Tapeworm

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Hi - I need some help with tapeworm - I was on an aid mission in Afghanistan back in Sep of 2015 and lived in a compound with a lot of Indian security guys. Anyway, as it happened, the rains caused a flood which infected the compound water supply before I got there - I was not aware of this and I brushed my teeth with what I thought was safe to do so compound water - not to drink of course but just brushing teeth and swill out with safe bottled water. Pretty soon I felt like I had a worm and cysts began to develop on my lower legs. On returning home I visited my GP who conducted 3 stool tests, all negative and a blood test which was fine. I paid for my own serology test for cysticercosis which came back negative. I still however get cysts on my trunk and limbs consistent with cysticercosis plus I have one in my mouth. I also still feel wiggling and discomfort in my colon. Bizzarely enough I feel wiggling in my legs especially as if larvae are moving in bloodstream etc. I have taken a course of albendazole which am assured knocks all tapeworm out but am still getting the feeling of worms in my colon - can anyone please advise ?

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  • Posted

    One other thing - the compound water supply became mixed with the sewage - and when I found this it out - I freaked obviously and the feeling of worm and the cysts popping up all fell into place in my mind. I am aware that tapeworm is difficult to detect and that serology and bloods don't always pick up mild infestations maybe. I am showing all the symptoms of someone with a tapeworm parasite, intestinal and invasive - rice grains in stool, tiredness, loss of balance, dizziness, floaters coming into my eyes in recent weeks etc

    Trouble is - where do I go from here? I am back in Afghanistan and finished a course of albendazole and still seems to be no forward improvement to the situation. I feel like paying for a colonoscopy when home to confirm or deny that I have tapeworm

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  • Posted

    Hi Gareth - I wonder if it would be worthwhile to ask your primary care specialist for a colonoscopy. Perhaps they will find something that way.
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    • Posted

      Thanks Rhuby - I doubt if they will now after stool tests and bloods came back negative. Problem is am quite attuned to my own body and the general 'feeling' and am very much aware from my pro-active research that tests can miss a lot of things where tapeworm and cysticercosis are concerend - first world not really expectant of third world problems. My GP gave it the initial credibility it deserved due to my history but after tests came back negative and with my insistenece for further, the same old story came to the fore - he was subtly guiding me towards help with mental health issues, which was frustrating and slightly infuriating. He did however refer me to a dermatologist for the cysts which has a four month waiting time! I should be back from overseas by then. Trouble is out here, very little I can do. The project med provider's doctor issued me some albendazole as a prophylactic as that is what they pragmatically do out here, they have no testing facility.

      I am considering a private colonoscopy as you say - when I return home. I think it is the only way to confirm or deny this possible parasitic presence

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  • Posted

    Floaters developing in my eyes are starting to affect my fuctioning currently but I soldier on, as I have little alternative at the moment. It is massively depressing to be honest.

    I have reasearched the websites for tapeworm symptoms and I have very few of them to be honest - just a feeling of wiggling in my colon, some rice specs in my stool and general lethargy. A few cysts popping up and going down, some feeling of twitching and movement of some things in my bloodstream, especially my legs. My appetite has very little change in it really aside from a slight craving for sweeter things but that is it.  

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  • Posted

    The thing that is most scary is that there seems to be no definitive answer to what symptoms and signs should be. Tapeworm seems to me from all that I have read to be hugely clever at avoiding confirmatory clinical detection - bloods, stools etc And is massively damaging but as it is fairly rare in the West - no one seems to consider it as a serious possibillty and when tests keep on coming back negative all credibility and interest in the patient is lost.

    I never in my life thought I would doubt medical science - I had total faith in if something was wrong it would be identified and fixed appropriately - but this has been a new and terrifying experience for me, having feelings of parasite and med science not coming up with anything firm just negative testing - and as far that is concerned thatis the end of it. For me however, with cysts and some of the milder symptoms of having something going on in my intestines, it is a massivley anxious situation to be in.

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  • Posted

    You poor thing!

    There are "big" tapeworms such as fish, beef and pork. For these type of tapeworms you would want to take Praziquantal as well as albendenzole .... albendenzole alone won't do the trick. Most times this will work but sometimes the head of the tapeworm (scolex) sometimes does not dissolve with the praziquantel but the rest of the tapeworm is flushed. Meaning the tapeworm is still in your gut and will grow again. This happened to me. To assure that the tapeworm is completely obliterated, you will need to take a course of niclosamide for a week, then follow with praziquantel AND albendenzole to get rid of any eggs that may be left over, like disseminated out of your gut or just sticking to your colon, etc. 

    There is also a dwarf tapeworm that is about 2 inches long, I think, at most. I have that also!!  For that, taking miclosamide and following with praziquantal and albendenzole is a must.

    Are you sure it's cysticercosis or perhaps larvae migrans where larvae from usually hookworm escape the gut and travel through your blood stream leaving itching, hives, lines, and can leave cysts usually under the skin but you can see them consisting of eggs that can hatch later on in your life. (great, sarcasm!!).  pyrantel pamoate (same drug used for pinworms onlly you buy in bigger bottle!) will kill the hookworms in your stomach/intestines but I think  you may need albendenzole to kill the larvae migrans.  

    There is a website that has TONS of information by regular people like you and me who can't get a proper diagnosis from a doctor. I'm afraid to mention it for fear of getting this post removed.  Google around.  You might find it.  (has info boards for other things besides parasite discussions, protocols, etc)

    -Cat

     

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