Going on vacation in a hot country, a person runs the risk of sowing germs into someone who causes a serious illness. It is less likely that you can do this, and not go to India or Thailand, but on your own garden, digging in the ground. About who are parasites, what diseases they can cause in the human body and how to protect yourself from this, read the next article of a blogger, osteopathic doctor, candidate of the departmentmedical school.
We live in a world full of bugs
In evolutionary terms, parasites as a form of existence appeared millions of years ago. Parasites are life forms that depend on other host organisms and feed on their resources, releasing waste products into the host's internal environment. On a global philosophical scale, following the law of similarity, we humans are a kind of parasite to our planet Earth. We are living by squandering its resources, dumping waste into the external environment, poisoning the planet. Accordingly, certain parasites live in us, they act similarly to us.
According to WHO statistics, more than 1 billion people around the world are infected with parasites, but many people do not even know about it. What is a parasitic infection? This is when the parasite enters the human body and infects it.
Recently, all over the world have paid much attention to environmental and ecological protection issues. However, we often talk about the ecology of the external environment: forests, seas, oceans, etc. v. But the human body, biologically speaking, is the same ecosystem, and it is perfectly justifiable to refer to it as "inner ecology", or "endoecology". Humans are not sterile. Our bodies are inhabited by billions of invisible microorganisms - bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa. Right after the baby is born, the baby's internal organs begin to accumulate microorganisms. There are both the "good" and the "bad" among them. "Bad" microorganisms or parasites live in our body and in the case of weakened immunity they inevitably cause some kind of disease. The "good" representatives of this microcosm enter into mutually beneficial relationships with us - symbiotic and help us, for example, in the production of vitamins, preventing the microflora reactingpoor response, in maintaining immunity.
Another form of parasite - helminths, or worms (pinworms, roundworms, helminths, etc. ), common in nature, there are more than 270 species of them! These are multicellular organisms, they have developed digestive, nervous and reproductive systems. Fortunately, most parasites have a difficult development path and certain conditions are required for them to reproduce. In addition, our body has a protective barrier against worms. As long as the human body is healthy and immunity is active, parasites, including worms, may not manifest themselves in any way. Unfavorable environmental conditions, chronic stress, drug abuse, poor nutrition lead to a decrease in human immunity, as a result many parasites become active and begin to multiply, causing disease.
How to infect worms
You can become infected with helminths, and in everyday life, worms, which you can get by mouth if you have not eaten well-washed vegetables, herbs, fruits or berries. So children who often play in the sandbox and put contaminated toys in their mouths will become infected. The risk of partial infection of eggs and larvae of helminths (roundworms, roundworms) through dirty hands and unwashed vegetables and herbs is quite high.
Certain foods can be contaminated with worms, such as meat (pork, beef), fish, and seafood, so it's important to cook them properly.
There are worms that enter the body through the skin, for example in countries like Thailand, India or Mexico. In our lane, when gardening without gloves, you can get intestinal acne or hookworm.
Insects can transmit some parasites (mosquito bites - filariae). An infected person is rarely a source of infection, but through direct contact some parasites can be transmitted.
Animals, including pets (cats, dogs), are also a potential source of parasites. For example, your beloved dog could be a source of toxocarias - canine worms that can cause a serious illness called toxocariasis, which is characterized by fever, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
Quick Questionnaire on Parasite Invasion
Answer some questions to yourself or your child (parasites are more common in them). If you give a positive answer to any of these questions, this is reason to consult a parasitologist.
- Are you suddenly experiencing nausea, diarrhea or abdominal pain unrelated to food intake?
Similar symptoms can be associated not only with parasites, but also with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (gastritis, enteritis).
- Do you have anal itching at night?
This usually occurs with a pinworm infection (filariasis), but a similar symptom could be a sign of hemorrhoids, an anal fissure.
- Teeth grinding at night?
Teeth grinding at night is called bruxism. However, this is not always a sign of parasites. In children, bruxism can be caused by increased nerve stimulation, magnesium deficiency, as well as dental disease, such as malocclusion.
- Rash or red spots on the skin?
There can be many reasons for skin manifestations, such as allergies.
- After eating pork or wild boar, do you have muscle pain, leg swelling?
This could be a symptom of ringworm.
- After a trip to warmer regions (Thailand), an itchy rash appears on the skin that changes shape and location? This could be a sign of an intestinal acne infection or hookworm infection.
- For a long time, body temperature is elevated (above 37 degrees) and lymph nodes are enlarged, but no ARVI?
Here, toxoplasmosis may be suspected. Especially if there is contact with cats, including pets.
- A dry cough that comes on suddenly and can't be relieved with medication?
Respiratory tract lesions (bronchitis, tracheobronchitis) can be caused by toxocariasis, usually occurring in children aged 1 to 5 years. It is rare in adults.
Diet against parasites
Are there products that can be used to prevent and even treat parasitic diseases? The answer is yes! The love of spices in countries with hot climates (like India) or the use of ginger and wasabi in Japan for sushi is a way of protecting against parasites. These products have powerful antiparasitic properties. Black and red peppers and turmeric are especially helpful.
Our grandmother treated the parasites with garlic, gave it to drink at night, and made garlic candles. Perhaps not in vain of all the vampire movies, garlic is the best defense against bloodsuckers!
Pumpkin seeds have deworming properties. The thin green skin of the seeds contains cucurbutin - a potent poison against some parasites (pinworms, roundworms, roundworms), but completely harmless to humans. Therefore, it is very useful to use seeds and give them to children to drink for the purpose of disease prevention.
Another product with the strongest antiparasitic properties is black walnut, its oil and extracts. Black walnuts are commonly found in many dietary supplements. It contains a polyphenolic substance - juglone, which has powerful anthelmintic properties.
In folk medicine, one treatment for parasites is still used - cognac with castor oil. The essence of the method is simple. During the day fast, drink 50-100 grams of cognac at night (apparently for the purpose of "intoxicating" worms), then drink 60 grams of castor oil. The effect won't keep you waiting long. Castor oil irritates the intestines and causes diarrhea. It is believed that parasites may appear at this time. I personally haven't tried it myself, but some of my patients have. They say the results are good.
Some herbs also have anti-parasitic properties: wormwood, tansy, clove (commonly known as hollyhock), as well as poplar bark. The decoction of these herbs was used by our ancestors to treat helminths. Today, there are biological supplements from these herbs. However, it is not safe to use herbal remedies without consulting a doctor, as there may be contraindications.
The causative agent of toxoplasmosis is the protozoa Toxoplasma gondii, whose main habitat is the intestines of cats. Humans, like all other mammals, are only an intermediate host for this parasite. According to statistics, one out of every third of the planet has a Toxoplasma carrier. Toxoplasma carriers cannot infect others. For adults, Toxoplasma is probably not dangerous. Although there is interesting work devoted to the role of Toxoplasma in causing some psychiatric diseases in humans, for example, schizophrenia, depression and suicidal tendencies. It turns out that pathogenic flora can control us, affecting the cerebral cortex, in particular, the pathogen Toxoplasma can affect the amygdala in our brain, which is responsible for the sensory fieldtouch.
Toxoplasmosis infection is especially dangerous during pregnancy.
Before planning a pregnancy, be sure to be tested for toxoplasmosis (donating blood for antibodies). The fact is that the causative agent of toxoplasmosis can be passed from mother to fetus through the placenta, causing birth defects and dementia in children.
Parasitic diseases can be transmitted by eating unwashed vegetables and fruits, as well as poorly heat-treated meat, so precautions are the same as for other parasitic diseases.
Prevention, or wash your hands with soap
I must say right away that you should not take any deworming drugs on your own - a parasitologist is engaged in the diagnosis and treatment of parasitic diseases! All prevention of helminthiasis lies in hygiene.
The golden rule to prevent illness is to wash your hands often with soap and water.
When washing greens, you should cut off the roots of the greens, and cut off the sepals of berries (for example, strawberries), then rinse with water. Then put the greens or berries in the bowl of water for 10 minutes. After that, you rinse the herbs again under the tap. Now you can safely use the product without fear of worm infection.
Going to hot tropical countries, keep in mind that it's not safe to walk barefoot on the beach without sandals - hookworm larvae or intestinal acne can penetrateinto your body.
For any contact with the ground (especially for gardeners! ), always wash your hands thoroughly - for the same reason.
Barbecue lovers should keep in mind that eating meat that hasn't been vet-controlled, as well as not adequately heat-treated, can cause parasitic infections. The most "clean" meat in terms of parasites is lamb. Lovers of exotic things - bear meat, wild boar, badger meat should be especially careful, because you can get infected with a serious disease called trichinosis.
When in tropical countries with exotic cuisines, take the time to find out what you're served for lunch, try to avoid raw meat and fish (caviar), and also don't drink unfiltered, uncooked water. boiling, as it can also be a source of parasites.
When vacationing in warm countries, don't use ice to chill a drink - it's not made from boiled water and can be a source of parasites.
Avoid drinking unboiled goat or cow's milk, as it can become a source of infection with Toxoplasma, the causative agent of a dangerous disease.
Use separate knives and kitchen utensils to cut raw meat and fish, then wash your hands.
Do not feed your pet raw meat, offal and fish as they may be contaminated with parasites. From a veterinarian's point of view, this is not entirely true for animals, but it is important that you stay healthy.
Take your pets (dogs) to the vet regularly and deworm them (three to four times a year).
Thoroughly wash and disinfect the trash cans in the apartment, but do not leave pregnant women out - eliminates the risk of toxoplasmosis.
Sushi and roach - are they safe?
As for the consumption of fish and seafood, there is also a risk of parasitic infections. First of all, any fish should be prepared with good heat - fried or boiled. Fish should fry for 20-40 minutes and cook for at least 20 minutes, while larger fish should cook longer. When salting, salt concentration and salting time are very important. As a rule, when using a 20% solution of sodium chloride, small fish are disinfected after a day, large fish - after 14 days. When freezing, fish must be kept long enough. In a household freezer, the parasite larvae in fish can survive for up to a month! At lower temperatures, for example, at minus 40 degrees, fish should be kept for at least 6 hours, at minus 25 degrees - at least 3 days! It may not be safe to eat Japanese sushi with raw fish, as well as all dry, dry, rare, and roasted varieties as you cannot be sure of the quality of the product.
A good method is detoxification
To remove the so-called biotoxins of parasites, fungi, protozoa and their waste products from the body, you should undergo a course of detoxification. Within the framework of her program, special diets, fasting days, oral deworming herbal preparations and biological treatment can be applied. With more than a decade of experience in this direction, I can say with confidence that such non-drug methods are very effective for a number of infections. Usually, we have to see the results of such cleaning - for example, to look for roundworms or roundworms in the secretions of sexually mature individuals. At the same time, the patients were shocked by this discovery.
Fear of parasites
In our intermediate zone, parasitic invasion, although it does occur, is not so common. Therefore, I would like to warn the reader not to be "infected" by what psychiatry calls "paranoid delusions", i. e. a mental disorder, i. e. a person who has a strong belief that he or she is suffering from a mental illness. insect and parasitic infection. and other animals. Such patients often go to the doctor, trying to find parasites at all costs. Why am I talking about this? There are quite a few of them in our country. Some "parasite experts" try to speculate on this, fueling the prevalence of helminths (almost 100%). People are willing to believe this. Once again I would like to emphasize that helminth infections in our midline are not uncommon, but not universal. If there is suspicion of the presence of parasites, a general blood test is recommended to look for the level of eosinophils - it is increased with a parasitic disorder. This is especially important for people coming from hot countries or places with high rates of helminth infections. From tests for parasites, you can donate stool for helminth eggs (three times! ), In some cases a blood test for antibodies to the parasite is shown.
Follow these simple precautions and stay healthy!