Symptoms of worms in adults

Worms are parasitic worms that live in human intestines or tissues. The vast majority of parasites have two owners - intermediate and tertiary. However, some helminths parasitize without leaving the body and entering the environment. Worms are everywhere. Most of them are found in countries with hot and humid climates.

abdominal pain as a sign of the presence of parasites

The symptoms of worms in the intestines depend not only on the type of invasion, but also on the characteristics of its course.

The most common types of parasites

There are seven main types of parasitic worms:


Pinworms are small stalk-like worms that belong to the category of nematodes. Adults do not exceed 1 mm in size. In the human body, they live mainly in the large intestine, causing diseases such as irritation, damage to the mucous membranes, enteritis. The incubation period of enterobiasis caused by pinworms is about 15 days. In addition, a characteristic clinical picture develops. The duration of the disease is 2 months, which is equal to the life of the worm. In fact, there is no independent solution to the disease, because there is a mechanism of self-infection with enterobiasis.

Note: Symptoms of enterobiosis are rarely pronounced. The disease often occurs in a cloudy form, there are no clear diagnostic symptoms. Suspicion of enterobiosis in children occurs when the child complains of itching in the perianal region.

Pinworm infection occurs when personal hygiene rules are not followed. The route of infection is feces. A person who touches a contaminated surface and then does not wash his hands swallows helminth eggs. Similarly, re-infection with enterobiasis occurs. The patient with itching in the perianal area scratches the affected area, then continues to eat. Worm eggs falling into the hands are swallowed. The development period of the parasite begins again.

Round worm

Roundworms are bivalve roundworms that live in the small intestines of humans and animals. The length of the female helminth is 40 centimeters. The size of the person is smaller. Its length is usually not more than 25 centimeters. The identification feature of a man is the tip of the body.

The life cycle of roundworms is more complicated than that of pinworms. The route of infection is fecal-oral. When working with soil and contaminated objects, helminth eggs fall into human hands. In the stomach, a young larva emerges from the egg, penetrating the bloodstream with the help of hooks. It grows and migrates here. When the larva enters the lungs, it reaches a state that allows it to become a sexually mature individual. The patient coughs up the larva, then swallows it again, enters the intestines, and turns into a mature roundworm.


Vlasoglav is a roundworm belonging to the group of nematodes. It is a parasite that lives in the large intestines of humans and domestic animals. Externally, the helminth resembles a thin gray thread of various thicknesses. The front of the whip is thin and long. The back is thickened and shortened. Here are the internal organs. The body length of the whipworm does not differ depending on the sex and is 3-5 centimeters.

Whip eggs, which are already parasitic in the host body, enter the environment through feces. Here they grow and become invasive. When personal hygiene rules are not followed, a person becomes infected through fecal-oral route. Whip larvae enter the intestines, grow, feed on microflora and grow. Later, young individuals of helminths migrate to the large intestine. trichuriasis develops.


Tapeworms are tapeworms, sometimes up to 25 meters long. The most popular representatives of this genus of parasites are:

  • bull tapeworm;
  • established pork;
  • wide ribbon.

All tapeworms have a similar body structure. They have a multi-segmented head, neck and body. There is a uterus full of eggs in the segments near the end of the body. They are separated from the tapeworm and come out with feces.

As a rule, the life cycle of tapeworms involves the presence of two hosts - intermediate and end. The intermediate host can vary depending on the type of worm. Humans are infected by ingesting larvae from undercooked meat or fish.


Echinococcus is the smallest tapeworm present. The length is 2-8 mm. An adult has a scolex, neck and 3-4 segments. It lives in the intestines of carnivores of the dog family. Intermediate owners can be herbivores or humans. Helminth eggs fall into the hands when in direct contact with the host or when collecting wild berries inoculated with exinococcus eggs.

When eggs are taken, the person becomes an intermediate host. In its body, the larvae penetrate the blood vessels, are carried by the bloodstream to the organs and tissues, where they settle and turn into a bubble filled with Finn - fluid and containing parasitic scolex. In this condition, Finn can reach large sizes, causing compression of organs and tissues. Particularly dangerous is the localization of echinococcal cysts in the brain, liver and lungs.


Schistosomes are bisexual helminths belonging to the category of flatworms. They have mouth and ventral nipples. The female is slightly longer than the male. The ultimate owners of schistosomiasis are humans and mammals. Helminths are located in the small vessels of the large intestine, small pelvis and bladder. The eggs of the parasite are released into the blood, filtered by the kidneys and excreted in the urine.

Parasitic larvae that enter the freshwater reservoir penetrate the bodies of mollusks and continue their development here. After 6-8 weeks, the embryos re-enter the open water, where they develop into cercariae - tailed larvae that can penetrate the human body through healthy skin. As a rule, invasions in humans develop when swimming in open water, washing clothes or other contact with open water.


Filariae are round stalk-like worms. There are about 8 types of filariasis that parasitize the human body. The intermediate host and carrier of the disease are blood-sucking insects. Human infection occurs when insect bites and helminth larvae enter the upper layers of the skin.

The distribution of larvae in the body of the final host occurs in a hematogenous way. Worms spread throughout the body, are located in organs and tissues, cause allergic reactions, swelling in the affected area, lymphostasis, proliferation of endothelial cells.

How to identify worms at home

The presence of worms in the body can be attributed to one or another characteristic. In addition, a special test consisting of several questions has been developed for the rapid diagnosis of helminthiasis.

Signs of the presence of parasites in the body

The symptoms of worms in the body of an adult directly depend on the type of invasion.

  • Enterobiasis - itching in the anus, insomnia, irritability, indigestion, diarrhea, anorexia, pain in the right side of the abdomen, flatulence, false urge to defecate.
  • Ascariasis - vomiting, pain in the abdomen, dry cough, nausea, shortness of breath, roundworm or roundworm in the stool, wheezing, fever.
  • Trichuriasis - flatulence, vomiting, feces mixed with blood and mucus, mental retardation, abdominal pain, weight loss, anemia.
  • Occupied by tapeworms - asymptomatic for a long time. Then there are episodic pains in the abdomen, decreased hemoglobin in the blood, indigestion, diarrhea, unexplained weight loss.
  • Echinococcus - Symptoms of infection with parasites that make up Finns depend on which organ is affected. With the development of echinococcal cysts in the brain, neurological symptoms occur. Patients with liver damage complain of pain on the right side, jaundice, deterioration of general well-being and digestive disorders.
  • Schistosomiasis - weight loss, abdominal pain, dizziness, enlarged liver, spleen, blood in the urine, fever, anemia, skin edema, urolithiasis, dry cough, defecation disorders.
  • Filariasis - enlarged lymph nodes, hyperthermia, weakness, headache, blood in the urine, stiffness of movements, increase in certain parts of the body, swelling of the skin, lacrimation.

Note: Most of the described symptoms are nonspecific and can occur with many other diseases.

Parasite tests

This test allows you to assess the likelihood of infection with helminths. You must use the answer options such as "yes", "no", "sometimes" to pass it. 2 points are given for each "yes" answer and 0 points for each "no" answer. The "sometimes" answer requires a full stop.

  1. Is there nausea in the morning?
  2. Pale skin, gums?
  3. Is there persistent anemia that does not respond to drug therapy?
  4. Abdominal pain or discomfort?
  5. Are gastric disorders common?
  6. Fecal disorders?
  7. Is there weight on the right side?
  8. Frequent headaches?
  9. Periodic cough?
  10. Intermittent tingling in large joints?
  11. Sudden vision loss?
  12. Do you grit your teeth in your sleep?
  13. Do you still eat a lot when you are hungry?
  14. Frequent allergies?
  15. Swelling occurs?
  16. Decreased performance?
  17. Chronic diseases?
  18. Intermediate abdominal pain?
  19. Are there any signs of inflammation in the blood?
  20. Itching in the anus?
  21. Do family members have similar symptoms?

A negative test can be considered a test with no more than 6 points. The probability of occupation is 6-17 points. People who score 17 to 24 on the test are almost certainly infected with this or that helminth. With a score between 24 and 42, we can talk about the numerous invasions of different types of helminths, which occur very rarely.

Laboratory diagnostics

Several types of laboratory tests are used to accurately diagnose helminthiasis:

Fecal analysis

Samples of biological material for analysis are taken in the morning. A small amount of feces taken from the middle of the common part is sent to the laboratory. The material obtained here is visually inspected, trying to determine whether there are eggs in it. The eggs of some parasites are so large that they can be seen with the naked eye. If this does not happen, the biomaterial is stained by special methods, cultured in a nutrient medium, and then examined under a microscope. The absence of heat can be described only after three or four studies, during which time no signs of the presence of worms were detected. The technique is suitable for the determination of eggs and segments of all helminths excreted in the feces.

Leak, rod

Signs of the presence of pinworms and ascaris can be detected by scraping or removing a tampon from the patient's perianal folds. This method is relevant due to the characteristics of helminth reproduction. To lay an egg, the pinworm leaves the gut and emerges from where the ovulation process took place. Smear should be performed in the morning without initial hygiene procedures. Otherwise, the eggs of the parasite will be washed and the analysis will be false negative.

Blood test

A general blood test is of indirect importance in the diagnosis of helminthiasis. This method does not reveal indisputable signs of the presence of parasites in the blood. As a rule, the long-term presence of parasitic worms in the body leads to a certain decrease in hemoglobin levels, the appearance of non-specific signs of the inflammatory process (increased ESR, leukocytosis).

ELISA blood test

The enzyme immunoassay method (ELISA) is based on the detection of antibodies against parasitic toxins and the body's enzymatic reaction to the presence of helminths. This method of research allows you to diagnose the disease, even if the helminth does not lay eggs for one reason or another. ELISA is most productive in the early stages of invasion, when the worm is just beginning to develop in the human body.

What should you do if you become infected?

If there are signs of a parasitic infection, independent treatment attempts should not be made. Regardless of the symptoms of worms in adults, the best course of action is to visit a parasitologist or gastroenterologist. He will prescribe the necessary tests, correctly assess the risk of the disease, and select drugs that will quickly and completely remove parasites from the body.

Despite the apparent simplicity of the disease, helminthiasis can have very serious consequences. The presence of parasites can cause intestinal perforation, obstruction, peritonitis and sepsis. Modern medicine allows you to get rid of worms quickly and reliably. However, almost all of them have a number of contraindications and recommendations for use, known only to a specialist. Therefore, any anthelmintic medication or traditional medicine should be used only after consulting a doctor.