Intestinal worms are worms that live and reproduce in the gastrointestinal tract. Chiefly, there are two major groups of intestinal worms. They include protozoa and helminths. Protozoa are one cell worms while the latter have many cells. Additionally, protozoa tend to multiply easily in the human body and they include microsporidia and cryptosporidium among others. Isospora is a common intentestinal worm that affects persons living with HIV aids. Helmithns on the other hand include hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, giardia, threadworms, whipworms and pinworms. Intestinal worms attack the body through the use of contaminated food and water, skin, nose, sexual conduct, transmitting agents including mosquitoes and poor hygiene habits. Children are often at a high risk of intestinal worms. This is because of their play and eating habits. They can put anything in their mouths. Adults can also be affected by intestinal worms.
Causes of Intestinal Worms
There are many causes of intestinal worms and they include
- Consumption of contaminated water especially water that is contaminated by animal and human feces
- Poor hygiene including bathing infrequently, failure to wash your hands after using the lavatory, failure to wash your hand before and after eating
- Un-sanitized living conditions put you at risk of contracting intestinal worms
- Exposure to animals especially to pigs that are infected
- Eating raw pork, lamb, beef and venison
- Roundworms often result from dirty food and dirty fingers
- Infected water say for showering or taking a bath. Hookworms enter the skin when you use infected water
- Tapeworms are common in food contaminated by dogs, undercooked fresh food and raw meat
- Wrong feeding is also a common cause of intestinal worms. Eggs of intestinal worms are available in food, water and fruits. They live and can breed in the intestines when you consume such food. The intestines provide a great environment for their propagation.
- Worms can also enter the body through your bare foot. Hookworms are common in infected surfaces. Therefore walking barefoot in an area that is infected especially where you keep your livestock put you at a high risk of contracting hookworms
- Faulty living is also a common cause of intestinal worms. Poor living conditions, eating raw and fresh food, undercooking food, drinking water that is not treated and failure to observe personal hygiene provides a good environment for propagation of intestinal worms. They grow and propagate in an untidy environment and you can come into contact by walking on a contaminated surface, eating food or drinking contaminated water.
Symptoms of Intestinal Worms
- Diarrhea is a common symptom both in children and adults. It is a typical symptom of roundworm infestation
- Abdominal pain is a symptom of tapeworm, roundworm and flukeworm infestation. Cramping and intermittent pain may signal mild or severe intestinal obstruction
- Retarded growth is common in children who are infested by roundworms. This is because roundworms lead to malnutrition and weight loss.
- Fatigue is common when infested with tapeworms because they cause Vitamin B12 deficiency in the body
- Respiratory problems including Cough and lung congestion as well as difficulty in breathing
- Presence of worms in the stool
- Weight loss especially in babies who are infested with tape and pinworms
- Digestive problems, loss of appetite, nausea, blood in stools or bloody diarrhea. This is a common symptom of adult intestinal worms and can be seen in feces
- Muscle aches and general body weakness is common
- Chronic pelvic pain may also occur especially in girls and women
- Foul breath
- Dark circles under the eye
- Restlessness at night and is often accompanied by bad dreams
- Constant craving for food
- Itchiness around the rectum is often a typical symptom of thread and pinworms
- Inflammations of the intestines and lungs, vomiting, fever, nervousness, irritability and weight loss are symptoms of round worm infestation
- Intense itching around the rectum, periodic bouts, constipation, weight loss, fever and cough are symptoms of threadworm infestation
- Weaknesses in the legs and pain in calves are symptoms of giardia
- Nutritional disorders in kids and anemia are symptoms of hookworms because they grow over time and make your immune system weak.
- Whenever, you suspect intestinal worms, it is imperative to take necessary steps to prevent growth of worms and severity of the symptoms.
Intestinal Worms Home Remedies
Diet is an excellent home remedy for intestinal worms. Eat a well balanced diet. More importantly, it is essential to be on a diet of fresh fruits for a period of five to 7 days. Your diet should additionally include lots of vegetables, well cooked milk, wholemeal bread and fresh fruits. Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies and herbal remedies yourself! Here are some of the home remedies that you can try.
- Coconut– Coconut is an excellent remedy for intestinal worms. It expels the worms from the intestines. Take a tablespoon for freshly ground coconut for your breakfast then take 60ml of castor 30minutes later. You can mix castor oil with warm milk after 3 hours. The mixture should be taken daily until all the symptoms go away.
- Carrots– Carrot is also great in eliminating threadworms in children. Give your child a cup of grated carrots in the morning. You can add the carrots to your meals to clear worms quickly.
- Papaya- Papaya is a great home remedy for intestinal worms. It has great ingredients that expel and destroys worms. A tablespoon of unripe papaya and honey should be mixed. Use 3 to 4 tablespoons of worm water for adult dose and take castor oil after 2hrs. Use the treatment for 2days to eliminate intestinal worms. For children under the age of three, a tablespoon is quite sufficient. Papaya seeds are great in expelling intestinal worms. Powder the seeds and take it with water or milk in the morning and on an empty stomach.
- Pumpkin– Intestinal worms can also be managed efficiently by using pumpkin. Pumpkin seeds should be peeled and crushed then mixed with warm boiling water. Drink the solution to kill and expel intestinal worms especially tape worms.
- Pomegranate– Pomegranate is additionally an incredible remedy for intestinal worms more specifically tapeworms. The root, bark and stem of the tree contain anthelmintic properties that expel and destroy worms.
- Calamus– Calamus is also an effective herb that expels and destroys worms due to its bitter elements and anthelmintic effect
- Vasaka– Vasaka leaves, bark, rout bark and flowers of the tree expel intestinal worms. A decoction or root and bark should be used and you can always make the decoction by boiling 30gms of root and bark. Use 500ml of water and boil till you remain with one third of the solution. 30ml dose of the decoction should be taken 3 times a day for a period of 3days for effective treatment of intestinal worms.
- Garlic- Garlic is one of the best natural remedies for intestinal worms. This herb has been in use for centuries. It treats a couple of medical conditions including intestinal worms. It is especially effective in dealing with roundworms, trypanosome, leishmania, lamblia and more. What is more, you can now get garlic in capsule form. If you do not love taking capsules you can eat whole cloves of garlic, they work the same way as capsules and tablets.
- Goldenseal- This herb has also been in use for centuries. It cures infections involving mucus membranes such as the respiratory system infections. Research has also revealed that goldenseal is effective in eliminating intestinal worms such as Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba, and more. Remember to seek doctor’s attention before you use any of these remedies.
- Bitter Gourd Seeds- These seeds are very effective in treating intestinal worms plus other suckers in the gastrointestinal tract. You need to consume 200mg of these seeds everyday to eradicate intestinal worms completely. It is recommended that you take these seeds while on an empty stomach.
Diet for Intestinal Worms
Diet is very important when infested with intestinal worms. A patient should be kept on a diet of fresh fruits exclusively for a period of 4 to 5days.
- After a 5day fruit diet, it is essential to eat a well balanced diet. It should contain proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins in their correct quantities. More importantly, ensure to include a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole bread and milk in your diet.
- All fruit diet is excellent for adults. However, for children, it is imperative to have a short fast of vegetable juices and raw fruits.
- Avoid fatty foods, creams, raw meat, undercooked flesh food and butter to manage intestinal worms.
- Ensure to eat well at all occasions. You food should supply the right and essential nutrients to expel and destroy intestinal worms. Eating well also means cooking your food well, avoiding raw meat, eating fresh vegetables and fruits. More importantly, ensure to buy your food from clean grocery stores. Wash your hands when preparing and when serving food to maintain proper hygiene. With a balanced meal, you can rest assured of a healthy body free of intestinal worms.
Prevention of Intestinal Worms
Preventing intestinal worms is not a hard task. It is important to maintain high standards of cleanliness and eat well. Ensure you have a good and healthy body by creating a clean environment in your home.
- Wash your fruits and vegetables before eating. It helps to get rid of worms that can be ingested
- Cook your food well to kill not only intestinal worms but also intestinal parasites and bacteria
- Ensure to boil your water well. Treat or filter your water both for cooking and for drinking
- De-worm your pets regularly. It helps to kill worms and even if your pets walk around, you do not have to worry about intestinal worms infestation
- Maintain personal hygiene. Wash your hands before eating, after touching or playing with pets, after using the lavatory and after eating. Have your finger nails clean and short at all times
- Have cloves in your food to kill intestinal worms
- Cleanse your colon regularly using ozonated water to expel and kill intestinal worms.
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