Can’t Figure Out What’s Wrong? 5 Symptoms of Intestinal Parasites to Look For

You returned home after a trip overseas. After a few days, you begin to feel ill. Your stomach aches repeatedly, and you have frequent diarrhea.

You’re eating more than usual over the past few days. However, you’re still losing weight. And, you cannot sleep at night.

You’re irritable due to a lack of sleep. You’re also extremely fatigued throughout the day.

All of these are symptoms of intestinal parasites. You can get intestinal parasites by drinking contaminated water or consuming undercooked meat. The primary symptoms include weight loss, diahrrea, fatigue, rashes, and stomach pains.

Children are especially prone to parasitic infections when playing in contaminated soil. And, the elderly can get them due to weakened immune systems.

Anyone living in third-world nations can get parasite infections because of diminished sanitation standards. This article will show you the warning signs of parasite infection in greater depth. Read further if you want to further recognize the warning signs.

Unexplained Weight Loss

Weight loss occurs because the parasites are eating the food in your system. Intestinal worms are notorious for causing weight loss to the point where some people dangerously swallow tapeworms to lose weight.

Intestinal worms are dangerous because you lose precious nutrients as the worm consumes food meant for your body. It will reside in the intestines and consume any food, causing weight loss. Even though you’re losing weight, you may never feel full after eating a meal.

If you have an intestinal parasite, you may also notice an upset stomach or frequent loss of appetite.

Additionally, weight loss is an immune system response to the parasite’s presence. The body will take over a hormone that tells a person when to stop eating. Weight loss could be the result of the body trying to expel the parasite.

Abdominal Pains

Pain in the abdominal area is usually between the pelvic and chest areas. Like any disease, worms in your stomach affect the organs in your stomach area. Abdominal discomfort could affect some of the following organs:

  • Spleen

  • Liver

  • Gallbladder

  • Appendix

  • Pancreas

Additionally, intestinal blockage from a parasite could create stomach discomfort. Tapeworms are a common intestinal parasite that can also cause abdominal pain, but a host of other parasites can foster the same symptom.

Constant Fatigue

Intestinal parasites can also spawn fatigue. In the worst cases, chronic fatigue can lead to neurological issues.

Parasites can also cause chronic fatigue. You may have chronic fatigue if you suffer from extreme lethargy.

You can get fatigued as the parasite drains nutrients, but your body can grow exhausted fighting the parasite. The fatigue may also cause a vitamin deficiency, most notably B12. A parasite test can reveal anemia or a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Fatigue can manifest in the following forms:

  • Apathy

  • Depression

  • Irritability

You may also wake up at night frequently or have trouble falling asleep. A lack of sleep can also cause fatigue.

Irregular Stool

Diarrhea can also cause fatigue because it dehydrates the body. A parasite can disrupt the healthy bacteria living in your intestines, causing irregular bowel movements.

A parasite normally entrenches itself in the lining of the small intestines. It is here where the parasite interferes with the absorption of fats and nutrients, resulting in diarrhea.

Diarrhea may include other symptoms, such as bloating or incessant flatulence. The composition of the stool is usually watery in nature. And, it’s usually greasy or softer than a normal stool.

Depending on the parasite, you could see the worms in your stool. You can see the worms inside your underwear, around the anal area, or in the toilet after passing stool. However, certain parasites do not always reveal themselves in diarrhea.

Skin Rashes

Parasites can also cause allergic reactions or hives. A parasite could give you the following types of rashes:

  • Rosacea: This is a common skin condition that exposes blood vessels in the face. It can also cause small, red bumps that could exude puss. However, such a flareup is usually temporary.

  • Ezema: This parasite can cause rough skin patches that may cause oozing. They are extremely itchy and may give your skin a cracked appearance.

Certain parasites are more allergenic than others. A person’s genetics may play a role in getting skin rashes from the parasite infection, in addition to nutritional status. Regardless of a person’s individual profile, certain parasites can cause rashes across the board.

Intestinal parasites, for example, can spark skin rashes. In particular, hookworms are an intestinal parasite that creates hookworm rash. The rash occurs at the site where the hookworm burrowed through the skin. The rash itself can also be itchy.

You must be careful when scratching an infected area, as excessive scratching could lead to a skin infection. A skin reaction could also come in the form of crusty patches or pimply rashes.

In some cases, the rash may be oozing. The larvae can also move from the skin and into the lung, causing a cough or wheezing.

If you have small black bugs that burrow in your skin, you could have sand fleas or mites. They will lay eggs beneath your skin, which can cause skin rashes.

Many waterborne parasites will dig beneath the skin. For instance, you could get a burning or an itchy rash from a parasite that will dig beneath the top layer of the skin, otherwise known as swimmer’s itch.

Like many parasite symptoms, however, a skin rash may not occur. And, a skin rash may indicate other health problems. However, a skin rash accompanied by other parasitic symptoms should be cause for concern.

What Can I do if I Show Symptoms of Intestinal Parasites?

If you have symptoms of intestinal parasites, contact a doctor immediately. A doctor can prescribe medicines that will attack the muscles of an intestinal parasite, killing it eventually. From there, the body will remove the dead parasite on its own.

The best preventative techniques include cooking meats thoroughly and washing your hands before eating.

Interested in reading more? Click on our other stories to learn how you can improve your health.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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