Eating undercooked or life meat might put girlfriend at hazard of infection v tapeworms. Learn the signs that this icky parasite has actually taken up residence in your body.

You are watching: How to know if you have tapeworms in your body


Vitamin deficiency

If you have a tapeworm, you’re basically eating because that two; tapeworms will certainly siphon off several of your nutrients. Therefore a test the reveals anemia or B12 deficiencies may be the very first sign that you’re infected. “In the case of D. Latum, it has an affinity for vitamin B12 and therefore competes with the human infected for absorption,” claims Dr. Sonpal. “So in these patients, B12 deficiency and anemia deserve to happen.”


Some species of tapeworm have the right to travel exterior of the cradle tract and also end increase wreaking havoc on other body systems—including the eyes and also brain. “One the the most surprising symptom is seizures if that invades the brain,” claims Afonso Ribeiro, MD. Clinical Director, progressed Endoscopy and also Gastroenterology, v Memorial healthcare System in Hollywood, Florida. That complication is called neurocysticercosis, and can also present together headaches. This infection is led to by the pork tapeworm.

High white blood cell count

A blood test could offer among the most far-ranging clues the it’s a parasite that’s to blame. “The one giveaway that renders me think ‘parasite’ is top top blood tests, eosinophils might be elevated. These space white blood cell that attack parasites,” Dr. Sonpal says. “Combine that through a travel background and ns am really suspicious.” Don’t miss these 15 indicators your body’s in large trouble.

Craving dust or salt

Strange but true—a tapeworm could have friend craving miscellaneous not-so-edible, prefer dirt. “Salt or dust craving, additionally called pica, deserve to be a authorize but, again, over there other more common problems that can reason that,” says Dr. Ribeiro. Watch the craziest medical cases doctors have seen ~ above the job.

Weight loss

Tapeworms can flourish to hundreds of feet in length—and can deprive her body of nutrients as lock grow. Therefore if you’re shedding weight there is no trying, it’s time to see the doctor. “Weight ns and readjust in bowel behavior can it is in concerning,” says Donald Tsynman, MD, of NewYork-Presbyterian in the brand-new York urban region.

Nausea and loss of appetite

Not feeling an especially hungry? Tapeworms can cause you to feeling ill and lose your appetite, due to irritation in your bowels, alerts Dr. Tsynman. In some cases, parasites can even induce vomiting or diarrhea in patients. Right here are 9 silent indicators you’re not taking care of yourself.

Liver damage

Tapeworm larvae can escape right into the liver and develop into cysts, states Dr. Sonpal. If the parasites proceed to grow, they have the right to reduce blood it is provided to the healthy and balanced parts the the liver and also impair liver duty overall. Learn the silent signs you could have a parasite.

Intestinal blockage

As a tapeworm i do not care larger and takes up much more of the cradle system, that can finish up leading to blockages in the digestive system, says Dr. Sonpal. For instance, it might block turn off the postposition or block bile and pancreatic ducts. If ducts become blocked, friend could build jaundice—a yellowing that the skin that’s due to a buildup that bilirubin in the blood—or pancreatitis. Intestinal blockage can also cause constipation if pancreatitis involves severe abdominal pain.

No symptom at all

One of the scariest things around parasites like tapeworms is the you may have no symptom at all. In various other words. “The exact percentages the tapeworms that room asymptomatic room not totally known, however it is embraced that the majority of patients will certainly be asymptomatic,” Dr. Sonpal says. “This is due to the fact that while the parasite is growing and making its relationship over her intestines strong, it’s quiet.”

Lisa Milbrand is a writer and also editor from brand-new Jersey, who specializes in health, parenting, and also travel topics. She is the author of the upcoming book, baby Names v Character.

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