Tapeworm Infection


This infection is caused by the tapeworm parasite. When you are infected, one or more tapeworms live and grow inside you. They can live in your intestines, and they can spread to other parts of your body. An adult tapeworm may live in the intestines for decades.


How do you get infected? It happens when you eat or drink something infected with tapeworm eggs or larvae. Tapeworm eggs are spread in the poop of an infected animal or human. The eggs get into nearby water or food sources. You can ingest tapeworm larvae by eating the undercooked meat of an infected animal.


What are the symptoms? Well, it depends on the type of infection you have. With an intestinal infection, you may not notice any symptoms. Or, you may have nausea, weakness and dizziness. You may lose your appetite, and you may lose weight. You can have pain in your belly, and diarrhea. And, you may crave salt. If tapeworm larvae spread to other parts of your body, you can have a wide range of problems. You may develop masses or lumps in organs and tissues. You may have headaches, seizures and other serious complications.


Treatment depends on your infection. A tapeworm in your intestines may come out naturally without treatment. Or, you may need medicine to clear it. If your infection involves other organs, you may benefit from a range of other treatment options. This can include surgery. Your doctor will create a care plan that's right for you.