Ascariasis

Causative agent—

Roundworms (Ascaris lumbricoides).  

Transmission

Roundworm usually resides in the small intestine and enters the body through contact with contaminated food or water, unwashed hands, and contact with contaminated objects.

Symptoms And Signs of Ascariasis

  • Allergic rash
  • Anaemia
  • Blurred vision
  • Coughs
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Intestinal obstruction at the ileocecal valve
  • Larvae in the stool or even in a child’s bed
  • Nausea and  vomiting
  • Poor appetite
  • Restlessness (especially at night)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Vague abdominal discomfort
  • Weight loss or inability to gain weight(especially in children)
  • Wheezing

Investigations

  • Full blood count
  • Stool test for ova and cyst
  • Urine test            
  • Skin biopsy
  • Ultrasound
  • X-ray -abdomen

Treatment

Medicines

Surgery

Surgery may be needed in cases when the roundworm infection causes obstructions in the intestines or other organs.

Dietary recommendations for Ascariasis

  • Turmeric
  • Cayenne peppers
  • Green chillies
  • Olives, figs
  • Garlic
  • Herbal tea
  • More dark leafy greens (spinach and kale) and sea vegetables.
  • Anti-oxidant foods
  • fruits ( blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes)
  • Vegetables (squash and bell peppers).
  • Avoid refined foods( white bread, pasta, and especially sugar.)
  • Eat cold-water fish or beans for protein.
  • Stay away from pork and other meats from carnivorous animals.
  • Use healthy oils in foods(olive oil or vegetable oil)
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco.
  •  Drink 6 – 8 glasses of filtered water daily.
  •  Exercise at least 30 minutes daily, five days a week.
  •  Take a multivitamin daily, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, the B-complex vitamins, and trace minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium.

Complications of Ascariasis

  • Abnormal growth of the skin and surrounding soft tissue
  • Appendicitis
  • Blindness
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Encephalopathy
  • Inflammation of the intestines or gall bladder
  • Inflammation of the pancreas
  • Intestinal obstruction,
  • Kidney disease
  • Malnutrition
  • Peritonitis
  • Pus accumulation in the liver

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