Diseases Caused by Helminths

Diseases caused by Helminths are simply referred to as Heminthiasis and are common in the society today. It is estimated that more than 3 billion people live with helminths across the world. Heminthiasis refer to infections caused by parasites such as pin worms and wound worms. Normally, these worms target the intestinal tract, although an increase in number may force some of the worms to invade organs such as lungs and the heart.

The severity of the diseases caused by Helminths depends on the type of worm, as well as the affected body part. While in the intestinal tract, helminthes may cause abdominal pains, which may characterize stomach discomfort, cramps and stomach tenderness. Diarrhea is also a common symptom of helminthes. Other people may experience fever and fatigue, especially when one is suffering from bouts of diarrhea. If one does not take sufficient water during such times, they can easily suffer dehydration.

Apart from the digestive tract, the liver is the next common target for helminthes. When such occurs, one may suffer an enlarged liver, which is often because of localized swelling. More often than not, an enlarged liver go hand-in-hand with a swollen spleen. These two need urgent medical attention. Helminths may also attack the lung, and when such is the case, coughing is usually observed as a symptom.

Apart from allergies, helminths are the next leading cause of eosinophilia in humans. Eosinophilia is a condition where the blood registers abnormal amounts of eosinophils. Although these sub-groups of lymphocells play an important role in maximizing the immune system potent, they do not kill pathogens released by the helminthes, and without support from other immune cells, they are actually considered useless against other kinds of infections in the body.

Other diseases caused by helminths include chest pains, skin symptoms, bloody diarrhea, dehydration, anemia, bowel obstruction and mal-absorption. Since they suck nutrients from consumed foods, humans rarely get to enjoy the nutritious benefits of the foods they eat. In very severe cases, weight loss is observed. In children, helminths make the abdomen distended, which can easily be confused with malnutrition symptoms. In humans who the helminths have gained access to the nervous system, neurological problems may be observed.

Eye symptoms, such as itching, red and teary eyes may also indicate the presence of worms, while other people may present with malaise. Headaches, itchy skin, itchy anus and irritability are also some of the problems.

Some of the other diseases caused by helminth infections include elephantiasis, lymphatic filariasis, trichuriasis, ascariasis among others. Unless the parasitic worms are treated in good time, they continue reproducing in the human body thus increasing in numbers. The most common way of infection is through ingesting the larvae or eggs of the worms. One can also get infections through the skin, nose, anus, mouth or through sexual intercourse.



Source by Rita Lambros-Segur

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