Can you feel a tapeworm?

Answered by Robert Flynn

It is possible to feel a tapeworm if you have an infection. One common symptom of a tapeworm infection is the sensation of something moving or wriggling in the abdomen. This can sometimes be felt through the skin or even in the anus, where the worm may be exiting the body.

Another way you may become aware of a tapeworm infection is by seeing a piece of the worm in your stool. Tapeworms are made up of several segments, and as they grow and mature, these segments, called proglottids, are shed from the worm’s body and passed out in the feces. These proglottids can often be seen as small white or yellowish pieces in the stool.

It is important to note that not everyone with a tapeworm infection will experience these symptoms. Some people may have a tapeworm infection without any noticeable signs or symptoms. However, if you do suspect a tapeworm infection, it is important to seek medical attention for diagnosis and treatment.

In some cases, a tapeworm infection can become more serious if left untreated. If a tapeworm is allowed to grow and remain in the intestines for a long period of time, it can become quite large and may block the appendix or other organs. This can result in appendicitis or other complications, which may require surgical intervention.

To diagnose a tapeworm infection, a healthcare professional may order a stool sample to check for the presence of tapeworm eggs or proglottids. Treatment typically involves medication to kill the tapeworm and its eggs. In some cases, additional measures may be needed to address any complications or organ involvement.

It is important to take precautions to prevent tapeworm infections. This includes practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands before eating and after using the bathroom, cooking meat thoroughly, and avoiding consumption of raw or undercooked fish or pork, as these can be sources of tapeworm larvae.

While not everyone may feel or see a tapeworm during an infection, it is possible to experience these symptoms. If you suspect a tapeworm infection, it is important to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment. Following good hygiene practices and taking preventive measures can help reduce the risk of tapeworm infections.