Dead liver flukes in stool pictures the infection caused by liver flukes and the relevant medical tests show this. How does this type of infection occur? You will get the whole idea here.
The Infection of Liver Fluke:
Liver flukes refer to parasites that can infect humans. These parasites cause several diseases like liver and bile duct disease in humans.
Mostly ingestion of contaminated raw or undercooked freshwater fish or watercress cause a liver fluke infection. After liver flukes ingestion, they travel from your intestines to the bile ducts. Then they live and grow in your liver.
Indeed, some individuals who are infected with certain viruses or other pathogens may not show any symptoms, while others may experience symptoms related to the biliary system. The biliary system is the system of organs and ducts that produce, store, and transport bile, which is important for the digestion and absorption of fats.
Liver fluke infections are most common in parts of Asia, including China, Vietnam, and Thailand, as well as in parts of South America and Africa. In these regions, the parasites are often found in freshwater fish and other aquatic animals that are commonly eaten raw or undercooked. Travelers to these regions should take precautions to avoid infection, such as avoiding raw or undercooked fish and shellfish and drinking only bottled or boiled water.
Symptoms and side Effects:
It is true that in the short term, liver fluke infection can cause a range of symptoms and side effects, including:
- Abdominal pain: The parasites can cause inflammation and damage to the liver and bile ducts, leading to abdominal pain and discomfort.
- Fever: In response to the infection, the body may develop a fever to help fight off the parasites.
- Nausea and vomiting: These symptoms can occur due to the inflammation and damage to the digestive system caused by the parasites
- Diarrhea: Liver fluke infection can cause diarrhea due to the disruption of the digestive system:
- Hives: Some individuals may experience an allergic reaction to the parasites, leading to the development of hives.
- Malaise: This refers to a general feeling of discomfort, fatigue, or unease that can occur with any illness.
- Decreased appetite and weight loss: Liver fluke infection can cause a decrease in appetite and weight loss due to the disruption of the digestive system and the body’s immune response.
In rare cases, heavy liver fluke infections can lead to complications such as:
- Stone formation: The parasites can cause inflammation and scarring in the bile ducts, which can lead to the formation of stones that can block the flow of bile.
- Recurrent infections of the biliary system: In some cases, liver fluke infection can cause recurrent infections of the bile ducts and liver.
- Cholangiocarcinoma: This is a type of cancer that can develop in the bile ducts as a result of chronic inflammation and damage caused by the parasites. It is a rare but serious complication of liver fluke infection.
The Life Cycle of A Liver Fluke:
The adult liver flukes settle in the small bile ducts and can live there for 20 to 30 years. They can cause obstruction and inflammation, which can lead to symptoms such as abdominal pain, jaundice, and fever. In some cases, the chronic inflammation caused by the parasites can increase the risk of developing liver cancer.
After several months, the adult liver flukes begin to produce eggs, which are then passed out of the body in the feces. These eggs can contaminate water sources, where they can infect snails, which are an intermediate host for the parasites. The infected snails then release cercariae, which is the infectious stage of the parasite, into the water. When humans or other animals come into contact with contaminated water, they can become infected with liver flukes.
- Medication or surgery
- Other treatments
Here are some preventive measures that can help reduce the risk of liver fluke infection:
- Avoid consuming raw or undercooked fish, shellfish, and watercress as they may be contaminated with the liver fluke parasite.
- Practice good hygiene, such as washing hands before eating and after using the toilet.
- Avoid drinking untreated water or water from an unknown source.
- Avoid using contaminated equipment such as knives, cutting boards, and utensils while preparing food.
- Seek medical attention immediately if you experience symptoms of liver fluke infection, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and jaundice.
It’s also important to note that livestock, such as sheep and cattle, can also carry the liver fluke parasite. Therefore, farmers and veterinarians should take precautions to prevent their animals from getting infected, which can in turn reduce the risk of human infection.
Medication or Surgery:
The most common drug used to treat liver fluke infection is triclabendazole, which is usually given orally in one or two doses. This drug is highly effective and can eradicate the liver fluke parasite from the body.
In some cases, a short course of corticosteroids may be prescribed to treat acute symptoms of the infection, such as inflammation.
If the infection leads to complications such as cholangitis or the formation of gallstones, surgery may be required to remove the affected tissues or stones.
It’s important to seek medical attention promptly if you suspect that you may have a liver fluke infection. Early treatment can help prevent complications and improve the chances of a full recovery.
Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is an herbal supplement that has been used traditionally for a variety of health conditions, including infections. However, there is currently no clinical evidence to support the use of goldenseal specifically for liver fluke infection.
Parasite cleanses and colonic irrigation involve using various supplements, herbs, or other substances to flush the digestive tract and eliminate parasites. However, there is little scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of these treatments, and they may even be harmful if not used properly.
It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before using any alternative treatments for liver fluke infection or other health conditions. They can guide the safety and effectiveness of different treatments and help you make an informed decision about your care.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be used to relieve abdominal pain and reduce fever associated with liver fluke infection. Anti-nausea medications may also be prescribed to reduce nausea and vomiting.
However, it’s important to seek medical attention and get a proper diagnosis if you suspect that you may have a liver fluke infection. Treatment with medication such as triclabendazole is the most effective way to eliminate the parasite and prevent complications from the infection.
Delaying treatment may allow the infection to worsen and increase the risk of long-term complications, including liver damage and an increased risk of liver cancer. So, it’s essential to seek medical attention promptly if you suspect you may have a liver fluke infection.
How to Tell if the Liver Fluke has Passed?
It’s important to follow up with your doctor to confirm that the liver fluke infection has cleared. The only way to definitively diagnose a liver fluke infection is through laboratory testing of stool samples to detect the presence of fluke eggs.
Once you have completed the prescribed course of treatment with triclabendazole or other medications, your doctor may recommend follow-up testing to confirm that the infection has been eradicated. This testing may involve multiple stool samples taken over several weeks to ensure that no fluke eggs are present.
If fluke eggs are still present in your stool, further treatment may be needed to eliminate the infection. It’s essential to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and complete the full course of treatment to ensure that the infection is fully treated and does not return.
Risk Factors of Liver Fluke Infection:
Liver flukes are more common in certain parts of the world, including Southeast Asia, parts of South America, and parts of Africa. People who live in or travel to these areas may be at higher risk of infection. Eating raw or undercooked fish or watercress that has been contaminated with liver fluke larvae is the most common way of becoming infected with liver flukes.
In addition, certain occupations that involve contact with freshwater or consumption of raw fish, such as fishermen or sushi chefs, may be at increased risk of infection.
It’s important to note that liver fluke infections cannot be passed from human to human, but family members who share food may be at risk of infection if the food is contaminated with liver fluke larvae.
If you live in or travel to an area where liver fluke infection is common or if you have consumed raw or undercooked fish or watercress, you should speak with your healthcare provider about getting tested for liver fluke infection. Early detection and treatment can prevent complications and ensure a full recovery.
Opinions for Liver Fluke Infections:
Most people with liver fluke infections respond well to treatment with triclabendazole or other medications, and symptoms typically resolve within a few weeks. However, if left untreated or if there is a delay in diagnosis, liver fluke infections can lead to complications such as cholangitis, cholecystitis, bile duct obstruction, and even bile duct cancer.
It’s important to note that the risk of developing complications from a liver fluke infection is low, but the risk is higher for individuals who have chronic infections or who have had repeated infections over time. Regular check-ups and monitoring are important for individuals who are at higher risk of liver fluke infection, including those who live in or travel to endemic areas or who have jobs that involve contact with freshwater or consumption of raw fish.
Overall, with early detection, appropriate treatment, and careful monitoring, the outlook for liver fluke infections is good, and most people can expect to make a full recovery.