Only a half-inch long, pinworms are a big parasite problem.
It’s hard to believe, but over 40 million Americans experience pinworm infections, or enterobiasis, in any given year. Unless the parasitic infestation is particularly heavy, though, most people will not recognize its symptoms.
The most noticeable—and probably the least likely to be discussed—sign of these tiny parasites is rectal itching, especially at night when female worms deposit their eggs. According to the Centers for Disease Control, pinworm eggs become infective within just a few hours.
Because these parasites can survive for 2 to 3 weeks on bedding, clothing, and other objects, it’s easy to understand why they’re so prolific—and quickly spread within families, childcare centers, and schools. One recent study of nursery school children suggests repeating tests for pinworms, since they’re so easily passed from one child to another.
Hyperactivity and trouble sleeping, especially among children between 5 and 10 years of age, are reasons to suspect pinworms, which are the most common parasite. More serious conditions linked to infections from these worms include vision and neurological problems.
The EEG of a child infested with pinworms is surprisingly similar to that of an individual with a brain tumor, found the late Dr. Leo Litter, who personally documented more than 2,000 cases during his career. Pediatricians practicing in the 1950s and 60s were trained to suspect pinworms if children also had unexplained nose bleeds, wheezing, hair pulling, and restlessness.
While these worms make their home in their host’s intestines, they can travel into a little girl’s vagina, making them an overlooked cause of bedwetting. And although vaginal infections from these parasites are rare in adults, they can cause peritonitis and other serious problems during pregnancy, find Belgian researchers.
Parasites are the great masqueraders, often the root cause of unresolved and puzzling ailments. In addition to hyperactivity, another very classic symptom is underweight or failure to thrive. I always suspect worms in anyone who can’t gain an ounce of weight—no matter what she or he eats!
After three decades of educating the public about the “hidden epidemic” of parasites and two editions of Guess What Came to Dinner? Parasites and Your Health, I’ve learned to take these critters very seriously. In fact, I’ve just returned from delivering the keynote address on this very subject at the I-ACT conference in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Simply put, parasites cause physical trauma to the body, destroying cells faster than they can be regenerated. Because these uninvited guests need to eat, they take away vital nutrients, leading to fatigue. And as long as they’re living within the body, they create toxic wastes!
If you suspect that your child may have pinworms, try this scotch tape test that Dr. Litter always recommended to concerned parents. Before bed, cover the opening of your child’s anus with scotch tape to help trap the female. Unlike some other parasites, pinworms are easy to see. Because the likelihood of “capturing worms on tape” increases each time you test, you can try this 2 or 3 times before taking the evidence to your healthcare provider.
If you do discover pinworms or any other type of uninvited guests, the whole family needs treatment. Safe and gentle enough even for children, My Colon Cleansing Kit is the most advanced parasite cleansing system available.
The Verma-Plus and Para-Key help clear the body of worms and other uninvited guests, while aiding healthy digestion and promoting peristalsis without gas or intestinal spasms. For those children, however, who weigh less than 40 pounds, the product Zymex II is more specific. It contains natural enzymes and anti-parasitic substances from almonds and figs. Please call UNI KEY at (800) 888-4353 for more information.
Because worms—especially pinworms—are highly contagious, it’s critical to wash all nightclothes and underwear, as well as bedding and towels in hot water. Vacuum play areas frequently.
Teach your children to wash their hands after using the bathroom and before putting their hands in their mouths. Then set a good example by washing your hands often and well too.
Keep fingernails clipped short—and clean, scrubbing regularly with a nailbrush and soap. Never bite your fingernails—who knows what’s underneath them? The good news is that—among parasites—pinworms are relatively easy to treat, although they may reappear after several months without good hygiene.
Guess What Came to Dinner? Parasites and Your Health