What Is Trichinosis Infection?
- Trichinosis in humans is caused by eating meat that is infected with the larvae of trichinella. It is one type of species of roundworm parasite.
- After ingestion the parasitic larvae of roundworm can cross over the intestinal lumen and reach the muscles.
- People who eat undercooked or infected raw meat of pig, bear, and boars are at risk of suffering from trichinosis.
- This food borne illness is usually more in rural areas than in urban cities.
- Patient may present with cramps in stomach, diarrhea, fever, this is followed with muscle ache, generalized weakness, and inflammation.
- The clinical symptoms of the disease usually last for 4 to 6 months and it subsides without any complication.
- There are many anti parasitic drugs that can be used to eliminate the worms before they cause more discomfort.
How Do Humans Get Trichinosis?
- Trichinosis is a parasitic infection caused by larvae of trichinella, a type of roundworm.
- Infection in humans is caused by eating raw or under cooked meat of certain animals such as pig, bear, wild boar, foxes etc.
- Besides consuming, people may also get infected with the parasite by handling raw meat, using kitchen utensils and knives that are contaminated with the organism.
- Animals are the primary host. They get infected if they eat garbage or grass that is contaminated with the meat or carcass of the infected animal.
- When humans consume meat of these infected animals, the larvae passes into the intestine. It becomes an adult roundworm. The adult worm reproduces more larvae which then crosses the intestinal barrier and reaches different sites in the body especially the muscles.
Symptoms Of Trichinosis In Humans
The symptoms of trichinosis in humans may depend on many factors. It may depend on the number of larvae present, its stage, affected organ or tissue, and physical condition of the patient. Many healthy persons may remain asymptomatic. Trichinosis infection can be classified into two stage; larvae in the intestine and invasion in the muscles.
- The symptoms in intestine develop within 1 to 2 days after ingestion of contaminated meat.
- If the infection is mild patient may not have any symptoms.
- If there are too many larvae in the meat, patient may suffer from pain in stomach, nausea, diarrhea and mild fever within a week.
- Invasion of larvae into the muscles may occur after two to three weeks. The symptoms are muscle pain especially in chest and lower legs, fever, headache, severe tiredness, swelling around the eyes and on face.
- Blood test reveals raised ESR.
Diagnosis: Diagnosis of trichinosis in humans is made by medical history, physical examination of the patient, and review of the symptoms. Other parameters that may help in diagnosis of the disease are stool examination, blood for ESR. Biopsy of the muscle is seldom needed.
Natural Treatment For Trichinosis
Many patients may not produce any symptoms if the infection is mild. Usually the infection disappears on its own within few months. However, medical fraternity advises to take the treatment so as to reduce chances of complications.
- Anti parasitic drug is the primary treatment measure to eradicate the infection at an early stage.
- Sometimes corticosteroids and analgesics are prescribed to the patient to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Majority of patients recover from the treatment.
In addition to the conventional treatment there are several natural remedies that may also help to eradicate trichinosis infection.
- Wormwood: This herb has long been known as a remedial measure to cure intestinal worm infection. Basically it acts on the membrane of the parasite and kills it. It is taken in the form of tea or capsule. The oil of wormwood should never be consumed as it is toxic.
- Garlic: Garlic is time tested home remedy for treating roundworm infection. It can be ingested in capsule form, or cloves of garlic can be taken. Few cloves of garlic can be added while cooking food.
- Pumpkin seed: Eating few dry pumpkin seed daily for few days will help to flush out the larvae of trichinosis from the intestine.
- During the herbal treatment, avoid consumption of coffee, sugar, and white flour products.
- Increase eating foods that are known to be anti parasitic such as pineapple, papaya seed, turmeric etc.