I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying, “They’re always hungry, they must have a tapeworm or something.” Normally this is associated with someone that can eat constantly and still be hungry. Or someone that can eat as much as they want and still never gain a pound. That must be nice, to be able to eat what ever you want without any weight gain. Normally this is due to a high metabolism and is more common in younger folks. Metabolism is basically the rate at which you body can breakdown or digest it’s food. The older you get, your metabolism slows down.
What is a Tapeworm
Let’s talk a about these vile creatures that find dwelling inside us, The Tapeworm. These scavenging parasites can grow up to 30 feet long and may live in it’s human host for up to 20 years. That’s a long time, and a very scary thought if you ask me. The head of these worms have tiny little hooks that actually fasten themselves onto their victims intestine. The main purpose in life to these creatures is to consume as much of what you have eaten as possible before your body can digesting it. These boogers can eat a lot very quickly as well. That’s why in severe infestations they can cause malnutrition and even anemia.
How can you Get Infected by a Tapeworm
Undercooked meat can contain tapeworm eggs or larvae, if the animal that the meat came from was infested with them. Normally someone will contract the tapeworms through water, food or possibly soil that was contaminated with the tapeworm eggs. Especially if the soil were contaminated with feces of some sort.
Normally the eggs of the tapeworms will hatch into larvae and absorb into the blood stream finding their way into the lungs. Eventually the worms will be coughed up from the lungs and re-swallowed back into the digestive system where they will stay and mature feeding on what ever they can find.
Unusual Cases of Tapeworm Infestation
During the 1920’s there were ads appearing that promoted “tapeworm pills”. These
were used as a weight loss formula. During this time many models and actresses were said to of used these pills. In the 1950’s there was an opera singer, Maria Callas, that lost 62 pounds within one year after allegedly swallowing a tapeworm. Here’s a scary bit of information. There were pills made available in America during that time that contained tapeworm eggs. It is thought she may of even picked up the tapeworm after eating raw steak or liver. She did enjoy eating these things, so it’s a possibility.
At the Tokyo Medical and Dental University, a professor of environmental parasitology actually hosted tapeworms in his own body. He left them there for over five years, that’s indeed a scary thought. I for sure wouldn’t want to be the host for an experiment like that. He was quite proud and gave fame to them keeping him nice and fit. He also believed that they were responsible for curing his hay fever. Not sure exactly how that was supposed to work. Because of this he suggests that tapeworms may help asthma sufferers and people with obesity problems.
If you feel like you may of been infected with a parasite of some sort, be sure to consult a physician and get an examination. Normally tapeworms and other parasites can be easily treated with an antiparasitic medication.