Combination of treatments works best for worms
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.