Tapeworm Infection

Tapeworm infection can cause mineral imbalance, thyroid issues, intestinal gas, high or low blood sugar, bloat, jaundice, and fluid retention during the full moon

Common TapewormCommon all over the world, tapeworms are long, flat, ribbon-like critters. Humans are a ready host, but usually there is what is known as an “intermediate host” that is a necessary part of the parasite’s development.

The individual species of this trouble maker is most often named according to its intermediate host. Occasionally, humans can be both host AND intermediate host, known as cystircercosis (bladderworms), sometimes called self infection. This is a pretty serious condition, because there is no natural built-in feature to stop the cycle.

Tapeworms don’t have a digestive system of their own; they absorb (YOUR) nutrients through their skin. They normally live in the intestinal tract, where they “eat” the nutritional components you have so kindly broken down for them, and leave their wastes for your body to take care of.

Kind of like the sort of inconsiderate house guests who eat your food and borrow your things (some of which invariably get broken), then leave their dirty laundry and other garbage around for you to clean up. Then, if that wasn’t bad enough, they want you to pick up their kids and take care of them for awhile – say – indefinitely.

People with tapeworm infection may feel toxic or dizzy, have high or low blood sugar, “brain fog,” hunger pains, abdominal cramps, poor digestion, allergies, even sensitive to touch. They may have pernicious anemia, because tapeworms tend to rob the host’s B vitamins.

[B’s are important to the iron assimilation process. With anemia, there is usually not enough iron in the diet; with pernicious anemia, there should be enough iron, but a lack of B12 and Folic Acid keeps the body from proper iron absorption]

Having to deal with all the wastes that are created by a tapeworm infection is called “verminous intoxication.”

Beef Tapeworm – very common in the US, but also found worldwide, beef tapeworm (Taenia saginata) is one of humanity’s most widespread of tape parasites. Cattle, the intermediate hosts, ingest the parasite eggs on grasses. The larval stage develops in the cow’s muscle tissue, and is spread to humans through undercooked or raw beef.

Cook your meat through, especially if you don’t know the source.
This worm can grow to a length of four to eight feet. About 1 % of American cattle are infected, and most cattle are not effectively inspected for this worm. To top it off, inspectors are estimated to miss 25% of these infections.

Bladder worm – When people become infected with the larval stage of the Pork Tapeworm, it is called cistircercosis, or Bladder worm. This juvenile stage of the worm can cause a small or large cyst in various organs or systems, including the heart and other muscles, eyes, liver, and the spine and brain. The cysts cause irritation, and can be the cause of allergic response.

Broad Fish TapewormDiphyllobothrium latum is the largest of human tapeworms, growing up to 30 feet in length. This tapeworm infection is usually acquired by eating raw or undercooked fish. If you eat sushi, be sure to eat lots of wasabi and ginger with it. These traditional condiments help your body to keep the parasite levels down.

Dog Tapeworm – Common in dogs and cats everywhere, Dipylidium caninum is also common in children. The intermediate host is the flea or louse; humans are the final host, becoming infected through ingestion of the flea or louse containing the tapeworm larvae. Children will grind their teeth while asleep, and show other sleep disturbances; also digestive disturbance.

Dwarf TapewormHymenolepsis nana is only a few centimeters long, but is quite common. The eggs can develop in grain beetles and other insects, so grains can be the vehicle, and the most likely means of human infection.

It needs no intermediate host, so self infection is relatively easy in cases of poor personal hygiene (eggs pass out of the body through the feces).

Pork Tapeworm – Pigs are the primary intermediate hosts of Taenia solium, but people can be both the intermediate AND final host, resulting in a dangerous condition known as self infection (See “Bladder worm” above).

The tiny eggs can be ingested in contaminated food (especially raw or undercooked pork), water, or soil, or through hand to mouth contact. Pork tapeworms can grow as long as 10 feet in the intestines.

Rat Tapeworm – Similar to the Dwarf tapeworm, only larger, up to 3 feet long. The intermediate host of Hymenolepsis diminuta is the grain beetle or flour moth, so infection is most likely through eating contaminated grain. Rats are usually the final host, but occasionally that honor goes to humans.

As with other types of infections, a low functioning or impaired immune system can allow tapeworm infection.

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