Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Symptoms I've experienced

From Cysticercosis:

"Symptoms of neurocysticercosis may include the following:
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Lethargy
  • Confusion
  • Vision changes
  • Weakness or numbness
  • Seizure (often the presenting symptom, occurs in about 70% of people with NCC)
Involvement of other body tissues may cause skeletal muscle swelling, subcutaneous cysts, and vision changes from cysts infecting the eyes."

I’ve experienced all of the above symptoms.

Additional symptoms I’ve experienced include the following 17 from a slightly longer list in Parasites? Not Me!:

  • chronic diarrhea or/alternating with constipation
  • intestinal cramps
  • dizziness
  • changes in appetite
  • fowl smelling gas
  • indigestion
  • bloating
  • loss of appetite
  • restlessness and difficulty sleeping
  • sore and aching intestines
  • itching on the soles of the feet
  • coughing sputum
  • fever followed by loss of appetite
  • palpitations
  • muscle pain
  • conjunctivitis
  • weight loss
In my case, the weight loss was significant, dropping from ~190 lbs. to ~140 lbs. Interestingly and unwisely, tapeworms used to be sold as a desirable means of losing weight, as reflected in this ad shown in a video available in Brain Parasites:

I also experienced depression and, as the author of Cysticercosis put it, "altered mental status." This was to be expected, for as stated in Mental Illness May Really Be Infectious Disease:

"Signs of Psychiatric disease (depression and psychosis) were found in over 65% of Neurocysticercosis cases (caused by a tapeworm whose incidence in the US is rising..."

Additional symptoms I've experienced include blood in my urine and stool, an increase in hair growth combined with my hair falling out (e.g., my eyebrows and eyelashes are almost completely gone), rapid growth of my nails (toe and finger), difficulty thinking and remembering, difficulty speaking, change of pitch of my voice, the feeling that I am in the process of dying, change in the shape of my penis, vitamin B and D deficiency, loss of normal tears (a single, acidic tear would fall from the edge of each eye randomly, but no tears at all would flow when I was emotionally distraught), gastric reflux and difficulty swallowing, loss of muscle tissue, nodules on my lung and spine, “degeneration” of my spine and shoulders (use of my left arm is now greatly limited), severe bloating of my feet, legs, and gut, and degradation of the appearance of my skin via the appearance of numerous age spots and other growths (it looks like I’ve aged ~20 years in only 2).

From Cysticercosis:

"Neurocysticercosis is pleomorphic in its presentation due to individual differences in the number, size, and location of the parasites, as well as differences in the severity of the host's immune reaction to the parasite."

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