If you think juice cleanses are extreme, check out this misguided diet.
An Iowa woman recently told her doctor that she bought a tapeworm on the Internet and ingested it in an attempt to lose weight. The doctor was apparently so stumped by the patient's bad decision that he had to call the state health department for guidance.
The agency told the doctor to have his patient de-wormed by way of some special medication that kills the parasite. Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, medical director at the Iowa Department of Public Health, recounted the incident in an e-mail to public-health workers Thursday.
“Ingesting tapeworms is extremely risky and can cause a wide range of undesirable side effects, including rare deaths,” Quinlisk wrote, 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.”
Tapeworms are parasites that can afflict humans who eat undercooked meat. "One tapeworm can't absorb enough food and nutrients to make a big difference in weight... the parasite can cause anemia and malnutrition," USA Today noted.
According to i09, other symptoms of tapeworm infestation include having pieces of them stick out of your mouth after a cesarean section, followed by a "burning sensation" after you pull the four-foot long sucker out.
Someone pass the lemon juice.