According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 2 billion people around the world are infected with parasitic worms. The condition causes severe illness in roughly 300 million people each year. While many websites are quick to report statistics and publish disturbing (although questionable) images, many do not offer information about the different types of worms, how to avoid them, where they come from, and what symptoms to look out for.
Here are the facts: the human body may be infected with any one of the 3,200 parasitic worms in existence today. Parasitic worms belong to four groups including Cestoda, Nematoda, Protozoa, or Trematoda. Some parasitic worms are microscopic while others can be identified fairly easily with one quick look. Just a few of the different types of parasitic worms common to humans are tapeworms, (Cestodes); hookworms, pinworms, and roundworms (Nematodes); giardia (Protozoa); and flat worms, (Trematoda).
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Of these five common parasitic worms, the most common type of parasitic worms in humans is the roundworm. It is estimated that one in every four humans is infected with roundworms. Although this may sound alarming, there’s no need to panic. Parasitic worms such as roundworm rarely cause serious complications in Europe and North America.
Humans may contract worms by ingesting them through contaminated water or uncooked foods. Humans may also contract worms from pets and even from shaking hands with an infected person.
Symptoms of parasitic worms include:
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Loss of appetite
It is important to keep in mind that these symptoms are also common symptoms for many other diseases and conditions, so its best to consult a physician for an accurate diagnosis. A physician will test for parasites by taking a feces sample and examining it for parasites and/or eggs. Fortunately, the vast majority of parasites can be eliminated by using some of the same methods or by ingesting some of the same types of medications or antibiotics.
Parasites can be eliminated from the body through the use of colon cleansers and/or colonics, several rounds of antibiotics or medications as prescribed by a physician, and/or by utilizing a number of different herbal or natural remedies. It’s best to consult an herbalist for the very best herbal remedies to get rid of human intestinal worms. That said, there are several popular (and effective) remedies consisting of the following combinations of herbs and ingredients:
Black walnut leaves, wormwood, quassia, cloves, male fern
Capsicum, wormwood, sage
Cramp bark, pumpkin seed, capsicum, thyme, garlic
Black walnut, pine needles, sassafras
In general, herbal remedies should be taken orally for a minimum of two weeks. Some individuals may complain of re-infection. It is very important to change your eating habits immediately if you suspect a parasite or worm infection. It’s best not to go back to your regular eating habits in order to prevent re-infection. Certain foods, spices, and beverages might help to ward off parasite infections or they will keep you from becoming infected through food or water sources. These include:
Apple cider vinegar
Bottled or distilled water
Thoroughly cooked meats and seafood
Organic fruits and vegetables, washed thoroughly
Avoid the following foods and activities if at all possible:
Swimming in lakes, rivers, an streams
Using the microwave to cook meats
Finally, never underestimate the power of clean hands! You should always wash your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom whether it is in your home or in a public place. In addition, wash kitchen utensils and countertops with hot soapy water after each use and wear gloves when changing your cats litter box or cleaning up after your pets.
For more information about parasitic worms, visit the official World Health Organization website at www.who.int.