TapeWorm - Information and Treatments
What are TapeWorms?
Tapeworms are parasites that usually live in the intestines. Most people with tapeworms are unaware of it because it might not show any symptoms. Tapeworms feeds off of food in the hosts digestive system and can grow to a very long size such as 15 to 30 feet in length. They are called "tape" worm because they are flat and long and look like a measuring tape.
Tapeworms can occur in both humans and animals. Tapeworm occurs in humans in two different forms - ingested as tapeworm eggs or ingested as tapeworm larvae.
If you ingest tapeworm eggs, they usually develop into larvae and may move out of the intestines to other tissues such as the liver and lungs and form cysts where they may cause serious health problems. And if you ingest tapeworm larvae, they usually grow into adult tapeworms in the intestinesand causes few or no physical symptoms.
A tapeworm infection that is restricted to the intestines is easily treated with oral medications, usually with only one dosage. Sometimes you might need to take multiple dosage to completely remove the worms that may have hatched from eggs that was not removed with prior dosages. However, when the tapeworm migrates to other parts of the body, the treatment is more difficult and if left untreated, it can be life-threatening.
Read on to learn more about the causes, symptoms and treatment of tapeworm infection. A tapeworm infection can be a serious threat to your health if they move outside the intestine and worst of all they are just very ugly and you don't want them living inside you.
Image Source: University of Washington
Symptoms of Tapeworm Infection
In many cases, they are no signs or symptoms associated with tapeworm infection. Most people won't even know that they have tapeworm in their body.
Signs and symptoms of intestinal infection
If you have an intestinal tapeworm infection, the chances are you will never even know it unless you happen to notice a segment of an adult tapeworm excreting out with your stool when you visit the toilet. In rare cases, an adult tapeworm may even move up your intestine and stomach and pop its ugly head out of your mouth. I have actually seen this happen to a young student in my school.
Other possible signs and symptoms include:
=> Loss of appetite
=> Weakness and fatigue
=> Abdominal pain
=> Diarrhea and rectal itching
=> Weight loss and inadequate absorption of nutrients from food
Signs and symptoms of invasive infection
Unfortunately, If tapeworm larvae move out of your intestine and form cysts in other tissues of your body, the symptoms are more serious. Symptoms of invasive tapeworm infection include:
=> Cystic masses or lumps
=> Allergic reactions
=> Bacterial infections
=> Neurological symptoms or seizures if the brain is involved
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Causes of Tapeworm Infections
There are several tapeworm species that cause the tapeworm disease in humans. The pork tapeworm, beef tapeworm, dwarf tapeworm and fish tapeworm are all capable in creating a tapeworm infection in humans.
You basically get tapeworm infection by ingesting tapeworm eggs or larvae.
Humans ingest tapeworm eggs through contaminated water, food and soil. These sources can be contaminated by human or animal feces and when we eat these contaminated items, we ingest the tapeworm eggs,
Humans ingest tapeworm larvae by eating fish or meat that have tapeworm larvae cysts in their meat or muscles tissue. Meats that are raw or undercooked may still carry the larvae cysts that are not destroyed with proper cooking. Once ingested, the larvae will grow into adult tapeworms in the intestines.
The most common tapeworm infection in the world is of the dwarf tapeworm as they can also be transmitted from humans to humans. Dwarf tapeworm are also the only type of tapeworm that can turn from an egg to larvae to an adult tapeworm - its entire life-cycle - in a single host.
Many people also re-infect themselves with tapeworm while they are being treated for tapeworm infections. This happens when you have bad hygiene habits and don't wash your hands after you use the toilet. Tapeworm may shed eggs into your stool and may get onto your hands and eventually unknowingly ingested back in.
Watch a Tapeworm in action inside the body
Tapeworm Infection Poll
Have you ever been infected by tapeworms before?
Prevention and Treatment of Tapeworm Infections
Remove Tapeworm from your body
To prevent tapeworm infection:
=> Observe good hygiene habits. One should always wash their hands thoroughly with soap after visiting the toilet or after handling food and soil.
=> Prepare your food properly. Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat. Thoroughly wash and cook all your fruits and vegetables with clean water before consumption..
=> Properly dispose off human and animal feces to avoid exposure of tapeworm eggs by both humans and animals.
=> Promptly treat family members and pets infected with tapeworms.
There are many medications that can be bought at the pharmacy that will kill adult tapeworms in the intestine. These medications are toxic to the tapeworms and can kill them off quite easily. Biltricide is a common medicine recommended for the treatment of tapeworm infection.
that help kills tapeworms.
A mixture of pumpkin seeds, papaya seeds, papaya pulp, and unsweetened organic yogurt is also said to help with the treatment of tapeworm infestation. It is recommended to chew a small amount of this mixture throughout the day. Drinking glycerine and pepsin in hot water before any meal will also help treat the tapeworm infection.
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