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What are the Different Types of Parasitic Worms?

By S. Gonzales
Updated Feb 16, 2024
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Many different types of parasites may find their host in a human body. Some research has indicated that the number of different types exceeds well over 1,000. Unfortunately, only a select few are detected using common lab tests. The following is a list of the most common types of parasites that may infect a human body.

One of the most common parasitic worms that can be found in the human body is the roundworm. It is estimated that over a billion people have roundworms in their intestines. These parasitic worms can grow to about 15 inches (38.1 cm) and are able to lay 300,000 eggs per day. Flu-like symptoms and constipation may coincide with infection. Colon inflammation and difficulty absorbing nutrients may follow. In extreme cases, they can be removed through surgery.

Pinworms, or threadworms, affect over 500 million people with the majority of those people being children. They are about 1/3 inch (8.46 mm) long and are characterized by causing itching around the anus area. They can be identified by shining a light into a stool sample or by placing a piece of tape on the anus and removing the tape to inspect for stuck worms or eggs.

Hookworms find the lungs, as well as the intestines, hospitable. They can be contracted by ingesting contaminated food or water or by entering directly through unprotected skin. The point of entry for these parasitic worms may remain red or itchy after they have successfully entered the body. Preliminary symptoms of hookworm infection may include wheezing, a dry cough, a low-grade fever or a bloody septum. Hookworms that infest the intestinal tract may result in appetite loss, abdominal pain, diarrhea and anemia.

Tapeworms are probably the most notorious of parasitic worms. They can measure up to 20 feet (6.096 m) long and infestations are usually the result of consuming uncooked beef. Tapeworm infection bears some similar symptoms to other worm infestations, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation and weight loss.

Despite their pervasiveness and the potential seriousness of untreated infections, it should be noted that parasitic worms can be treated with the proper use of herbs. Some of the most common herbs used to counteract parasitic worm infections include wormwood, black walnut hulls and cloves, though these herbs must be used in conjunction with each other for maximum effectiveness. Other herbs and foods that may used include garlic, pumpkin seeds, yogurt and other known bacteria and infection-fighting agents. In addition, measures taken to ensure sanitation and hygiene can often help to prevent initial infection.

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Discussion Comments
By KoiwiGal — On Jun 25, 2011

The best way to treat parasites is to not get them in the first place. Most of all, wash your hands. Particularly if you are going to be putting them near your face.

But, if you need other treatments you should go to a doctor. It's good to try and live a natural life, but it can be difficult to identify which parasite is infecting you (if any) and so any treatments you try at home might not work. And all the time while you delay you are acting as a host to something that could infect other people.

You might be able to live with a threadworm infestation, but maybe that baby you are holding, or the old woman next door won't be able to.

So go and get some parasitic worms treatment from the doctor before you worry about curing yourself.

By bythewell — On Jun 24, 2011

Hookworms are really annoying. When I was traveling overseas we were told never to walk barefoot in the sand so that we could avoid getting hookworms. But, I've heard of people getting them even from sitting down in the wrong spot, with bare legs.

It makes me wonder if desert people started wearing long flowing robes to protect from this parasite as well as from the sun.

Because although you can get rid of hookworms they make you feel pretty bad in the meantime, because they drink your blood and cause anemia.

They can kill people who are already sick or malnourished in poor countries though.

By indigomoth — On Jun 21, 2011

I remember my sister had pinworms when we were children. I'm so grateful I never had them, because the symptoms were really irritating, particularly for kids.

I still have nightmares about seeing them crawling around in the loo.

But, if you see that your kids have them, don't be too worried. They look disturbing, but they aren't dangerous if you get them treated. They are one of the most common parasitic worms in humans.

You get them from biting your fingernails and sucking your thumb, so it's weird that I didn't get them and my sister did because I was the thumb sucker in our family.

If your kids have them, you might need to treat the whole family, as it's really hard to get rid of the eggs and if some survive they will start the whole cycle over again.

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