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Introduction & Infestation

There are several types of parasitic worms which can enter the body and live in the human intestines, and in certain cases, travel to other areas within the body. They can irritate the intestinal lining, which in turn causes poor absorption of nutrients. The extent of intestinal damage is often determined by the type of worm, the size of the worm and the number of worms present.

Worms can be introduced into the body in several ways. They can be acquired through the soil when either walking barefoot or while gardening without the protection of gloves. Water is another means in which worms can enter the body, either through drinking or swimming. Various foods are sometimes responsible for the ingestion of worms into the intestines. Some of the biggest offenders are unwashed vegetables, undercooked and infected meat, pork, fish, and wild game.

Signs that a person may have a parasitic worm infestation are distended abdomen, foul-smelling breath, gas (flatulence), loss of appetite, vomiting, anal/rectal itching, weight loss, and blood or mucus in the stools. Diagnosis may be made by examination of the stools or inducing vomiting and inspection of contents expelled.

Types & Symptoms

In the United States, pinworms are the most common parasitic worm. The main symptom of this small, threadlike worm is rectal itching, especially during the night. Pinworms are transmitted when eggs, which lodge under the fingernails when a person scratches, also contaminating food. Personal hygiene is mandatory for control of pinworms.

Tapeworms are usually contracted by eating insufficiently cooked meats, especially beef, pork and fish. The beef tapeworm is most common in the United States, and grows to a length of 15 to 20 feet in the intestines.

Hookworms can be found in moderate climates, usually in the soil or sand. They enter the body by boring holes in the skin of bare feet, or can enter by mouth if food contaminated by dirty hands is eaten.

Most commonly found in children are roundworms. These worms can travel within the body, leaving the intestines and settling in other areas, causing diseases like pneumonia, jaundice, or periodontitis.

Beneficial Nutrients

When afflicted with worms, a person's bodily supply of all nutrients is depleted to the point where supplementation of all nutrients is necessary to restore normal health. Following are some vitamins, minerals and nutrients which are valuable in the treatment of worms.

Helpful Herbs

Below is a listing of some of the herbs that are useful in the prevention and treatment of intestinal worms.

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