Friday, February 15, 2008

Practical Relief from Pinworms

How do you get rid of pinworms (and, under medical supervision, tapeworms)?

The main prescription Rx for pinworms is Vermox (mebendazole). It takes at least 2-3 doses three weeks apart. It's not a heavy-duty drug, although it can interfere with asthma medications and steroid treatments for eczema.

Here's the approach to parasite removal I recommend in my book Healing without Medication. I'm aware of about 1,500 readers of my other sites who have tried it with varying degrees of success. I urge you to do this or any other flush only after you've got a clear diagnosis and recommendations from your doctor.

You have to be able to take laxatives to use this approach. Don't try treating pinworms or any other parasites on your own if you have any kind of bowel disease or bowel obstruction. Long-standing cases of tapeworms (to the point you have an obvious enlargement of your belly or vitamin B-12 deficiency) just cannot be treated with this method at all. Children under the age of 4 should be treated only under medical supervision.

All this being said, this is the principle behind the commercial "natural" treatments for parasites you can find in stores and on the net. Each treatment takes 4 days. Since day 4 requires use of a laxative, many people find it best to start the treatment on a Wednesday or Thursday.

On days 1-3, eat as little possible. If you get hungry, go for fruit or salad. Try to avoid the meat and dairy products on which pinworms thrive. You don't want to feed your parasites, after all.

You need to get fiber into your system to flush the parasites, but you don't need too much. For most adults, for instance, 2 cups (250 g) of oat bran is way too much. Eat fiber foods, but don't stuff yourself with them.

If you're not allergic to pineapple or papaya, digestive enzymes may also be helpful. Take 500 mg of bromelain (if you're not allergic to pineapple) and 500-1,000 mg papain (if you're not allergic to papaya).

It's best to use chewable tablets, since mixing them with saliva is important to their effect. Take bromelain and/or papaya 3 times a day. They essentially tenderize the parasites, loosening them up for removal.

On day 4, take a laxative. Since I'm into herbal therapies, I'd give a child elecampane (no more than 1,000 mg at a time, and not on a school day) or as an adult I'd take quasia bark (no more than 2,000 mg at a time), no more than 3 doses a day. Any laxative will have a beneficial effect at this point. Just avoid tansy oil and santonin crystals, because they're toxic.

The defecation stimulated by the laxative expels pinworms.The thing is, once you've expelled your worms, or your child has expelled his or her worms, don't get reinfected! Day 4 is the time you need to be especially careful with all bathroom hygiene. Washing hands is essential!

And, in general, these rules help for preventing reinfection:

Don't spread the disease. Defecate in a toilet. Disinfect the toilet seat after use by family member who has pinworms with a disposable cleaning wipe. Wear gloves when you clean the toilet.

Avoid using the same sheets and pillowcases used by an infected person.

Don't reuse towels without washing them.

Keep toothbrushes in cases to avoid infecting them.

Anyone with a pinworm infection needs to wear tight-fitting underwear at all times to prevent accumulation of eggs in visible layers of clothing.

Wrap disposable diapers before throwing them away.

If pinworms recur, treat everyone in the household at the same time. Try super-heating the house (with all people, pets, and plants outside) to 95 degrees F (35 degrees C) for 24 hours to kill the eggs.

Always wash hands before preparing food.And if your child is observing good hygiene, it doesn't hurt for them to have playmates. The essential thing is that children don't infect each other with dirty hands.

You may also be interested in:
Rats and Disease. This article is a must for protecting your family if you have problems with rodent control.
Repairing the Nutritional Damage Left by Pinworms

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