People these days are so desperate to lose weight and look like the Hollywood celebrities that they will do almost anything. Most of the time what they do is extremely bad for their health, such as crash dieting, starvation, or the tongue patch surgery. And then there is the woman in Iowa who swallowed a tapeworm so that she would lose weight.
The Iowa woman told her doctor that she bought the tapeworm off of the internet. The doctor had no idea what to do with this horrible decision by his patient and had to call in help from the state health department. They told him that he should give her a special medication that helps to kill the parasite so that she will no longer have the tapeworm ravaging her internal organs.
Dr. Patricia Quinslick is the medical director at the Iowa Department of Public Health. She remembers the incident and recounted it through an email to public health workers in the state.
She wrote about how ingesting a tapeworm is extremely dangerous and can have some nasty side effects that you may not think about. It can also cause death although this is rare (but then again so is someone voluntarily swallowing a parasite). She urged those reading the email to stick with conventional methods of weight loss like proper diet and exercise.
When you have tapeworms in your body, they will absorb food and nutrients, but not enough to make a significant dent in your weight. People most commonly get them from undercooked meat. They can cause malnutrition and anemia which can make you very tired and sick. Other symptoms of an infestation are pieces of the tapeworm sticking out of your mouth. You don’t realize how long they are until pull one out and it turns out to be four feet long!