Intestinal parasites, including tape worms, round worms and pin worms, are much more common than most people would like to acknowledge. While the idea of critters in a colon can give anyone the creeps, it is important to know how to recognize the symptoms of worms in humans and seek prompt treatment.
Most Americans can stand to lose a little weight, so some people ignore unintentional weight loss instead of promptly addressing the cause. Unexplained weight loss is often the first sign that a person is sharing his food with a colony of worms.
Itching of the anus or vagina can be a sign that intestinal parasites are squirming about and causing local skin irritation. Eczema-like skin rashes elsewhere on the body may appear.
Gassy stomach pain can be a sign of worm infestation, although there are many other causes, including irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers and food intolerance. Pain from worms can appear anywhere in the abdomen.
Diarrhea or Constipation
Intestinal parasites are likely to cause intermittent episodes of constipation or severe diarrhea, and bowel movements may be foul smelling. These symptoms may resemble another condition and be misdiagnosed.
Worms or Eggs in Stool
It should go without saying, but many people still fail to recognize symptoms of intestinal parasites even when they pass worms or worm eggs in their feces.