Intestinal worms, including Ascaris, tapeworms, and pinworms, are common parasitic infections that can occur in anyone, but certain risk factors increase the risk, such as swimming in contaminated water, drinking unfiltered water, and poor hygiene. Intestinal worms are easily treated with medication prescribed by a doctor and careful hygiene can prevent the spread of worms within a household
People with intestinal worms may experience digestive changes, including loss of appetite or nausea when presented with food. If a large amount of worms accumulates in the intestines, the intestines can become obstructed, which can result in constipation. Intestinal worms can also cause diarrhea, which may be bloody. Adult worms may also be present in the feces.
Tapeworm infections can cause people to develop abdominal pains and cramping. They might also have muscle aches and weakness when the adult worms migrate through their bodies. People who are biologically female with pinworms may have pain around the genitals and urinary tract, and severe infections can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause chronic pelvic pain.
People infected with the intestinal worm Ascaris may experience difficulty breathing. If the worms invade the lungs, those infected may have a frequent cough. People with Ascaris infections may also experience pain when taking a deep breath and may have difficulty breathing during physical activity or exercise.