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  • I feel nauseated, weak, and fatigued. I have abdominal pain, and I've lost my appetite.
  • I'm going to the hospital.
  • With the blood tests and MRI Scan, we've concluded that you have tapeworms. Tapeworms are flat, segmented worms that can be transmitted when eating under-cooked meat from an infected animal. A cause of tapeworm infection starts after ingestion of tapeworm eggs or larvae. Ingesting eggs and ingestion of larvae cysts in meat or muscle tissue cause infection of tapeworms. Even with the help of the immune system, the digestive system can't really get rid of the parasites, it's difficult.
  • What are some complications?
  • I did eat rare steak.
  • Some complications can be a Digestive blockage. If tapeworms grow large enough, they can block your appendix, leading to infection, called appendicitis, they can block your bile ducts, which carry bile from your liver and gallbladder to your intestine, or your pancreatic duct, which carries digestive fluids from your pancreas to your intestine. There can be brain and central nervous system impairment, called neurocysticercosis. 
  • There can be organ function disruption. When larvae migrate to the liver, lungs or other organs, they become cysts. The liver filters blood coming in from the GI Tract, detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs, secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines, makes proteins that are important for blood clotting. Over time, these cysts grow, sometimes large enough to crowd the functioning parts of the organ or reduce its blood supply. 
  • Some risk factors include having poor hygiene, exposure to livestock, traveling to developing countries, and living in endemic areas. Ways to prevent infection is to have good hygiene, kitchen hygiene, food precautions, cook meat, freeze fish and meat for at least 7 days, do not consume raw or under-cooked meats, or fish. If you have a dog, make sure they are treated for tapeworms. Make sure your dog only eats cooked meat and fish.
  • Besides eating under-cooked meats, what are other risk factors that could lead to infection and how can I prevent infection?
  • The cure rate for tapeworm infestation is greater than 95% in patients who receive appropriate treatment. The prognosis for systemic cysts depends on the location of the cysts. Tapeworms are usually treated with a medicine taken by mouth. The most commonly used medicine for tapeworms is praziquantel, also known as Biltricide. I will be prescribing this medication to you.
  • Can it be cured?
  • Fewer than 1,000 people in the United States are infected with a tapeworm each year. 
  • The medications should help to cure you from the infection.
  • Does this affect anyone?
  • Thank you doctor!
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