ParasiteFilter: Could I have tapeworms hiding in my body 10 years later? Grossish details inside.
When I was 11 or thereabouts, I definitely had some kind of tapeworm infestation in my gut as I had small white wiggling worms in my stool. This occurred on and off for around six months to a year and hasn't been seen since. Around the same time, but not directly co-resident, I had various bouts of intense nighttime rectal itching that sounds rather like Pinworm
. This also went away on its own after a while. I never saw a doctor or took medication for either problem.
At the time, I was an 11 year old boy with rather poor hygiene habits. I remember examining the worms in my stool, was a pretty big nail biter, and wasn't particularly big on handwashing. In short, it would not surprise me if I managed to ingest some of the parasites 10 years ago.
Fast forward to today, I've had ongoing issues with depression, for which I am being treated, but especially with fatigue and oversleeping (12+ hours several days in a row). My doctor has done some blood work and ruled out sleep apnea with a trip to the sleep lab, and we're currently working with the idea that my fatigue is psychiatric in origin, even though it doesn't seem to vary with my mood or activity.
That's all well and good, and very well could be the case, but I have a lingering feeling that perhaps some of this is coming from a parasitic infection left over from a decade ago. I'm certainly open to talking this over with my doctor next time I see her, but I'd rather not sound completely neurotic if this is, in fact, impossible, so I'm hoping the hivemind can help me untangle:
- Is it normal for tapeworms and/or pinworms to just go away on their own without infecting myself in a more insidious way?
- Could I have some kind of parasitic infestation lurking inside me from these episodes 10 years ago?
- Depending on the answers to the above, what kind of tests can we do to find out whether this is actually happening?