15 Signs of a Parasitic Infection Never to Ignore

15 Signs of a Parasitic Infection Never to Ignore

parasitic infectionHealth

Yuck, parasites. They’re more common than you think and are the cause of many well-known infections. You may wonder if you have a parasitic infection. So, what are 15 signs of a parasitic infection never to ignore.

Today, parasitic infections are a significant health issue all over the world. These infections result in the death of many people every year in developing countries. But parasitic diseases are on the increase in western countries, especially in big cities over the past couple of decades. Studies show that emigration to western countries from third world countries plays a considerable role in the spread of parasitic diseases. Common human parasites include hookworms, roundworms or whipworms, pinworms, pork tapeworms, scabies, bedbugs, and head lice.

15 signs and circumstances associated with parasitic infections

parasitic infection
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There are many signs of parasitic infection you should be on the lookout for, especially since parasitic infections are currently on the rise across the United States. If you have symptoms of parasites or find yourself in a potential situation where you could get them, be sure to ask your doctor to test you for a possible parasite infection.

This testing is especially necessary if you’ve traveled to a developing country or you have constant exposure to someone who has recently come from a third world country or developing nation.

Here are 15 situations or signs of a parasitic infection you shouldn’t ignore.

1 – You have epilepsy

The most common cause of epilepsy around the world is from a pork tapeworm. This intruder can invade your central nervous system. The tapeworm occupies your body’s tissue, eventually building up in your central nervous system, skin, muscles, and eyes. This invasion can lead to neurocysticercosis, a severe illness that causes seizures like epilepsy.

2 – You have pain in the liver or gall bladder areas

A liver fluke is a type of parasitic worm. Liver fluke infections aren’t that common in the United States, but they do happen. You can get a liver fluke from eating contaminated, undercooked freshwater fish. If you accidentally eat a liver fluke, it goes to your intestines, where it locates in your bile duct inside your liver. It can grow more prominent in this environment. Many people have no symptoms, or their symptoms won’t show up for years. On rare occasions, liver flukes can cause bile, duct cancer, or liver stones.

3  You might feel have abdominal pain, indigestion, increased or decreased appetite

Adult tapeworms can infect your small intestine. Many times you’ll have no symptoms or minor signs thought to be related to stomach upsets, the flu, or other common stomach problems like IBS. Eating meat that hasn’t been cooked thoroughly can harbor tapeworm eggs.

4 –  You might feel extreme fatigue, fever, and headaches

These symptoms could be a sign that you have malaria. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or anemia. Malaria is caused by the plasmodium parasite that enters your body by a mosquito bite.

The parasite affects your red blood cells causing toxins to build up that, in turn, reduces your red blood cell production or anemia. It can even block your small blood vessels in your body. Left untreated, malaria causes jaundice, coughing, shortness of breath, an enlarged spleen, or hypoglycemia.

5 – You may have excessive bloating, gas, or stomach discomfort

A tiny parasite by the same name causes giardia. It’s a common waterborne parasite in the United States. Found in streams, lakes, and sometimes public swimming pools or spas. It is occasionally transmitted through food or person to person.

Symptoms of giardia include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Cramps
  • Gas

Call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms that last longer than a week.

Studies show it’s also a common parasitic infection for caregivers of children or those who swim in freshwater rivers, streams, or lakes.

 6 – You own a cat

Accidentally touching cat feces in the garden or litter box may give you a parasitic infection from the Toxoplasma gondii The Toxoplasma parasite is a single-celled parasite. It causes flu symptoms or no symptoms at all. If you’re pregnant, you can pass this infection on to your baby, which can cause dangerous side effects. If you’re not pregnant when you get this infection, your doctor may give you a drug used for malaria and an antibiotic.

7 – You can’t stop scratching your hair

Lice can live on your head, body, clothes, or pubic hair. They’re a parasite that feeds off human blood. They’re spread easily from person to person. Lice crawl, but do not hop or fly.

Symptoms of lice include:

  • Itchiness on your head, body or pubic area
  • Feeling like something is crawling in your hair
  • Finding nits on your clothes or pubic area
  • Finding little lice eggs or nits in your hair
  • Lesions on your scalp or neck

8 – You have a dog

If you own a dog, you are susceptible to getting hookworms and roundworms, both common intestinal parasites. These worms are especially common in puppies. These parasites are passed to their stools, so it’s easy to get them on your feet or hands if you’re walking barefoot or working in the yard. Little kids can accidentally ingest a hookworm if they touch their mouths.

Hookworm symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Itchiness where the parasites travel under your skin
  • Both hookworms and roundworms also cause:
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

Kids are more susceptible to these worms than adults since they play outside more in the dirt or sand. The best preventative is to deworm your pets and keep them up to date on shots.

9 – Your entire body itches incessantly

Mites cause scabies. The National Institute for Health reports that scabies affects people of all economic levels, but “especially the young, elderly and immunocompromised or developmental delayed are at significantly higher risk for scabies and related complications.”

Scabies is very contagious. You can get them touching an infected person’s skin, using their blankets, sheets, towels, or furniture. You can also get scabies from sexual contact with an infected person.

10 – Kids and parasites called pinworms

Not all kids get pinworms, but they are common in children. These little worms get inside your colon or rectum and lay eggs at night around the anus area. The eggs live on your bed sheets or clothing. The eggs are so small, they are often airborne and are easily breathed in. Kids tend to pass them to other children or those caring for them. Strange cases of pinworms have caused appendicitis, but it’s infrequent. Pinworm typically only causes mild symptoms. But studies found that one-third of people with pinworms had no signs.

Common symptoms include anal or vaginal itching and insomnia. Other symptoms may include:

  • Bacterial infection around the scratched areas
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
Know the early signs of a tapeworm.

11- Latin American travels

Studies show that Chagas disease caused small protozoan called Trypanosoma cruzi is exceptionally deadly for those living in Latin America, but it’s spreading even in the United States. Many people have no symptoms, but Chagas disease can lead to heart problems or life-threatening neurological and digestive problems. If caught soon enough, it can be treated, but if left too long, there is no treatment. Chagas disease is spread by a bug called triatomine bug that bites you then poops in the hole of your skin.

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