Com­bi­na­tion of treat­ments works best for worms

Geraldton Guardian - - News - Char­lotte In­wood Char­lotte In­wood is a natur­opath at Char­lotte In­wood Natur­o­pathics, Ger­ald­ton.

Ah, the dreaded worm.

Whether you know it as thread­worm, pin­worm or seat worm, it’s all the same (En­ter­o­bius ver­mic­u­laris) species which has set up shop in the gas­troin­testi­nal tract.

We mostly (cor­rectly) as­so­ciate it with chil­dren (three times more girls than boys), but we adults are cer­tainly not im­mune to de­vel­op­ing a worm in­fes­ta­tion in our diges­tive tract.

For starters, many chil­dren and teenagers har­bour worms with­out the clas­sic “itchy bot­tom”.

These pa­tients might show changes in ap­petite (up or down), weight loss, vague ab­dom­i­nal pains, sleep dis­tur­bances, fa­tigue, be more emo­tional, nose-pick­ing, teeth-grind­ing and/or thumb­suck­ing. Left long enough, thread­worm can also be a di­rect cause of ap­pen­dici­tis. A stool cul­ture will rarely show up the pres­ence of worms in the gut.

A more re­li­able test is the sticky tape test — quite lit­er­ally plac­ing sticky tape on the anus overnight and check­ing it in the morn­ing for the pres­ence of eggs. The fe­male worm trav­els at night to the out­side of the anus to lay her eggs here.

In girls, it is very easy for the worm to mi­grate into the vag­ina.

More fre­quently than we re­alise, chil­dren only have short pe­ri­ods of re­mis­sion from symp­toms, and are con­stantly bat­tling to keep worms at bay. This has big im­pli­ca­tions for their gut health, their nutri­tional sta­tus and their im­mune sta­tus.

Even if worms are iden­ti­fied, the stan­dard anti-worm­ing treat­ments fail to pro­vide last­ing ef­fi­cacy.

A com­bi­na­tion of treat­ments is of­ten re­quired. I of­ten pre­scribe herbal com­bi­na­tions of black wal­nut, worm­wood, ore­gon grape, thyme, echi­nacea and gar­lic for their anti-worm­ing and im­mune stim­u­lat­ing ac­tions.

Also needed are zinc, chon­droitin sul­phate and the pro­bi­otic SB (Sac­cha­romyces boulardii), to help strengthen the pro­tec­tive lin­ing.

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