Ever heard of worms in the stomach? You might have because usually many children face this problem; even we have faced it in our childhood, didn’t we? What happens if we ignore it? You may keep on vomiting and loose kilos or pounds of weight drastically and this is not all. The intestines get damaged because of these worms. They block the digestive tract, absorb all the nutrients from our body and food, and prevent the digestive system to work completely. There are different types of worms that cause the problem to us like tapeworms, whipworms, hookworms, roundworms, and threadworms.
How Do They Infect You?
- Children usually play in the gardens and playgrounds. Those who play or walk barefoot in such places or any infected soil, these worms get in through the skin of your feet.
- Sometimes we may even ingest these worms through vegetables, fruits, grains, meat, fish, etc.
- If you just washed your fruits or vegetables with contaminated water then there is a chance of their presence in that water.
- Your pets might be carrying them and transferring them to you.
- Sometimes we may come in contact with soil contaminated with human feces from an already infected person.
- After defecation, if you do not wash your hand properly that may also cause the problem.
- Open air defecation has the higher risk of spreading this infestation.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptom is usually severe abdominal pain and sometimes vomitings. However, the pain is more in children than adults as they have smaller intestines which can be blocked easily by worms.
The doctor will prescribe deworming pills when you have the following symptoms.
- Worms visible in stool
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- A cough or wheezing
- Itchy bottom
- Unable to sleep
- Weakness and irritability
If you neglect these you may observe severe symptoms mentioned below which should not be neglected; this means your intestines are damaged already.
- Abdominal swelling or distention
- Severe abdominal pain
- Shortening breath
- Weight loss (because of tapeworm)
- Anemia (because of hookworm)
Deworming In Infants & Children
Usually, children and infants face this problem more than adults. It usually causes abdominal pain and vomitings. Worms prevent nutrient absorption and slow down the growth as a result of which the child becomes malnourished. Thus, deworming of infants and children once every 6 months after 1 year is essential.
However, deworming kills the adult worms but not their eggs. So, the procedure should be repeated once every 6 months to kill the newborn worms. Usually, doctors prescribe albendazole tablet of 400mg for children. It works on most of the worms except tapeworm.
When there is a heavy worm infection, it can affect physical development and so deworming even the school going children from time to time in the areas where this problem is observed quite often can improve weight gain. It’s important to know that severe worm infestation can even cause death in malnourished children due to diarrhea and few their complications. So, in addition to this medicine, they may also prescribe vitamin A or retinol capsules of 2000000 IU retinyl acetate in oil once in 6 months especially for children under 5 years and those who are malnourished. This vitamin helps to regenerate the stomach lining and intestinal lining. It also helps to regulate immune function. Vitamin A prevents diarrhea, pneumonia, sepsis, measles, meningitis, etc.
Moreover deworming improves hemoglobin concentration while reducing anemia.
Deworming In Adults
It’s the same as those for children except dosage. The same medicine can be prescribed but of 400mg. Consult a doctor if you have a liver problem, taking other prescription medicine, supplements, pregnant or lactating mother.
If you ever find such symptoms then never neglect it till these worms damage your intestinal walls. Consult your doctor immediately and get rid of them.