-Under this heading i shall speak of two kinds of worms- Round-worms and Thread-worms. These are the commonest of the intestinal parasites met with. I have treated of Tape-worms under a separate heading.
In considering this affection it must be borne in mind that the parasite does not constitute the whole of the disease, and its expulsion is not the same thing as curing the patient. The patient’s constitution must also be considered. It is only in unhealthy states that the parasites give trouble, and they may be present for years without the patient’s being aware of it.
The round-worm (Ascaris lumbricoides) is very like an earthworm in size and shape. Sometimes large numbers are found, and instances have occured in which masses of them have caused obstruction of the bowels.
They may be found in every part of the intestinal tract. Thread- worms are much smaller. they are found chiefly in the caecum, or “blind-gut”-the part where the small intestine is joined on to the large. They travel down to the lower bowel to lay their eggs, and it is when there that they give rise to symptoms of irritation. The eggs of the creature are very minute, and can readily find lodgment under the finger-nails of children when the irritation makes them scratch themselves. If then they put their fingers to their mouths the eggs may be swallowed and again hatched when they find their way into the bowels.
General Treatment.-The healthier the patient the less agreeable “host” does he become for the worms, and the sooner are they disposed to leave him. Attention to the general health and surroundings is therefore of great importance. Foul air is a great predisposing cause. Pastry,unripe fruit,salads, salt, except in moderation, should be forbidden. bread should only be allowed in small quantities. Ripe fruit, cooked and dried fruits and carrots are good.
When there is much irritation at the anus an injection of warm water (about three-quarters of a tumbler), in which five drops of spirit of turpentine or eau de Cologne have been mixed, will kill all the worms that may be present in the lower bowel, and give instant relief to the irritation.
Medicines.-(Two or three times a day)
-Picking the nose,grating the teeth in sleep, enlarged body, irritation at the anus. Colic caused by worms, inclination to vomit, water collects in the mouth, the parts about the navel are hard, body distended, straining to stool, only slime evacuated; after Aconite.
-Colic caused by worms at the commencement.
Also when febrile symptoms appear. Itching at the anus.
-After Aconite and Cina if these are not sufficient.
-Is particularly useful after Mercurius.
– Much thirst, sudden starting and fright.
Nux v. 3.
– Itching internal or external, worse when sitting or moving; after taking stimulating food or drinks.