Symptoms Of Ascaris Lumbricoides: Causes & Treatment Options

Ascarise Lumbricoides is a roundworm that causes ascariasis infection. These worms use your body as a host to mature from the eggs to into adult worms. Adult worms can be more than 1 foot in length.

The infestation is fairly common amongst children in tropical and subtropical regions of the world more so, where there is poor sanitation and hygiene.

How Do You Get Infected With Ascaris Lumbricoides?

The infection does not spread one from person to another. One who has come in contact with soil having human feces that contain ascariasis eggs and develops ascariasis. Children very often play in the mud and soil, and infection occurs when they put contaminated fingers in the mouth. Unwashed vegetables and fruits grown in infested soil also spread the eggs.

  • The microscopic eggs cannot become infective unless they come in to contact with soil. People inadvertently swallow contaminated soil via contact or by consuming raw vegetables and fruits which have been grown in contaminated soil.
  • The eggs hatch and larvae emerge in the small intestine and travel to the lungs via the blood or lymphatic system.
    After 1 week in the lungs, the worms move up the throat, where they are coughed up and swallowed.
  • Back in the intestine, the adults develop. The male and female round worms mate in the small intestine. Female worms produce almost 200,000 eggs a day; these eggs leave the body in your feces. It is essential that the fertilized eggs remain in the soil for a minimum of 18 days before they become infective. Ascariasis worms can live inside you for 1 to 2 years.

Symptoms Of Ascaris Lumbricoides Infection

Most people have no symptoms at all. Heavy infestation causes various symptoms, depending on which part of the body is affected.

In the lungs

  • Persistent cough
  • Breathlessness and wheezing

In the intestines

  • Abdominal discomfort and pain.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Weight loss or malnutrition.
  • A worm in your vomit or stool.

Treatment Options For Ascaris Lumbricoides

Characteristically, only infections which cause symptoms need to be treated. Most cases are known to resolve on their own.

  • Anti-parasite drugs are the first line of treatment against ascariasis. The most common medications prescribed by doctors are Albendazole, Ivermectin and Mebendazole. These medications, taken for about 3 days, kill the adult worms.
  • Your doctor will give you medicines to manage the abdominal pain and discomfort. Also, over the counter drugs help deal with nausea and vomiting effectively.
  • Have a glass of ginger and peppermint tea daily. Ginger is an effective anti-helminth; it helps get rid of worm infestations and also tackles nausea, vomiting and stomach pains successfully.
  • In cases of heavy infestation of the ascariase worms, surgery becomes necessary to get rid of the worms and repair the damage that they have caused. Perforation, intestinal obstruction, bile duct obstruction, and appendicitis are a few complications that need surgical intervention.
  • Practice good hygiene; that is very important. Before you handle food, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Wash raw vegetables and fruits thoroughly as well.
  • Be careful when you travel. Avoid raw vegetables unless you can wash them and peel them yourself. Also, use only bottled water. Consume only those foods that are cooked and hot.