Worms are parasites belonging to the group of helminths. Existing in the body of mammals, fish and humans, they feed on the "host", harming the body by reducing the nutritional value of food, excreting waste products, reducing immunity and increasing susceptibility to allergens. During the history of the fight against helminthiasis, mankind invented many methods of treatment. We consider the effectiveness of these methods, the effect of prevention in the form of regular intake of worm pills, and we separate truth from fiction.
Worms: parasites that are harmful to health
Although in nature there are symbiotic parasites that exist at the expense of the host, but bring not only damage but also benefits to the main organism, worms are parasites, whose presence in the body significantly impairs health. In terms of the degree of damage, helminthiasis is compared to diseases such as tuberculosis, coronary heart disease and chronic diarrhea.
Worms are parasites that, even in the early stages of helminthiasis, can cause disturbances in the functioning of the digestive system, immunity and allergic reactions. With the development of the disease, anemia, there are varieties of deficiency conditions due to the consumption of nutrients, vitamins, minerals by the helminths, which enter the human body with food.
The group of worms, parasites, helminths includes roundworms, pinworms, nematodes, toxocaras. In terms of the spread of helminthiasis, they are compared to infectious diseases, second only to influenza. And the presence of helminths in the body in the context of an acute infectious process can significantly complicate recovery and prolong the disease.
Severe helminths also affect reproductive function, can be the cause of infertility, the birth of children with developmental disabilities. The spread of worms throughout the body becomes the cause of a person's disability.
The prevalence of helminths is most often explained by non-compliance with hygiene rules ("dirty hands disease"), by the quality of living conditions and by the pollution of territories around livestock farms, both personal and commercial. Failure to comply with sanitary and hygienic standards: the processing of food, hands, surfaces in public places creates in our climatic conditions a favorable environment for the reproduction of helminths and their transmission from one carrier to another.
Children and the elderly are more susceptible to parasitic diseases due to reduced immune defense. Children have not yet acquired the habit of washing their hands either, but there is an instinct to examine everything with their mouths, as well as the need to bite their nails and suck their fingers.
Myths and reality: in the treatment and prevention of "helminthiasis" disease
The existence of several "households", alternative methods of treating helminthiasis, humanity owes to the opinion that it is "shameful" to visit a doctor with such a diagnosis. Therefore, having learned about the presence of worms from test results or suspecting helminthiasis for general symptoms, people often avoid consulting a specialist by buying "worm pills" from pharmacies or resorting to "popular" treatment methods.
Self-diagnosis is often based on false indications and treatment attempts are harmful to health. One of the common myths is that nocturnal bruxism, the grinding of teeth in a dream, is an indisputable indication of the presence of worms in the body, parasites that contribute to restless sleep. This version has not found any confirmation in the course of scientific research, most often the cause of bruxism is stress and nervous system dysfunction. And "being treated for worms" in this case makes no sense.
Let's look at some of the common alternative techniques used for helminthiasis.
Eating a lot of vegetables rich in aromatic substances: parsley, dill, celery, coriander has no effect on helminths and other groups of parasites that live in the body and on the surface of the body. Likewise, helminths are indifferent to vegetables, fruits, orange berries, which are also credited with healing properties. An increase in the amount of vitamins provided with large amounts of vegetables or pumpkin, hawthorn, carrots, persimmon can improve the general condition for a while, but not cure helminthiasis. But hypervitaminosis and indigestion in those who like this method of therapy are quite common. Not to mention the possibility of additional infection when using poorly washed herbs: to get rid of worm eggs, vegetables should be washed well several times before eating.
Various types of bowel cleansing, intestinal enemas with lemon juice or garlic promise immediate relief from parasites. However, the small intestine cavity, habitat of helminths, is not available for Esmarch cups and enemas. The consequences of such a pseudoscientific method are not the cure of helminthiasis, but the violation of the intestinal microflora with regular enemas and, as a result, the erosion of its mucosal surface with the use of caustic juices.
Dangers of Self Prescription Pills for Worms
If folk remedies don't help, medications are needed. Pills for worms, remedies that cure helminthiasis, are quite common and are sold free in pharmacies.
However, it is worth remembering that there is a very large number of helminthiasis and other parasitosis and, despite the existence of drugs with combined action, there is no single "anti-worm pill". For different types of helminths, different drugs are produced.
Furthermore, medicines for helminthiasis are quite toxic and present a series of contraindications, both in terms of general health and for periods of age or physiological conditions (pregnancy at different periods). The selection of a suitable medication is carried out by a specialist who takes into account all factors, the degree of infection. In some cases, a course of treatment that combines multiple medications, additional medications to support the body during treatment, and prevention of the most likely complications is required.
Prevention of helminthiasis in the form of regular antiparasitic medications, which some people, especially pet breeders, follow, can do more harm than the early stage of the disease. The action of anthelmintics is based on poisoning by parasites, but they are toxic to humans and should not be taken "as a precaution, for prevention".