Parasitic diseases are a group of pathologies caused by microorganisms, arthropods and worms. They differ in slow motion 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, ultrasound scans of the peritoneal organs, stool analysis for dysbiosis and a biochemical blood test are performed.
What parasites can live in a person
The causes of parasitic pathologies are worms, arthropods and unicellular organisms - viruses, fungi, protozoa. In 69% of cases, helminth infestations are diagnosed, which are provoked by such helminths:
- trematodes (methyls) - schistosomes, feline and liver flukes;
- scrapers (acanthocephalus) - scraper in the shape of beads, a giant comb;
- nematodes (roundworms) - hookworms, pinworms, roundworms, whips;
- cestodes (tape) - broad tapeworm, bovine tapeworm, echinococci.
Endoparasites predominate among helminthic invasions that 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 lice, parasitic worms and itchy mites. Very often invasive pathologies are caused by opportunistic fungi, protozoa - amoebae, lamblia.
Parasites adversely affect the body, provoking side systemic effects - intoxication with waste products, gastrointestinal dysfunction, allergies, anemia.
General signs of helminths
The 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 parasitic infection and damage to individual organs.
Disorders of 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 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 fluke parasites act as provokers of 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. The symptoms are provoked mainly by pinworms, less often by roundworms. The first lays eggs in the anus, which causes severe itching.
The lifespan of pinworms is only 1, 5 months. The eggs of the parasites have a protective shell, so they are not destroyed by external factors.
Lack of hygiene leads to self-infection, increasing the number of worms in the body.
Change in body weight
Weight gain or loss is a clear sign that the parasites are in the body. Fluctuations in weight 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 get into the blood.
Blood in the stool
The signs of parasite infestation depend on the cause of the invasive disease. The presence of blood and mucus in the stool indicates damage to the intestines:
- human roundworm;
- wide ribbon;
Penetrating into the body, the parasites provoke intestinal irritation. Inflammation of the walls leads to bleeding 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.
Yellowing of the skin indicates stagnation of bile in the body, increased activity of liver enzymes.
Adult helminthiasis 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. The decrease in the body's resistance to infections is indicated by:
- frequent colds;
- long-term healing of cuts and abrasions;
- regular exacerbation of chronic pathologies.
Parasites deplete the body's defenses, which reduces the production of antibodies against viruses, fungi and bacteria.
The worms poison the body with the products of their vital activity. Intoxication leads to autoimmune disorders, which manifest themselves with 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.
Parasitic toxins adversely affect the functioning of the cardiovascular system. Massive helminth infestations cause:
- tachycardia (rapid pulse);
Dangerous complications are provoked by representatives of tapeworms - echinococci. They form echinococcal cysts not only in the heart but also in the lungs.
Impaired absorption of substances from the intestine leads to a lack of many vitamins and metabolic disorders. Therefore, common companions of parasitic diseases are:
- boring hair;
- excess oily scalp;
- alopecia (hair loss).
Lack of vitamins and minerals leads to recurrence of oily seborrhea, which in many cases provokes irreversible hair loss.
Changing taste preferences
Impaired 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;
- thirst 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, liver disorders. That is why patients with invasive diseases complain of:
- rapid fatigue;
- constant drowsiness;
The feeling of fatigue does not disappear even after prolonged rest or sleep.
Vitamin deficiency is a lack of vitamins in the body. This occurs when the parasites are localized in the small intestine. The symptoms depend on which vitamin is missing. More often patients complain of:
- reduced visual acuity;
- frequent nausea;
- skin deterioration.
Long-term vitamin deficiency is dangerous due to 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, there is a deficiency of vitamins that are involved in the synthesis of hemoglobin and erythrocytes:
- folic acid;
- vitamin C.
Anemia with helminthiasis is manifested by shortness of breath, headache, loss of appetite, tinnitus.
Nervousness, sleep disturbance
Infection with parasites in humans is manifested by intoxication, which adversely affects the functioning of the nervous system. Subsequently, there are complaints about:
- a sharp change in mood;
- depressed state;
- sleep disorder.
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 attention
Cognitive impairment - a decrease in intellectual ability, memory and attention - occurs against the background of chronic poisoning of the body with the products of the vital activity of parasites. Helminthiasis provokes disturbances in the work of many organs, which causes the nervous system and brain tissue to suffer. But in 94% of cases, cognitive disorders are reversible.
Dry cough without concomitant symptoms of ENT disease is one of the signs of a parasitic infection. In 8 out of 10 cases the unproductive cough is provoked by:
- human roundworm;
- pulmonary methyl.
During the migration phase, the larvae of the worms penetrate the lungs. When coughing, roundworms enter the oral cavity, then are swallowed and deposited in the intestines.
Additional symptoms of invasive disease include:
- enlargement of the liver;
- bad breath;
- obstructive jaundice;
- yellow coating on the tongue;
- isolation of fragments of worms with feces;
- troubled sleep;
- chest pain;
- increased gas formation;
- vaginitis in women;
- pain in the right side.
When the brain is damaged, neuroses and mental disorders are possible.
Symptoms of infection with other types of parasites
The clinical picture depends on the cause of the parasitic disease.
|Form of the disease||Symptoms|
|giardiasis||nausea, belching, itching, flatulence, fever|
|pediculosis||itching of the scalp, burns from lice bites, red spots and nodules on the head, insomnia, nits in the hair|
|mycosis||peeling of the skin, damage to the nails, sour smell, thickening of the epidermis, cracks|
|amebiasis||abdominal pain, obstruction, bloody stools, loss of appetite.|
There are many signs of invasive lesions on the body. To rule out complications, it is recommended that a blood test for parasites be performed 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;
- rectal prolapse;
- stomach ulcer;
- heart failure;
- purulent peritonitis.
In the presence of chronic diseases, parasites complicate their course. Neglecting invasive diseases is dangerous with injury and even death.
Diagnosis and treatment
Laboratory tests are used to identify parasites:
- scraping for enterobiosis;
- stool analysis for egg leaf;
- enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for antibodies against parasites.
In case of intestinal invasions, instrumental examination is recommended - ultrasound of the peritoneal organs, colonoscopy and scintigraphy of the liver.
The effectiveness of anthelmintic therapy is determined based on the results of re-diagnosis, which is performed 1 month after treatment.
Depending on the results of the diagnosis, antiparasitic drugs are prescribed:
- against trematodes;
- broad-spectrum anthelmintics;
- against lice;
- means of protection against scabies.
Parasitic cysts (such as echinococcal cysts) are removed surgically.
The clinical manifestations and methods of treatment of parasitic diseases depend on the type of pathogen. The parasites enter the body through natural openings - mouth, skin pores, urethra and others. Timely diagnosis and treatment of invasive pathologies prevents complications - meningitis, peptic ulcer, myocarditis.