Pin worms are the most common parasites in humans. The adult worm is visible to the naked eye but they egg, however, are not. These tiny critters are thought to only be a nuisance and cause no real harm; in my opinion, that is not the case. Pinworms are the most common parasite in humans because they are so easily spread. About 90% of people have or will at some point have pinworm. In large numbers these worms can cause serious damage.
Pinworms typically live in the colon but they don’t always stay there. In some cases, pinworms can crawl up the vagina into the uterus to the fallopian tubes and around the pelvic organs. This can cause very painful ailments such as vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina) and endometriosis (inflammation of the uterus lining). A large number of these present in the colon can also cause malnutrition and consequently weight loss.
Pinworms may be the cause of some cases of appendicitis. This may be likely because adult female pinworms live in the last part of the small intestine (ileum), beginning of the large intestine (caecum), appendix and ascending colon. They attach themselves to the lining of the intestines and feed off of the contents in the colon.
The main symptom of pinworm infection is itching sensation, especially at night, in the anus and perineum. Abdominal pain is also a common symptom. In more acute cases nausea, vomiting and pain when urinating (dysuria) can occur. A constant craving of sweets can also be linked to parasite infection.
Insomnia can be experienced by children as well as adults in acute cases; this is due to the crawling and itching sensation caused by the movement of the pinworms. In children, pinworms can cause restlessness, irritability, emotional instability, loss of appetite, weight loss, malnutrition and the inability to control urination (bed wetting).
Infection commonly occurs at a young age through ingestion of fecal matter. Microscopic traces of fecal matter can be picked up from daycares, schools, work and just about any other place people live and eat. Typically picked up by small children from other children, the worm’s eggs are ingested when children put their fingers in their mouth or touch their face.
The worm lives in the colon and rectum feeding from bacteria. During the night when the host is asleep, the female pinworm crawls out of the anus and lays eggs around the anus and surrounding skin. The eggs cause an itch, prompting the host to scratch. In this manner the eggs are transferred onto the hand to be ingested again when the host touches his or her face or other individuals. The eggs have a sticky coating allowing them to stick to the hand as well as to bed linens and clothing. Dusting off bed linens can shake the eggs loose and they can become airborne and possible swallowed, this is another form of infection.
Commonly Used Treatment
The key to ridding yourself of this particular parasite is proper hygiene and sanitation habits. There are many types of effective antihelminthic drugs, each with their respective list of side effect. However, to properly eradicate this worm, proper sanitation, especially in households with children, is crucial. See below for effective natural remedies.
Tapeworm takes the prize for longest parasite. They look like tape, flat and long, this is the reason for their name. A weight loss diet, consisting of swallowing tapeworm eggs, made this parasite famous. While it is now illegal to buy and sell tapeworm eggs, it has not stopped some people from trying to get their hands on them. If you’re the type of person that would gladly invite a 30 foot long parasite to live in your intestines just so you can shed a few pounds, there is probably a bigger issue at hand that needs to be addressed.
Tapeworms are long and flat worms that resemble cooked fettucini noodles. They have hooks in their mouth which they use to attach themselves, typically, to the intestinal wall. These parasites can travel through the bloodstream while in larvae form. In some cases they can settle in the brain, eyes, liver, heart or muscles where they can cause life-threatening and even fatal symptoms like intestinal blockage, seizures and brain swelling.
The majority of people infected with tapeworm do not experience any symptoms. Most people only ever realize they have a tapeworm once they see parts of the worm, sometimes moving, in a bowel movement. The types of symptoms an individual can experience can depend on where the tapeworm has migrated.
Tapeworm symptoms include:
Loss of appetite
If tapeworms migrate out of the intestine they can cause cysts that are damaging to organs and tissue. These symptoms include:
Neurological damage such as seizures
Tapeworms work their way into a host via undercooked meet and food or water contaminated with traces of fecal matter. The parasite will typically attach itself to the intestinal wall. In some cases, when the larvae settle elsewhere, they will hook onto the brain, eyes, nervous system, liver or heart. Once the worm has attached itself to the host, it will absorb nutrients through its skin.
The tapeworm grows by absorbing nutrients as the host digests. At this point the worm begins to grow a long tail made up of segments. Each segment contain a digestive and reproductive system. Newer segments grow near the neckpipe and older segment get pushed back towards the tip of the tail. Once a segment reaches the end of the tail it drops off. At this point the segment is basically a sac of eggs that the host passes onto the next host.
Commonly Used Treatment
Eliminating tapeworm is difficult because of its structure. The body of the tapeworm is made of segments. Each segment (proglottids) contains a male and female reproductive system. This means each segment can reproduce with itself to become a new worm. Some individuals have expelled a tapeworm that was still attached to their colon. The common reaction is to pull on the worm to detach it; this however, will only break it and new ones will form. The successful way to remove a tapeworm is to make sure the head is removed. Then treatment should be sought out to eliminate the eggs. See below for effective natural remedies.
If you love pork, beware of trichinella. Pigs are the main carriers of this parasite and the parasite is typically contracted through the consumption of undercooked pork. There has been much debate about this parasite and whether it affect humans when “properly” cooked. Some reports say the cooking pork “through to 170 degrees fahrenheit should be enough to scorch any Trichinella larvae”. However, we continue seeing clients with parasite symptoms and parasite related ailments even though they have a healthy diet but still consume pork cooked above the “safe” temperature.
Trichinella is a parasite that comes from consuming undercooked meat, typically pork. Trichinella also commonly occurs in certain wild animals such as bears, cougars, domestic pigs and wild boars. Trichinella can be contracted from eating meat from these animals.This parasite is also known as trichinosis and the diseases it creates are known as trichinellosis.
Once the parasitic eggs are consumed, digestive acids break down the protective coat that encapsulate the eggs. The larvae are then released and work their way to the small intestine where they will develop into adults. As adults, they are about 0.1 inches in length. Their small size as eggs allows them to travel through the blood stream and burrow into the muscle fibers. Inside the muscles they create cysts to protect themselves. A muscle biopsy is used to detect trichinella.
Migration of the worms in the intestinal tissue can cause traumatic damage to the host tissue. The parasites live in their host, meaning they eat and defecate inside the host. Their waste can lead to a weakened immune system as well as allergies for the host. Facial edema (swelling) can also develop. This excess accumulation of fluids under the skin can cause their own set of health issues.
Mild cases of trichinellosis are often assumed to be the flu and are never specifically diagnosed. Large numbers of this parasite can lead to serious nervous disorders, kidney malfunction, respiratory issues, heart damage and heart failure resulting in death.
Recent studies have shown that this particular parasite can integrate itself in the host’s DNA and be passed on to offspring. Additionally, this parasite can trick the body to think it’s part of it so as to not be attacked.
Unfortunately, clinicians typically diagnose trichinella infection, in its early stage, as food poisoning. Initial symptoms can appear from 12 to 48 hours after eating the infect meat.
Initial symptoms include:
Edema of the face
Impaired hand eye coordination
Weak blood pressure
The more worms present in the system, the more severe the symptoms will be. Most symptoms will slowly dissipate within a few months for mild to moderate infections. However, some symptoms such as muscle pain, fatigue and diarrhea can last for several months or more.
Commonly Used Treatment
The CDC recommends taking precaution when consuming pork such as freezing pork less than 6 inches thick for 20 days at 5 degrees fahrenheit to kill any worms. The CDC also states that curing, drying, smoking or microwaving meat does not kill infective worms. While freezing pork may kill infective worms, the same is not true for freezing wild game meats. Some parasites present in wild game are resistant to freezing.
See below for effective natural remedies.
Throughly cleaning meat grinders and slicers is also a preventive method advised by the CDC. Pharmaceutical drugs are available for treatment but efficacy of such drugs are uncertain. Corticosteroids and analgesics are typically prescribed to relieve symptoms. See below for effective natural remedies.
Giant roundworms (Ascaris lumbricoides) are from the Nematoda family. It’s estimated that there are about 1 million Nematoda species. These parasites are present in nearly every ecosystem. They have triumphantly adapted to: fresh water, sea water, soils, high elevations, low elevations and from the polar regions to the tropics. They are commonly found in marine, freshwater, mountains, deserts, oceanic trenches and terrestrial environments. Often, they outnumber other animals in individual and species count.
Giant roundworms are ubiquitous in humans. They look like white earth worms with tapered ends. Over 2 billion people are thought to be infected with roundworms, this could be due to the fact these worms can lay 200,000 eggs per day; making them difficult to eliminate.
In some cases, this parasite can cause death. An estimated 20,000 deaths annually are a result of giant roundworm infection. Large numbers of this worm can cause blockages, inflammation and other damage. Blockages can cause perforation of the intestinal wall or rupturing of the appendix causing peritonitis, which can be fatal.
Worms can also block liver or pancreatic ducts, causing extreme pain. Blockages in the intestine can cause extreme abdominal cramping, vomiting and even death. When present in the stomach, these worms typically induce nauseas and vomiting. Vomiting worms as long as 12 inches have been reported. Worms can even reach the esophagus while the host is sleeping. In these cases the worms can exit the body through the mouth or nose.
Ascaris can travel to the lungs and cause breathing difficulties as well as bloody sputum. Worms traveling through the lungs can cause blood vessels to rupture. This leads to an inflammatory response followed by and accumulation of fluids in the lungs known as ascaris pneumonia, which can be fatal.
In children, roundworm infections can cause malnutrition which can lead to developmental problems. Look for signs of lack of appetite. According to WHO, children three to eight years of age are most commonly infected.
Poor hygiene habits are often the main cause of infection. Infected pets and food tainted with fecal matter can also be a cause of infection. Infection occurs when a person touches soil or a surface containing the parasite eggs or larvae. The eggs or larvae stick to the hand then the person transfers them to the mouth. Eggs and larvae can also enter the body through the skin.
Removing these parasite is difficult because of their lipid coating. This is a fatty coating the protects them from being digested by the body’s acids and alkalis. It also protects them from chemicals. Prevention is very important with this particular parasite because it’s eggs are one on the most difficult to kill. Ascaris eggs typically survive 1-3 years. Ascaris eggs cannot be killed by bleach. Bleach can remove their lipid layer, which is sticky and allows them to stick to surface, then they can be washed away.
Gian roundworms, like other parasites, can live in their host and go completely unnoticed for years and even decades. It’s typically only when the infection gets really bad that symptoms appear. Roundworms typically live in the intestinal area. Symptoms can include:
Worms in stool
Blood in stool
If roundworms are present in the lungs, symptoms can include:
Shortness of breath
As with most other parasites, there are a few different pharmaceutical drugs that can help eliminate ascaris. These medications kill adult worms but not the eggs. If the worm infection is heavy, surgery may be required to repair the damage cause by the worms as well as to remove the worms. See below for effective natural parasite remedies.
Natural Remedies for Parasites
Black walnut is the first herb that comes to mind when I hear the word “parasite”. This herb has been used for centuries to eliminate parasites as well as many other pathogens. Black walnut was used by Indians of America as an anti-parasitic formula. It was also used as an antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral remedy. It can be used in powder or tincture form. We typically recommend taking black walnut in capsule form.
It’s important to take black walnut and other parasite killing herbs regularly because parasites are everywhere. Infection is possible at every turn via: your kids, pets, friends, co-workers, classmates, food, and many other venues. For maintenance, 2 capsules of 1,000 mg twice a day is recommended. For parasitic worm infection that is low or mild, three 1,000 mg capsules three times a day is recommended. For severe infection, four 1,000 mg capsules four times a day (or equivalent) is recommended. Always take black walnut at least 15 minutes before meals. This will help kill hungry parasites that are waiting to feed.
Severe Infection Dosage
In cases of severe infection, complimentary herbs should also be taken such as white oak bark and garlic pills. Both of these have long been used by herbalist to eliminate parasites. These herbs do not have any negative side effects and are safe for adults as well as for children and even pets. Of course, for children and pets a much smaller dosage is recommended.
Recommended Dosage for Children
For children, a black walnut tincture can be used if they can not swallow capsules. The recommended amount for children under two years of age 5 drops in 4 oz of water, for maintenance. For children ages 2-8, 1/4 of a standard dropper is recommended. Children 8-13 should take half a standard dropper.
Children ages 3-8 are commonly infected with worms. For low or mild infection it is recommended they take 1 standard dropper full 3 times a day. For severe infection, 1 standard full dropper 5 times a day is recommended. Additionally, make sure to teach children proper hygiene habits and launder their clothes and bed sheets regularly.
It should be noted that while these herbs do not have any negative side effects, abdominal discomfort and even extreme abdominal pain may be experienced when using these products. The pain can be associated with parasites blocking the intestines or other organs which causes inflammation and sensitivity in the affected tissue. Abdominal pain can also be experienced when herbs are taking effect and killing the worms. Abdominal pain in this case is usually followed by a bowel movement in which worms may be present and can be seen by the naked eye.
Natural Remedies for Parasite Eggs
Artemisia is well recognized for its ability to remove parasite eggs. Wormwood, which comes from the artemisia plant, is also effective in removing parasite eggs. Either of these herbs should be taken after using black walnut. It is recommended to take black walnut for a 3-4 weeks and then follow up with artemisia. The same recommended dosage can be followed for both artemisia and wormwood.
These herbs will eliminate many different types of parasites. Black walnut can be taken alongside artemisia or wormwood. They do not have to be taken at different times. Always remember to practice hygienic habits and regularly launder clothing and linens. Also, be sure to wash fruits and vegetables before eating them and if possible stay away from pork.
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Disclaimer: Our services and information do not diagnose or prescribe for disease conditions. Individuals are encouraged to seek competent medical help when those services may be indicated. Individuals accept total responsibility for their own health care and maintenance.