Occurring due to the intake of contaminated food or water, tapeworm infection is characterized by nausea, headache, dizziness, salt craving, loss of appetite, etc. Recently, a construction worker in East China was diagnosed with tapeworm infection after he ate half-cooked pork. Doctors revealed that he had around 700 flatworms in his brain and chest. The patient was admitted to a hospital after he experienced seizures and lost consciousness.

Tapeworms usually enter your digestive system and then make their way to other organs through the bloodstream. In case the worm managed to sneak into other organs it may damage the tissues and cause cystic masses, allergic reaction, seizures, etc. Certain factors like poor hygiene, exposure to livestock, eating undercooked or raw food, etc. can potentially increase your likelihood of suffering from tapeworm infection.

Simple stool analysis, blood tests, and imaging exams can help in its diagnosis. Usually, certain oral medications that are toxic to the tapeworms are prescribed. However, in severe cases, you may have to take anthelmintic drugs, anti-inflammatory therapy, shut placement or a cyst removal surgery. If not treated on time, tapeworm infection can cause some serious complications. Here we tell you about them.

Digestive blockage

When the tapeworm develops and becomes large in size, it can potentially block your appendix, bile duct, gallbladder or pancreatic duct. This can lead to appendicitis, disrupt digestion, and make excretion difficult.

Brain and central nervous system impairment

It occurs usually when a person ingests undercooked tapeworm. The worm firstly invades your digestive system and then make their way to your mind through the bloodstream and leads to serious issues. Known as neurocysticercosis, this condition can cause headaches, seizures, visual impairment, meningitis, or even dementia.

Disruption in organ function

When the tapeworm increases in size, it becomes cysts and reduces the blood supply to the organs disrupting their function. In some cases, when the tapeworm cysts rupture, a huge number of larvae come out and form other cysts causing more severe health problems. This condition can cause an allergy-like reaction and you may need a surgery or organ transplantation to get rid of it.