Parasitic diseases are a group of pathologies caused by microorganisms, arthropods and worms. They differ in a sluggish course and impact on vital systems. Digestive disorders, changes in body weight, chronic fatigue are the main signs of the presence of parasites in the human body. To diagnose invasive diseases, an ultrasound scan of the peritoneal organs, an analysis of feces for dysbiosis, and a biochemical blood test are performed.
What parasites can live in a person
The causative agents of parasitic pathologies are worms, arthropods and unicellular organisms - viruses, fungi, protozoa. In 69% of cases, helminthic invasions are diagnosed, which are provoked by such helminths:
- trematodes (flukes) - schistosomes, feline and hepatic fluke;
- scrapers (acanthocephalosis) - bead-shaped scraper, giant comb;
- nematodes (roundworms) - hookworms, pinworms, roundworms, whipworms;
- cestodes (tape) - wide tapeworm, bovine tapeworm, echinococcus.
Endoparasites predominate among helminthic invasions, which settle in the small or large intestine. Common arthropod pathogens of parasitic diseases include:
The group of temporary parasites includes blood-sucking arthropods and leeches, and the group of permanent ones includes lice, parasitic worms and itch mites. Very often invasive pathologies are caused by opportunistic fungi, protozoa - amoebas, lamblia.
Parasites negatively affect the body, provoking undesirable systemic effects - intoxication with waste products, gastrointestinal dysfunction, allergies, anemia.
Common signs of the presence of helminths
Symptoms depend on the type, location and amount of parasites in the body. The basis of the clinical picture is the immune response to infection with a parasitic infection and damage to individual organs.
Disorders in the gastrointestinal tract are provoked mainly by parasitic worms, which are localized in the small intestine. Their waste products cause an allergic reaction in the body, narrowing of the bile ducts. As a result, there are complaints about:
- sour belching;
- poor appetite.
More than 80% of patients suffer from constipation, diarrhea and flatulence.
Abdominal pain and a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen are clear signs of parasites in the body. They irritate the receptors of the gastrointestinal mucosa, which provokes spastic contraction of smooth muscles. As a result, abdominal pain occurs.
If parasites-flukes act as provocateurs of an invasive disease, abdominal discomfort occurs due to their introduction into the intestinal wall.
Periodic itching in the anal area and painful bowel movements are the first signs of parasites in the body. Symptoms are provoked mainly by pinworms, less often by ascaris. The former lay eggs in the anus, which causes severe itching.
The life span of pinworms is only 1. 5 months. The eggs of parasites have a protective shell, so they are not destroyed by external factors.
Failure to observe hygiene leads to self-infection, an increase in the number of worms in the body.
Change in body weight
An increase or decrease in body weight is a clear sign that parasites are in the body. Weight fluctuations are the result of:
- increased or decreased appetite due to intoxication;
- metabolic disorders;
- intestinal dysbiosis.
In half of the cases, patients complain of a constant feeling of hunger. But if the parasites are localized in the small intestine, more than 70% of the nutrients do not enter the bloodstream.
Blood in the stool
Signs of parasite infestation depend on the causative agent of the invasive disease. The presence of blood and mucus in the stool indicates intestinal damage:
- human roundworm;
- wide ribbon;
Penetrating into the body, parasites provoke intestinal irritation. Inflammation of the walls leads to hemorrhage and mixing of blood with feces.
Allergic reactions are the most pronounced signs of parasites in the human body. According to statistics, massive invasions provoke toxic-allergic changes in 92% of patients:
- itchy skin;
- red spots;
- dry skin.
The yellowness of the skin indicates stagnation of bile in the body, an increase in the activity of liver enzymes.
Helminthiasis in an adult is accompanied by dysbiosis. More than 75% of the immune tissue is located in the gastrointestinal tract, so the parasitic disease leads to secondary immunodeficiencies. A decrease in the body's resistance to infections is indicated by:
- frequent colds;
- long-term healing of cuts and abrasions;
- regular exacerbations of chronic pathologies.
Parasites deplete the body's protective reserves, which reduces the production of antibodies to viruses, fungi and bacteria.
Worms poison the body with the products of their vital activity. Intoxication leads to autoimmune disorders, which are manifested by allergic effects:
- itchy skin;
- rash on the body.
The most pronounced toxic-allergic reactions provoke roundworms, trichinella and echinococcus.
Joint and muscle pain
Myalgia and arthralgia - pain in muscles and joints - are signs of the presence of parasites in the human body. At the stage of migration, helminth larvae are carried by the bloodstream. Many of them settle in the joint fluid and muscles, provoking painful sensations.
Parasite toxins negatively affect the functioning of the cardiovascular system. Massive helminthic invasions cause:
- tachycardia (rapid heartbeat);
Dangerous complications are provoked by representatives of tapeworms - echinococcus. They form echinococcal cysts not only in the heart but also in the lungs.
Impaired absorption of substances from the intestines leads to a lack of many vitamins and metabolic disorders. Therefore, the frequent companions of parasitic diseases are:
- dull hair;
- excess oily scalp;
- alopecia (hair loss).
Vitamin and mineral deficiency leads to relapses of oily seborrhea, which in many provokes irreversible hair loss.
Changing taste preferences
Violation of taste perception (dysgeusia) when the body is affected by parasites is due to a change in the protein composition of the blood, hypovitaminosis.
What are the signs of dysgeusia:
- unpleasant taste in the mouth;
- cravings for sweets;
- dullness of taste;
- burning sensation in the mouth.
Taste disorders are often associated with gastrointestinal diseases caused by parasitic worms.
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Metabolic disorders, deficiency of vitamins and other useful components lead to a decrease in the body's energy reserve, disorders in the liver. Therefore, patients with invasive diseases complain about:
- rapid fatigue;
- constant sleepiness;
The feeling of fatigue does not go away even after a long rest or sleep.
Avitaminosis is the absence of vitamins in the body. It occurs when parasites are localized in the small intestine. Symptoms depend on which vitamin is missing. More often, patients complain about:
- decreased visual acuity;
- frequent nausea;
- deterioration of the skin.
Prolonged vitamin deficiencies are dangerous dysfunction of vital organs.
Anemia or anemia - a decrease in the concentration of hemoglobin in the blood cells. When the body is damaged by parasites, a deficiency of vitamins occurs, which are involved in the synthesis of hemoglobin and erythrocytes:
- folic acid;
- vitamin C.
Anemia with helminthiasis is manifested by shortness of breath, headaches, loss of appetite, tinnitus.
Nervousness, sleep disturbance
Infection with parasites in humans is manifested by intoxication, which negatively affects the functioning of the nervous system. Subsequently, there are complaints about:
- a sharp change in mood;
- depressive state;
- sleep disturbance.
Emotional lability against the background of hypovitaminosis and anemia is a clear sign of damage to the body by parasitic worms.
Deterioration of memory and attentiveness
Cognitive impairments - a decrease in intellectual abilities, memory and attention - occur against the background of chronic poisoning of the body with the waste products of parasites. Helminthiases provoke disturbances in the work of many organs, due to which the nervous system and brain tissue suffer. But in 94% of cases, cognitive disorders are reversible.
A dry cough without accompanying symptoms of ENT disease is one of the signs of parasite infection. In 8 out of 10 cases, an unproductive cough is provoked by:
- human roundworm;
- pulmonary fluke.
During the migration stage, the larvae of the worms penetrate the lungs. When coughing, roundworms enter the oral cavity, after which they are swallowed and deposited in the intestines.
Additional symptoms of invasive disease include:
- increased body temperature;
- enlargement of the liver;
- bad breath;
- obstructive jaundice;
- yellow coating on the tongue;
- isolation of fragments of worms with feces;
- restless sleep;
- chest pain;
- increased gas formation;
- vaginitis in women;
- pain in the right side.
With damage to the brain, neuroses, mental disorders are possible.
Symptoms of Infection with Other Types of Parasites
The clinical picture depends on the causative agent of the parasitic disease.
|giardiasis||nausea, belching, itching, flatulence, fever|
|pediculosis||itching of the scalp, burning in the lice bite, red spots and nodules on the head, insomnia, nits in the hair|
|mycosis||peeling of the skin, nail damage, sour odor, thickening of the epidermis, cracks|
|amoebiasis||abdominal pain, gagging, bloody stools, lack of appetite.|
There are a lot of signs of invasive lesions of the body. To exclude complications, it is recommended to take a blood test for parasites at least once a year.
Why are untreated parasitic infestations dangerous?
Parasitic infections have a systemic effect on the body, which disrupts the functions of all organs. Delayed treatment leads to:
- intestinal obstruction;
- prolapse of the rectum;
- stomach ulcer;
- heart failure;
- purulent peritonitis.
In the presence of chronic diseases, parasites complicate their course. Ignoring invasive diseases is dangerous with disability and even death.
Diagnostics and treatment
Laboratory tests are used to identify parasites:
- scraping for enterobiasis;
- analysis of feces for egg-leaf;
- enzyme immunoassay for antibodies to parasites.
In case of intestinal invasions, instrumental examination is recommended - ultrasound of the peritoneal organs, colonoscopy and liver scintigraphy.
The effectiveness of anthelmintic therapy is determined based on the results of repeated diagnostics, which is carried out 1 month after treatment.
Depending on the results of the diagnosis, antiparasitic drugs are prescribed:
- against trematodes;
- broad spectrum anthelmintics;
- remedies for scabies mites.
Parasitic cysts (such as echinococcal cysts) are removed surgically.
Clinical manifestations and methods of treatment of parasitic diseases depend on the type of pathogen. Parasites enter the body through natural openings - mouth, skin pores, urethra, etc. Timely diagnosis and therapy of invasive pathologies prevents complications - meningitis, peptic ulcer, myocarditis.