Iowa tapeworm diet is not something that doctors recommend to lose weight, and health officials have recently sparked a warning for the public to not try the controversial weight loss idea following one Iowa woman’s struggle after trying to drop some pounds. Today shared the breaking details this Friday, Aug. 16.
The Iowa tapeworm diet scare began following an unidentified woman visiting her doctor after not feeling well, admitting that she had bought a tapeworm from the Web and swallowed it in an attempt to get thinner. A medical director for the Iowa Dept. of Public Health said that her patient was frightened now as to what to do next.
As such, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk decided to bring this warning to not take the tapeworm diet (whether in Iowa or elsewhere) into the public light, letting all people know that ingesting a tapeworm is both unhealthy and unsafe.
“Ingesting tapeworms is extremely risky and can cause a wide range of undesirable side effects, including rare deaths … Those desiring to lose weight are advised to stick with proven weight loss methods — consuming fewer calories and increasing physical activity.”
Although different types of tapeworms exist, it is often the beef tapeworm that some people try to use in an attempt to lose weight rapidly. These quick weight-loss attempts don’t work out, however, and often leave victims feeling worse and even in dangerous health conditions afterwards.
Some have gone so far as to try to buy snake oil supplements and capsules that hold infant tapeworms, including that of a Taenia saginata — one worm you definitely don’t want in your body’s system or digestive tract.
“When people would order from snake oil medicine kinds of people a weight loss pill, it would be the head of a Taenia saginata … and it would develop into a 30-foot-long tapeworm in your body,” Quinlisk says. “The worm would get into your gut – it’s got little hooks on the head – and it would grab onto your intestine and start growing.”
The CDC notes that people can often discover that they have ingested a tapeworm (wittingly or not) through signs of the worms in feces.
“The most visible sign of taeniasis is the active passing of proglottids (tapeworm segments) through the anus and in the feces. In rare cases, tapeworm segments become lodged in the appendix, or the bile and pancreatic ducts.”
In order to kill the parasite (as the woman in the Iowa tapeworm diet was prescribed to do), anti-worm medications are taken, which force the intestine’s walls to contract, effectively breaking its hold and killing it. It then passes from the body.
Ultimately, the good doctor and her team warns people wanting to lose weight not to risk tapeworms: just do it the old-fashioned way, with a healthy diet and good exercise.