If you’ve ever had a pet with worms, you’re a little bit familiar with the nutrient-robbing parasites. What you may not realize is that some of the horrid little creatures can infect humans as well! Let’s take a peek at some of the signs and symptoms of worms in humans and what you can do about them.
Unexplained Weight Loss
If you’re eating the same amounts and types of foods you usually eat and keeping up the same amount of exercise, you shouldn’t be losing much, if any, weight. If you’re consistently losing weight in a noticeable way, keep track of how much and how quickly you’re losing it. Consider seeing a doctor if the problem continues — the problem may very well be that worms are eating the nutrients your body needs.
Abdominal Pain,Discomfort or Gas
This would be especially pertinent if you’ve recently traveled to a new location in a different country or a region known to have parasites. If you’re experiencing diarrhea after taking an anti-diarrheal pill, you may want to talk to your doctor to see about getting checked for worms.
Itchiness, a Rash or Swelling of the Skin
Hookworms enter the body through the skin, and their larvae may leave an itchy red spot, swelling, or rash at the site where they went in. You may also notice hookworm itching in your hands and feet. Pinworms (also known as threadworms) can also leave your skin feeling itchy because of the toxins they release into your bloodstream.
Mood Swings, Sleep Disturbances, Anxiety, Tooth Grinding, Aches in Muscles & Joints
These are all potential problems caused by the toxins pinworms release into the body. In some cases, seizures are even possible. (Note: If you think you may be experiencing a seizure, get medical help right away.)
Dizziness, Memory Loss, Signs of Dementia
Although extremely rare, these symptoms are known primarily to those infected by fish tapeworms. These types of tapeworms can end up consuming so much of the nutrient B12 from your body, they may cause a condition called megaloblastic anemia. The low red blood cell count resulting from this condition leads to the dizziness and other signs.
Pain Caused by Vomiting and Nausea
Tapeworms can also cause blockages in the intestinal walls and openings to the intestines. This kind of pain is typically experienced in the area just above the stomach. Keep careful track of this pain in case a blockage has occurred as this condition can become very dangerous.
Unusually Pale Skin and Eyes
Just as tapeworms steal B12 from our bodies, they steal other nutrients like iron as well. If your eyes and skin look particularly pale to you in the mirror, it may be a sign that your blood level has been reduced due to an iron deficiency. Additionally, keep an eye out for other signs of anemia such as shortness of breath, concentration problems, fatigue, and rapid heartbeat without any other explanation.
Tenesmus, or the Feeling That You Need to Constantly Pass Stools
When your digestive tract becomes inflamed by worms, it may become harder to pass regular stools and end up feeling like you need to pass stools even when your bowels are empty. Cramping, pain in the rectal area, and straining to pass a stool that isn’t actually there are symptoms of this condition.
Feeling Like You’re Never Full or Never Hungry
When worms eat your food, you may still feel hungry even though you just ate recently. On the other hand, they can also make you feel gassy, bloated, or nauseated, which may give the sensation of fullness.
If you would rather sleep than anything else and it isn’t depression or any other explainable illness, you may have worms. Worms deplete you of nutrients causing extreme fatigue, exhaustion after the tiniest effort, and an overall feeling of sluggishness all the time.
Cramping without Explanation
If hookworms cause colon inflammation or otherwise irritate your intestinal lining, you may start having cramps.
Check Yourself for Worms
Use a piece of tape pressed against the anus a few times or look at your stool or the inside of your underwear carefully for worms. They should be white or resemble tiny pieces of thread. They may or may not be moving.
If you find you have worms, consult your physician and ask about these home remedies for ridding yourself of the critters. Don’t let them stay beyond their diagnosis as they can lead to serious health consequences if left untreated.