Tapeworm Diet

tapeworm diet unsafeA recently re-aired Tyra Banks show addressed the topic of the fad tapeworm diet and not everyone thought it was so far fetched, as a few women were actually so desperate to lose weight that they admitted they would try it.And an Iowa woman actually did try it! The unnamed woman bought the tapeworm online and ingested it, but had to confess what she had gone to a local physician when it was time to rid herself of the parasite. He was stumped, so he called the Iowa Department of Public Health who advised him to use de-worming pills. This prompted a public response by Dr. Patricia Quinslisk, medical director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, who sent an email decrying the primitive practice to public health workers.

The tapeworm diet does not come without consequences

“Ingesting tapeworms is extremely risky and can cause a wide range of side effects, including rare deaths, ” said in the email, according to the Des Moines Register. “Those desiring to lose weight are advised to stick with proven weight loss methods; consuming fewer calories and increasing physical activity.”

Most women would shudder at the thought of purposely eating any type of worm, but this practice is a resurgence of a trend advertised in the early 20th century. It has been currently rumored that some Hollywood women have also tried this method. Ignoring the dangers and nasty side effects in favor of a fast solution, the women reasoned that once the weight was off, they could have the nasty parasite removed. While the purchase of tapeworms (in pills or otherwise) is illegal in this country unless one is a licensed medical researcher, this controversial treatment is available in Mexico, with a whopping price tag of $1200 to $1500. And that doesn’t include travel.

Eating disorders are not uncommon in today’s society

Statistically speaking, up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from some type of eating disorder – anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and even diabulimia. Anorexics waste away from not eating, sometimes dying of self-imposed starvation. Bulimics vomit and may use laxatives after eating in an effort to stay thin. Some binge on vast quantities of food before purging. Both anorexics and bulimics may exercise obsessively. Binge eaters (not bulimic) compulsively binge on vast quantities of food without trying to rid themselves of the enormous amount of calories they’ve consumed, often becoming dangerously obese. Then there’s diabulimia, a method of losing weight for type I diabetics in which they skimp on, or even skip, their insulin to purge calories through glucose loss in their urine. Sadly, all this in an effort to achieve the body type portrayed in advertising, which is only naturally achieved by a mere 5% of American females. Some use other methods to become pencil thin – smoking cigarettes to curb appetite; using methamphetamines; becoming addicted to heroin…and now tapeworms? One has to ask, is it worth it? To those so driven, the answer must be yes.

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.

20% of those with anorexia die of complications, and those numbers could actually be inaccurate, since complications of the disorder (heart failure, organ failure, malnutrition or suicide) may be listed as the cause of death, rather than the eating disorder itself. These statistics look even grimmer when one notes that those especially affected are young people who are so impressionable – sometimes unable to see themselves as anything but “fat” despite what the scale and others tell them. Athletes who are driven to push themselves to perfection also suffer from this type of body image distortion. Females in aesthetic sports like gymnastics, ballet and figure skating may have an extra high risk of suffering from an eating disorder.

Within the context of that pressure to stay rail-thin at all costs, using tapeworms as another desperate way to achieve the unnatural doesn’t seem that crazy. To those suffering from these serious eating disorders, the ultimate price they pay doesn’t even enter the picture if it’s thought to achieve the end result. Sadly, an anorexic will never feel thin enough, with some weighing in at 60lbs or under. The skeletal vision in the mirror will still look fat to the sufferer.

Eating disorders are treatable with the right type of therapy.

There are rehabs exclusively devoted to helping those who suffer gain insight and healing along with much needed weight. The right treatment center could literally mean the difference between life and death for some, so one should take care in choosing the right facility to help their loved one. If left untreated, these disorders may prove fatal and should be taken seriously. Talk to a professional to find the right place to help your loved one before it’s too late.


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