Parasitic infections are called helminthiasis. This is an insidious and common ailment that can be unaware of for years. Parasites enter the human intestines through dirty hands, food, water and begin to actively multiply.
They take nutrients, disrupt the absorption of water and vitamins in the intestines, provoke diarrhea and disruption of other internal organs. Therefore, it is very important to know what tests need to be taken for parasites in order to identify them in time and begin the correct treatment.
Types of parasites and their diagnosis
Different types of worms can live in the human intestine: round, flat, tape. Any parasite is dangerous to the body, since it releases toxic substances that affect internal organs.
The consequences of helminthiasis can be very different, up to a lethal outcome.
Everyone should know what tests need to be taken for parasites. The examination is carried out both for prevention purposes and in the presence of characteristic symptoms. Do not put off your visit to the doctor.
The danger of this condition is that the symptoms do not always appear. For a long time, a person may not be aware of the presence of helminths, but at the same time, slow and irreversible destructive processes occur in the organs. The routes of infection are very different: contact with an infected person or animal, through dirty hands, soil, food, water.
|Pinworms||Contamination through dirty hands||Itching in the anus, diarrhea, weight loss||Anal swab|
|Ascaris||Eating unwashed vegetables and fruits||Weakness, itching in the anus, stool disorder||Antibody Blood Test (ELISA)|
|Cat Fluke||Eating Contaminated Fish||Pain in the right side, allergic reactions, signs of liver damage||ELISA blood test|
|Trichinella||Eating contaminated meat and lard||Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, allergic skin reactions, weakness||Antibody Blood Test|
|Intestinal acne||Any contact with contaminated soil||Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain||Study of feces for eggs of worms, ELISA analysis|
Treatment of helminthiasis is selected individually. Before prescribing any drugs, the doctor will advise you to take tests and determine the exact type of parasite. Each individual helminth has a different effect on the body and leads to different complications. In theory, they can affect any organ, but are more often localized in the intestines. The risk group includes small children and people who work with the soil.
The main and dangerous signs of a parasitic infection
It can be tricky to recognize an infection. Symptoms are influenced not only by the type of helminths, but also by the age of the infected person, the state of his immune system and other features of the body. Due to the reduced immunity in children and the elderly, the clinical picture is more acute.
There are chronic helminthiases that do not have obvious signs and acute manifestations. They last for years and go unnoticed because the symptoms are blurry and easily confused with other chronic conditions.
Immediately see a doctor and get tested for parasites when the following signs appear:
|Increased body temperature||This symptom does not always occur, but with severe damage to internal organs, the temperature can be high, up to fever.|
|Stool Disorders||With helminthiasis, both constipation and diarrhea are observed. Various intestinal disorders can alternate, increase or disappear over time. In feces, mucus and blood impurities are often found.|
|Nausea and vomiting||Signs of intoxication appear in the acute form of the disease. These symptoms can be present with any parasite infestation.|
|Cough||With a long course of the disease, helminths affect the bronchi and lungs. The patient develops a dry cough, eventually turning into a wet one.|
|Allergy||The immune system begins to react to parasites, so allergic reactions occur, usually skin reactions: itching, redness, hives.|
|Chronic fatigue||Helminthiasis provokes weakness and fatigue, drowsiness due to intoxication of the body.|
|Weight Loss||Due to impaired absorption in the intestine, a person loses weight even with the same diet.|
Regardless of which helminths have settled in the intestines, treatment should be started as early as possible. Parasites cause intestinal inflammation, penetrate the lungs, gallbladder and even the heart. A preventive examination will help to avoid serious consequences and complications.
Preparing for blood and stool tests
The reliability of the result depends not only on the laboratory and equipment, but also on compliance with the preparation rules. Violation of these rules will lead to an erroneous result. The person may miss the disease.
First of all, it is worth remembering that to assess the condition you need to choose proven clinics, reliable laboratories where certified specialists work. If the examination is carried out by a doctor, he will warn about preparation.
Preparation for stool analysis includes the following points:
- A few days before the delivery of feces, you need to adhere to a gentle diet, do not eat spicy, fried, fast food and foods that cause flatulence. It is recommended to eat cereals, soups, low-fat dairy products.
- If you can't go to the toilet, you shouldn't do enemas or take laxatives.
- It is not recommended to eat foods coloring feces: prunes, tomatoes, beets, herbs.
- Before taking the test, you need to purchase a sterile container with a special spatula. It is printed on the day of the test. Matchboxes cannot be used to collect material.
- The minimum amount of stool required for analysis is 15 g. If the amount is less, the analysis will have to be repeated.
- Collect the material carefully so that no urine or menstrual flow gets into the stool.
- If the analysis showed the presence of helminths, after the completion of the course of treatment, the analysis must be repeated, observing all the above rules.
Preparation for donation is usually standard. You need to visit the laboratory on an empty stomach, do not eat fatty or spicy foods the day before. Any medication you take should be discussed with your doctor, as it may affect the parasite test result. It is recommended to stop drinking alcohol a week before donating blood. On the day of blood sampling and the day before it, you cannot attend physiotherapy procedures, undergo an ultrasound scan. Smoking can also affect the outcome. It is advisable not to smoke for at least an hour before the examination.
Blood tests for parasites
A blood test for parasites is one of the most informative methods for diagnosing helminthiasis. There are several types of blood tests. The doctor prescribes one or more, depending on the clinical picture and anamnesis.
The advantage of a blood test over an analysis of feces for helminths is that eggs are not always found in feces, you need to get into a certain period of the reproduction of helminths. Blood can be donated at any time of infection. Almost all laboratory analyzes are carried out using special equipment and do not depend on the human factor. ELISA allows you to determine not only worms, but also the degree of infection.
The doctor should be responsible for decoding the result. The most common are 3 blood tests to determine worms in the body:
|ELISA||ELISA is the most informative and reliable in determining a parasitic infection. The examination is based on the antigen-antibody relationship. The result shows the presence or absence of a certain antibody in the blood, which indicates an acute or chronic stage of the disease. So, with parasitic lesions, IgG antibodies appear in the blood. The result is pretty straightforward, positive or negative. However, it must be remembered that these antibodies appear both in chronic infections and during the recovery period.|
|PCR||The polymerase chain reaction also allows you to reliably determine if there are parasites in the body. However, not all types of helminths are defined in this way, but only protozoa. The severity of the disease and the number of helminths cannot be determined in this way either.|
|UAC||This is a simple and quick diagnosis that gives an idea of how the body is functioning as a whole. The presence of parasites can be suspected by the level of eosinophils, which will be increased. With helminthic invasions, the level of eosinophils exceeds 20% of the remaining leukocytes. In this case, further examination and determination of the type of parasite are prescribed.|
Stool Parasite Testing
Coprogram is a laboratory test for stool. It is prescribed if there is a suspicion of helminthiasis: stool disorders, sudden weight loss, weakness, nausea, etc. You can take a coprogram in any laboratory: private or municipal.
The following indicators are taken into account in decoding:
|Consistency and odor||Normal consistency is viscous without undigested pieces.|
|Color||Normally, the color is yellow or brown. Or it is too dark, this indicates the presence of hidden blood. Light colored stool indicates liver damage.|
|Weight||The presence of blood or mucus in the stool is taken into account.|
|Leukocytes||Leukocytes are normally present in feces, but in minimal amounts. If there are many of them, then an inflammatory process has begun in the intestines.|
|Acidity||The feces of a healthy person have a pH of 4. 8-5. 8. If the acidity rises, then the absorption of fatty acids is impaired in the intestine.|
|Bilirubin||There is no bilirubin in the feces of a healthy person. Its presence indicates the presence of dysbiosis, increased peristalsis, rapid evacuation of feces.|
|Stercobilin||This enzyme can be present in feces up to 350 mg / day. An increase indicates anemia, a decrease indicates lesions of the gallbladder.|
Only a doctor can make a diagnosis based on such a result. Further testing may be needed. For the result to be reliable, you need to properly collect and store the material. It is advisable to deliver it to the laboratory as soon as possible.
Scraping for enterobiasis
Scraping for enterobiasis is also an informative diagnosis. It is handed over according to indications or for prevention. This is a painless procedure. Using a small spatula or cotton swab, take some material from the anus. It is enough to swipe the stick several times to obtain the material.
Scraping is quite simple - eggs of worms are either absent or present. The disease is treatable, but if the result is positive, the patient is isolated to prevent further transmission of the infection.