Symptoms Of Tapeworm

Symptoms Of Tapeworm Infestation Can Vary Significantly

Tapeworms are the largest parasites affecting humans, but symptoms of a tapeworm infestation are not always present. Add the facts that different types of tapeworms can create different symptoms, and most symptoms are easily confused with other disorders, and it soon becomes apparent that detecting whether or not one has tapeworms is not always an easy thing to do.


The very thought of having a tapeworm makes most people shudder, especially knowing that some types can be attain a length of many feet. What is almost scarier is the fact that symptoms of tapeworm infestation are sometimes non-existent, so we don't know if we're playing host to one of these creatures or not. We most often get tapeworms from eating infected meat or fish. The immature tapeworm lives in a cyst in one of the host's organs (a fish, cow, or pig are typical hosts), and remains there until the flesh is eaten by another animal, or in our case, by a human. Once we eat the cyst, it will mature into an adult tapeworm in our body. We can keep this situation from happening by not eating raw or undercooked fish or meat, since it usually isn't possible to easily determine whether the flesh has been infested or not.

Wash Your Hands And Cook Your Food - Eating infested flesh is the most common way to get our personal tapeworm. We can also pick one up from one of our pets. Dogs and cats get tapeworms from infested fleas, and we can get the tapeworm from these same fleas. The eggs, from which a tapeworm life cycle starts, are exceedingly tiny, as are the larvae they develop into. So, it does not take anything much larger than a flea, to carry the larvae which eventually may infect us. Our best defense against the tapeworm is to wash our hands frequently, especially after using the toilet (feces can contain eggs or larvae). Cook fish or meat well. In addition if we purchase fish or meat that has been frozen, it will be free of living tapeworm eggs or larvae. Also, treating pets which have become infected with the worm will also lessen our chances of becoming infected.


Types Of Tapeworms - When you look at the list of common symptoms of tapeworm infestation, it's easy to see where the problem can often be misdiagnosed.  Diarrhea and abdominal pain are the more common symptoms, but are often so mild as not to cause any concern. Other symptoms include, nausea, weakness, and symptoms associated with malnutrition. The fish tapeworm for example, the largest tapeworm to affect humans, often causes no symptoms, but it can consume most or all of our intake of vitamin B12, causing abdominal pain and in extreme cases, symptoms usually associated with anorexia.

Whereas the fish tapeworm can be many feet in length, the dwarf tapeworm is at the other end of the spectrum, seldom exceeding an inch and one half in length. The dwarf tapeworm is often spread by ingesting grain which has come into contact with infected insects or rodents, or infected food handlers. In is uncommon to feel any symptoms of a dwarf tapeworm infestation unless many of them are present. The usual symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal pain, or muscle weakness may surface.

The pork tapeworm is the one which can create the greatest problems for humans. There are usually no symptoms unless this tapeworm is present in large numbers, or as long as it remains in the large intestine. Occasionally the tapeworm larvae will enter the bloodstream and find a home in other organs, including the brain. In such a case the symptoms can become quite severe, and while somewhat rare, can result in death. The beef tapeworm on the other hand, seldom produces symptoms, and often passes out of the body after a brief stay.

Tapeworms Hate Garlic - No matter what type of tapeworm we are talking about, it is a parasite, and lives from the food that we ingest. It's not possible to starve a tapeworm to death. We would certainly starve ourselves to death first if we attempted to do that. Short of prescribed medication, we can sometimes eliminate a tapeworm be eating a food it does not like, such as garlic or onions. Garlic and onions can weaken the tapeworm, causing it to lose its grip, and eventually be eliminated from the body.

If you don't experience any of the symptoms of tapeworm infestation, you probably don't have one. You may never know. Eat plenty of garlic or onions, and should you have one, you may not have it for much longer.