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Conditions

Intestinal Worms

Threadworm

It sounds like something from a sci-fi movie, but worms really can enter kids’ digestive systems and live there like parasites, feeding off the body. There are many different types of intestinal worms and because children’s immune systems aren’t fully developed, they are at a greater risk of contracting them than adults. So what are the symptoms, where do the worms come from, and what can you do about them?

Intestinal worms, round worms, tapeworms and toxacara worms can all cause a loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, a painful or even distended tummy, fever, coughing, and in the case of the most common UK worm, the threadworm, an uncomfortable itch at night around the anus and/or the vulva. Girls may also experience a vaginal discharge. Though very rare in the UK, toxacara infection also affects the sight. For some kids however, if they have a low number of worms wriggling around their digestive system, there are no specific symptoms.

Kids can catch worms from coming into contact with anything contaminated with worms’ eggs. That can mean the vomit or poo of an infected dog or cat from a litter tray or soil in the garden. The commonest way of ingesting the threadworm is when kids scratch the itchy worm eggs that have been laid round their bottoms at night, and then put their fingers in their mouths.

Once the worms have entered the body they start to lay eggs. The eggs hatch and the worms themselves work their way into the intestine, where more eggs are laid. Threadworms live for about six weeks. In rare cases, the worms can then move round the body and enter other organs such as the lungs or even the brain, in which case the condition is much more serious.

Worms can be passed out when kids go to the toilet, and one way of checking for an infection is to examine the stool, where the long, thin, thread-like worms may be visible.

It sounds unpleasant, but worms are easily treated with anti-parasitic drugs which your doctor can prescribe. Hygiene here is vital. Worm infection is much more prevalent in places where there’s poor sanitation. Teach kids never to handle animal faeces, don’t keep your pet’s litter tray in the kitchen or bathroom, and if you think a pet is the source, make sure it is treated too.

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Hi I'm 49 years old at the present moment , ,I have my mri scan of my pelvis and this green cloud coming from my glands around my pelvis the more I sit down I can squeeze it through my glands around my body, I'm spitting this this out vertualy all day long , I'm having infections around my body and have not tasted normall salvia for months and months the doctors seem dumbstruck on what's happening as for the last two years , and even all this slim is ouzing through my teeth "glands" any ideas whould help thanks from clive





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i i'm Jamie and i'm 15 years old, i have been suffering nausea, abdominal pain,loss of appetite and low energy for a few days now and was wondering if anyone had had similar symptoms and could tell me if this is a type of intestinal worm? because i cant go to the toilet to do number 2's as i'm scared of worms excreting from my body, i'm quite squeamish with this sort of thing and hate the fact that worms exit the body with bowel movement. someone please help!!





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Hi Jamie. I am not a medical expert, but the symptoms you describe could be caused by any number of things from depression, nerves, inflammatory conditions, etc. I would go to the toilet first as it is not good to hold it in! I remember when I was your age I had lots of stomach pains & nausea. I even once went into hospital with suspected appendicitis, but was let out without surgery. Eventually the pains went. Do you have a parent you can talk to about this? It's unlikely to be anything serious, but you will feel better if you can speak to somebody about it and if necessary see your GP. Please try not to worry in the meantime

I had those one tome and felt like I needed to go to the bathroom but could not they would call out at night my doctor called the drug store it was a red pill took it and was gone the next day.

Hi Jamie go to the doctor don't worry about it I've had similar before , have you been abroud to the Far East if not it's not likly,more like your stressed out if you drink stop you got a gastric problems maybe, or anxiety can cause this I've been through this and does cause your symptoms hope it helps don't think about worms , It will stress you out go to the doctors and talk to him o her ok mate best iff luck take it easy

We got a puppy that had roundworm and maybe other types of worms. I'm very worried my 4 and 13 year old may get them. Can I get medication over the counter to give them just in case that is not harmful to my children?





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My Daughter seems to get worms every year for the past 3 years around about the same time each year. I don't know what to do apart from the normal take medication, wash clothes, bedding and cleaning house etcetera. How can I prevent this every year?





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Ive had them for about 2 weeks now havent seen any, maybe theres still a few left but i hope not there super annonying... (SIGH)





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i have had a colonoscopy and half of the results were hard to see not very clear.I have stomach cramps after nearly every meal and have to rush to the toilet,and then i want to eat again.could this be a sympton of worms?





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If a child has thread worms, does this cause there to be white marks in their pants?





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My 15 year old came to me red faced and explained that he itched so bad he couldnt sleep. I told him I would have to "look" and he was very resistant. I told him lets pretend we are camping and roll over on his side so dad can check it out. His anal area was covered with little white worms. We went to the druggist who recommended pack the area with noxema 4 times a day for a week. He had relief almost instantly, we applied it for 2 weeks and completely gone.





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Hi, today is the first time I've noticed white worms in my poo. It really freaked me out haha, but I've also been getting sharp pains up my anus and it's itchy around that area. What medicine shall I use? I don't want to go to a doctor so just ones I could get over the counter at a supermarket would be great, thanks:) by the way I'm 14





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I know it's embarrassing but you need to go to the DR to get the right medicine. If you tell the Dr what's been happening they will probably agree with you. The Dr probably won't even examine you. Even if the Dr does ask to take a look, you can say "No, I don't want to do that" or you can ask for a nurse to chaperone you if you feel uncomfortable.

Ive just become 13 and I started seeing small white wriggly things in my poo around about 3-4 years ago and now I want to lose weight but I seem to be putting it on even tho I have a healthy lifestyle. My anus like the hole part is always itchy lately on a night and recently through the day could this be the cause of my weight gain and muscle growth slowing? I need help





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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Content supplied by NHS Choices

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