Latest Catalogue Worms

Worms

DEFINITION

The term 'Worms' is used to describe the infestation of the body by various types of Worms including pinworms (also known as threadworms), roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms.


DESCRIPTION

TAPEWORMS
Tapeworms live in the intestines and sometimes grow to quite amazing lengths. They attach themselves to the inner lining of the gut. Tapeworms cannot be passed from person to person. Tapeworm infestation is often asymptomatic (no obvious symptoms). Undercooked beef or pork are the main foods that can be infested with the tapeworm. Signs and symptoms of tapeworm infestation include weight loss, stomach pain and diarrhoea.

PINWORMS (also called threadworms).
The pinworm is the most common parasite infecting children in temperate climates (e.g. New Zealand and Australia). Pinworms are highly contagious and transfer of eggs occurs from the anal area to clothing, sheets or toys and then to the mouth of the new host. The threadworm eggs are swallowed and move down the gut where they hatch and mature. The female lays thousands of tiny eggs around the anus. The glue-like substance used to stick the eggs to the anus produces an irritation. The sufferer may scratch around the anus in an almost involuntary action. Children may be constantly reinfecting themselves by transferring eggs from the anal area to mouth. The eggs of the worms may then lodge under the nails.

ROUNDWORMS
Roundworm is the most common Worm in warm and temperate areas. Infestation by roundworms tends to occur in areas with poor sanitation. Early symptoms of infestation occur in the lungs with fever - adults, cough and wheezing. The Worm then migrates to the intestines causing cramps and sometimes obstruction. Heavy infestation in the intestines can lead to malabsorption of nutrients from foods. Diagnosis is reached by finding eggs in the stool.

HOOKWORMS
Hookworm infestation is usually asymptomatic, though sometimes there may be abdominal pain or iron deficiency anaemia. Infestation is common in areas of poor sanitation. Eggs are passed in faeces, hatch in the soil and infect a new host by penetrating the skin. The larvae reach the lung via blood and lymphatic flow. They then move up the respiratory tract and are swallowed. They attach to the walls of the intestines with their mouths and feed on human blood. Hookworm infestation can cause a considerable amount of pain and discomfort.


TREATMENT OPTIONS

As with all conditions, your Doctor should be consulted to diagnose and treat this condition. Ask your Doctor about the latest advice on Worm infestation.
Wash hands after using the toilet and after handling infected children. Scrub fingernails well and discourage children from biting their nails.
Wash and iron bed linen, sleepwear, underwear and towels. The heat of the iron will kill the eggs.
Wipe down door handles and toys with a disinfectant.


DIET HINTS

- The diet for the habitual sufferer of Worms (parasitic infection) should be low in refined carbohydrates. It is better to have home-cooked meals and to avoid fast-food outlets that usually use fat in their cooking.
- Include foods rich in the B Group vitamins such as lean pork, liver, yeast extracts and wholemeal bread and cereals.


VITAMINS/MINERALS/HERBS

Nutritional supplements are only to be taken if the dietary vitamin intake is inadequate.
- A multivitamin may help to replace the nutrients lost by worm infestation that can adversely affect the lining of the gut and cause diarrhoea.
- Hydrochloric acid occurs naturally in the gut and helps to destroy parasites contained in food. If stomach acidity is low, a Hydrochloric acid supplement is recommended.
- Acidophilus helps to re-establish a healthy bacterial colony in the bowel. This colony may become unbalanced in cases of Worms.
- An antioxidant multi-vitamin containing vitamins A, C, E, zinc and grape seed extract may help to boost the immune system. Low immune function may increase the risk of infestation by Worms.


PHARMACIST'S ADVICE

Ask your Pharmacist for advice.
1) Follow the Diet Hints.
2) Ask your Pharmacist about a suitable Worm tablet. Worms can usually be eliminated with the correct treatment. Studies suggest that all family members should be given the worm treatment. This is to prevent reinfection from another family member. All family members should be treated at the same time also. The common worming preparations contain either Mebendazole or Pyrantel Embonate. Most worming tablets are available in a single dose tablet.
3) If the diet is inadequate, consider some supplements. Vitamin C might be suggested to increase the natural immune system.