When we eat, potential pathogens and parasitic carriers are called into our bodies. They can come with a plus that can take you to the hospital, and the full effects of their party crash can take years before they show up.
This was the case for one man who suddenly started experiencing seizures at the age of 30. He had no scenes, but was found one night shaking from the floor and “talking nonsense.” He was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment, where he was found confused and staring at the roof involuntarily. The case report was published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Investigations led to a possible suspect: tapeworm.
Brain scans and blood tests eventually confirmed the diagnosis and revealed that the man’s brain had become damaged by several worms. Tapeworm infection is called cysticercosis, and while serious cases can have catastrophic effects on the body, they can go unnoticed for months, years, and – in this case – decades. In the magazine, doctors state that the infection probably started 20 years before the patient was admitted to the hospital. He currently lived in Guatemala, where tapeworm infections occur in urban and rural areas.
Fortunately, the patient was released from his unwanted visitors, and three years later he remained seizure-free.
Tapeworms can pass from person to person in the feces and can occur in undercooked or unclean pieces of meat and fish. They are hermaphroditic, which means that a single egg can cause brain strain problems as they increase sexually.
Although they are most commonly associated with the digestive system, tapeworms can travel around your body over time and form a camp anywhere from the liver to your lungs and your big box of thoughts. At worst, tapeworm infections can cause 30 to 70 percent of suspected cases of epilepsy.
One symptom of cysticercosis is weight loss, which results in some people engaging in a “tapeworm diet,” in which case they swallow a pill containing live eggs. These pills have been banned by the Food and Drug Administration, and many of the pills available from the wrong corners of the Internet are counterfeit in any case.
If pain, malnutrition, and the possibility of worms in your brain are not sufficient reasons to avoid an inefficient diet, we can introduce you to:
A man pulls a 32-foot tapeworm out of his anus