Swallowing Tapeworms to Lose Weight?

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Swallowing Tapeworms to Lose Weight?

Just how far would you go to lose weight? Some individuals are desperate enough to lose a few pounds that they would swallow tapeworms as a quick and easy weight loss solution.

What would you do to lose weight?  Some women are desperate to lose weight, as was the case for an Iowa woman who was willing to swallow tapeworms as a quick and easy way to drop a few pounds.

Surprisingly, swallowing tapeworms is not a new technique. According to Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, the medical director for the Iowa Department of Public Health, it has been marketed and advertised since the 19th and 20th centuries as a “safe” and easy way of losing weight.  Tyra Banks has also interviewed women during one of her talk shows about women who were willing to swallow a tapeworm.

This dieting method has not gained widespread attention because only less than 1000 new cases have been reported of people ingesting tapeworms. Most of these cases were from eating uncooked beef or pork.

The most common tapeworm used for this dieting trick is the Taenia saginata, also known as the beef tapeworm.  Those who ingest this tapeworm contract taeniasis, which does in fact cause people to lose weight as one of its symptoms. These tapeworms hook onto the person’s intestine and grows into a 30 foot long tapeworm in the gut. The weight loss is a result of the parasite robbing the host of nutrients from the food that the host ingests. The CDC reports that other symptoms include abdominal pain, upset stomach, and loss of appetite. Visible signs of taeniasis include tapeworm segments passed from the body. The only way to remove the tapeworm is by way of a medication that contracts all of the tapeworm’s muscles and thus killing it. It passes harmlessly out of the body.

Swallowing tapeworms is not the only extreme dieting method that women have tried. Other schemes include injecting themselves with the hCG hormone, which is found in the urine of pregnant women, and a method labeled as “absolute fasting,” a fancy name for starvation.

Quinlisk advises women to try proven dieting techniques such as increasing physical activity and reducing calorie intake rather than resorting to these dangerous schemes.

Please leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Written by Katherine Chua

Source: http://www.today.com/health/iowa-woman-tries-tapeworm-diet-prompts-doctor-warning-6C10935746

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