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There are several medical conditions that can be caused by the presence of liver parasites. Symptoms and treatment options are similar for each type, although there may be some differences. Some of the most common symptoms include abdominal pain, jaundice, and weight loss. Muscle pain, fever, and diarrhea are also potential symptoms of parasites in the liver.
Trichinosis is a disease that can lead to the development of liver parasites. This disease is frequently caused by eating undercooked meat from an animal infected with the trichinella spiralis parasite. These symptoms often include abdominal cramping or pain, diarrhea, and muscle pain. The muscle pain associated with this condition is usually the most noticeable when performing actions such as chewing or breathing.
Clonorchiasis is another potential cause of liver parasites. This disease results from eating raw or undercooked fish obtained from an area where this parasitic worm is found. Symptoms of this condition may include chills, fever, and loss of appetite. Jaundice, or a yellowing of the skin and eyes, sometimes develops due to this condition, as does diarrhea. Liver damage or failure may occur in severe cases.
Schistomiasis can lead to infection with liver parasites and is caused by drinking contaminated water. Symptoms of schistomiasis often include fever, chills, and the development of a rash. Some people may have an enlarged spleen, liver, and lymph nodes. Bloody stools and painful urination may also occur with this condition.
Fasciola hepatica infections produce symptoms in only about half of the people who become infected. These parasites can lead to fever, abdominal pain or tenderness, and diarrhea. Other possible symptoms include anemia, hives, or jaundice. If left untreated, this parasite can lead to liver failure or even death.
Echinococcosis is caused by a type of parasite known as a tapeworm. These liver parasites can live in the body for prolonged periods of time without causing any noticeable symptoms. In some cases, cysts develop in one or more organs of the body, often growing quite large in size. In rare cases, tumors may begin to grow in various organs of the body, including the brain. This type of parasitic infection can be fatal if left untreated.
Many liver parasites cause similar symptoms and can be fatal if left untreated. For this reason, prompt medical attention is necessary any time that the presence of liver parasites is suspected. Early diagnosis and treatment can frequently prevent any lasting damage to the liver as well as other organs of the body.