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Introduction to Tapeworms

Tapeworms are intestinal parasites. They are members of the worm group called cestodes. The adult worms live in the digestive tract of vertebrates. Apart from affecting humans, tapeworms commonly occur in certain animals such as cats, dogs, cows and pigs. Several species of tapeworms can enter the body with underprepared meat such as pork, beef or fish. In some cases infestation occurs due to poor food preparation.

All tapeworms require two hosts to completely encircle the parasite's life cycle. The juvenile phase takes place in the body of animals while the adult forms of tapeworms are found in intestine of humans and other vertebrates.

These parasites can vary in length. The length depends on the species. Some tapeworms are up to several feet long. These parasites can even reach amazing 30-40 feet in length.

Treatment for Tapeworms

It is essential to set the diagnose of tapeworms as soon as possible. This way treatment can be more effective and some potential complications associated with tapeworm infection can be successfully prevented.

The most commonly prescribed medications for tapeworms are albendazole and praziquantel. Apart from these two antiparasitic medications patients suffering from cystic lumps are additionally administered anti-inflammatory drugs.

After the treatment is finished patients have their stool analyzed for the presence of tapeworm eggs, larvae or adult forms. If prescribed medications have been administered in correct dose the chance of eradication of parasites is above 95%. One fault of medications is that they can only eradicate adult worms and are completely ineffective when it comes to tapeworm eggs and larvae.

There are certain home remedies which can assist in therapy. For example a spoonful of freshly ground coconut taken for breakfast can help in expelling of the worms form the intestines. 3 hours after the breakfast one should consume a mixture of 30-50 ml castor oil and 250-300 lukewarm water. One more effective remedy is garlic. One is supposed to chew three cloves of garlic every morning, drink carrot juice and eat pumpkin seeds.

Prevention of Tapeworms

There are certain measures which can prevent infestation with tapeworms. The first thing is practicing good hygiene. One is due to wash his/ her hands particularly after handling animals, feces, using toilet or when out of the country. People should consume only inspected meat. Undercooked beef, pork or fish must never be consumed. All the utensils and surface that have been in contact with raw beef, pork or fish must be properly washed. Fruit and vegetables must be thoroughly washed. And finally, one should always drink bottled water.

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