Des Moines, IA – a local woman went to see her physician for his advice after ingesting a tapeworm she purchased on the internet. Apparently, the woman was led to believe that the tapeworm was a kind of natural means of losing weight. While it is true that in some people tapeworms stimulate weight loss, it stems from an intestinal infestation larger than the worm she ingested.
At any rate, her notice gave the doctor reasonable cause for alarm and he consulted with the Iowa Department of Public Health who instructed him to administer to her an anti-worm medication. Tapeworms do consume nutrients that the host would otherwise absorb, but they do so with many other side effects ranging from diarrhea, stomach discomfort, abdominal pain, and in some rare instances seizures and death.
Tapeworms are fully capable of reproducing within themselves due to having both female and male reproductive systems. Over time, a single worm can grow to a length of 30 feet and spread eggs every time the host relieves its bowels.
It is not known what prompted the woman’s visit to the doctor, but thankfully she received treatment which included a dose of common sense. Physicians recommend that those wanting to lose weight simply eat less food and exercise to increase the body’s metabolism.