According to the WHO, more than 4 billion people on Earth suffer from parasites. This massive infection is explained by 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 major groups:
- Protozoa or Protozoa. There are many different species, but only some are widespread around the world - lamblia, toxoplasma, trichomonas.
- Worms or helminths. In the CIS countries, there are roundworms, earthworms, toxocara, Trichinella, swine and bovine tapeworms, echinococci, cat flukes and others.
- Ectoparasites (parasitize outside) - lice with main ears, ticks.
Infection of the human body with parasites from the latter group is fairly easy to notice, but protozoa and worms often become a “surprise” to their “owners”.
Why are parasites dangerous?Most parasites live for a long time and actively reproduce in the human body, so the diseases that are caused take a chronic, constantly recurring course. In this case, the affected organs stop functioning fully, the 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 at lightning speed, but years of ignorance about the presence of pests in the body and, consequently, the absence of treatment causes serious health problems.
How can you get infected?
Knowing the main ways to get parasites is an opportunity to protect yourself and stay healthy. If we focus on pathogens common in CIS countries, the list of possible routes of transmission of these parasites to humans will be as follows:
- Through dirty hands.
- Through dirty water (including swimming in it).
- Through unwashed vegetables and fruits.
- Through raw or undercooked meat and fish.
- Contact with an infected animal.
- Sexual contact (this is how trichomoniasis is transmitted).
How to suspect the presence of parasites in a person?
Each parasite is characterized by its own localization in the human body, or a special clinic for the defeat of one or another organ. However, several signs can be distinguished that are common to all helminthiasis and some diseases caused by protozoa.
Its appearance is related to the vital activity of parasites in humans, the products secreted by it poison the patient's body. This is manifested by headache, weakness, nausea, decreased appetite, irritability.
It is most often a skin rash that appears and disappears and does not respond well to dermatological treatment. This can manifest as diathesis in babies. The origin of such a rash is also explained by the effects of parasite toxins on the body. If a person is allergic, a worm infection can cause more serious manifestations - swelling of the mucous membrane, attacks of bronchospasm, etc.
This symptom is especially pronounced in children who seem to eat well, but do not gain weight, lose weight and at the same time look completely exhausted. The reason for weight loss again lies in the competition of nutrients in the body of the patient with worms.
Moreover, the temperature does not rise much - up to 37, 5. This occurs against the background of the absence of obvious signs of some kind of disease.
These are bloating, constipation and diarrhea, rumbling and abdominal pain. Often these symptoms are explained by the presence of dysbiosis and are unsuccessfully treated with antibiotics and bacterial drugs.
Parasites in humans feed on them, so the nutrients, micro and macro elements, as well as vitamins, which the patient often consumes, are not enough to meet the body's own needs. The first sign of such a deficiency is iron deficiency in anemia, which is manifested by pallor of the skin and mucous membranes, dizziness.
Variations in dietary 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 suddenly, should alert you and force you to visit a doctor.
Diagnostic and protective methods
It should be immediately noted that any alternative method for detecting parasites in the human body (for example, the advertised Voll method) cannot be considered 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.
In order not to fall prey to parasites, 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 even better scalded with boiling water.
- Do not drink raw water.
- Do not swim in muddy waters.
- It is mandatory to carry out a complete heat treatment of meat and fish products.
- Occasionally wash children's toys, and those that have been outside, for example in the sandbox, should be disinfected.
- Check your pets for parasites annually.
Doctors recommend worm prophylaxis twice a year with special preparations. However, it is impossible to arbitrarily prescribe to yourself, and even more so to a child, such drugs, because they are all toxic not only to earthworms. Therefore, you should consult your doctor about the possibility of using this or that drug and its dose.
If the presence of parasites in the human body is confirmed, it is worth looking for a good parasitologist who will prescribe an effective treatment regimen, because taking one drug is usually not enough.