I'm guessing I ate undercooked pork. What would my symptoms be?

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I am a 58 year old female.
I am having swelling of my stomach . I past something in my bowel that looked like a tape worm 3 weeks ago. This incident happened around 6 months ago.
What should i be concerned?

2 Answers

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You should be concerned of cysticercosis, which is a tissue infection caused by the young form of the pork tapeworm. People may have few or no symptoms for years. In some cases, particularly in Asia, solid lumps of between one and two centimeters may develop under the skin. After months or years these lumps can become painful and swollen and then resolve. A specific form called neurocysticercosis, which affects the brain, can cause neurological symptoms. In developing countries this is one of the most common causes of seizures. You can consult an infectious disease Dr about this condition.

Undercooked pork used to be an issue decades ago because you could run the risk of acquiring Trichinosis. It s a type of roundworm infection. Roundworm parasites use a host body to live and reproduce. Infection occurs primarily among meat-eating animals (carnivores) such as bears and foxes, or meat- and plant-eating animals (omnivores) such as domestic pigs and wild boar. The infection is acquired by eating roundworm larvae in raw or undercooked meat.

Abdominal symptoms can occur one to two days after infection. Other symptoms usually start two to eight weeks after infection. The severity of symptoms usually depends on the number of larvae consumed in the infected meat.

Mild cases of trichinosis — those with only a small number of parasites in your body — may cause no recognizable signs or symptoms. Symptoms can develop with moderate or heavy infestation, sometimes progressing as the parasite travels through your body.

You swallow trichinella larvae encased in a cyst. Your digestive juices dissolve the cyst, releasing the parasite into your body. The larvae then penetrate the wall of the small intestine, where they mature into adult worms and mate. At this stage, you may experience:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting

About a week after infection, the adult female worms produce larvae that go through the intestinal wall, enter your bloodstream, and eventually burrow into muscle or other tissue. This tissue invasion can cause:

  • High fever
  • Muscle pain and tenderness
  • Swelling of the eyelids or face
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
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