Elephantiasis: Case Study

Good Essays
Elephantiasis Unit 3 Case Study 1 Jessica Beadles Dr. Stephen Brown Anatomy and Physiology 2 7/07/2013

Abstract With this case study, I am presenting to the class the medical condition called Elephantiasis. Included in this presentation is a definition of the disease, early symptoms, treatment options and known preventative measures that can be taken to protect yourself from this horrible condition that alters the active daily living activities of a little over a billion people, worldwide. Definition Elephantiasis is the end stage lesion of filariasis; characterized by extensive swelling usually of the external genitalia and legs. It is usually the end symptom of filarial worms present for years which block the lymph nodes. Signs, Symptoms and Affected Population Elephantiasis is a growing endemic that is mostly affecting the tropical countries where insects are a huge problem. In most other climates the insect population is killed off almost completely with the colder temperatures especially frozen temperatures, hence why there are no bugs in Antarctica. In tropical areas insects live to grow and mature all year round which offers them uninterrupted life cycles and makes the disease infected insects so much harder to eradicate. Elephantiasis is caused by a couple of different things such as the bite of a mosquito, or that of a biting fly infected either of which is infected with a worm parasite. What this worm parasite does is it works its way into the body and causes a blockage that interrupts the regular lymphatic system flow. When this blockage happens, the lymph gets backed up in the upper, lower or genitalia extremity regions of the infected individual causing an abnormal accumulation of watery fluid in the tissues, better known as severe edema. The skin of the affected tissue area can become darker than the rest of the body, and grow in thickness. Sometimes the enlarged extremity or genitalia region can



References: MedlinePlus - Health Information from the National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved July 7, 2013, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ Mosby, Inc (2013). Mosby 's dictionary of medicine, nursing & health professions (9th ed.). St. Louis, Mo: Elsevier/Mosby.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Satisfactory Essays

    Elephantiasis

    • 150 Words
    • 1 Page

    Filariasis is a parasitic disease caused by the species of the super family Filariodia. Elephantiasis is a common symptom of filariasis that causes thickening of the skin. The word elephantiasis is represented and accurate term for the syndrome it describes: the enlargement of the arms, legs, or genitals to elephantoid size. True elephantiasis is the result of a parasitic infection caused by three specific kinds of round worms they are Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, and Brugia. timori. The…

    • 150 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Elephantiasis

    • 474 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Elephantiasis Description Lymphatic filariasis is commonly known as Elephantiasis. It is the enlargement of the legs, arms, genitals. According to Webster’s dictionary elephantiasis is a disease of the skin, in which it becomes enormously thickened, and is rough, hard, and fissured, like an elephant hide. This is cause by three different parasite infections from round worms: Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, and Brugia timori. The worms block the lymphatic system- a system network of channels…

    • 474 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Elephantiasis

    • 267 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Elephantiasis is a condition characterized by gross enlargement of an area of the body, especially the limbs. Other areas commonly affected include the external genitals. Elephantiasis is caused by obstruction of the lymphatic system, which results in the accumulation of a fluid called lymph in the affected areas. Functioning as part of the immune system, the lymphatic system helps to protect the body against infection and disease. It consists of a network of tubular channels (lymph vessels)…

    • 267 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Elephantiasis

    • 332 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Affecting the Lymphatic System ELEPHANTIASIS Elephantiasis is usually caused by obstructions in the lymphatic system. It causes a swelling in the skin and tissues, generally in the lower trunk and the legs. It is most likely seen in the legs and genitals, causing baggy, thick and ulcerated skin, accompanied by fever and chills. Limbs can swell so much that they will resemble an elephants front leg in size, texture and even color. Elephantiasis has two main forms. Lymphatic filariasis…

    • 332 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    “Lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is a painful and profoundly disfiguring disease. While the infection is usually acquired in childhood, its visible manifestations occur later in life, causing temporary or permanent disability. In endemic countries, lymphatic filariasis has a major social and economic impact” (Organization). “The disease is caused by three species of thread-like nematode worms, known as filariae – Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi and Brugia timori. Male…

    • 796 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Elephantiasis Anatomy and Physiology II Breckenridge School of Nursing- ITT Tech 4/11/2014 Elephantiasis is a tropical disease caused by a parasite that enlarges the limbs (arms and/or legs) to elephantoid size. “Three kinds of round worms cause elephantiasis filariasis: Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, and Brugia timori. Of these three, W. bancrofti makes up about 90% of the cases. Man is the only known host of W. bancrofti.” (Medical Dictionary) These worms block the lymphatic…

    • 344 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    disease is Elephantiasis. The enlargement of the limbs and other areas of the bodies are caused by obstruction of lymph flow and possibly blood circulation. The blockage can be due to recurrent attacks of a bacterial infection which causes inflammation of the lymphatic vessels. This continues and causes swelling, then without medical help the problem gets worse and becomes extremely enlarged. The death of surrounding tissues may also occur from an obstructed blood supply. Elephantiasis is characterized…

    • 489 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Elephantiasis is a rare disease that causes enlargement of the limbs, and sometimes other body parts. It is caused by a blockage in the vessels of the lymphatic system. Those infected with the disease often spend their lives disable and in tremendous pain. In the following pages, I will discuss the exact causes of the disease and its symptoms. Also, I will discuss what measures can be taken to treat and prevent the disease. Elephantiasis is a disease that affects the lymphatic system. In the lymphatic…

    • 923 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    ELEPHANTIASIS OVERVIEW 2 Elephantiasis Overview As a home health assistant I came across a patient with a rare disease to which I was unaware of what it was. I had never seen anything like it before. This man was in his sixties and had lived with his parents. On my first day I had started giving him a bath. I had bathed his entire upper body and was ready to move to his lower half. He had these giant foam looking boots on. At the time I assumed it was a health reason that he had to wear them…

    • 454 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    filariasis, which is more commonly known as elephantiasis. Elephantiasis is the late phase of filariasis. Filariasis is a tropical mosquito born parasitic disease causing obstruction of the lymph vessels. In some people the presence of the worm causes a tissue reaction that causes the lymph flow to be blocked. This blockage produces lymphedema which is a swelling and can eventually lead to a tremendous enlargement of an extremity or organ. When elephantiasis follows repeated infection, parts of…

    • 354 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays