Intestinal parasites are of two types that is helminths and protozoa. Helminths can't multiply in the human body, whereas protozoa are single-celled organisms and can multiply in the human body. Examples of protozoa are tapeworms, roundworms and pinworms. These can cause serious infections in the body.
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Let's learn in detail, in this article, about the intestinal parasites. Let's see what the symptoms of an infection and measures to be taken to prevent the spread are. Parasitic infections are very contagious. These can be easily transferred to anything or anyone you come in contact with. People coming in contact with these infected objects or food can be infected easily.
It is important to maintain good hygienic conditions and regularly wash your hands thoroughly to reduce the chances of a transmission. Please note that you should always wash your hands after using the washroom and before eating food. If you are travelling, pay attention to the quality of the food and drinking water. Also, wash fruits and vegetables well before eating.
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Have a look at what intestinal parasites are, its treatment and prevention.
How Intestinal Parasites Enter The Body?
When a person comes in contact with the infected faeces (faeces of an infected person), he/she can easily get infected. These infected faeces can be present in food, water or soil. A person consuming such foods and water is at a risk of getting infected early. Poor hygiene, visiting an infected area or having a weak immune system can also pose a risk for an intestinal parasitic infection. Once you are infected with parasites, it is contagious and can easily be passed on to other people around you (through your faecal matter).
Are Intestinal Parasites Dangerous?
Intestinal parasites feed on the food that we eat and the intestines become a host to these parasites. The acids in our stomach can't kill these parasites. Our body tries to fight against these parasites through our immune system that can cause inflammations in the body.
Do These Parasites Prevent Proper Absorption Of Food?
Presence of worms can cause anaemia, malnutrition and decreased absorption of food in the blood. Intestinal parasites prevent the absorption of food that we eat into the blood. This causes malnutrition and poor health. There will be blockage of intestines that can lead to constipation. This intestinal blockage also prevents food, fluids, and gas from moving through the intestines in a normal way. There may be bleeding caused by severe infestation of worms in the intestines. This can lead to anaemia.
How Do We Know If We Are Infected?
There are some signs and symptoms of intestinal parasites that you must be aware of. The symptoms are weight loss, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting, itching around the rectum and other parts of the body, skin rashes, skin irritation, sleep disorders, blood in stools, constipation, diarrhoea, anxiety and depression, gases, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), muscle pain, joint pain, anaemia, fatigue and exhaustion, blood sugar fluctuations, decreased sex drive, increased frequency of bacterial, fungal or viral infections.
Do They Occur In Underdeveloped Countries Only?
Intestinal parasites do not only occur in underdeveloped countries but are more common in developed countries. The only difference is that they are effectively managed in the developed countries than the underdeveloped ones.
It is a scary thought to know that some living parasites actually live inside our intestines. According to the World Health Organization, around 3 billion people in the world suffer from intestinal parasites. Not all of them live in underdeveloped or poor countries.
What Are The Herbs To Treat Intestinal Parasitic Infections?
The herbal treatments prescribed for intestinal parasitic infections are mint, cloves, oregano, garlic, goldenseal, anise, oregon grape and wormwood. However, it is best to consult a doctor before using any of the herbal treatments.
What Are The Conventional Medicines We Can Use?
You have to go for a stool test, if you suspect an intestinal parasitic infection. Prescription medication is the most effective treatment for such infections.