Doctor's Notes on Ascariasis
Ascariasis is an infection of the small bowel by the parasitic roundworm, Ascaris lumbricoides, or occasionally by Ascaris suum (from pigs). Signs and symptoms may range from mild to severe and are as follows:
- chronic cough,
- weight loss,
- shortness of breath,
- passing large worms (some females reach 12 inches in length) in stools, and
- abdominal pain (mild to severe).
Especially in children, masses of worms may result in blockage of the GI tract or other digestive organs.
The cause of ascariasis is an infection of the small bowel by the parasitic roundworm, Ascaris lumbricoides, or occasionally by Ascaris suum (from pigs). People swallow the parasite eggs in contaminated food or water. The eggs hatch in the intestine, burrow into the tissue and travel via the blood to the lungs where they become larvae in about 10-14 days. Then they burrow out into the airways and are coughed up and swallowed into the intestine where they mature into male and female worms that reproduce and shed eggs into the stools and repeat the process.
What Are the Treatments for Ascaris Infections?
The treatments for Ascaris infections are medications and, in some individuals with heavy infestations that result in damage like intestinal or bile duct blockage or other complications, surgery.
- Antiparasite medications
- Surgery: Remove worms causing blockage and other complications; repair damaged areas like holes in the intestinal wall.
Your doctors can help decide what treatment plan is best for you and/or your child's condition.
Stomach Pain : Nausea & Other Causes QuizQuestion
Bowel regularity means a bowel movement every day.See Answer
Must Read Articles:
Abdominal Pain (Adults)Learn about causes, symptoms, and treatment of abdominal pain in adults and when to seek medical care for related conditions such as pancreatitis, diverticulitis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and more.
Chronic and Acute CoughsA cough is a symptom of an underlying disease or condition. A chronic or persistent cough may signal certain lung conditions that should be evaluated by a healthcare professional. Common causes of coughs include infection, allergies, lung disease, medications, and GERD (reflux). Acute coughs are categorized as infectious or non-infectious. Chronic cough (persistent cough) have a variety of causes and should be evaluated by physician. Treatment of cough, acute cough, chronic or persistent cough depends on the cause of the cough.
DiarrheaDiarrhea can be caused by bacterial or viral infections, parasites, intestinal diseases or conditions, reactions to medications, and food intolerance or allergies. Symptoms of diarrhea include watery stools, abdominal cramping, fever, and dehydration. Most cases of diarrhea can be treated at home. In some cases (in the elderly, small children, or those with severe or chronic medical conditions) may need to be hospitalized due to dehydration.
Fever in AdultsA fever is a body temperature of 100.4 F or greater. A fever may be caused by a virus, bacteria, fungus, blood clot, tumor, drug, or the environment. Treatment of fever in adults usually involves ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin.
Fever in ChildrenWhat are causes, symptoms, and treatment (acetaminophen) of fever in children? Learn when to worry, when a high fever is an emergency, and how to take a rectal temperature.
Food PoisoningFood poisoning is caused by viruses, bacteria, toxins, parasites, or chemicals that have contaminated food or drinking water. Symptoms of food poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fever, abdominal cramping, dehydration, rectal bleeding, and bloating. Food poisoning usually can be cared for at home. In some instances (severe dehydration) a person may be hospitalized for treatment.
Stomach Pain (Abdominal Pain) in ChildrenAbdominal pain in children can range from trivial to life-threatening. Symptoms of abdominal pain range from vomiting, diarrhea, fever, groin pain, urinary problems, or skin rash. The location of the abdominal pain may be around the belly button, occurs only at night, while eating. The pain pain also may be intermittent. Treatment of abdominal pain in children is depends on the cause. Possible causes of abdominal pain in children include infections, food related (food allergy or food poisoning), poisoning from medication, food, household products, appendicitis, diabetes, or spider bites.
Vomiting and NauseaVomiting and nausea are common complaints that accompany many conditions and diseases. A few common causes of vomiting and nausea include food poisoning, viruses, vertigo, head injuries, gallbladder disease, appendicitis, migraine, brain tumors, and infections. Treatment of vomiting and nausea depend on the cause of the symptoms.
Weight LossObesity is simply the accumulation of excess body fat. It is much more than that, however. Obesity is a chronic (long-term) disease that is very difficult to treat. It takes 3,500 extra calories to gain 1 pound. To lose weight, you must eat 3,500 calories less than you need, say, 500 fewer calories per day for one week, to lose 1 pound.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.