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Worm Infestation (Helmenthiasis)

This is one of the major health problems among the children in many parts of the world. The problem of worm infestation is very common in tropical countries due to prevalent methods of defecation (passing stools) and disposal of the waste, which in turn contaminates the soil. It is normally seen more in warm and damp climate (mainly after heavy rainfall).

It is more common in children who are having ill health, who are malnourished (poorly nourished) and who stay in places, which are unhygienic (specially staying in hutments which are along the sides of the drainage gutters). It is one of the common causes of abdominal pain, which arises suddenly. No child with gases in abdomen should be dismissed without being examined for worms. The worms which are normally seen in the stool examination are as follows: -

1) Roundworm (Ascaris Lumbricoides)

2) Threadworm (Enterobius Vermicularis)

3) Hookworm (Aneylostoma Duodenale or Necator Americanus)

4) Tapeworm (Taenia Saginata or Taenia Solium).

Roundworm: -

Very commonly seen worm infestation in children. It can cause vomiting and is one of the major causes of intestinal obstruction in infants.
These worms are many-a-times responsible for frequent night cough in children leading to Allergic Bronchitis.

Threadworm: -

This is second commonest infestation seen in children. Itching around anus is the symptom often complained of by the children. This can cause sleeplessness and can at times cause grinding of teeth.

Treatment: -

The main principle of treatment consists of two parts: -
- Treating all the family members at the same time.
- General advice about cleanliness given to all (specially cutting of nails).
- The itching around anus can be prevented by application of antihistamine cream locally and wearing of cotton gloves.
- It is claimed that single dose is effective but the drug should be repeated for 2 weeks with proper hygienic care regarding clothes.

Hookworm: -

It is commonly seen in children in rural areas who normally walk bare-foot and children in urban areas living near open grounds and fields. Anaemia is the key symptom of the infestation. In patients, presenting symptom is Anaemic without any H/O bleeding piles or excessive menstrual bleeding (in females), one can say that this anaemia must be due to Hookworm infestation. The other presenting symptoms due to aneamia could be fatigue, weakness, discomfort in the stomach and H/O - pica i.e. changed appetite craving for slate, mud, charcoal may be present leading to abdominal discomfort.

Tapeworm: -

It is rare infestation and normally seen in people who eat meat for a very long time. The usual symptom presented is passing of segment of tapeworm in the stool. The associated symptom can be loss of weight, voracious appetite, pain and abdominal distention.


Ascariasis - (Ascaris lumbricoids) (Roundworm )

1) Cina, Sabadilla, Ign, Spigelia, Stannum, Cuprum oxydatum Nigrum.

Calcerea Carbonica is useful removing tendency of worms.

Entorbius Vermicularius - (Threadworm)

1) Abrotanum 2) Chelone 2) Cina 4) Ratanhia 5)Spigelia
6) Teucrium.

Ancylostoma duodonalae - (Hook worm)

1) Carbon tetrachloride,2) Chenopodium oil;3) Thymol

Taeniaesis - (Tapeworm)

Calc. Flour -

Long, round or Intestinal thread worms.
Pain in abdomen with restless sleep,
Itching in anus especially at night in bed,
Grinding of teeth in children, pinworms.

This remedy acts by destroying the excess of lactic acid, which may be necessary for the life of these worms.


Common Remedies -

Calc. C, Cina, Santon, Spigelia, Teucrium, Naphthalin, Silicea, Stan., Sabadilla.

1) Calcerea Carbonica -

Very useful remedy in removing the tendency of worm infestation. The patient is usually fat, short and fair with large & hard abdomen. Offensive flatulence,
chalky, grey or green watery stools; first hard then stickiness. Diarrhoea with ravenous hunger.
Undigested stool after eating or drinking.
Tape, Round worms.
Child wants all muddy & dirty things, like chalk,
Scratches the wall & then puts finger in mouth.
Sour smelling stools.

2) Cina -

Craving for sweets, bread,
Violent hunger even after eating.
Wants to eat constantly,
Desires many & different things. Very irritable
Child always puts fingers in Anus, Scratching at anus.
Stools are watery & white coloured.
Screams with fright in sleep.
Boring of nose & rubbing of nose all the time on something, twisting pain in abdomen.

3) Santonium -

Do Not give this remedy to a child with Constipation or fever. Should be given in high potency.
Grinding of teeth.Itching in nose.
Round worm infestation. Also threadworm with low appetite associated with colour blindness & yellow vision.
Children getting cough at night.
Restless sleep

4) Spigelia -

Fear of printed things, pins & needles etc.
Foul odour of mouth.
Colicky pain in abdomen around umbilical region.
Stools with large lumps of mucus.
Tickling sensation in anus and itching in rectum.
Frequent ineffectual urging to stool.
Very offensive flatus.
Child refers to the navel as most painful part.
Expels worms fast.
Associated with (Left) sided Headache (migraine) or Heart disease.

5) Teucrium Marum -

Itching of anus & constant irritation in bed << Evening.
Nights are restless because of roundworm tickling.
Vomiting of large quantities of dark green material.
Unnatural hunger.
Constant hiccups << eating.
Loss of sense of smell.

6) Stannum -

Smell of cooking causes Vomiting & nausea.
Bitter taste in mouth with sensation of emptiness.
Swollen abdomen with flatulence hot & smells like rotten egg. Colicky pain in children >> by carrying them on shoulder. Constipation stools, shy hard knotty & green coloured.

7) Silicea -

Useful for Tapeworms.
Stools offensive painless & lienteric.
Stools comes out witn difficulty.
When partly expelled; recedes again.
Retained for fear of pain.
Very sticky stools. Straining soft stools.
Aversion for cooked or warm food,mother's milk.
Voracious appetite but gets satisfied easily.
Much rumbling sound in intestines

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