Intestinal parasites

There are two types of intestinal parasites in humans that can live in the intestine:

  • Helminths or visceral worms (tapeworms, nematodes, sucking worms)
  • Protozoa

Some species remain in the intestine, others leak out and affect surrounding organs.
Some parasites are so small that you can only see them under a microscope, while others can be a few centimeters long.

Most tapeworms and roundworms (family of nematodes) mostly develop in the human body and lay their eggs in the intestine.


Types of human intestinal parasites

Protozoa or primordial animals: Protozoa are single-celled parasites that multiply inside the human body.
They are microscopic in nature.
They are transmitted orally (contaminated food or water) or through the stool.
Protozoa that affect humans are:

  • Amoebas
  • Giardia,
  • toxoplasma,
  • cryptosporidia,
  • sarcocysts,
  • Blastocysts, etc.

Helminths or visceral worms: Helminths are parasites that consist of many cells and are large enough to be seen with the naked eye when they are fully grown.
When the parasitic worms enter the adult stage, they can not multiply in the human body, but they leave their eggs in the intestine, which are expelled with the feces of the host.
Well-known helminths are:

  • tapeworms (Taenia),
  • pinworms (oxyuren),
  • hookworms (Ancylostomatidae),
  • nematodes.

Risk factors for infection by intestinal parasites

The following factors increase the risk of intestinal parasites:

  1. international travel;
  2. lack of hygiene (regarding food and water);
  3. Age – children and the elderly are more likely to become infected;
  4. weakened immune system, for example due to AIDS.

Symptoms of human intestinal parasites

Parasites can irritate the intestines and:

  • Constipation
  • or cause an intestinal obstruction.

This can lead to pain during bowel movements.

This symptom is common.
The parasite consumes nutrients that serve the body to produce a normal stool, thus causing diarrhea.

Insomnia and nervousness
In more severe cases, intestinal parasites can affect the central nervous system and prevent the person from coming to rest.
A parasite creates toxins in the body that:

  • to restlessness
  • and sleep disorders.
  • If you go to sleep, the parasite causes sleep disorders.

Rashes and urticaria
One of the most visible symptoms in intestinal parasites is rashes on the skin.
Symptoms can become severe, for example, ulcers and sores may form.
They are caused by a reaction of the immune system to the parasites.
Some types of parasites cause intense itching, similar to urticaria, especially oxyurene.

The sudden appearance of bruxism is another symptom in intestinal parasites.
The symptoms that occur during sleep lead to nocturnal anxiety that causes stress and muscular tension. The result is that the infected person grits his teeth.

Meteorism and abdominal bloating
Meteorism and abdominal bloating can be caused by many things. But it is also the symptoms of intestinal parasites.
You can also get abdominal pain.
Parasites irritate the abdominal walls or attach themselves to them.

Nausea and vomiting
The appearance of nausea and vomiting can be a sign of intestinal parasites.
The body reacts to certain types of intestinal parasites by trying to excrete them from the stomach.

Increase in
Increase in appetite can be a symptom caused by intestinal parasites. The parasite feeds on the nutrients from the intestine (up to 5% of the food consumed), releasing toxins and forcing the intestines to work much more than normal.
This leads to a significant increase in appetite, because the body needs nutrients to satisfy its needs.

Other symptoms of parasitic infestation

  1. Allergy to certain foods
  2. Anemia (decreased red blood cells)
  3. Blood in the stool
  4. Flu-like symptoms, such as cough, lymph node swelling and shortness of breath, chills
  5. Foul-smelling stool, especially in the afternoon and evening
  6. Fever
  7. Vertigo
  8. Abdominal cramps
  9. Weight loss
  10. Lack of vitamin B12
  11. itching
  12. Colitis
  13. Jaundice (jaundice)
  14. Weakness
  15. Headache

How are intestinal parasites transmitted?

Intestinal parasites spread when stool material enters the mouth. This is possible, for example, by:

  • contamination of water and food,
  • raw or ungarish pork and beef,
  • unwashed vegetables (rare),
  • sex games and toys,
  • Contact with feces, as when changing diapers.

Diagnosis of intestinal parasites

The doctor performs tests to see if the patient suffers from intestinal parasites, even if there are no symptoms for it.
Investigations include:

  1. Stool examination in the laboratory to find parasites, their eggs or larvae.
  2. If the worms are not visible during the stool examination, proctoscopy can be performed (this rarely happens).
    This examination consists of inserting a thin endoscope into the rectum to look at the inside.
    For example, oxyures have the shape of small white threads and you could see them on the chair.

Therapy for intestinal parasites

The doctor selects the most effective drug against the intestinal parasites. A single dose may be sufficient or the medication may need to be taken for several weeks.
For example, oxyures are treated with Vermox® (Mebendazole).
Many doctors advise against taking this drug in pregnancy because one does not know the possible effects on the fetus, especially in the first 12 weeks.

Diet and nutrition in intestinal parasites

The parasites increase by eating certain foods.

The following should be avoided:

  • simple carbohydrates and sugars,
  • Dairy products
  • Fruit juices
  • refined cereals (such as white rice).

The following foods are natural worm remedies and allow the elimination of parasites, recommended are:

In one study, researchers found that a mixture of honey and papaya seeds eliminated the parasites in the stool in 23 out of 30 subjects.
To support intestinal activity, you should drink plenty of water.

Fiber can help drive out the worms.

Probiotics (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Saccharomyces boulardii and Bifidobacteria) help maintain the health of the digestive system.

Digestive enzymes help restore normal conditions in the intestine. This makes it inhospitable for the parasites.

Papain is an enzyme of the papaya plant that helps kill the worms when taken 30 minutes before or after meals.

Dietary supplement Vitamin C
 supports the immune system.
If diarrhoea occurs, the dose should be reduced.

Zinc (20-30 mg per day). This mineral supports the activity of the immune system.
Zinc may interact with some medications, especially antibiotics, and may not be suitable for people with HIV/AIDS.

Natural remedies for the elimination of intestinal parasites

1) Garlic Garlic
(Allium sativum) is a good remedy for some worms such as:

  • Ascarids,
  • Giardia lamblia,
  • Trypanosomes.

Garlic is available in the form of capsules and tablets. But you can also take it as a whole clove of garlic.

2) Gold seal root The gold seal root
or Canadian turmeric (Hydrastis canadensis) has historical significance in fighting infections involving the mucous membranes of the body, such as respiratory infections.
Preliminary laboratory studies show that berberine, the active ingredient in Canadian turmeric, is effective against:

  • Entamoeba histolytica,
  • Giardia lamblia.

3) Black walnut
Black walnuts 
are an herbal folk remedy used for ringworm and athlete’s foot.
The juice of the unripe fruit peel of the black walnut is used to combat against:

  • Parasites
  • Fungal infection.

There are clinical studies on the efficacy or safety of black walnut against intestinal parasites.

4) Mugwort Annual mugwort
(Artemisia annua) is a plant that has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy for intestinal parasites.
Preliminary research shows that mugwort may be useful against Ascaris lumbricoides, Plasmodium, Schistosoma mansoni and Giardia.
Mugwort contains sesquiterpene lactones. It is believed that these substances weaken the parasite membranes.
Mugwort can be taken in the following form:

  • as tea,
  • as a liquid extract,
  • in the form of capsules.

The pure oil is considered toxic and must not be swallowed.
The safety and efficacy of this plant has not been proven in clinical trials.

5) Fragrant goosefoot
goosefoot (Chenopodium ambrosioides) is a herbal remedy used in the tropics to exprove:

  • roundworms,
  • hookworms,
  • Tapeworms.

The concentrated oil of the fragrant goosefoot is too strong. Therefore, a tea made from goosefoot herb is preferable.
More scientific research is needed to confirm the historical importance of this plant and its safety.

6) Pumpkin seeds
Traditionally, pumpkin 
seeds (Curcubita pepo) are used as a remedy for tapeworms and roundworms.
Druggists often recommend large amounts of pumpkin seeds, up to 25 grams for adults.
The seeds are often crushed and mixed with juice.
The clinical safety and efficacy of pumpkin seeds has not been scientifically proven.

7) Grapefruit seed extract Usually, grapefruit seed extract
is obtained in liquid form in:

  • Health
  • health food stores,
  • Pharmacies.

Although preliminary research shows that antimicrobial and antifungal properties exist, there are few studies on efficacy against parasites.

8) Lemon
Prepare a drink with lemon juice and black pepper.
Drink daily in the morning.

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