Living in the States that too without a family, I mostly end up eating at a restaurant or buying packaged food from the street nearby. Everything seemed alright as I as completing my majors in accountancy and was also working with a pizza shop part time. Money was never an issue but homemade food was. Still, this busy street in boston has all the essentials for your culinary tastes. Of all the things on the menu, pork was my obvious choice. Eating the slices of pork and sometimes picking up chunks became a religion. Never did i realise that my addiction for pork will ultimately cause me so much distress that I would be in this huge mess.
Like any other weekends, I was working at the pizza shack delivering pizzas that I felt this piercing pain in my lower abdomen. The pain was so excruciating and instant that I almost felt like someone has punched me hard in my belly. The next day I was in hospital. The doctor carried an Xray of my intestines and abdomen that showed a tiny almost microbial thread like substance in my small intestines. The next thing I heard was that I have been infested with a parasite called Trichinella. This parasite can live in human body for long causing health issues.
What is Trichinella
You might also wonder what this foreign word Trichinella means and trust me even I had the same doubt. Trichinella is a roundworm that is found on carnivores or animals that feed on meat of other animals. The roundworm is a parasite that is found on pigs, boars, foxes and wild bears. But how did I end up with this worm as I was eating clean cooked pork, that hardly had any chance of infestation with the worm.
What Makes Pork Meat a Risky Proposition
Pigs are rather termed as dirty animals and scavengers that mostly rely on anything that they can find. Farmers mostly leave pigs on their farms to weed out excess dirt and trash. Therefore, these animals feed on even the dirtiest of things including rotten food, faecal, urine and even cancerous products like polythene. Moreover, the digestive system of the pig can digest food within four hours and during this time it becomes impossible to effectively remove all the excessive toxins which then gets stored in fat cells and organs.
Roundworms are also living on pigs get all their nourishment through its skin. To add to this, pigs do not have sweat glands which make the release of toxins from the body impossible. As more and more gets accumulated in the body, this make eating pork a very risky proposition. Also, Trichinosis occur when we eat raw pork meat or uncooked meat.
Manifestations of Trichinella
Though the onset of Trichinella began with severe pain in my lower abdomen, there are still other manifestations that can be related to the disease. These include-:
- Feeling nauseating
- Diarrhea resulting in losing essential nutrients
- Muscle and joint points
- Abdominal cramps often piercing pain
- Difficulty in digestion
- Difficulty in excretion
Even worse, if the roundworms releases larvae in the body, the same can enter into muscle tissues aggravating the situation. When we eat an uncooked pork infested with roundworm, the same enters our digestive tract. The juices and acid in the stomach digests the protective covering of the larvae thus exposing our body to greater risk. The larvae then enters our intestines through which it penetrates the muscle tissues causing various body symptoms. They can then enter the bloodstream where they can live for prolonged periods without being diagnosed. Below are some of the symptoms of larvae entering the body.
- Muscle spasm
- High fever
- Facial swelling and on other body parts as well
- Unexplained allergies and redness of skin
- Irritation in the eye
How to Treat Trichinosis
Depending upon the severity of the condition, the treatment might vary. It is important to consult the doctor if you experience stomach ache post eating pork meat. Anti-parasitic medications are prescribed that provide relief to pains and other debilitating issues. Some of the best known medications include albendazole and mebendazole. In case of inflammation of the skin, anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed.
Though treatment will help resolve the symptoms, the best cure is to avoid eating pork and stick to other healthy options like chicken and seafood.