Amebiasis or Amebic dysentery is common in tropical countries. It is caused by Entamoeba histolytica and spreads through contaminated water and food. Symptoms of Amebiasis include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fatigue and soft stools with mucus and sometimes blood. It can also lead to fever, rapid pulse and abdominal tenderness. A person suffering from Amebic dysentery is likely to suffer liver enlargement. Stool tests will indicate the organism that causes dysentery. Amebiasis is treated with metronidazole or Tinadazole. If left untreated, Amebic dysentery can lead to dehydration and even death.
Anti protozoal drugs are prescribed to combat a variety of diseases caused by protozoa. Conditions like amebiasis, malaria etc are caused because of protozoa. Commonly used anti protozoal drugs include Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), Pentamidine (Pentam 300) and Furazolidone (Furoxone). Antiprotozoals are commonly used to treat infections such as trichomoniasis and giardiasis. Metronidazole or tinidazole is often prescribed to treat trichomoniasis and giardiasis. Some persons experience dizziness, light headedness, blurred vision and confusion while on anti protozoal medications. Pregnant women/lactating mothers need to check with the doctor before use of any medicines.
Worms are parasites that live and thrive on the human and other bodies. Intestinal Parasites feed off from hosts and can be broadly classified into 2 major groups:
Protozoans: Protozoa are single cell organisms causing many diseases like Amebiasis, Giardiasis, Trichomoniasis,Sleeping Sickness,Dysentery and Malaria.
Helminths or Parasitic Worms: This kind of parasite infects the host through contaminated food, infected uncooked food, unhygienic handling of food or by skin contact with larvae.
Threadworms or pinworms: Thin tiny pinworm thrives in the intestine. They thrive due to poor hygiene. Contact with contaminated objects passes the infection through the eggs that enter through the mouth and thrive in the gut. Contact with cat or dog feces can lead to thread worm infection. Notice them in the early morning stools.
Round Worms: These roundworms can move to eyes and lungs and cause swelling in different body organs. They cause upper abdominal discomfort, insomnia, rashes and eye pain. If left untreated, roundworm infection can lead to appendicitis, loss of appetite and peritonitis.
Tape Worms: These tapeworms are like flat ribbons and can become encrusted in the brain and skin.
Hook Worms: Hookworms burrow into the intestinal walls and feed on the blood. Typical symptoms of hookworm infection are iron deficiency, protein deficiency, stunted growth and delayed puberty.
Pin Worms: Pinworms suppress the immune system and cause problems such as irritation around the anus or vagina, digestive problems and irritability.
Symptoms of worms or parasites infection are:
Anti-parasitic medications are prescribed for threadworms. Increased hygiene is of utmost importance. Washing of hands regularly; especially after using the restroom is vital. Keep fingernails short. Bathe daily and wear clean clothes. Keep the toilet seat disinfected.
Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: February 17, 2019