The early and late symptoms of tapeworms

In an episode in Season 3 of House MD, there an episode that revolved around a girl who can’t feel pain due to Congenital Insensitivity to Pain with Anhidrosis (CIPA). The odd thing was that the girl complained of stomach pains. Who would have guessed that they were symptoms of tapeworm? The really shocking thing is that the tapeworm grew to about 25 feet long and was sucking the life out of the girl.

Fiction or not, this episode of the TV show reflected, and at some point magnified, the harm that tapeworms can do to a human being. They indeed suck the life out of their hosts. Ever wonder why your kid is not growing or not performing as well as he used to in school? These creepy flat-headed worms are sucking almost all the nutrients they take in. Not to mention that they also cause major discomfort.

Aside from absorbing most of the food its host takes in, tapeworms are also responsible for several abdominal and digestive illnesses. One particular example is diarrhea which we all know can lead to dehydration and can truly drain one’s body. Another disease which could be viewed as one of the symptoms of tapeworm is anemia. Why? Draining the body’s nutrients triggers a drop in hemoglobin.

Further intestinal infections cause by tapeworms can leave its host fairly weak and may even lose the appetite to replenish the lost fuel for the body. It is in this state where the patient will constantly opt for bed rest as he/she does not have the necessary energy to deal with everyday tasks. Of course, it follows that a person eating nothing is inevitably going to lose weight drastically.

In serious cases, tapeworms can cause tumors and cysts which could deal damage to a host’s organs and thus, leading to several more complications. Depending on the affected organ, the host can suffer from an array of symptoms of tapeworm infection like seizures, allergic reactions and fever. It can also lead the host open to bacterial infection as his/her immune system is lowered at such state.

If left unchecked, the tapeworm infection can elevate to the brain causing a condition called neurocysticerosis. This is when the tapeworms actually invade the brain. The worse part is that it may take years for the symptoms for show and by the time that it is detected, the tapeworms will already have propagated in number and have already obstructed neurological functions.

Deadly as they are, symptoms of tapeworm rarely show and by the time they do, adequate damage is already dealt. So as much as possible, it is advised to secure that the food served in the table and the water for drinking should be clean. Another important note is to avoid letting children play in soil. As you may or may not know, soil is a haven for tapeworm eggs.

For people who are already infected, it is advisable to look for tapeworm medication. Most can be bought over the counter or online. The common forms of these meds are in tablets or capsules and they are taken orally.