According to the World Health Organisation, over 90% of the human race is the carrier of parasites, microorganisms or fungi.
Parasites remain an undervalued enemy by the majority of people taking care of their health.
What is a parasite? - it is an organism living at the cost of the host, namely you or me.
Parasites eagerly use our energy, cells, vitamins, minerals and poison us with the waste products of their daily lives. The wiliness and threat resulting from the invasion of parasites consists in the fact that usually nothing hurts and there are no concerns. Parasites are able to live in the human body for years and even decades without any signs. Their presence results in serious health problems, the so-called parasite diseases. A parasite, when “making a nest” (encysting) in the organs and tissues, causes their damage, creates mechanical obstacles in the body functioning, damages the epithelial tissues of organs, opening the way to infections, provokes long-lasting inflammations, and strains the immune system of the body. Diseases caused by parasites are often hard to be diagnosed and some ailments are misdiagnosed, while their frequent cause are parasite infections.
Dr. Donald Kelly believes that “(...) parasites are the main reason for obesity, since they deprive the human body of essential nutrients, leaving only empty calories (...)”. The body starts to want more and more food, since it lacks the necessary vitamins and minerals.
A flat worm with the length of 10 mm. A type of parasitic trematodes on warm-blooded bodies and leading to opisthorchiasis in people - an ailment characterised by chronic course with damage to the liver, gallbladder and pancreas. A person gets infected after eating raw fish. The parasite is pathogenic; it may lead to cirrhosis of the liver, and sometimes - cancerous tissue degeneration.
A type of parasitic trematode attacking various types of animals and in a person - causing paragonimiasis. Adults with the length of 8-16 mm, width 4-8 mm, are parasitic in the lungs, and sometimes may spread to the muscles (including: diaphragm), brain, they are enclosed in a cyst with the diameter of 50 mm and more. Clinical symptoms are the effects of allergic, toxic and mechanical operation of helminths, and secondary bacterial infections. After helminths reach the brain, brain damage may occur.
Protozoa from the Trichomonadidae family causing trichomoniasis. A man is its sole natural carrier. It is sexually-transmitted and occurs commonly; in Europe - every year - 6.5 million of women get infected. On average, 25% of women with active sexual lives are infected with trichomonas. In men, common symptoms include urethra damage and prostate gland damage. Symptoms are usually unclear, which is related to the excretion of a large part of trichomonas during miction. In men, the chronic nature of the process in almost 100% of the cases leads to chronic prostatitis!
Lamblia (Giardia lamblia)
A large pear-shaped flagellate - leading to giardiasis. The protozoon is commonly present. The basic mechanism of getting infected is fecal-oral, through dirty hands, toys, food and water. In the human body, lamblia multiplies in huge amounts. Vegetative forms may exist only on the surface of the mucous membrane; upsetting wall digestion, small intestine movements. Fat, carbohydrates, vitamin absorption worsens. Symptoms: diarrhoea, fatigue, edemas, apathy, weight loss, loss of appetite, being pale, frequent haemorrhages, paraesthesia and muscle twitching.
Human whipworm (Trichuris trichiura)
Length: 3-5 cm, spread all over the world. Infection with the human whipworm takes place as in the case of ascarides: eggs excreted with the feces of the host develop in the external environment. Lifetime amounts to approx. 5 years. The human whipworm lives in the caecum and vermiform appendix, at massive invasion - throughout the whole large intestine, to the anus. Adults adhere to the intestinal wall, puncturing it with a thin, front end; the thick end of the body hangs in the lumen of the intestine.
Parasites in the brain (Toxoplasma gondii)
They cause toxoplasmosis - parasitic infection characterised by chronic course, damage to the nervous system, enlargement of the liver and spleen, frequent damage to the skeletal muscles and the myocardium. The disease is common. The germ was isolated from all the mammals and some birds. A human is infected through the alimentary canal, when eating raw or semi-raw meat, but more often dirty fruits and vegetables. The probability of getting infected with toxoplasmosis increases with age. Serological tests found Toxoplasma gondii in 50% of adult Europeans. The majority of cases of toxoplasmosis have no symptoms.
Hookworm (Ancylostoma duodenale)
The life span of adults in the human body is 4-8 years, but the majority is excreted within the first year of age. Hookworms get into the human body with dirty fruit, vegetables or dirty hands. Necator larvae and sometimes hookworm larvae actively get through the skin. After penetration, the larvae migrate through the blood vessels and lymph vessels to lung capillaries. They penetrate further to the respiratory tract, reach the esophagus, where they are swallowed. Damage to intestines are shown by heartburn, epigastric pain, simulating the development of the ulcerative disease of the duodenum.
A large helminth parasitic in the small intestine, length: up to 5-6 m and more, head (1-2 mm) is equipped with 4 acetabula, the neck is continuous with the body, keeping 1000-2000 proglottids, of which, each may contain 150,000 eggs; cysticerus has the diameter to 0.5 mm, mainly contain an adult worm. In the small intestine, the head releases from the cysticerus and attaches to the wall, after 3 months there is an adult. In the body of the immediate host, they may live one to two years.
Length up to 2 m. The duration of life in the human intestines amounts to 3 to 17 years! Taenia solium is contracted by eating infected, undercooked pork or sausages. Larvae develop in the muscles, spread through the central nervous system to other tissues and organs to finally suck to the upper portion of the small intestine. Taenia solium does a lot of harm to the human being - being the carrier, its undeveloped larvae get to the muscle layer of the heart or the brain.
Apart from the intestines, liver and lungs, the larvae of ascarides can be found in other organs. In small children, infected with ascarides, there may be some fussiness, forgetfulness; in children of school age physical and mental development is slow, they have bad memory, bad school results; in adults the ability to work worsens.
They live in the small and large intestines. Pinworm infection takes place after swallowing helminth’s eggs, getting to the mouth and nose along with dust, through dirty hands and groceries.
It may be contracted solely from dogs that excrete toxocara along with feces. The cat version of the parasite is not harmful to humans. One toxocara female lays at least 12,500 eggs a day. Infection leads to stomach pain, difficulties breathing (which may turn into asthma) and problems with the nervous system. It does not mean that dogs should be culled, their owners should simply control the health of their dogs and regularly perform prophylactic deworming.
Intestinal parasite. The final host is a human, dog, cat, and wild mammals. Lifetime in the human body amounts to 25 years! The length of one parasite amounts to 20 metres, width: 1-1.5 cm. The body consists of a few thousand segments; all the necessary and beneficial substances are absorbed by diphyllobothrium latum with the whole surface of the body. It may be contracted by eating raw, insufficiently salted fish, crayfish and caviar.