According to the WHO, more than 4 billion people on Earth suffer from parasites. Such massive infection is explained by the underestimation of the problem, insufficient education of the population, ineffective diagnosis and treatment of patients.
All parasites that can cause disease in humans can be divided into three large groups:
- Protozoan or Protozoa. There are quite a few varieties of them, but only a few are widespread around the world - lamblia, toxoplasma, Trichomonas.
- Worms or helminths. In the CIS countries there are roundworms, pinworms, toxocaras, trichinella, pork and bovine tapeworms, echinococcus, feline flukes and others.
- Ectoparasites (parasitizing outside) - lice with head lice, ticks.
Infection of the human body with parasites from the latter group is quite easy to notice, but protozoa and worms often become a "surprise" for their "owners".
Why are parasites dangerous?
Most parasites live long and actively multiply in the human body, so the diseases caused by them take on a chronic, constantly recurrent course. In this case, the affected organs cease to function fully, immunity decreases, the patient becomes more vulnerable to infections.
As a result, the body of a person infected with parasites is depleted, weakened, poisoned by parasite toxins, and allergic. These processes, of course, do not develop with lightning speed, however, years of ignorance about the presence of a pest in the body and, accordingly, the lack of treatment cause serious health problems.
How can you get infected?
Knowing the main ways of getting parasites is a chance to protect yourself and stay healthy. If we focus on pathogens common in the CIS countries, then the list of possible routes of transmission of these parasites in humans will be as follows:
- Through dirty hands.
- Through dirty water (including when swimming in it).
- Through unwashed vegetables and fruits.
- Through raw or insufficiently cooked meat and fish.
- Contact with an infectious animal.
- Sexual contact (this is how trichomoniasis is transmitted).
How to suspect the presence of a parasite in a person?
Each parasite is characterized by its own localization in the human body, respectively, and a special clinic of damage to one or another organ. However, there are several signs common to all helminthiasis and some diseases caused by protozoa.
Its appearance is associated with the vital activity of the parasite in a person, it is the products secreted by it that poison the patient's body. This is manifested by headache, weakness, nausea, decreased appetite, irritability.
Most often it is a skin rash that appears and disappears and does not respond well to dermatological treatment. This can manifest itself as a diathesis in babies. The origin of such a rash is also explained by the effects of the parasite's toxins on the body. If a person is allergic, infection with worms can cause more severe manifestations - swelling of the mucous membranes, attacks of bronchospasm, and so on.
This symptom is especially pronounced in children who seem to eat well, but do not gain weight, lose weight and look downright haggard. The reason for the decrease in mass lies again in the competition for the nutrients of the patient's body with worms.
Moreover, the temperature does not rise much - up to 37. 5. This happens against the background of the absence of obvious signs of some kind of disease.
This is flatulence, and constipation, and diarrhea, and rumbling, and soreness in the abdomen. Quite often, these symptoms are explained by the presence of dysbiosis and are unsuccessfully treated with antibiotics and bacterial drugs.
Parasites inside a person feed on it, therefore, nutrients, micro and macro elements, as well as vitamins, often consumed by the patient, are not enough to meet the body's own needs. The first sign of such a deficiency is a lack of iron in anemia, which is manifested by pallor of the skin and mucous membranes, dizziness.
Variation in food preferences, cravings for sweets
These phenomena can also be explained by the lack of certain nutrients in the patient's body.
The appearance of these signs, all the more so all at once, should alert and force you to see a doctor.
Diagnostic and protection methods
It should be noted right away that any alternative methods for detecting parasites in the human body (for example, the advertised Voll method) cannot be considered as a reliable source of information. Therefore, you can only rely on microscopic examination of feces, and multiple, and specific blood tests for the presence of antibodies to individual worms and protozoa. The latter can be done in private laboratories.
To avoid becoming a victim of the parasite, a person must follow simple rules:
- Always and everywhere wash your hands with soap and water.
- There are only vegetables, fruits and herbs that are thoroughly washed, or better yet scalded with boiling water.
- Don't drink raw water.
- Do not swim in muddy waters.
- It is obligatory to carry out a full heat treatment of meat and fish products.
- Periodically wash children's toys, and those that have been outside, for example, in a sandbox, should be disinfected.
- Check pets annually for parasites.
Doctors recommend prophylaxis of worms 2 times a year with special preparations. However, it is impossible to arbitrarily prescribe to oneself, and even more so to a child, such drugs, since they are all toxic not only for worms. Therefore, you should consult a doctor about the possibility of using this or that drug and its dosage.
If the presence of a parasite in the human body is confirmed, it is worth looking for a good parasitologist who will prescribe an effective treatment regimen, since taking one medication is usually not enough.