Woman Swallows Tapeworm to Lose Weight in Horrifying Case of Extreme Dieting

tapeworm propagandaAn Iowa woman recently learned the hard way that there is something worse than being fat -- and that would be swallowing a parasitic worm in order to drop a few pounds. Don't get me wrong. I sympathize with her desire to be thin. Who among us hasn’t done something absurd to lose that last five pounds before a wedding or a reunion? But eating a tapeworm on purpose is beyond reason!


The woman went to her doctor and admitted she’d bought a tapeworm off the Internet and taken it to lose weight. The woman’s doctor didn’t know what the hell to do with her crazy case, so he contacted Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, the medical director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, for treatment advice. What she had to say was alarming to say the least. The worm can grow up to 30 feet within the victim’s intestines, depleting all nutrients from the host's system and essentially starving them to death.

I’d never swallow a worm, not even if I were being held at gunpoint. I already have to take deep breaths and consume alcohol to not think about the possibility of pinworms when eating sushi.

That said, I do understand this woman's desperation. In my younger days, I did some pretty crazy shit to lose weight. I won’t even lie. I’m out about my eating disorders. In retrospect, I KNOW that subsisting on 96 ounces of water, half a bagel, and a banana, and then throwing it up sometimes 10 times a day, is extreme and crazy. I did that.

I own that, but fortunately my desperation and insanity did not take me as far as some are willing to go in pursuit of weight perfection and that absolute, non-existent beauty standard. It appears that some women will stop at nothing to fit into a size 0, even if that means swallowing a tapeworm. EWWWW! Are you as skeeved out as I am right now?

This woman was ultimately prescribed an anti-worm medication that killed it, and it would come out during a bowel movement. Bottom line is, if you want to lose weight, diet and exercise normally like the rest of us, and maybe by next summer, you will be able to wear that two-piece bikini you’ve been dreaming of.

What's the craziest thing you've ever done to lose weight?

Image via Orionpozo/Flickr

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