What are the effects from tapeworms

Tapeworms can sometimes be very dangerous, and if you have reason to believe that you or someone you know has a tapeworm infection, you should consult a doctor immediately. There are many different types of tapeworms, and unfortunately, most of them do not cause any obvious problems to the host. Tapeworm symptoms are typically mild and rather vague, and it is therefore very difficult to make a diagnosis. Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss, are some of the symptoms of a tapeworm infection - as you can see, all these are also symptoms of numerous other digestive problems, and the infection may therefore go untreated for a long time. Some types of tapeworm infections may also cause headaches, and this is one symptom which most people and even many doctors would not immediately associate with a parasitic infection. The only symptom that is promptly associated with intestinal worms is itching around the anus, although this too could have other causes.

A tapeworm infection is usually the result of consuming food that has not been properly cooked, as a result of which you may end up consuming live tapeworm larvae. The larvae soon grow into adult worms, and cause the symptoms described.

There are several different types of tapeworm, the main ones being the pork tapeworm, beef tapeworm, fish tapeworm, and the dwarf or rat tapeworm. Of these, the pork tapeworm is probably the most dangerous, as it can attack the central nervous system. This infection is actually caused by the tapeworm larvae rather than the worm itself, and is known as cysticercosis. The larvae can reach and attack muscles in the body too, causing swelling, fever, and even atrophy of the muscle, although in most cases they cause no symptoms at all. If the larvae attack the central nervous system, they can cause headaches, seizures, and even death. The larvae can also attack the eyes, causing hemorrhaging and affecting vision. Fortunately, the beef tapeworm, the fish tapeworm, and the dwarf tapeworm are not usually this dangerous.

In some cases, tapeworms may emerge from the body and become visible to the naked eye, however in many other cases they can only be detected by lab tests, such as a stool test. There is no home remedy or over the counter treatment either, which is why medical attention is a must. If only the digestive system is affected, praziquantel is usually prescribed, but if the nervous system is affected, more aggressive treatment may be needed, including corticosteroids and surgery.

answered by G M

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