I had a tapeworm and this is what happened…

You know that friend who is very lean and you joke they must have a tapeworm because of how much they eat? Well, I was that friend. And… it turns out I did have a tapeworm. Yep, an actual, verified-by-two-separate-stool-tests-tapeworm, not a neurotic hypochondriacal one.

gummy worms as a euphemism for tapewormIt’s been almost two years since I finished my parasite protocol and I guess I’m ready to talk about it now.

This is the point at which you should stop reading if you’re squeamish and don’t want to hear about my poop.

For the rest of you freaks, let me answer the inevitable follow-up questions:

  1. Yes, I saw it come out. For weeks…at least 8 weeks. I had over 20 feet of tapeworm in my body. It was not alive when I pooped it out (thank gawd).
  2. My main symptoms were chronic constipation, stomach cramping/pain, and nutritional deficiencies. But, I’m also celiac and hypothyroid so it was easy to blame those symptoms on other things. In reality, I think constipation and the “fast metabolism” were the only symptoms I can directly attribute to the tapeworm.
  3.  I designed my own parasite protocol after doing a lot of research. I successfully excreted all of the parasites without the need for prescription anti-parasitics which can be very hard on the liver. Multiple negative parasite stool test results since, and no more constipation. It works. You can find it here.
  4. I gained about 20 lbs over the course of the last two years since excreting the tapeworm. I woulda been fine with five. There are so many other variables, I have no idea what was stress from a breakup, stress from a doctoral program, thyroid dysfunction, estrogen dominance, or the tapeworm not eating all my calories. But the cringey truth is… sometimes I miss it!
  5. I think I either picked it up during a 3-week trek through Nepal in 2014 (lots of tapeworms there), or from my dog (who also had a tapeworm). RIP, Koa.
  6. Based on the length of what I excreted, it was in there for quite some time.
  7. Fun fact: celiacs and high-anxiety-workaholics make great parasite hosts because our gut immunity is suppressed.
  8. Tapeworms and parasites, in general, are far more common than you’d think—it’s just that they often don’t cause major symptoms and standard stool tests that your doctor would order miss them most of the time. At Amaluna, I use a test that looks for DNA fragments which is much better at catching parasitic infections.
  9. Parasites eat up your serotonin and can be a cause of depression. Depression and mood swings get markedly worse as you’re killing them off— one of the darkest times of my life. But, then it gets better.
  10. Other symptoms that may indicate a need for parasite testing: you’ve traveled internationally, you have pets, persistent jaw clenching or teeth grinding, sharp pains in the abdomen, unexplained anemia, acne, persistent bloating, high appetite or sugar cravings, restless sleep, and gut motility issues of any kind.

Okay, let’s never talk about tapeworms again because ewwwwwwww. Kidding, I love this stuff.

Want to learn more about parasites? Why you need to parasite cleanse. 

Want to get tested for parasites? I work with patients worldwide and test kits can be shipped to you.

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