There is no doubt that you have probably heard people joke about tapeworms, especially when people eat a lot of food and continue to lose a lot of weight. The main thing that you could be wondering is how you would know if you really do have a tapeworm. Here, we will take a closer look at everything that you need to know about tapeworm infections, including the symptoms and treatment.
Who is Susceptible to a Tapeworm Infection?
It is safe to say that just about anybody can get a tapeworm infection. However, there are certain risk factors which may greatly increase your chances of developing a tapeworm. One of the main risk factors of developing a tapeworm infection is meat or fish that is either raw or undercooked. Another one of the main risk factors of developing tapeworm infection is living in or visiting an underdeveloped country which has sanitation problems, specifically those that do not properly manage the disposal of human feces.
Are There Any Symptoms of a Tapeworm Infection?
Many people who have a tapeworm do not even realize that they have been infected. One of the main reasons is because the most common symptoms of tapeworm infection are nausea or abdominal pain, both of which are often mistaken as either natural or as a sign of another type of illness or condition. Diarrhea is another very common symptom of a tapeworm infection. There are certain very serious complications that can occur within those who experience tapeworm infections, such as seizures, neurology problems, obstruction of the appendix, pancreas problems, and more.
How is a Tapeworm Infection Diagnosed?
The main thing that you are probably wondering is how a tapeworm infection is diagnosed. When symptoms which could be related to a tapeworm infection, as well as risk factors, are reported to a doctor, he or she will typically decide to take a stool sample. In order to be considered positive for a tapeworm infection, it is important for the stool to show signs of tapeworm eggs or segments. There will often be further testing, to find out exactly what type of tapeworm species is present in the body – as there is more than one type of tapeworm that can infect a human.
What Treatment is Available for a Tapeworm Infection?
There are a variety of different types of drugs which are known to be effective for a tapeworm infection. One of the types of drugs that is known to be the most effective in order to get rid of the tapeworm infection is praziquantel, or Biltricide. It has shown to be over 90% effective in treating a variety of different types tapeworm infections, with minimal or no side effects. The most important thing, no matter what treatment is used, is that the head and neck regions of the tapeworm are killed.
As you can see, there is much to know about tapeworm infections. If you think that there is a possibility that you may have been infected by a tapeworm, it is important to visit your doctor immediately. While it is not likely for there to be any serious risks involved when you have a tapeworm infection, it is quite possible for a tapeworm infection to occur.