin, cough, and poor sleep at night.

How do you get infected with helminths?

Everyone should know why worms appear in humans and where they live in the body:

  • Nematodes and the flatworm dwarf tapeworm enter the body through dirty hands, eating unwashed vegetables, and drinking dirty water. Habitat: intestines.
  • Trichinella, bovine, pork tapeworm - infection occurs when eating thermally poorly processed meat (beef, pork). Location: intestine.
  • Opisthorchis, broad tapeworm (class of trematodes or tapeworms). A person can become infected by eating raw, poorly salted or undercooked fish. In fish, parasite larvae live in the fat layer and muscles. In humans, they settle in the liver and gall bladder.
  • Echinococci, Siberian fluke, fasciola are transmitted by contact with an infected dog; less commonly, cats are the source of infection. Helminths can parasitize the human liver, lungs, kidneys, and heart. They develop inside echinococcal cysts.

What do worms look like in human stool?

A person can see dead roundworms in feces 3-4 days after taking anthelmintic tablets. The length of these parasites living in the human body can reach 40 cm, their edges are sharp, and their body is white.

Pinworms usually leave the body alive a few hours after consuming milk with garlic, too salty or spicy food. Small white worms (up to 12 mm long) with sharp edges are clearly visible in the stool and around the anus.

Large flatworms or tapeworms are almost impossible to see entirely (length from 3 to 10 m). After baiting, the worms come out of the body in rotted fragments.

Signs of the presence of worms in humans

With helminthic infestation, symptoms in adults and children usually resemble manifestations of other diseases. This is due to the location (respiratory tract, liver, gall) and the life process of the worms.

During the acute period

It is believed that the acute stage is asymptomatic. But in most cases, the first signs of worms are mild, and a person ignores the parasitic disease. Less commonly, in an infected person, signs of helminthiasis in the body occur with fever, nausea, and vomiting. The person feels weak and loses his appetite.

In the chronic phase

Symptoms of chronic helminthiasis depend on the type of worms, their number, and habitat.

Intestinal helminthiases

Symptoms of worms in an adult in the intestine:

  • deterioration of digestion;
  • pressing pain in the navel area;
  • bowel dysfunction;
  • lack of appetite;
  • weight loss;
  • pale skin;
  • bruises under the eyes;
  • anal itching.
Abdominal pain is a frequent companion to the presence of parasites in the intestines.

Against the background of gastrointestinal diseases, intestinal obstruction may develop. The pathological condition is manifested by paroxysmal pain in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting with the presence of a fecal odor.

Extraintestinal helminthiases

The main signs of infection with helminths of the liver, gallstones, and lungs:

  • constant fatigue;
  • nervous breakdown;
  • paroxysmal pain in the epigastric region;
  • decreased performance;
  • foul-smelling, fatty stools (steatorrhea);
  • urticaria, skin itching;
  • chest pain;
  • chronic dry cough;
  • change in skin color.

Extraintestinal parasites (giardia, opisthorchis, fasciola) can provoke not only headaches or skin diseases, but also depression. Typically, a pathological condition occurs if the symptoms of a skin allergy do not go away for a long time (itching, dry skin, rash) or reappear after treatment.

How to detect worms: diagnosis of helminthic infestations

To diagnose helminths, stool is collected on the eggs of the worm. But the analysis does not always show a positive result in the presence of parasites. Firstly, not all types of worms are determined in this way. Secondly, the time of submitting stool for analysis may not coincide with the time of parasite reproduction. A repeat test for worm eggs is done after 2-3 days. If the result in the presence of symptoms is negative, then the following examination methods may be prescribed:

  • Blood analysis- an increased level of eosinophilic leukocytes and low hemoglobin indicate infection with worms.
  • Duodenal sounding- helps to identify opisthorchiasis, giardiasis and other extraintestinal worms in humans by examining secretions from the duodenum.
  • Ultrasound of the abdominal cavity and other parts of the human body— the gastrointestinal tract, liver, gallbladder, its ducts, pancreas, muscles, brain, lungs are examined for the presence of pathological changes characteristic of the life of worms (seals, cysts, nodes, blockages).
  • Chest X-ray- carried out if pulmonary parasites are suspected (roundworms, echinococci, tapeworm larvae are detected).
  • CT scan- to detect worms in the human brain, eyes, and lungs.
  • Capsule endoscopy— to identify tape parasites.
  • ELISA— detects antibodies in the blood to most known parasites.

To assess the severity of damage to the body by worms, an immunological study is prescribed. It helps to identify weaknesses in the human immune system. After this, complex therapy for the pathological condition is prescribed.

How to quickly and effectively get rid of worms

It is better to learn how to remove helminths from the human body at an appointment with a parasitologist. Treatment of worms without a doctor’s advice can lead to intoxication and liver dysfunction.

Diet and hygiene features

Treatment of helminthiasis in adults and children should be accompanied by a diet that will help quickly remove worms and cleanse the body of toxins. It is necessary to exclude from the menu products that contribute to the vital activity of parasites or intoxication of the body:

  • meat, lard;
  • all types of sweets;
  • fresh milk;
  • baked goods;
  • wheat porridge, pasta;
  • coffee, alcohol.
Following a diet will help get rid of worms in the body

The daily diet should include a salad of fresh carrots, fermented milk products with probiotics, eggs, freshly prepared vegetable juices, dishes from potatoes, vegetables, and mushrooms. The duration of the diet during the treatment of worms is determined by the doctor.

Hygiene procedures for helminthic infestation include frequent and thorough hand washing with soap. The procedure must be carried out before eating, after visiting the toilet, and upon returning from the street. Bed linen is changed 2-3 times throughout the week. Be sure to iron after washing. After bathing, take a clean towel every time.


Treatment of worms in adults and children is carried out with the following drugs:

  • A broad-spectrum anthelmintic drug of the benzimidazole type - effective against nematode worms and trematodes. Contraindicated in children under 2 years of age, prescribed with caution to pregnant and lactating women. The dosage and frequency of taking the drug depend on the type of worms. For roundworms and mixed infestations, 1 tablet is prescribed. 2 times a day for three days. Enterobiasis is treated for three days in a row, taking 1 tablet per day. The course is repeated after 21 days. Echinococci in an adult are eliminated by increasing the dosage of the drug: the first 3 days - 500 mg in the morning and evening, the next three days - 500 mg three times a day until complete recovery from parasites. The duration of treatment for echinococcosis is determined by the doctor (from 4 to 6 weeks).
  • A broad-spectrum antihelminthic drug from the pyrazinisoquinoline group. Contraindicated for children under 4 years of age and pregnant women (1st trimester). Effective for muscle/tissue worms. Urogenital schistosomiasis (worms live in blood vessels near the bladder), intestinal and abdominal are treated with a single dose of the drug (40 mg/10 kg). In severe forms of parasitic vascular pathology, tablets are taken 3 times a day (every 6 hours) at 20-25 mg/10 kg.
  • A broad-spectrum drug from the group of benzimidazoles. Not prescribed for children under 2 years of age, pregnant or lactating women. Adults are prescribed 400 mg/day once, children at a rate of 60 mg/10 kg for intestinal helminthiasis. For parasites in the brain, adults are prescribed 800 mg/day, children - 15 mg/kg, the course of treatment is 8-30 days.

Antihelminthic drugs are toxic. They are not prescribed to people with liver failure, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn's disease.

Traditional methods

How to cure worms with home remedies:

  • Grind flaxseeds (1 tbsp). Pour the powder into 0. 5 liters of cold water. Bring the mixture to a boil, cook over low heat, covered, for 20 minutes. Drink 100 ml in the morning and evening on an empty stomach for 10 days in a row. The recipe helps against almost all parasites that can live in the human body - pinworms, tapeworms, Giardia.
  • Grind 300 g of dried, but not fried pumpkin seeds. Add enough warm boiled water to the powder to make a paste. Add a large spoonful of honey. Eat the entire mixture on an empty stomach. After 4 hours, take a laxative. The recipe is effective for intestinal worms in humans.
Doctors warn of possible allergy to pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are an allergenic product, so skin itching may occur during treatment for worms. An antiallergic tablet will help cope with it.

Which parasites can only be removed surgically?

Surgical treatment of helminthiasis requires the following conditions:

  • Obstruction of the intestinal tract - a pathological condition is provoked by roundworms, tapeworms, flukes and other worms.
  • Perforation of the intestinal wall - the bovine tapeworm makes a hole and exits into the human abdominal cavity.
  • Parasitic cholecystitis with subsequent necrosis of the pancreas is blockage of the bile duct by a tape parasite.

Most often, surgery is used for echinococcosis. Parasitic cysts in an infected person in the lungs, kidneys, liver, spleen are removed by laparotomy or laparoscopy.

How dangerous is helminthic infestation for the body?

If left untreated, the pathology takes a chronic form. The most dangerous thing that can happen in the body during a severe form of the disease is the destruction of tissues of internal organs, suffocation, and the onset of blindness.

How to protect yourself from infection

Prevention of helminthic infestation in the body requires a person to:

  • Carefully observe the rules of personal hygiene.
  • Treat parasites in pets promptly.
  • Heat treat fish for 60 minutes, meat for 2-3 hours.

In people with strong immunity, worm eggs are neutralized, so the immune system must be constantly strengthened. To do this, it is enough to lead a healthy lifestyle and periodically take vitamin and mineral complexes.