Classification of worms by color
- White worms: They can vary in size, from small pinworms (oxyurs) to others that look like spaghetti.
- Pink worms: These can be roundworms (Ascaris lumbricoides); sometimes they have a whitish colour. They look like earthworms.
- Black worms: Many people believe they are black worms when they notice black threads in the stool of children and babies. Often they are mistaken because these dark fibers are leftovers of consumed bananas and are not a cause for concern.
The hookworms attach themselves firmly to the intestinal wall and suck blood
The most important worm species
Tapeworm – The infection occurs through the consumption of raw or undercooked meat.
The larva is swallowed, and then enters the intestine.
This worm has the size of 3-4 centimeters, but can also grow up to a few meters.
Usually it is white/grey.
Once in the body, she grows up and the intestine provides her with the necessary food to live and grow to four times the length of a medium-sized human being (5 to 10 meters).
It is possible that this invasion is not perceived in the body, but some segments can be excreted with the stool.
You can also find just a piece of the tapeworm or taenia in the stool.
It has a whitish appearance and often it still moves.
Symptoms of tapeworm infestation
- Significant increase or loss of appetite
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Abdominal discomfort
- Weight loss
Roundworms are very common in poor countries where poor hygienic conditions prevail.
One can also expose oneself to this worm by eating contaminated food or water.
When the eggs of the roundworm are swallowed, they reach the intestines, where they become larvae and can migrate in the blood to other parts of the body, such as:
Symptoms of ascarids
- Dyspnea or difficulty breathing
- Cough (sometimes worms are included)
- Loss of appetite
- Difficult breathing
- Abdominal pain or bloating
- Eggs and worms in the stool
The most common worms in America are oxyurs.
Oxyures are small but very unpleasant worms.
The transmission of oxyures is very easy.
These worms cause itching, especially at night when the oxyural females come out of the anus to lay their eggs.
That’s why children experience itching in the area.
After scratching themselves, they may touch food with their hands, which then enters the mouth.
The duration of oxyures is 1 to 2 months, but can also be longer.
Symptoms of oxyuren infestation
- or intimate itching, similar to urticaria
- Lack of appetite and weight loss
- Abdominal discomfort
Hookworms (Ancylostomatidae): They have a size of about 1.2 cm, are elongated and grayish.
Hookworms adhere tightly to the intestinal wall and suck blood.
Symptoms of hookworms
- Blood in the stool
- Iron deficiency anemia
Anisakis is a typical parasite of marine mammals (dolphins, seals, etc.), but is also widespread in humans, especially among peoples that eat raw or undercooked fish.
The Anisakis eggs are found in some species of crustaceans.
The larvae are found in fish, for example in:
Anisakis can affect the human intestine and spread to other organs, such as:
- Spleen, etc.
Symptoms of anisakis
- Stomach ache
- Dysfunction of the affected organs.
How to detect the worms in the stool?
- Take a pair of latex gloves with you for bowel movements.
- Put on the gloves before emptying the bowel to be prepared.
- It is best to empty the stool into a plastic container, otherwise you have to remove the feces from the toilet in order to be able to examine it.
- It is better to have several samples from different days available for examination.
- If there are no worms in the first sample, further checks should be carried out on the other samples to ensure that no worms are present.
- Check the chair and search for:
- fine, white threads,
- worm-like things.
If worms can be seen in the stool, they are very likely also present in the intestine.
How are the worms transmitted?
Patients can ingest worms if they come into contact with surfaces contaminated with worm eggs.
Transmission can occur when touching vomit or feces from an infected dog.
In oxyure, the most common route of infection for ingestion of eggs is when patients, especially children, scratch their buttocks, which are full of eggs, at night and then put their fingers in their mouths.
Once the worms enter the body, they begin to lay their eggs.
The eggs open and the worms end up in the intestine, where they lay eggs again.
Oxyures can survive for about six weeks.
In rare cases, the worms can move out of the intestine and affect other organs such as:
In such a case, the disease is much more serious.
The worms can be expelled with the child’s bowel movements.
To know if worms are present, one can examine the stool. Here the threadlike, small and thin worms can be seen.
Diagnosis and examinations of worms in the stool
In case of heavy infestation, the worms may be found:
- in cough sputum,
- in vomit.
The worms can also escape at other body orifices, for example:
If this happens, the worms should be taken to the doctor so that he can identify them and order appropriate therapy.
About a month after the eggs are swallowed, the worms mature and begin to lay thousands of eggs daily.
These eggs travel through the digestive system and can be found in the stool at the end.
To diagnose the infestation by parasitic worms, the doctor examines the stool for:
- microscopic larvae.
Blood can be tested for eosinophilia, the proliferation of white blood cells.
Parasite infestation can increase eosinophils, but it can also cause other types of health problems.
What is the therapy for worms in the stool?
All family members, including adults and those who are asymptomatic, must undergo therapy.
Treatment is needed because many people with threadlike worms do not have any symptoms whatsoever.
However, they can still expel eggs, which in turn infect other people.
If one family member is infected, so are the others.
Common treatment measures:
- Taking a medication to kill the worms in the intestine.
- Hygienic measures to eliminate eggs that are in the anus area and in the apartment (for example, wash underbed and bed linen at a temperature of at least 60°C).
Note: For children under three months, only hygiene measures are possible, since no medication is approved for this age.
The doctor may prescribe the following medications.
- Mebendazole (Vermox ®) is a therapy that should only be given to people over six months of age.
All family members should take a dose of it, including adults and those who are symptom-free.
A single dose kills the worms.
Sometimes a second dose is required two weeks after the first, if the infection has not yet passed (this can happen if eggs are swallowed again after taking the drug).
- Pyrantel (Helmex®) can be taken by anyone over three months of age. Two doses 14 days apart are required (prescribed mainly for roundworms and pinworms).
In case of severe worm infestation, intervention may be necessary to remove the worms and eliminate the damage they have caused.
Complications requiring surgery:
- intestinal obstruction or perforation,
- narrowing of the bile ducts,
- Infections of the abdomen such as appendicitis.
What happens in pregnant or lactating women with worms in the stool?
In the first trimester of pregnancy, pregnant women are not allowed to take worm killing medication.
However, hygiene measures alone may be sufficient.
Oxyures die after about six weeks.
If an infected person does not swallow more eggs, no new worm can grow and continue the infection.
By complying with the above hygiene conditions for 6 weeks, should:
- this cycle of reinfection is interrupted,
- the intestines should be cleaned of oxyurene.
If drug treatment is deemed necessary in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, the doctor may prescribe mebendazole.
If breastfeeding, the sole hygienic measures over six weeks are the preferred method of treatment.
If drug treatment is considered necessary, the doctor may recommend mebendazole.
However, this drug is not recommended safely for nursing mothers.
Natural remedies for worms in the stool
Plants are a way to strengthen and strengthen the organs of the body.
As with any other therapy, you should make the diagnosis of the problem with the doctor before using any of these home remedies.
You can apply herbs in the form of:
- dry extracts (capsules, powder, tea),
- glycerol (glycerol extracts),
- Tinctures (alcohol extracts).
People with alcohol problems are not allowed to use tinctures.
Many of the plants used for parasite treatment have:
- toxic side effects,
- interfere with other drugs.
Even if they are tried and tested home remedies, these products should only be used under the supervision of a qualified professional.
Plants recommended by the doctor include:
- Garlic (Allium sativum)
- Barberry (Berberis vulgaris)
- Golden sealwort (Hydrastis canadensis)
- Mugwort (Artemisia annua)
- Black walnut (Juglans nigra)
- Some authors recommend applying a sulfur ointment around the anus after this area has been washed well.
As with other therapies, one should first arrive at a correct diagnosis.
The following homeopathic remedies can be used:
Since the eggs of the oxyurs are also likely to be found on toys, underwear and clothing, accurate cleaning must be done to prevent recurrence.
As a result, the child should always be reminded to wash his hands with hot water and soap:
- before eating,
- after playing,
- after visiting the toilet.