In medical terminology, roundworm disease is known as `Ascariasis Lumbricoides’. Roundworm diseases are prevalent in areas that have poor hygienic conditions. The roundworm eggs can be taken through contaminated food. Most of the times, people will not feel any symptoms. The symptoms, when they appear, can be similar to that of malaria or pneumonia. The common symptom is consistent presence of cough, wheezing or shortness of breath. There can be stomach pain and loss of appetite. The roundworms may come out in your stool or through vomiting.
Roundworm diseases are often neglected. Roundworm is also the basic cause of infection in pigs through `trichinosis’. These diseases affect more than one billion people worldwide. The roundworms can grow up to twelve inches in the human body and cling to the intestinal walls. They can be as thick as a pencil. Female roundworms are larger than the male roundworms.
As per the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, roundworm diseases are a direct result of poor hygiene and sanitation. Most roundworms and their eggs can be found in dirt and can be picked up on the hands and transferred to your mouth. They can sometimes get into the body through the skin. Different species of roundworms can cause different types of infections.
People can become infected when they eat food that has the roundworm eggs. This can also happen when people eat food that is grown in the soil which has been mixed with human and animal excreta. Roundworms can produce eggs for more than a year. Children are more prone to getting affected by roundworm diseases as they play in dirt and then put their hands into their mouths.
Severe parasitic roundworms may also travel to your muscles, brain and eyes. This can cause seizures, paralysis or temporary blindness. If the disease is not treated well in time, it can cause a breakdown of body functions.
There are many treatments available for roundworm diseases but it is better to consult a physician or a health care provider before taking any drugs. Mebendazole and Albendazole can bring these roundworms out of your body. The side effects of these medicines can be headache and hair loss but they are minimal and tolerable. Anti-parasitic drugs have not proved to be very effective. Bromelain and other proteoplytic enzymes are useful in getting the outer layer of the roundworms dissolved.
There are some natural methods of treatment for roundworm diseases. They are:
• Boil some garlic and onions in water and drink the concoction slowly. Eat as much raw garlic as possible.
• Take a laxative. Figs are a good laxative.
• Sit in a warm milk bath which is sufficient for covering your rectum area as the roundworms are likely to smell the milk and crawl out. You will have to remain in that warm milk bath for about an hour until most of the worms are out.
Researchers and scientists have been able to uncover the genome sequence of roundworms and are hopeful to pin down faster diagnosis and treatment of the roundworm diseases in the future. The research has helped in finding over eighteen thousand genes that will aid in protein coding.
To protect yourself from roundworm diseases, it is better that you care about your personal hygiene, avoid eating infested food from the streets and ensure that you wash your vegetables and fruits properly. Washing your hands with soap frequently is also a good way not to contaminate and spread this sickness.