Parasitic infections are called helminthiasis. It is an insidious and common disease that can be ignored for years. Parasites enter the human intestines through dirty hands, food, water and begin to multiply actively.
They absorb nutrients, disrupt the absorption of water and vitamins in the intestines, cause diarrhea and disruption of other internal organs. Therefore, it is very important to know what tests should be done for the parasites in order to identify them in time and start the appropriate treatment.
Types of parasites and their diagnoses
Different types of worms can live in the human intestine: round, flat, ribbon. Any parasite is dangerous for the body because it releases toxic substances that affect internal organs.
The consequences of helminthiasis can be very different, including death.
Everyone should know what tests need to be done for parasites. The examination is carried out both for the purpose of prevention and in the presence of characteristic symptoms. Do not postpone your visit to the doctor.
The danger of this condition is that the symptoms do not always appear. For a long time, a person may not be aware of the presence of helminths, but at the same time slow and irreversible destructive processes occur in the organs. The routes of infection are very different: contact with an infected person or animal, through dirty hands, soil, food, water.
|Title||Paths of infection||Symptoms||Analyzes|
|pinworms||Contamination from dirty hands||Itching in the anus, diarrhea, weight loss||Anal swab|
|Ascaris||Eat unwashed vegetables and fruits||Weakness, itching in the anus, disturbed stool||Antibody blood test (ELISA)|
|Cat Fluke||Eating contaminated fish||Pain in the right side, allergic reactions, signs of liver damage||ELISA blood test|
|Trichinella||Eating contaminated meat and lard||Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, allergic skin reactions, weakness||Antibody blood test|
|Intestinal acne||Any contact with contaminated soil||Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain||Feces study for worm eggs, ELISA analysis|
The treatment of helminthiasis is selected individually. Before prescribing any medication, the doctor will advise you to do some tests and determine the exact type of parasite. Each helminth has a different effect on the body and leads to different complications. In theory, they can affect any organ, but are more often located in the intestines. The risk group includes young children and people who work with the soil.
The main and dangerous signs of a parasitic infection
It may be difficult to recognize an infection. Symptoms are influenced not only by the type of helminth, but also by the age of the infected person, the state of their immune system and other characteristics of the body. Due to the reduced immunity in children and the elderly, the clinical picture is more acute.
There are chronic helminthiasis without obvious signs or acute manifestations. They last for years and go unnoticed because the symptoms are fuzzy and easily mistaken for other chronic conditions.
Seek immediate medical attention and get tested for parasites when the following signs appear:
|Increased body temperature||This symptom does not always occur, but with severe damage to internal organs, the temperature may be high, up to fever.|
|Stool disorders||With helminthiasis, there is both constipation and diarrhea. Various intestinal disorders can alternate, increase or disappear over time. Mucus and blood impurities are often found in the stool.|
|Nausea and vomiting||Symptoms of poisoning appear in the acute form of the disease. These symptoms can be present with any parasite infestation.|
|Cough||With a prolonged course of the disease, helminths affect the bronchi and lungs. The patient develops a dry cough, which eventually turns into a wet cough.|
|Allergy||The immune system begins to react to the parasites, so allergic reactions occur, usually skin reactions: itching, redness, hives.|
|Chronic fatigue||Helminthiasis causes weakness and fatigue, drowsiness due to intoxication of the body.|
|Weight loss||Due to poor absorption in the gut, a person loses weight even on the same diet.|
Whatever helminths have established themselves in the intestines, treatment should be started as soon as possible. Parasites cause inflammation of the intestines, enter the lungs, gallbladder and even the heart. A preventive examination will help to avoid serious consequences and complications.
Preparing for blood and stool tests
The reliability of the result depends not only on the laboratory and the equipment, but also on compliance with the rules of preparation. Violation of these rules will result in an incorrect result. The person may miss the disease.
First of all, it should be remembered that in order to assess the state of health you need to choose proven clinics, reliable laboratories where certified specialists work. If the examination is carried out by a doctor, he will warn about the preparation.
Preparation for a stool test includes the following:
- A few days before the delivery of feces, you should adhere to a mild diet, do not eat spicy, fried, fast food and foods that cause gas. It is recommended to eat cereals, soups, low-fat dairy products.
- If you cannot go to the bathroom, you should not give enemas or take laxatives.
- It is not recommended to consume foods that color feces: prunes, tomatoes, beets, herbs.
- Before taking the test, you need to purchase a sterile container with a special spatula. It is printed on the day of the test. Matchboxes cannot be used to collect materials.
- The minimum amount of stool required for the analysis is 15 g. If the quantity is less, the analysis should be repeated.
- Carefully collect the material so that no urine or menstrual discharge enters the stool.
- If the analysis has shown the presence of helminths, once treatment is complete, the analysis should be repeated following all of the above rules.
Preparation for donation is generally standard. You should go to the laboratory on an empty stomach, not to eat fatty or spicy foods the night before. Any medication you take should be discussed with your doctor as it may affect the test result for the parasite. It is recommended that you stop drinking alcohol a week before donating blood. On the day of the blood sample and the day before it, you can not attend physiotherapy procedures, undergo an ultrasound. Smoking can also affect the outcome. It is advisable not to smoke for at least an hour before the exam.
Blood tests for parasites
A blood test for parasites is one of the most informative methods for diagnosing helminthiasis. There are several types of blood tests. The doctor prescribes one or more, depending on the clinical picture and the history.
The advantage of a blood test over a fecal analysis for helminths is that the eggs are not always found in the feces, you have to enter a certain period of helminth reproduction. Blood can be donated at any time of infection. Almost all laboratory analyzes are carried out using special equipment and do not depend on the human factor. ELISA allows you to determine not only the worms, but also the degree of infection.
The doctor should be responsible for decoding the result. The most common are 3 blood tests to determine worms in the body:
|ELISA||ELISA is the most informative and reliable for determining parasitic infection. The examination is based on the antigen-antibody relationship. The result shows the presence or absence of a certain antibody in the blood, which indicates an acute or chronic stage of the disease. So, with the parasitic lesions, IgG antibodies appear in the blood. The result is quite simple, positive or negative. However, it should be remembered that these antibodies appear both in chronic infections and during the recovery period.|
|PCR||The polymerase chain reaction also allows you to reliably determine if there are any parasites in the body. However, not all types of helminths are defined in this way, only protozoa. The severity of the disease and the number of helminths also cannot be determined in this way.|
|UAC||This is a quick and easy diagnosis that gives an idea of how the body is functioning as a whole. The presence of parasites can be suspected by the level of eosinophils, which will be increased. With helminthic invasions, the level of eosinophils exceeds 20% of the remaining leukocytes. In this case, a further examination and determination of the type of parasite is prescribed.|
Parasite test in stool
Coprogram is a laboratory test for stool. It is prescribed in case of suspected helminthiasis: stool disorders, sudden weight loss, weakness, nausea, etc. You can take a co-program in any laboratory: private or municipal.
The following flags are taken into account in the decoding:
|Consistency and odor||Normal consistency is viscous with no undigested lumps.|
|Color||Normally the color is yellow or brown. Or it is too dark, this indicates the presence of hidden blood. Light colored stools indicate liver damage.|
|Weight||The presence of blood or mucus in the stool is taken into account.|
|Leukocytes||White blood cells are normally present in the stool, but in minimal amounts. If there are a lot of them, an inflammatory process has started in the intestines.|
|Acidity||The feces of a healthy person have a pH of 4, 8 to 5, 8. As acidity increases, the absorption of fatty acids is impaired in the intestine.|
|Bilirubin||There is no bilirubin in the stool of a healthy person. Its presence indicates the presence of dysbiosis, increased peristalsis, rapid evacuation of feces.|
|Stercobiline||This enzyme can be present in the stool up to 350 mg / day. An increase indicates anemia, a decrease indicates damage to the gallbladder.|
Only a doctor can make a diagnosis on the basis of such a result. Additional testing may be necessary. In order for the result to be reliable, you need to properly collect and store the material. It is advisable to deliver it to the laboratory as soon as possible.
Scratching for enterobiosis
Scratching for enterobiosis is also an informative diagnosis. It is delivered as indicated or as a preventive measure. It is a painless procedure. Using a small spatula or cotton swab, remove tissue from the anus. Just slide the stick a few times to get the material.
The scratching is quite simple - the worm eggs are absent or present. The disease is treatable, but if the result is positive, the patient is isolated to prevent further transmission of the infection.