Worms - Symptoms, Treatment, Homeopathic Remedies
Using Homeopathy for Intestinal Worms, Pinworms, Tapeworms
Intestinal worms and other parasites are all too easy to contract. Many people have a misperception that one must go traveling in a third world country to encounter these organisms, but there are plentiful sources of worms in our own region, especially in the food supply. Some of the most common of these parasites are pinworm, hookworm, and tapeworm. (Ringworm is caused by a fungus, not a worm, but its associated rash looks like a ring.)
Pinworms (E. vermicularis) are the most common infectious worm in the U.S., with an estimated 40 million cases a year. Humans are the only carriers of this parasite, which tend to spread in close living quarters and are common among children between 5 and 10 years old. These parasites do not generally pose any serious health risks, but rather are a nuisance. Pinworm eggs are spread very easily by human activity. The chief symptom is an itchy rectal-anal area, especially at night when the worms crawl out of the intestine to deposit their eggs.
Conventional Treatment Treats the Symptoms Not the Cause
Conventional treatment for pinworms consists of one single-tablet dose of albendazole (Albenza) or, less commonly, mebendazole (Vermox), followed by another dose a couple of weeks later to prevent re-infection. A cleansing enema might also be advised, and meticulous washing and laundering is necessary for at least a month after an infection. Doctors will often recommend that the entire family take the medication to be sure infestation by these highly contagious vermin is uprooted.
Tapeworms can cause two types of infections - intestinal and invasive. Intestinal tapeworm infections are caused by ingesting tapeworm larvae, which then develop into adult tapeworms inside the host's intestines. Such an infection can last for as long as 20 years, with worms growing as long as 50 feet, and symptoms can be very mild. Invasive tapeworm infection, however, occurs when the host ingests tapeworm eggs that proceed to form cysts in body organs and tissues, which can have serious consequences.
Symptoms of intestinal tapeworm could include abdominal pains, nausea, appetite loss, and weight loss (from deriving insufficient nutrition from food). The symptoms of invasive tapeworm infection - which can result in organ damage - can include cystic lumps or masses, fevers, seizures, or other neurological effects.
Contamination with tapeworm can occur through eating undercooked food (fish, beef, or pork) or from coming into contact with an infected animal's feces through other channels such as soil on vegetables. Infection is more common where sanitation practices are poor.
Conventional treatment of intestinal tapeworm infections, when called for (sometimes a worm will pass through the host's body on its own and other times there are no perceptible symptoms), usually involves drugs toxic to the organism, primarily praziquantel (Biltricide), and sometimes albendazole (Albenza) or nitazoxanide (Alinia), an antimicrobial. For invasive tapeworm infection, treatment depends on where the cysts have formed and what symptoms have surfaced. Treatment can involve albendazole to shrink the cysts, anti-epileptic medications if seizures have occurred, anti-inflammatories if the cysts are inflamed or swollen, or even surgery to remove the cysts.
Hookworm infection is extremely rare in the U.S., but infection is common in tropical and subtropical areas of the world, with as many as 1 billion people affected. The disorder originates with infestation of one of four different roundworms. Symptoms can include a rash (if the worms penetrate the skin), coughing (if the worms invade the lungs), and, ultimately, iron deficiency anemia when there is a bad infestation in the host's intestines. Conventional treatment usually consists of prescribing parasite-killing medications such as mebendazole, pyrantel pamoate, or albendazole.
There are numerous other parasites that afflict humans, including trichinosis, which is caused by a roundworm (nematode) found in meat, most frequently pork. The worms' larvae form cysts inside muscle tissue, and can remain there for decades. Another fairly common parasite is the liver fluke, a trematode contracted usually from eating undercooked or raw fish. The fluke resides in the liver's bile ducts, infects approximately 30 million people worldwide, and can produce fatal infections in its hosts.
General symptoms of parasites, including worms, constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, nervousness, anemia, allergies, skin conditions, sleep disturbances, joint and muscle aches and pains, teeth grinding, and chronic fatigue. Even allergies may actually be indicative of the presence of worms. Sometimes the lack of serious and obvious symptoms (like diarrhea) means parasites go undetected.
Homeopathy Matches Your Individual Symptoms to a Homeopathic Remedy So You Feel Better Right Away
There is a vast range of alternative, holistic, integrative remedies for parasites, but the two primary categories are colon cleansing and herbs to kill the parasitic infection. Intestinal cleansing is aimed at clearing out the debris that harbor parasites; one well-known cleanse is the lemonade diet. Some of the better-established herbal remedies include allicin (the essence of garlic extract), berberine (from goldenseal/Hydrastis), Oregon grape root (mahonia aquifolium), Barberry (Berberis vulgaris), and Quassia.
A good homeopathic remedy will strengthen the person so he/she will be far less likely to suffer from parasites or worms. If the condition does occur, homeopathy treats the whole person not just the illness so a detailed evaluation is undertaken at the beginning of treatment. The selection of a remedy is contingent on numerous factors, such as which kind of worms is present, whether there is intense rectal or anal itching, the presence of nausea, peevishness, and whether the patient has a predisposition to catching worms rather than just a single case. Some of the more commonly used remedies include Cina, Teucrium. [Teucr], Sinapis nigra, Spigelia. [Spig], Ignatia [Ign], Stannum. [Stann], Calcarea [Calc], and Cuprum oxydatum nigrum. [Cupr-o].