As the new school year turns into full swing for 2021, we’re looking forward to having our kids return to some normality of routine after what has been a turbulent period of time. With the reconnection to school and opportunity to mingle with mates, it’s clearly a time for celebration but also a time where being ready to deal with small challenges is before us.
Let’s a have a quick thought about parasite infections namely, threadworms and pinworms. Often thought of an inconvenient scourge that besets itself upon unsuspecting children and ultimately family members, pinworms and threadworms are easily transmitted and can result in a very uncomfortable period of time.
- The worms mature in the intestine and then move through the digestive system to lay eggs, at night, in the anal area.
- The itchiness tends to be worse or more noticeable at night, and can sometimes wake a person with pinworms.
- A pinworm can lay thousands of microscopic eggs.
- Pinworm eggs are not visible to the naked eye.
If an individual only has a small number of adult worms, the symptoms will be mild, or there may be no symptoms at all. Symptoms are worse with heavy or moderate infections.
About 4 weeks after ingesting pinworm eggs, the mature females make their way out from the intestine to the anal area, where eggs are laid in a jelly-like substance.
It is this substance that is believed to cause a person to itch, which usually happens at night. During the maturing and reproduction stages, a person with pinworms may experience:
- disturbed sleep
- itching of the anal area, which may sometimes be intense, especially at night when the female worms are laying eggs
- mild nausea
Individuals with severe infection may experience:
- loss of appetite
- severe irritability
- intermittent abdominal pain
- sleeping difficulties
- weight loss
If somebody is found to have an infection, all other members of the household should be treated too, even if they have no symptoms.
What Can You Do
A number of over the counter medications are available for treatment of these nasty little parasites and easily obtainable from your local pharmacy. In severe or recurring cases, it may be necessary to speak to your GP for further advice.
Herbal Medicines are also available which contain a number of ingredients that have shown in Traditional Western Herbal Medicine to support the body in eliminating pinworms and threadworms.
It is important to keep an eye on how treatment programs work to rid the body of these pests and when symptoms worsen or persist please speak to your healthcare provider.
When taking any medications, always read the label
Enjoy the adventure of education……