A tapeworm is an intestinal parasite consisting of a head with hooks and a body containing segments, according to TeenHealth. Once ingested by a host, a usually a mammal or vertebrate, it attaches to the intestinal wall, lives by digesting the nutrition that moves by and grows by making more segments. Each segment produces thousands of eggs, and each egg can produce a new tapeworm.Know More
A tapeworm can contain 1,000 segments and grow to 33 feet long, explains TeenHealth. As the older segments are pushed down the length of the tapeworm, they break off, carrying their eggs with them, where eventually they are released from the digestive tract as feces. Tapeworms spread through contaminated water, soil, and food, as animals or humans pick up the eggs or worm segments and ingest them, repeating the cycle.
Human tapeworm infestations are most common, explains Encyclopedia.com, in areas with poor sanitation and where meat and fish are eaten raw or lightly cooked. Humans ingest tapeworms directly from water or soil. Tapeworms can infest fish, cows and pigs, invading their muscle fibers as cysts, where they lie dormant until eaten by humans.
A tapeworm infection typically causes few symptoms, according to Encyclopedia.com, and a host frequently does not know he is infected until signs of the worms or eggs are seen in clothing, bedding or feces. A tapeworm infection is easily treated with medication.Learn More
According to WebMD, Clostridium difficile is bacteria that causes colitis in the large intestine. This bacteria may begin to colonize a person's large intestine whenever she is taking antibiotics and her normal digestive flora is disrupted.Full Answer >
Constipation treatment may include increasing fluids and bulking up dietary fiber within the diet, according to WebMD. Medications such as stool softeners and laxatives may also work as treatment options when monitored by a physician.Full Answer >
WebMD describes indigestion as feeling over-full or experiencing discomfort during or after meal times. Heartburn in the upper stomach often accompanies these feelings. Other symptoms of indigestion include gas, belching, nausea, vomiting and an acidic taste in the mouth.Full Answer >
A bowel obstruction occurs when the large or small intestine is fully or partially blocked in a way that prevents food, fluid, or gas from passing normally though the intestines, says WebMD. Mechanical obstructions, including tumors and scar tissue, are the most common cases of bowel obstruction.Full Answer >