Worm infestation is a common problem in humans as it is in animals like cats and dogs. There are several types of worms harboring in human intestine. Intestinal worm infestation is a common problem all over the globe, the degree of its prevalence is more in developing countries. These parasitic worms derive their food from human intestine.
Worm infestation can occur in any individual, without any gender bias and at any age. Intestinal worms are also known as helminths in medical parlance. Generally worms in intestine does not pose direct risk to human beings, but their presence in the host (humans) lead to generalized debility, malnutrition and several other serious health issues. Helminths migrate in the intestine when a person comes in contact with the contaminated food, water and soil. Helminths are unable to reproduce within the human body.
What Causes Worm Infestation In Humans?
The common intestinal worms are hook worms, round worms, pin worms and tape worms. As mentioned earlier, they are present throughout the world, and infest large number of people living in tropical and subtropical climate.
- Poor sanitation and hygiene.
- Eating undercooked food, especially meat.
- Consuming unwashed and raw fruits and vegetables.
- Migration of the larva when the skin comes in contact with contaminated soil. This happens when a person walks barefoot.
- It affects children more than adults, and those who live collectively in hostels, and camps.
Symptoms Of Intestinal Worms In Humans
Here are some of the common symptoms in adults due to intestinal worm infection.
- Anemia: iron deficiency anemia is common manifestation of hookworm disease. The worms burrow in the intestinal wall and suck blood for their nutrition. Severity of anemia depends on loss of iron from gut and the iron absorbed from the absorbed food. If there are large numbers of worms, the severity of anemia is much more.
- Fatigue and tiredness: due to anemia and malnutrition, the person feels tired and there is loss of weight, emotional disturbance and infection in perianal region is common.
- Itching in the anal region is present in most cases of intestinal worm infection.
- Allergy: when the larva enters through the skin it can cause rash and intense itching. These manifestations are seen in the feet, particularly between the toes, it persists for several days. During the migration of the larva through the lungs when it travels in the blood, a person may suffer from cough, breathlessness and fever in occasional cases.
- Constipation: often due to large number of worms, especially round worms which are bigger in size can cause obstruction in the intestine or constipation.
- Abdominal pain: spasmodic pain in the abdomen is common with worm infection.
- Sometimes there is increase in appetite with loss of weight as one of its symptom.
Home Remedies For Human Intestinal Worms
There are several conventional medicines, home remedies and alternative therapies that act quickly and efficiently in eradicating the worms from the intestine. Together with antihelminthic remedies, proper nutrition and supplement aid in eliminating the worms.
- Garlic: garlic is used since ancient days to treat worm infection in the intestine. The chemical compound allicin and some sulfur containing compounds are known to act on the worms and kill them. You can chew fresh cloves of garlic or it can be included in the food that you eat.
- Ginger: the compounds present in ginger such as camphene, geranial, and linalool destroy the parasite and help in expelling them from the intestine. Ginger is especially suited for eliminating round worms from the intestine.
- The herb barberry is a potent anti parasitic agent. The ingredient berberine sulfate present in barberry is effective in killing the worms. It is considered as a good digestive and respiratory purifier.
- Wormwood: among the herb kingdom, wormwood is considered as a magic pill in destroying the parasitic intestinal worms. It acts on most of the worms such as roundworms, whip worms, hookworms and pinworms. It contains natural chemical santonin which is a known agent to kill worms present in the intestine. Wormwood is usually consumed as tea by boiling dry wormwood. However many people may not like it due to its bitterness. You should consult the doctor before taking wormwood.
- Pumpkin seeds, pomegranates, carrot juice as well as papaya seeds all contain antihelminthic properties.
When you are taking antihelminthic preparations, eat more fibrous food. It helps in eliminating the dead worms from the intestine quickly.
Prevention of intestinal worms can be achieved by eating well cooked food, washing vegetable and fruits before consuming and avoiding raw food.
Washing hands before eating, and maintaining personal hygiene is valuable in preventing as well as reducing the spread of intestinal worms.