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TapeWorm - Information and Treatments

Updated on February 27, 2013

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

Tapeworm

Tapeworm
Tapeworm

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

certain information excerpted from MayoClinic.com

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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?

See results

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.

A diet of only raw pineapples for 4 days can also help you get rid of tapeworms. You should properly juice the pineapple along with its skin as they contain Bromelain

that help kills tapeworms.

Garlic is also very effective in eliminating tapeworm from the body. Eating raw garlic or garlic capsules daily will help with tapeworm eradication.

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.

TapeWorm Medication and Guide - recommended products on Amazon

Click on any product to get more recommendations.

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Please share your personal experience on dealing with tapeworms here with other readers.

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    • profile image

      tabitha-hickerson-5 3 years ago

      I have no money for tape worms for my pets and they sleep in the same bed as we do and I need help getting rid of this tape worms can anybody help us please thank you anybody for your help.am on ssi and I don't have

      no money to treat this

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      My wife is infested with tapeworm. It was really horrible and terrifying to see segments of tapeworms coming out with her stool. She has been treated several times with Neclosamide and albandazole after consulting with Dr. But still, she could not gt rid of it. I have come up with worm Dr while browsing through Google. But, I could not have good track as to get the medicine, since I am from Asia and the distance is quite long. Can any one suggest me the proper channel to get the medicine.

    • kabbalah lm profile image

      kabbalah lm 4 years ago

      I hope I never have these

    • BLemley profile image

      Beverly Lemley 4 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      As gross as this is, I hda tapeworms as a kid, 50 years ago. I can still remember my parents begging me to take that horrible tasting medicine! Thanks for a terrific lens ~ Squidangel Blessed! B : )

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 4 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      I remember seeing a TV program recently where a young girl 'bought' this diet thing and it turned out to be a tapeworm...she was suitably horrified when it was extracted! YUK. Great information here

    • profile image

      GabrielaFargasch 4 years ago

      That is some scary stuff! Yikes!! Nice informative page!

    • neotony profile image

      neotony 4 years ago

      i once thought i had tapeworms but turned out i didn't. i wish i had this lens to learn from so i wouldn't have to worry unnecessarily. thank you for the the information about the garlic capsules!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Returning to marvel at this amazing information on tapeworms, I always feel a little uncomfortable when I see that video but they certainly move along smoothly and look all white and clean.

    • WBJanitorial LM profile image

      WBJanitorial LM 5 years ago

      Holy mother of ....!! I heard of tapeworms but had no idea. They grow up to 30 feet and can be life threatening!! This is a shock. What a lens!!!

    • profile image

      cassieann 5 years ago

      I've heard about tapeworms before but never actually read too much about them. All I can say is - eeewwwww. Nice lens though.

    • profile image

      moonlitta 5 years ago

      Great information resource! I remember studying for tapeworms in biology classes, and they made me feel really frightened- I guess it's when I started taking hands washing and play with animals seriously.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      great lens ;)

    • JenwithMisty profile image

      Jen withFlash 5 years ago

      30 feet.. WOW!! Interesting lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Good thing to keep them away!

    • NightMagic profile image

      NightMagic 5 years ago

      Good lens. It was good to see the symptoms listed along with natural remedies.

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 5 years ago from Sweden

      Ugly parasite! I have heard about it and shiver.

    • cgbroome profile image

      cgbroome 5 years ago

      Scary little buggers. I hope I never ever see one for real...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      very informative lens, I hope I never have to deal with these

    • sunlightseer profile image

      sunlightseer 5 years ago

      Disturbing but very informative lens...yuck, but thanks.

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 5 years ago

      EEWww. That's what I think of tapeworms!

    • profile image

      Echo Phoenix 5 years ago

      I have been fortunate but I know others who have had to battle this. thanks for the information:)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I hope I never have to deal with these or any intestinal worms! Yuck! Great lens though! :)

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      Hope I never have to deal with those little monsters.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      This is something I hope I never have to deal with.

    • profile image

      fish-oil-expert 5 years ago

      Can you believe some people would intentionally swallow a tape worm to lose weight? Gross!

      (lol, the captcha image below says "goopworm")

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 5 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      Nasty problem. I hope I'll never have to use the info from this lens. Thanks for sharing!

    • Mary Crowther profile image

      Mary Crowther 5 years ago from Havre de Grace

      Interesting stuff here! I never knew much about the tapeworm.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I remember hearing of tapeworm diet pills years ago, just can't imagine doing that! Well done!

    • NightMagic profile image

      NightMagic 6 years ago

      Good lens and good info.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 6 years ago from Ljubljana

      Interesting lens. Parasites are so amazing! Thanks for sharing:)

    • profile image

      promotional-coupons-codes 6 years ago

      Most informative article about tapeworm. The video is so clear. Thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      dellgirl 6 years ago

      Great lens, as usual. Very informative. 5***** thumbs up and all the other good stuff.

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 6 years ago

      Great lens! - well done!

    • garyrh1 profile image

      garyrh1 6 years ago

      Hah. I've never seen a tape worm before. It looks like a shoelace to me.

    • jvsper63 profile image

      jvsper63 6 years ago

      Thank you for making this lens. I have cats. You have some great resources and information in here. Just thinking about parasites living in me, or worse my daughter, who is pregnant, really terrifies me I am very clean, especially with the litter while my daughter is pregnant! Well done lens!!

    • Charmcrazey profile image

      Wanda Fitzgerald 6 years ago from Central Florida

      I really thought tapeworms were for dogs. This is more than I ever wanted to know but it's an important subject so well worth reading. Blech!

    • jackieb99 profile image

      jackieb99 6 years ago

      Scary! I hope I don't get one!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Yikes!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      Fantastic lens on this important subject. I am intrigued at pineapple being a cure for this parasite. Fasting on it for 3 days is a bit hard though. Infestations must cause havoc among people who have little access to clean water and where hand washing is not a normal act. Featured this on Health in Pets.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 6 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      really a important subject and explained well. information in this lens is very useful.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      I hear people joke about how great these are for losing weight. I never thought it was a good idea, but they should see that picture you showed. Oh my!

    • snazzy lm profile image

      snazzy lm 6 years ago

      Those picture make me feel ill. I had no idea tapeworms could survive in the body other than the intestines. Yuck!

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 7 years ago

      Yuck. I hope I never get that. But this is important info for people to know. Blessed by a SquidAngel:)

    • Dee Gallemore profile image

      Dee Gallemore 7 years ago

      Wow . . . a very informative lens. Well done!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Excellent Lens. 5*

      If you get a chance check out my Instant Stress Management lens.

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :)

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      RuthCoffee 8 years ago

      ewww...I think I may have bad dreams after watching the video. Good lens, it's certainly valuable information and presented effectively!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      It's hard to imagine a tape worm growing 15 to 30 feet. Great source of information.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      This Tapeworm Lens is a must read. Thank you for posting in the share a fact lens and helping me find this info. I had a friend who swears by Worm Dr. Not because he has tape worms but just for overall health. I hope anyone who is concered will take a look at Worm Dr and see if it is right for them. It's scary to think that you could have a 30 foot tapeworm and not even have any real symptoms.