Cysticercosis – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Tuesday, March 06, 2018 by

Cysticercosis is a rare infection caused by the parasite Taenia solium, commonly known as the pork tapeworm. In particular, the condition occurs when the larval cysts of T. solium (called cysticerci) accrue within tissues of the body. A condition called neurocysticercosis, which happens when cysticerci lodge in the brain, causes abnormalities in the central nervous systems (CNS). Other organs such as the eyes, spinal cord, skin, and heart can also be affected by cysticercosis.

To note, two infections can result from T. solium infections. Taeniasis is a condition where the cysticerci develop into adult tapeworms that reside in the intestine. The tapeworms then release egg-breaking gravid proglottids that are discharged through feces. Cysticercosis, on the other hand, is when cysticerci are ingested and form cysts in tissues.

Known risk factors and symptoms of cysticercosis

In the U.S., there are at least 1,000 new cases of cysticercosis reported every year, and an estimated 50 to 100 million people are infected around the world. The disease is endemic to Central and South America, India, China, Southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. In these areas, neurocysticercosis is responsible for at least half of the reported cases of adult-onset seizures.

There is no genetic predisposition for T. solium infection; however, cysticercal encephalitis – a rare and potentially fatal complication – has been seen in children and young females.

In most cases, symptoms of cysticercosis depend on the location, size, number, and stage of the cysts.

If these are located in the brain or spinal cord:

  • The cysts may be asymptomatic.
  • It may cause seizures or headaches.
  • A person may have problems with balance and may exhibit confusion, a swelling of the brain. In extreme cases, excess fluid may form.
  • It can potentially lead to stroke and death.

Cysts are located in the muscles do not exhibit symptoms. However, these may cause lumps under the skin which can be tender.

The outlook for cysticercosis is typically positive unless the cysts are located in the heart, brain, and the eyes. In rare instances, complications may arise from the condition. These include:

  • Blindness or decreased vision
  • Heart failure or abnormal heart rhythm
  • Hydrocephalus (fluid buildup in part of the brain)
  • Seizures

Body systems affected by cysticercosis

Cysticercosis affects the tissues; however, severe cases may impact the central nervous system, the eyes, and the cardiovascular system.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent or relieve cysticercosis

Proper food preparation, especially when traveling to places where the disease is endemic, is a good way to avoid getting infected by T. solium.

Here are some recommended natural remedies to treat not only infections from T. solium but other parasites as well.

  • Diatomaceous earth — The substance, which occurs naturally, destroys the exoskeletal system of parasites and destroys them. Food-grade diatomaceous earth is known to be a non-toxic antiparasitic powder.
  • Garlic  While garlic is known to be a powerful antibiotic, it also contains antiparasitic properties.
  • Papaya seeds — To cleanse your intestines, consume ground papaya seeds. These have been known to kill intestinal parasites.
  • Pumpkin seeds — Aside from papaya seeds, pumpkin seeds can also help remove various worms from the intestines.
  • Onions — Sulfur compounds that are known to eliminate intestinal parasites are present in onions.

Other herbs like oregano oil, clove oil, and wormwood aid in removing intestinal parasites as well.

Treatment and management options for cysticercosis

Most cases of cysticercosis are asymptomatic and do not need to be treated. In cases where there is a need for treatment, medication like albendazole or praziquantel is provided to kill the parasites.

If the cyst is found in the eye or the brain, steroid treatment is given a few days prior antiparasitic treatment to prevent inflammation.

Where to learn more

Summary

Cysticercosis is a rare infection caused by the Taenia solium parasite. In particular, the condition occurs when the larval cysts of T. solium (called cysticerci) collect within tissues of the body. A condition called neurocysticercosis, which happens when cysticerci lodge in the brain, causes abnormalities in the central nervous systems (CNS). Other organs such as the eyes, spinal cord, skin, and heart can also be affected by cysticercosis.

In most cases, symptoms of cysticercosis depend on the location, size, number, and stage of the cysts. Its outlook is typically positive unless the cysts are located in the heart, brain, and the eyes.

Proper food preparation, especially when traveling to places where the disease is endemic, is a good way to avoid getting infected by T. solium.

Sources include:

RareDiseases.org

WHO.int

eMedicine.Medscape.com

Academic.OUP.com

CDC.gov 1

CDC.gov 2

MedLinePlus.gov

HealthyandNaturalWorld.com



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