The pinworm (also known as the threadworm or seatworm) is a common human intestinal parasite and a type of roundworm. Infection occurs through the ingestion of pinworm eggs, which derives from contaminated hands, food or water.
The adult female pinworm has a sharply pointed posterior end and is usually 8-13 millimeters long, .5 millimeters thick. The adult male pinworm measures to be 2-5 millimeters long and is .2 millimeters thick, ending with a curved posterior.
Their egg measure 50-60 micrometers by 20-30 micrometers and has a thick shell. The small size and colorlessness of the eggs makes them invisible to the naked eye, except when excessively clumped with thousands of eggs.
According to the Center of Disease Control, in the United States, it was reported an overall incidence rate of 11.4% among people of all ages. Because it spreads from host to host through contamination, pinworms are common among people living in close contact.
The entire lifecycle of a pinworm from an egg to an adult takes place entirely in the human gastrointestinal tract of a single human host. This cycle takes between 2-8 weeks. The male and female pinworms mate in the last part of the small intestine. Afterwards, the male pinworms usually die. The female pinworms settle in the beginning of the large intestine, appendix and ascending colon. Here, they attach themselves to the mucosa and the ingest colonic contents. Nearly the entire body of gravid female becomes filled with eggs; the estimation of the number of eggs in the gravid pinworm ranges from 11,000-16,000.
The pinworms then migrate through the colon towards the rectum at a rate of 12-14 centimeters per hour. They emerge from the anus and the female pinworms deposit eggs by either contracting the eggs, dying and disintegrating, or a bodily rupture due to the host scratching the worm.
How Does it Spread?
Pinworms spread through human-to-human transmission, by swallowing and ingesting infectious pinworm eggs. These worms can remain infectious in a moist environment for as long as three weeks. After the eggs have been deposited near the anus, they are then able to transmit to other surfaces through contamination, ie: fingernails, hands, clothing and bed linen. From this point, they can spread to: food, water, furniture, toys, bathroom fixtures, etc. The eggs can enter the mouth and nose through inhalation, and will be swallowed later on.
Although pinworms do not strictly multiply inside the body of their human host, some of the pinworm larvae may hatch on the anal mucosa and migrate up the bowel and back into the gastrointestinal tract of the original host. When this process of retroinfection occurs, it leads to a heavy parasitic load and ensures that the pinworm infestation continues. Despite the 13-week lifespan of individual pinworms, autoinfection, either through anus-to-mouth route or through retroinfection, causes the pinworms to inhabit the same host indefinitely.
One third of individuals with pinworm infection are asymptomatic. The main symptoms are prutitus ani and perineal puritus, ie., itching in and around the anus and around the perineum. The intensity of the itching varies, and it can be described as tickling, crawling sensations, or even acute pain. In women, the pinworms may move onto the vulva and into the vagina, from there moving to external orifice of the uterus and onwards to the uterine cavity, fallopian tubes, ovaries and peritoneal cavity. This can cause vulvovaginitis, ie., an inflammation of the vulva and vagina. One report, (Burkhart & Bukhart 2005) indicated that 36% of young girls with urinary tract infection also had pinworms. Dysuria is also associated with pinworm infection.
What is a Parasite?
“A parasite is an organism that lives off the host, the host being you or me. The parasite lives a parallel life inside our bodies, feeding off either our own energy, our own cells or food we eat. Parasites are even feeding off the health supplements we use, thus greatly diminishing their effectiveness. In recent medical studies it has been estimated that 85% of the North American adult population has at least one form of parasites living in their bodies. Some authorities feel this figure may be as high as 95%. Humans can play “host” to over 100 different kinds of parasites, ranging from microscopic to several-feet-long tape-worms…” -Dr. Ross Anderson, one of America’s foremost parasitic infection specialists
Beef worm: Those who eat beef products have an extremely high risk of infection.
Ascaris: The anterior end of the roundworm.
Roundworm: This worm can produce up to 200,000 eggs per day.
Hook worm: This worm uses teeth-like plates to latch itself to the surface of the intestinal tract.
How can a Parasite Infect Me?
“The incidence of parasitic disease in North America is skyrocketing because of increased international travel, contamination of the water and food supply (ed.:do you remember a few years ago 400,000 people in Milwaukee, almost half of that city’s population, fell sick due to a water-borne parasite which made its way into the city water supply?) and the overuse of chemicals, mercury and prescription antibiotics…. Tapeworms, hookworms and a long list of amoebae are far more common in the North American population than conventional medical experts have led the population to believe… Parasites are found in highest concentrations in commercial pork products(bacon, ham, hot dogs, cold cuts, pork chops, etc.). Beef, chicken, lamb and even fish are contaminated.” -The famous Dr. Zoltan Rona, author of many books and newspaper columns
What Do Parasites Cause?
- Pains of Aches in the Back, Joints or Muscles
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Eating More than Normal but Still being Hungry
- Chronic Fatigue
- Nervousness or Grumpiness
- Various Skin Problems
- Problems Sleeping
- Nutrient Deficiencies and Anemia
- Immune System Problems
- Excess Weight
- Tooth Grinding or Clenching
- Forgetfulness, Blurry or Unclear Vision
On the Matter
“Make no mistake about it, parasites are the most toxic agents in the human body. They are one of the primary underlying causes of disease and are the most basic cause of a compromised immune system.” -Dr. Hazel Parcells, D.C., N.D.,Ph.D.
“90% of all disease and discomfort is directly or indirectly related to an unclean colon(due to impacted fecal matter).” -Royal Academy of Physicians of Great Britain
“….we must clean the built-up fecal matter out of our colon, in order to avoid self-poisoning. If we don’t take the appropriate steps to rid our colons of this build-up and the parasites that set up home there, then we are actually allowing our bodies to get more and more toxified with each passing day. When the body is trying to absorb nutrients through the colon which is backed up, it is actually absorbing poisonous fecal matter. Toxins also block enzymes and nothing in the body functions properly without enzymes…” -Dr. Brian Carpenter
“…the average person over 40 has between 5 and 25 pounds of build-up in their colon. Parasites of all sizes thrive in this indisposed residue of fecal matter, slowly but surely toxifying the whole body.” -Dr. Bernard Jenson, the father of iridology in the U.S. and foremost expert in colon research and therapy
“Parasites are the major cause of obesity since they deprive the body of the proper nutrients and leave us only empty calories as leftovers. The body also starts craving more and more food as it is starved for the ever-so-needed vitamins and minerals.” -Dr. Donald Kelly, a leading expert in weight management
“I believe the singe most un-diagnosed health challenge in the history of the human race is parasites. I realize that is a pretty brave statement, but it is based on my 20 years of experience with more than 20,000 patients.” -Dr. Ross Anderson, one of America’s foremost parasite infection specialists
“I was working on the fishing boats; my captain was of Norwegian descent, and would always get a little salmon and dry it out and offer me chunks of this fresh salmon. I would refuse. Several years later he came in to see me at my practice, and I found out that he had passed a 20-foot and an 8-foot tapeworm. He also mentioned that for years he had diarrhea, digestive upset and heartburn, and by passing these worms he had cleared all that up.” -Dr. John Matsen from What’s Challenging Your Health?