Parasitic infections are called helminthiasis. This is an insidious and common disease that we may not be aware of for years. Parasites enter the human intestine with dirty hands, food, water and begin to actively multiply.
They take in nutrients, disrupt the absorption of water and vitamins in the intestines, cause diarrhea and disrupt other internal organs. It is therefore very important to know what tests should be taken for parasites in order to identify them in time and start the correct treatment.
Types of parasites and their diagnosis
Various types of worms can live in the human intestine: round, flat, banded. Any parasite is dangerous to the body because it releases toxic substances that affect the internal organs.
The consequences of helminthiasis can be very different, including death.
Everyone should know what tests to take for parasites. The examination is performed for preventive purposes and in the presence of characteristic symptoms. Do not delay a 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.
|Title||Pathways of Infection||Symptoms||Analyzes|
|Pinworms||Contamination with dirty hands||Itchy anus, diarrhea, weight loss||Anal swab|
|Askaris||Eat unwashed vegetables and fruits||Weakness, itchy anus, disturbed stool||Antibody Blood Test (ELISA)|
|Cat Fluke||Eat contaminated fish||Pain in the right side, allergic reactions, signs of liver damage||ELISA blood test|
|Trichinella||Eat contaminated meat and lard||Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, allergic skin reactions, weakness||Blood test for antibodies|
|Intestinal acne||Any contact with contaminated soil||Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain||Examination of feces on worm eggs, ELISA analysis|
The treatment of helminthiasis is selected individually. Before prescribing any medication, your doctor will advise you to do 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 working with the land.
Main and dangerous signs of parasitic infection
It can be inconvenient to recognize an infection. Symptoms are affected not only by the type of helminth, but also by the age of the infected person, the state of his immune system and other body characteristics. Due to reduced immunity in children and the elderly, the clinical picture is more acute.
There are chronic helminthiases that have no obvious signs and acute manifestations. They last for years and go unnoticed because the symptoms are blurry and can easily be mistaken for other chronic conditions.
See a doctor right away 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 temperature.|
|Stool disorders||In helminthiasis, constipation and diarrhea are noticed. Various intestinal disorders can alternate, increase, or disappear over time. Impurities of mucus and blood are often found in the feces.|
|Nausea and vomiting||Symptoms of intoxication occur in the acute form of the disease. These symptoms can be present in any parasite infection.|
|Cough||With a prolonged course of the disease, helminths affect the bronchi and lungs. The patient develops a dry cough, which eventually turns 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 causes weakness and fatigue, drowsiness due to intoxication of the body.|
|Weight Loss||Due to impaired absorption in the intestines, a person loses weight even with the same diet.|
No matter which helminths have settled in the gut, treatment should begin as early as possible. Parasites cause inflammation of the intestines, penetrating the lungs, gallbladder, and even the heart. A preventive examination will help avoid serious consequences and complications.
Preparation for blood and stool tests
The reliability of the results depends not only on the laboratory and equipment, but also on compliance with the rules of preparation. Violation of these rules will lead to the wrong result. A person may miss an illness.
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 performed by a doctor, he will warn you about the preparation.
Preparation for stool analysis includes the following points:
- A few days before the delivery of feces, you must adhere to a gentle diet, do not eat spicy, fried, fast food and foods that cause bloating. It is recommended to eat cereals, soups, low-fat dairy products.
- If you can't go to the bathroom, you shouldn't give enemas or take laxatives.
- It is not recommended to eat food that colors feces: prunes, tomatoes, beets, herbs.
- Before taking the test, you must buy a sterile container with a special spatula. It was printed on the day of the test. Matchboxes cannot be used to collect materials.
- The minimum amount of stool required for analysis is 15 g. If the amount is smaller, the analysis will need to be repeated.
- Collect the material carefully so that urine or menstrual flow does not enter the stool.
- If the analysis showed the presence of helminths, after the end of the course of treatment, the analysis must be repeated, respecting all the above rules.
Preparation for a donation is usually standard. You need to visit the lab on an empty stomach, not eating greasy or spicy foods the day before. Any medication you are taking should be discussed with your doctor as this may affect the result of the parasite test. It is recommended to stop drinking alcohol a week before giving blood. On the day of taking the blood sample and the day before it, you cannot attend physiotherapy procedures, undergo an ultrasound examination. Smoking can also affect the outcome. It is recommended 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 of them, depending on the clinical picture and medical history.
The advantage of a blood test over a stool analysis for helminths is that the eggs are not always in the feces, but you have to enter a certain period of helminth reproduction. Blood can be given at any time during the infection. Almost all laboratory analyzes are performed using special equipment and do not depend on the human factor. ELISA allows you to determine not only the worms, but also the degree of infection.
The physician should be responsible for decoding the results. The most common are 3 blood tests to determine worms in the body:
|ELISA||ELISA is the most informative and reliable in determining parasitic infection. The review 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 phase of the disease. Thus, with parasitic lesions, IgG antibodies appear in the blood. The result is quite simple, positive or negative. However, it must be borne in mind 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 helminth species 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 works as a whole. The presence of parasites can be suspected by the level of eosinophils, which will be increased. In 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.|
Examination of stool parasites
Coprogram is a laboratory test for stool. It is prescribed if helminthiasis is suspected: stool disorders, sudden weight loss, weakness, nausea, etc. You can take the co-program in any laboratory: private or municipal.
The following indicators are taken into account when decoding:
|Consistency and fragrance||Normal consistency is viscous without undigested pieces.|
|Color||Usually yellow or brown. Or it is too dark, it indicates the presence of hidden blood. Light stools indicate liver damage.|
|Weight||The presence of blood or mucus in the stool is taken into account.|
|Leukocytes||Leukocytes are usually present in the feces, but in minimal amounts. If there are many of them, then the inflammatory process has started in the intestines.|
|Acidity||The feces of a healthy person have a pH of 4, 8-5, 8. If the acidity increases, then the absorption of fatty acids is impaired in the intestines.|
|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.|
|Sterkobilin||This enzyme may be present in the faeces up to 350 mg / day. An increase indicates anemia, and a decrease indicates gallbladder lesions.|
Only a doctor can make a diagnosis based on such a result. Further testing may be required. For the result to be reliable, you must properly collect and store the material. It is advisable to deliver it to the lab as soon as possible.
Scraping for enterobiasis
Scraping for enterobiasis is also an informative diagnosis. It is given according to indications or for prevention. This is a painless procedure. With a small spatula or cotton cloth, take some material from the anus. It is enough to pull the stick a few times to get the material.
Scraping is very simple - worm eggs are either absent or present. The disease is curable, but if the result is positive, the patient is isolated to prevent further transmission of the infection.