SymptomsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Many people with intestinal tapeworm infection have no symptoms. If you do feel the effects, your symptoms will depend on the type of tapeworm you have and its location. Invasive tapeworm infection symptoms vary depending on where the larvae have migrated.
Signs and symptoms of intestinal infection include:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss and inadequate absorption of nutrients from food
If tapeworm larvae have migrated out of your intestines and formed cysts in other tissues, they can eventually cause organ and tissue damage, resulting in:
- Cystic masses or lumps
- Allergic reactions to the larvae
- Bacterial infections
- Neurological symptoms, including seizures
When to see a doctor
If you experience any of the signs or symptoms of tapeworm infection, seek medical attention.
- King CH, et al. Cestodes (tapeworms). In: Mandell GL, et al. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06839-3..X0001-X--TOP&isbn=978-0-443-06839-3&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Nov. 15, 2011.
- White AC Jr., et al. Cestodes. In: Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html#. Accessed Nov. 16, 2011.
- Craig P, et al. Intestinal cestodes. Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases. 2007;20:524.
- Leder K, et al. Intestinal tapeworms. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 16, 2011.
- White AC Jr. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of cysticercosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 16, 2011.
- White AC Jr. Treatment of cysticercosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 16, 2011.