Iowa woman swallows tapeworm to lose weight

UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 2003: Scolex and immature proglottids of Tapeworm (Taenia pisiformis), Platyhelminthes flatworm, seen with counterstaining. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED – CIRCA 2003: Scolex and immature proglottids of Tapeworm (Taenia pisiformis), Platyhelminthes flatworm, seen with counterstaining. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

This is one fad diet you don’t want to try.

An Iowa woman desperate to shed a few pounds admitted that she ordered a live tapeworm off the internet and swallowed it, The Des Moines Register reported.

The woman’s doctor contacted the Iowa Department of Public Health to find out what she should do for her patient.

Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, the medical director at the department, told the physician to give the woman an anti-worm medication. Following the incident, Quinlisk warned against the so-called “tapeworm diet” in a weekly email to state public health workers.

“Ingesting tapeworms is extremely risky and can cause a wide range of undesirable side effects, including rare deaths,” she wrote. “Those desiring to lose weight are advised to stick with proven weight loss methods — consuming fewer calories and increasing physical activity.”

Tapeworms are parasites that can live and grow in human intestines, feeding off of partially-digested food. They can be accidentally ingested in raw or undercooked meat, but some websites have apparently been offering them up for sale as a weight-loss tool.

According to the Center for Disease Control, symptoms of a tapeworm infection include “abdominal pain, loss of appetite, weight loss and upset stomach.

The tapeworm diet isn’t new. It was advertised in the early 1900s, and more recently, it was a topic on a 2009 episode of the “Tyra Banks Show” during which Banks interviewed women who said they were willing to swallow a tapeworm to lose weight.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…