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Roundworms, The Common Intestinal Parasite

Roundworms are one of the most common intestinal parasites in humans.  The general population becomes infected by these micro parasites through touching dog or cat feces and then touching food or their mouth.  Once entering the body these parasitic worms infect the intestines and down the road can migrate to other organs and glands of the body.  The adult female worms living in the small intestine can produce over 200,000 eggs per day and many of these are passed in the feces.  These worms are invertebrates that look like long, round noodles and some can be as thick as a pencil.

Roundworm PictureThe roundworm is made up of a family of different parasites:

  1. Hookworms are found in warm, tropical areas and live in soil and human feces.
  2. Whipworms are also found in warm, humid areas of the world and thrive in human feces and soil.
  3. Pinworm which is the most commonly seen roundworm in the United States.  These are very small worms and tend to effect kids more than adults.
  4. Ascaris roundworm infiltrates the digestive tract of mammals and can grow in length anywhere from 6-12 inches.  These leech like organisms are commonly found in dogs and cats which can easily spread to humans because of close contact.

The effects of these intestinal parasites is not commonly life threatening.  Typical symptoms of pinworms that are frequently found in humans are mild to intense anal or vaginal itching.  The ascariasis infection can give symptoms of vomiting, sharp abdominal pain and feeling hyperactive.  The overall harshness of symptoms usually correlates with the concentration of number of parasites that have infested the intestines.  A hookworm infection may cause symptoms of diarrhea, cramps, nausea, and colic.  Whipworms commonly do not give any symptoms to their human host but if severe enough people will experience weight loss, bloody stool, diarrhea, and stomach pains. 

Chronic infections by these intestinal parasites can cause serious health problems in humans with already weak or compromised immune systems.  A prolonged intestinal parasite infection can potentially cause anemia, weight loss and respiratory problems that can mimic pneumonia. 

The best way to prevent these micro organisms from infecting humans is through proper hygiene.  Children are the most common carrier for these roundworms so making sure kids wash their hands after playing with toys, pets and using the bathroom is highly recommended.  Pets should always be treated for roundworms and their feces be disposed of properly.  People do eat lots of pork so they need to make sure to cook it thoroughly and wash their hands after handling raw pork.  Lastly make sure the tap water is from a good source, this is one of the most common ways that these free loaders get into the human body.

You can be diagnosed with a roundworm infection by a Doctor by doing a stool test.  Although it is well know that these medical parasite tests are not very reliable and can only identify a small percentage of parasites that infect humans.  Other tests consist of testing the phlegm or sputum that is coughed up from the lungs, most people would not think of a parasitic infection when they have a productive cough.  There are two options for eliminating these infectious worms, either anti parasitic medicine or a natural parasitic cleanse.  They both work well with the main difference being more side effects experienced with the drugs compared with the natural cleanse.

This article was published on Friday 28 September, 2012.

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