Is Medically Supervised Tapeworms a bad idea?

If there’s a simple answer to every problem, then perhaps medically supervised tapeworms is a solution to serious obesity cases? Doctors use leeches, so why not tapeworms? It seems like it might be safer than stomach stapling, liposuction, etc.

Introducing the tapeworms should be simple, maybe even in pill form. A little caution and modern sewage treatment should take care of the worms that exit. It could be an out-patient procedure. Removal of the tapeworms is trivial. Black walnut extract, in pill form, destroys tapeworms in dogs and humans.

What are the other side effects of this, besides a little anal itching? Would it be possible to eliminate those side effects through genetic modification or selective breeding?

While tapeworms may take in some of the food you eat, they also absorb nutrients and vitamins you need to stay healthy. They would probably also cause you to have a potbelly from fluid building up as an immune system reaction to the worm. Tapeworms may not necessarily set up business in your intestines anyway. They can cause cysts in your muscles, liver and even your eyes. Don’t you think it would be better to just eat less and exercise more?

Those tapeworms can also travel up into the pancreatic duct, the hepatic duct, and the gall bladder. The resulting obstruction/inflammation of any of those ducts and organs can be fatal.

Tapeworms have also multiplied in such large number as to cause obstruction of the bowel, and perforation of said bowel, resulting in peritonitis, shock, and death.

Tapeworm hosts pass on the tapeworms to unsuspecting others via inadequate handwashing combined with food handling or general touching. Just living in the same household as someone with a tapeworm infestation creates a significant risk for acquiring a tapeworm.

Infants and children are very susceptible to these infections, which can quickly cause severe illness.

Good luck! Enjoy your experience!

The tapeworms of the genus Eichinococcus can cause hydatid cysts.
From this page

This is the assumption that undermines your question.

There is not a simple answer to every problem. Not, never, uh uh, no way. In fact, this notion is the cause of most of the problems that persist.

Oh yeah, they plug up the brain too!

Brain worms!!!

Thanks for the link, vet.

“Eat less and exercise more” isn’t simple?

(Simple, yes; easy, no.)

Not true; “There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.” (Mencken)

I remember seeing an advertisement from the early 1900’s that hawked tapeworms as an actual diet aid. Can’t seem to find the actual ad (Google’s not my friend this morning) but here is Snopes’ page on the subject – they confirm that the ads do exist but basically poo-poo the idea that actual tapeworms were used, in their typically skeptical manner.

Unless, of course, this advertisement is real. :wink:

I’ve heard about this. I’m not sure why tapeworms should cause weight loss. Do they? Do they cause such serious malabsorption that you miss that many calories? I would think that would mean major nutritional problems, along with death and stuff like Qadgop said.

Infestation with parasites is a chronic wasting illness. With your guts full of worms, you don’t feel like eating much, food ingestion often causes pain and nausea, and you think how the movie Alien would have been received had the alien erupted from the guy’s butt instead of his chest.

Wow, you make this sound very nearly as enticing as you make coprophagia sound.

Hmm. There’s two activities not to combine.

You truly are a wealth of knowledge, Qadgop. As with the penis story, most of this knowledge is extremely icky, and yet somehow oddly compelling.