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What is a tapeworm?

Tapeworms are parasites, usually found in under-cooked beef or pork, sometimes in freshwater fish. If consumed by a person, tapeworms can grow and lay eggs in the intestine. Tapeworms can live for years in the intestine and grow to be more than 12 feet long. Most people have no symptoms, other than mild stomach aches or discomfort and possibly diarrhea or anemia. They may not realize they have a tapeworm infection until they see pieces of the tapeworm in their bowel movements. If diagnosed, the infection is treated with oral medication. Sometimes, an untreated tapeworm infection can lead to a blocked intestine or spread into other organs, such as the brain, eye, or heart. This can cause serious damage and symptoms. So you should see your doctor right away if you notice what could be white worms in your stool.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.