Tape worms (tapeworms) do not discriminate. They can infect animals and they can infect humans. No matter how old or young the host may be. The good news is, tapeworms are preventable, treatable, and harmless if caught early. The first step to getting treatment is to recognize the symptoms. Before we discuss the symptoms of tape worm, treatments and prevention, please continue reading to learn about the different types of parasites and where they come from.
There are more than 3,200 types of parasites in existence today and at any given time the human body may be infected with dozens of them. The most common parasite in humans is the worm. Parasites are divided into the following categories: Cestoda, Nematoda, Protozoa, and Trematoda. Some are microscopic while others are quite visible to the naked eye. Certain types of parasites are found more often in animals, such as the bloodworm, which typically infects horses. Other types of parasites may affect humans more often. In addition to tape worms or “tapeworms” (Cestodes), just a few of the different types of parasites that may infect humans include: hookworms, pinworms, and roundworms (Nematodes); giardia (Protozoa); and flat worms, (Trematoda).
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While the tape worm can grow up to 15 feet or more in length, most are around 3-5 inches long. If left untreated, they can live up to 25 years. The tape worm sounds scary, but it’s not very common. The most common type of human intestinal worm is the roundworm. It is estimated that one in every four humans is infected with roundworms. It is important to keep in mind, however, that parasites rarely cause any serious (or fatal) complications in Europe and North America. No matter what type of worm or how the worm ends up in the human body, whether it’s a bloodworm that somehow made its way into the human digestive system (extremely rare) or a roundworm, most human intestinal worms, including the tape worm, may cause:
Loss of appetite
It is important to keep in mind that these symptoms are also common symptoms for many other diseases and conditions, so its best to consult a physician for an accurate diagnosis. A physician will test for parasites by taking a feces sample and examining it for parasites and/or eggs. Fortunately, the vast majority of parasites can be eliminated by using some of the same methods or by ingesting some of the same types of medications or antibiotics.
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Parasites can be eliminated from the body through the use of colon cleansers and/or colonics, several rounds of antibiotics or medications as prescribed by a physician, and/or by utilizing a number of different herbal or natural remedies. It’s best to consult an herbalist for the very best herbal remedies to get rid of human intestinal worms. That said, there are several popular (and effective) remedies consisting of the following combinations of herbs and ingredients:
Black walnut leaves, wormwood, quassia, cloves, male fern
Capsicum, wormwood, sage
Cramp bark, pumpkin seed, capsicum, thyme, garlic
Black walnut, pine needles, sassafras
In general, herbal remedies should be taken orally for a minimum of two weeks. Some individuals may complain of re-infection. It is very important to change your eating habits immediately if you suspect a parasite or worm infection. It’s best not to go back to your regular eating habits in order to prevent re-infection. Certain foods, spices, and beverages might help to ward off parasite infections or they will keep you from becoming infected through food or water sources. These include:
Apple cider vinegar
Bottled or distilled water
Thoroughly cooked meats and seafood
Organic fruits and vegetables, washed thoroughly
Avoid the following foods and activities if at all possible:
Swimming in lakes, rivers, an streams
Using the microwave to cook meats
And finally, never underestimate the power of clean hands. You should always wash your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom whether it is in your home or in a public place. In addition, wash kitchen utensils and countertops with hot soapy water after each use and wear gloves when changing your cats litter box or cleaning up after your pets.