A reader wrote us a couple of days ago with an interesting and distressing question. She reports that her “belly button is a little big,” and that sometimes she has “worm like movements” in her belly button. She says this “makes it hard and paralyses me,” and also that it’s “like a battle is going on in there.” Understandably, she wants to know how to address the worms in her belly button – or, technically, the worm-like movements in the area of her belly button – as she has been dealing with the problem for years. What’s going here?
Before anything else is said, we will repeat what we always say when addressing medical questions: go to a doctor. If you are experiencing pain or some other medical problem, as clearly seems to be the case with our reader, only a doctor is qualified to help you. All we can do is convey some information about worms, not offer medical advice.
you can get tested for parasites at a fully-qualified lab near you,
no doctor's visit required! Check it out at HealthLabs.com!
A couple of starting notes. First, we don’t know of any worms that affect the belly button by itself. There are a number of worms that affect the intestines – in fact, the majority of worms that afflict humans are tied to the intestines – but we know of no species that singles out the belly button by itself. Of course, one’s navel isn’t a part of one’s intestines, but it’s in this region of the body, so perhaps discomfort around the belly button could signify a parasitic infection involving one’s intestines. Second, it isn’t clear that our reader is dealing with any sort of worm at all. The reader seems to be aware of this – she does says she feels “worm like movements” around her belly button – but the overall drift of her email appears to indicate that she thinks she has a worm inside her body. She might not, and we just want to make that clear (even though nothing we say should influence her course of action – she should go to a doctor, especially since her problem is longstanding).
One of the more infamous worms found in humans are tapeworms, and we have actually written about treatment for tapeworms in humans before, and our reader might be interested in reading that article. There are a number of different tapeworms that afflict humans, and which one a person has often depends on their diet and where they live. Taenia saginata and Taenia solium are two common tapeworms that people become infected with all over the world after eating undercooked beef and undercooked pork, respectively. A number of roundworms also infect humans. One relatively common roundworm that afflicts humans is the whipworm, which also causes abdominal pain. Flukes, which are flatworms, also infect lots of people, and in fact are responsible, according to the World Health Organization, for the second most socioeconomically devastating parasitic disease, schistosomiasis. (Malaria is regarded as the most devastating.) This too causes abdominal pain (along with many other symptoms). There are, of course, many other worms that cause problems for humans, and we have merely pointed a few of the more prevalent ones that cause symptoms somewhat like those described by our reader.
We’ll conclude by urging our read to once again go to the doctor. She is clearly experiencing a problem that won’t go away, and if she is dealing with some sort of parasitic infection, this is something that needs to be addressed by medical professionals. The very fact that she is experiencing any symptoms at all makes her case all the more pressing, as a number of intestinal infections involving worms cause no symptoms at all. Going to a doctor will definitely help, and often a worm infection can be relatively easy to fix. So, there is every reason in the world to visit a doctor when one suspects they have a worm infection. We wish our reader the best of luck.
|No Paywall Here!
All About Worms is and always has been a free resource. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or make you give us your email address, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to pay our research authors, and to run and maintain the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep All About Worms free?