Tapeworms are thin, elongated parasites. In case of infection, they can cause serious medical issues in humans. Tapeworms can grow up to 20 feet long in humans and animals. Adult Human Tapeworms can grow up to 30 feet and can live in the human body for up to 30 years. They have hooks, spiny structures, or suckers on their head and have flat ribbon like bodies. Usually, people get tapeworm infection by consuming food or drink that has egg or larvae contagion. Generally, undercooked meats are considered a common of this parasitic infection. It is also possible for these worms to remain in the intestines where they will grow with few symptoms. In most cases, tapeworms do not cause symptoms in humans. If they do, intestinal tapeworms might cause weight loss, loss of appetite, pain, weakness and diarrhea. Several people with tapeworm infections do not require treatment, and the tapeworm will be present in the body on its own. Few others may not realize tapeworm infection, since they may not experience any symptoms. On the other hand, if a person is diagnosed with intestinal tapeworm infection, medication will likely be prescribed to eradicate it.
How do tape worms occur in humans?
Tapeworm occurs in people in two different ways:
Swallowed as tapeworm eggs: If tapeworm eggs are swallowed, they generally develop into larvae and may leave the intestines and move to other tissues such as the liver and lungs and form cysts, where they may cause serious health problems.
Swallowed as tapeworm larvae: if swallowed as tapeworm larvae, they normally grow into adult tapeworms in the intestines and causes few or no physical symptoms.
What are the causes of Tapeworms?
A common way one can get tapeworms is by eating raw meat. It is vital to note that the meat is completely cooked before consuming it.
A person can also catch tapeworms by swallowing a flea. It is vital to treat the pets frequently for fleas, mainly during warm months. It is better to vacuum all places where the pets live.
Washing hands often when in public or when handling anything outdoors, making sure the fingernails are clean at all times are very important, as these are the breeding areas for tapeworms.
A few small children pick up tapeworms when playing in the dirt or with their pets outdoors. They then convey the worm to toys, which others can contact through their fingernails.
In case of an intestinal tapeworm infection, eggs and at times tapeworm segments are passed in the stool, where they can be recognized as a tapeworm infection. Nevertheless, they are discharged erratically and the segments may be broken down by the time they pass through the digestive system. As a result, the doctor will check the stool or send samples to a laboratory for testing. A laboratory may use microscopic identification methods to check for eggs or tapeworm segments in the feces. As, the eggs and segments are passed erratically, the lab may need to collect two to three samples eventually to spot the parasite.
Occasionally, eggs are found at the anus. Hence, the doctor may use the "Scotch tape test," in which a section of transparent tape is pressed to the anus to gather eggs for microscopic identification.
In case of tissue-invasive infections, doctor may test the blood for antibodies the body may have generated to fight tapeworm infection. The incidence of these anti-bodies shows the tapeworm infestation. Specific kinds of imaging, such as CT or MRI scans, X-rays or ultrasounds of cysts may propose the diagnosis.
What are the Natural ways to remove tape worms?
Pumpkin seeds: A large amount of pumpkin seeds are crushed into juice and taken.
Peppermint tea: When infection is suspected, drinking peppermint on a daily basis can work as a natural cure for tapeworm.
Pine apple: Eating large amounts of pineapple or drinking a lot of pineapple juice can be effective as a home remedy for tapeworm infections. It is vital to balance the acidity caused with this treatment.
Garlic: If tapeworm infection is suspected, swallowing raw garlic or using garlic in regular diet can serve as a home remedy for intestinal plague.
Wormseeds: It is best to use wormseed tea to search tape worms and remove them.
What are the medications for Intestinal tapeworm?
The general treatment for tapeworm infection involves oral medications that are poisonous to the tapeworm. The drugs that are often used are:
Praziquantel (Biltricide): This attacks the adult tapeworm.
Albendazole (Albenza): This drug is also used at times,
Antimicrobial drug Nitazoxanide (Alinia).
The medication prescribed depends on the species of tapeworm involved and the place of infection. These drugs aim the adult tapeworm and not the eggs. So care should be taken to avoid re-infection.
What are the treatments for Invasive tapeworm infection?
Treating an invasive infection rely on the place and effects of the infection. Some drugs used are:
Anthelmintic drugs: Albendazole (Albenza) drug can shrivel some tapeworm cysts. Doctor may monitor the cysts every so often using imaging studies such as ultrasound or X-ray to ensure the drug is successful.
Anti-inflammatories: If tapeworm cysts are causing swelling or inflammation in a person’s tissues or organs, an anti-inflammatory medication can aid.
Anti-epileptic therapy: If the disease is causing attacks, anti-epileptic medications can cease them.
Shunt placement: A kind of invasive infection can a lead to a condition called ‘hydrocephalus’, caused by excess fluid on the brain. Doctor may suggest placing a permanent shunt, or tube, in the patient’s head to drain the fluid.
Surgery: Whether cysts can be removed surgically rely on their place and symptoms. Tapeworms that develop in the liver, lungs and eyes are usually removed, as they can ultimately intimidate the function of organs.
How to prevent tapeworm infections?
Hands should be properly washed with soap and water before eating or handling food and after using the toilet.
All fruits and vegetables are washed and cooked with safe water before eating.
Cook meat completely at temperatures of at least 125 F (52 C) to kill tapeworm eggs or larvae.
Meat should be freezed for at least 12 hours and fish for at least 24 hours to kill tapeworm eggs and larvae.
Eating raw or undercooked pork, beef and fish should be avoided.